Food

Mother’s Day at Fort Kinnaird

mum-coffee

Back in March my lovely mum and I were invited by Fort Kinnaird, a shopping complex in Edinburgh, to enjoy some treats to celebrate Mother’s day, including afternoon tea at Patisserie Valerie and some pampering at The Body Shop. We had a wonderful time (I mean I always have a wonderful time with Mumma MacGilp because she rocks) and took some lovely pictures so I thought I’ve give you guys an insight into what we got up to. Read on to find out more about Patisserie Valerie and the Body Shop at Fort Kinnaird.

(more…)

24 Vegan Hours in Edinburgh


 *guest post*

Is it easy to be vegan in Edinburgh? Heck yes!

Hi – I’m Emma, and you may know me from the website veganedinburgh.com. I’ve been vegan for about a year and a half now and for around six months of that time I have been singing the praises of the vegan foodie scene in Edinburgh. I’ve made it my life’s mission to eat my way around all the best cruelty-free food in the city and share my mouth-watering discoveries with visitors and locals alike. 

There seems to be this preconceived notion that vegan food is boring and bland – but nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, in my opinion, vegan food is far more inventive and far more tasty than a lot of traditional meat and dairy dishes, and the fact that you’re doing what’s best for your health, the animals and the planet is just the proverbial cherry on the cake. Read on to discover how I would spend a foodie day in the Scotland’s capital, without a single morsel of “rabbit-food” in sight.


 Breakfast – Loudons
94b Fountainbridge, EH3 9QA

One of the most popular breakfast haunts in the city has a wonderful inclusive menu, with a couple of delicious options for vegans. The blueberry pancakes are my current favourite, served with banana cream and cherries. Pair this up with a carrot, ginger and apple juice and you’ve got yourself a power-up breakfast that will stand you in good stead for the rest of the day. 


Mid-morning Coffee – The Milkman
7 Cockburn Street, EH1 1BP

A relatively new addition to the Edinburgh coffee scene, The Milkman on Cockburn Street has a really great vibe and offers one of the best shots of espresso in the city. This place isn’t exclusively vegan by a long stretch, but they have sweet treats that cater for all, including treat-sized bars of Pana Chocolate and the odd vegan option from gluten-free baker Glutteny. 

Lunch – The Pakora Bar
96 Hanover Street, EH2 1DR
Fancy a quick bite for lunch? Look no further than The Pakora Bar, which can be found in the heart of the New Town on Hanover Street. These guys deep-fry vegetables like no-one else in the city, and their £4 – £5 portions of pakora make for a reasonably priced yet indulgent treat. Most of their veggie options are vegan, including mushroom, asparagus, aubergine and (my personal favourite) cauliflower varieties. If you fancy something a bit more, you can also order their curry of the day, which is also usually vegan. 
Dinner – Novapizza
42 Howe Street, EH3 6TH

You don’t have to roll too far away from The Pakora Bar for the next stop on our vegan tour of Edinburgh – Novapizza Vegetarian Kitchen. This Italian restaurant has a completely vegetarian menu, with half of the options suitable for vegans. If you’re craving a vegan pizza fix then this is the place to go – it was even recently named by the Vegan Society as one of the best vegan pizza spots in the UK. Need I say more?

Evening Cocktails – Foundry 39 
39a Queensferry Street, EH2 4RA

Again, this is not a vegan place in the slightest (in fact, their food menu is completely devoid of vegan options at the time of writing – boo!), but sometimes I find these “accidentally vegan” treats that I just have to shout about. Case in point – the Far Eastern Orchard cocktail at Foundry 39. Made with coconut cream, lemongrass-infused vodka and vanilla syrup, it’s a lovely rich concoction that is perfect for rounding off an indulgent day of eating the best vegan food in Edinburgh. 

But enough about me – what about you? Where are your favourite places to eat vegan in Edinburgh? Let me know in the comments below or come and say hello to me wherever you get your social media – I’m on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest. Can’t wait to hear your suggestions! 🙂
// Comments Off on 24 Vegan Hours in Edinburgh

Tempo Tea Bar Bubble Waffle

Introducing the new Bubble Waffle sundae from Tempo Tea Bar, my favourite Edinburgh bubble tea dive. As well as hot, cold and blended bubble teas in a plethora of flavours, Tempo now create delicious desserts which I had the chance to preview last week. These freshly made to order Bubble Waffles are wrapped around a GIANT scoop of Crolla’s luxurious vanilla ice cream, a scoosh of fluffy whipped cream, topped with a rainbow of toppings and finished off with 2 Pocky sticks! Oh, and I forgot to mention the M&Ms, caramel sauce and lucky charms cereal *heart eyes*. 



This weekend at The Arches (a new shopping and dining complex full of independent brands just outside of Edinburgh Waverley train station on Market Street) there’s a Christmas Shopping event with exclusive offers everywhere, so if you’re in the area be sure to check out Tempo Tea Bar! The cute little tea boutique also stocks quirky music, gifts and art,  plus the friendliest staff in the world.
 
Another brilliant new store at The Arches is Atticus Boutique, which I can never resist popping into when I get off the train from university in Galashiels! Stocking on-trend clothing from fashion designers across the UK, my favourite is definately Neon Rose, whom I bought some awesome geometric print pyjama trousers from last week (check ’em out on my instagram @urbanity_blog)
 
Ruth @ Urbanity xxx
 
 
// Comments Off on Tempo Tea Bar Bubble Waffle

Vegan December Challenge

So I’ve been vegetarian for years, but last year I went vegan for around 6 months. Why didn’t it last? 


On one hand, and most obviously to those around me, it was my eating disorder. For me, bulimia was directly caused by prolonged malnutrition from anorexia. In the most basic terms, excluding any psychological factors, I had starved my body and therefore it wanted me to store food ready for the next famine, so when I did finally give in to my cravings and eat properly, I wanted to eat anything and everything, as quickly as possible. 

Therefore, when I embarked on a vegan diet, arguably a restrictive way of eating relative to a traditional western diet, it triggered those same instincts as those early days of recovery. In short, it led to a huge relapse into bulimia. 

Controversial though it seems, and perhaps lacking in self-compassion as my therapist might suggest,  that is still not a valid excuse. Although of course I needed to take it slow and reel it back in at the time, it doesn’t mean my morals are gone forever. Now more confident and certainly more clued up after nearly a year’s worth of research, i want to take on the challenge again, and review it at the end of December to see how its working alongside, rather than against, my recovery.




One of the biggest things for me was cheese. I never even ate much of the stuff before I made the change to vegan (clearly anorexia is not closely linked with a love of cheese!), but as soon as I made the switch to exclude dairy products, there was nothing I craved more than a big fat block of cheddar, melty mozzarella on pizza, crispy grilled halloumi or fresh feta in a greek salad.  I’ve heard countless people, myself included, arguing that “I could go vegan, but I’d miss cheese too much!” This is partly because (as a lot of research suggests) processed cheeses like those mentioned contain chemicals that cause real addiction, and like with cocaine, withdrawal symptoms are real too.


Why is dairy unethical?

1. Humans are the only creatures on earth that drink milk in adulthood, and the only ones to drink the milk of another creature. Not your mum, not your milk. Simple as that.

2. Calves of dairy cows are cruelly ripped away from their mother at birth. Dairy cows are forced to mechanically breastfeed with natural hormone cycles.

4. Many dairy cows and chickens are factory-farmed with very low quality of life and zero time outdoors. They actually develop real mental illnesses and huge behavioural problems.
5. Male chicks are quite literally ground up and killed in their masses as they are of no use to the industry.

And what about health and the environment?

I won’t go into it of course as this is not a food blog nor a science blog, but what I will say is that there is very little evidence that a plant-based diet isn’t the best, easiest and cheapest way to achieve optimum health for the majority of the population, as well as hugely reduced levels of toxic emissions leading to climate change.



For all the Netflix junkies out there, here is a list of some eye-opening documentaries that hammer home this theory. If straight-up horrifying slaughterhouse footage (if you’re more iron-stomached I urge you to watch Earthlings) ain’t your thing, check these out:

Food Choices

Hungry for Change

Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead (1 & 2)

Food Matters

Food Inc.

Vegucated

Forks over Knives

Fed Up

Cowspiracy (my personal favourite)

I’ll leave you with this: “When consuming animals is no longer a necessity, it becomes a choice.” 

In today’s world abundant with food choices, with most of us living in a westernised society where is is not necessary for survival to hunt for meat and fish, the only thing keeping us from questioning the status quo is our own choices. Not willpower, not fad diets, not being a hippy, but making informed choices on whether we still want to consume the way we do despite all the evidence that it goes against our morals. And admitting that we, as humans, no longer have the birth right to dismiss all other sentient beings as being on this earth to please our tastebuds.


Ruth @ Urbanity xxx
// Comments Off on Vegan December Challenge

Boxsmall Edinburgh


Last week the boy and I were invited to go and check out Boxsmall Family Festival on the rooftop of Waverley Mall (with the best views of the Edinburgh skyline you can get!) to enjoy a complimentary round of mini-golf and a delicious meal from one of the many traders at the Box Small market

The wonderful mini-festival, which includes a 9-hole golf course, extensive food and drinks market, giant bungee trampolines and sorbing, as well as stalls by local artists and makers, plus loads of relaxed seating areas to catch some last minute summer sun, is only here until the 28th (Sunday!) so check it out as soon as possible; its hard to miss, being slap bang on Princes street right next to the train station! Located on the roof terrace of Waverley Mall, the Box Small cubes give shoppers and traders a breathtaking view of the Edinburgh city skyline, with access directly from Princes Street. You can even enjoy a fruity cider in the Rekorderlig garden or some gelato from the pop-up sundae bar (we tried the chocolate ice-cream and it was delicious!).


We started our little tour of the market with lunch, of course. Being total foodies and hungry from walking round the city, wrestling through crowds of tourists, we followed our noses to the Crepes and Waffles stand. I opted for a pesto, mozzerella and cherry tomato crepe, while Jack added chicken to his, and my god, we were in foodie heaven for a good half hour. Couldn’t recommend these savoury crepes enough! After re-fueling, we headed over to the golf course, and following a lovely chat with the super-friendly staff, the mini-golf challenge began. Now, I am renowned for being terrible at pretty much every sport, and the last time Jack played golf he ended up in hospital with a flag through his foot, so expectations were low to say the least. It was a close call, but in the end I lost (boo), however, we were both winners really because it was such a laugh and the weather was totally perfect, plus we especially enjoyed being out-golfed by hundreds of small children. Since when are kids good at golf? Anyway, if you fancy one lats weekend of Fringe Festival fun, I strongly suggest a day out at Box Small Edinburgh!

Ruth @ Urbanity xxx
// Comments Off on Boxsmall Edinburgh