Dairy Free Punjabi Breakfast at Namji MK

A closeup of a hand holding chickpeas in a piece of paratha with a table full of traditional Indian breakfast treats in the background

Dairy Free Punjabi Breakfast at Namji MK AD PR Meal – My experience at Namji MK was complimentary A few weeks ago I was invited to try Namji MK‘s dairy free Punjabi breakfast items at their beautiful restaurant in the Xscape in Milton Keynes. Namji is one of MK’s favorite Indian restaurants, and is well-known in the local vegan community for offering a large range of dietary friendly options. So when founder and Curry Queen Naseem invited me to come review her Punjabi breakfast menu I jumped at the chance! I’d never had a Punjabi breakfast before, and this was the perfect opportunity to find out what dairy free options were available for me to try. Read this blog post to learn all about Namji MK’s dairy free Punjabi breakfast offerings, and discover why you should add it to your Milton Keynes brunch hit list! 28.12.22 – Namji MK’s sumptuous interiors 28.12.22 – Carrot orange juice and mango lassi To Start When we arrived we were seated straightaway in one of their lush, jewel toned booths. At first the table seemed a bit large for just Ben and I, but it was the perfect size to hold the spread of food they ended up bringing out for us to try! We were walked through the menu and the server was well-versed on which items contained dairy and which ones were fine for me to eat.  There are no dietary labels on the breakfast menu so here’s a list of what I could have: Halwa Puri – chole and aloo are dairy free, halwa & puris contain dairy so ask for parathas instead Chole Bhature – ask for parathas instead of bhature, which contain dairy Crispy stuffed paratha – aloo and egg were fine, paneer contains dairy, not sure about mooli or methi English style Nastha – I wasn’t served this because it isn’t traditional, but can be made dairy free Ben was offered a mango lassi, but as they are made with yogurt I unfortunately could not try one. He loved it though! Instead, I had their orange carrot juice which was fresh and delicious. Read More The Best Dairy Free Pancakes in Milton Keynes 28.12.22 – A Punjabi breakfast spread 28.12.22 – A plate full of chole, aloo, and parathas The Main Event My dairy free Punjabi breakfast began halwa puri with chole and aloo, aloo stuffed paratha, egg stuffed paratha, and some bhature. Of that the chole, aloo, aloo paratha, and egg paratha were dairy free. I wish I could have tried to fluffy breads (puri and bhature) because they looked so lovely! But everything I could eat was absolutely delicious.  I would never have thought to have saucy, curried chickpeas and golden turmeric potatoes for breakfast but I loved it! And the parathas were perfect for scooping it all up. The aloo paratha was soft, spiced, and flexible, while the egg paratha was crispy with a nicely chewy layer of scrambled egg in the middle. In fact, not only was my Punjabi breakfast at Namji MK dairy free, everything except the aloo paratha was vegan as well. The aloo was Ben’s favorite of the curried veg, but I loved the chole so much I got a second helping! This gave me a chance to try a plain paratha too, which was delightfully flaky and perfect with the saucy chickpeas. And to finish this dairy free Punjabi breakfast spread we had some tea. Unfortunately, there was no dairy free alternative for Namji’s masala chai so Ben had a pot of that while I had my own pot of fresh mint tea. It might not have been chai, but it was pleasantly refreshing after such a feast! 28.12.22 – Chole (chickpeas) and a plain paratha 28.12.22 – A pot of mint tea to finish off the meal The Takeaway All in all, we had a lovely time trying a traditional Punjabi breakfast at Namji MK! It’s no wonder Naseem has been crowned Curry Queen – the flavors were spot on, and the crispy parathas were the perfect accompaniment to beautifully spiced veg. I was a little disappointed there were so few dairy free breakfast items I could try, especially at a restaurant known for being so accommodating to dietary requirements with their main menu. But what I did try was gorgeous and I’d happily return for a fun take on the usual catch-up brunch with the gals. Namji MK’s breakfast runs Monday-Saturday 10am-12pm and Sunday 9am-1pm. They’re very busy on the weekends so recommend booking a table Saturday and Sunday. So what do you think, would you try a dairy free Punjabi breakfast at Namji MK? Dairy Free Punjabi Breakfast at Namji MK January 18, 2023 Dairy Free Tasting Menu at Paris House November 14, 2022 Cozy Pubs in Milton Keynes November 11, 2022 The Best Dairy Free Pancakes in Milton Keynes March 1, 2022 About Contact Facebook-f Twitter Instagram Pinterest Privacy Policy

The Best Dairy Free Pancakes in Milton Keynes

A stack of 3 fluffy American-style pancakes covered and dripping in melted Biscoff spread

The Best Dairy Free Pancakes in Milton Keynes It should come as no surprise but I love brunch. Eggs are one of my favorite foods, avocado toast is delicious, and I’ll take any excuse to eat potatoes for breakfast! But much as I love savory brunch staples, sometimes you just really need a sweet, indulgent breakfast. In those times, pancakes are the way to go! So I’m always lowkey on the hunt for the best dairy free pancakes in Milton Keynes. Unfortunately pancakes at cafes and restaurants are usually chock full of dairy. Made with milk, cooked in butter, and topped in whipped cream – a nightmare! But lucky for me, there are quite a few places in town that offer dairy free and vegan pancakes. And I’ve been trying them out to give you the lowdown! French Affaire The Game Changer Kitchen Olney Pancake Parlour Out of Office Coffee French Affaire I’ve been to French Affaire for brunch several times now and it’s no exaggeration when I say they make the best vegan crepes in town. They’re crispy and soft and just a bit chewy. And the fillings are so generous! Falafel is the only savory crepe listed as vegan, but they’ve also made me a dairy free La Chevre with a cheese alternative. If you’re not vegan, they’ll happily add bacon or a poached egg to your dairy free crepe too. It wouldn’t be a great brunch place if they didn’t have sweet crepes… And French Affaire have several vegan options! They’ve got your standard lemon and sugar or chocolate banana ones. But I highly recommend apple tarte tatin for a bit of drama! 10.07.21 – Falafel vegan quiche at French Affaire Read More Girl’s Brunch at French Affaire The Game Changer Kitchen What The Game Changer Kitchen lack in vegan brunch options, they make up for in serving some of the best dairy free pancakes I’ve ever had. I got a gigantic stack of Biscoff coated fluffy, American style pancakes. And to think – they were completely vegan! The only vegan (and therefore dairy free) pancakes clearly marked on Game Changer Kitchen’s menu are the embodiment of over the top! I don’t want to think about how much Biscoff spread and cookie crumbles were included in this massive stack. They were so sweet and decadent! But absolutely paired perfect with a black Americano to balance it out.  13.02.22 – The Game Changer Kitchen’s vegan Biscoff pancakes 13.02.22 – A cross section of the vegan Biscoff pancakes at The Game Changer Kitchen Olney Pancake Parlour Olney Pancake Parlour definitely have the best range of dairy free and vegan pancakes in Milton Keynes. Six sweet vegan options and one savory, offered with both crepe and fluffy styles! And they were so helpful walking through the menu with me that I know making some of the other savory options dairy free by opting for vegan pancakes wouldn’t be an issue. You do have to specifically request your pancakes be made vegan though – that is not the default for any menu item. I started brunch with Living Life on the Veg, which was filled with roast veg and hummus and topped with plenty of sweet chili sauce. I of course had to try one of their sweet ones too. Naughty Notella was rich and decadent, but the portion size was small enough I was able to finish it all. They even offered vegan ice cream to go with, which would have been lovely if it wasn’t such a cold day I had them on! 26.02.22 – Olney Pancake Parlour’s Living Life on the Veg vegan savory pancake 26.02.22 – Olney Pancake Parlour’s vegan Notella American style pancakes Read More My Top Vegan Eats in Milton Keynes Out of Office Coffee, Witan Gate Fluffy American pancakes are up there as one of my favourite breakfast foods, second only to waffles – Leslie Knope definitely had the right idea! And Out of Office Coffee at Witan Gate offer a really nice vegan stack of fluffy pancakes on their all day brunch menu. They come topped with vegan yogurt, berries, & granola which makes a really nice alternative to the usual OTT, decadent toppings. The creamy yogurt and juicy berries work perfectly with crunchy granola to make a delicious brunch option if you like yours on the sweeter side. 29.05.21 – Vegan pancakes at Out of Office Coffee Witan Gate The Takeaway There are some amazing dairy free and vegan friendly brunch places in Milton Keynes with delicious pancakes. These are my favorites, but let me know if I missed yours! Subscribe to FinalJesstination Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. The Best Dairy Free Pancakes in Milton Keynes February 27, 2022 Dinner at The Green Man Eversholt February 6, 2022 My Top Dairy Free Pizzas February 6, 2022 My Top Vegan Eats in Milton Keynes January 19, 2022 About Contact Facebook-f Instagram Twitter Pinterest Privacy Policy

My Top Dairy Free Pizzas

A round pizza with a green sauce and lots of grilled veg, topped with a drizzle of balsamic glaze

My Top Dairy Free Pizzas One of the hardest things about going dairy free, or even vegan, is giving up cheese. I had to do it for health reasons but that didn’t make cutting it out of my diet any easier! Luckily, food scientists have been working overtime the last few years and there are now loads of decent, accessible vegan cheeses on the market. And you know what that means? Loads of decent, accessible “cheesy” pizzas! So, to celebrate National Pizza Day I decided to start compiling a list of my top dairy free pizzas. I’ve arranged these pizzas alphabetically and not by rating because they all land on my top tier. The Greedy Pizza Homemade Murati’s Pizzeria Purezza The Greedy Pizza (Bletchley, MK) It’s no wonder The Greedy Pizza is regularly the top suggestion for anyone searching for vegan-friendly pizza in Milton Keynes. I don’t know how they do it, but they definitely make one of the best dairy free pizzas in town. The cheese they use is so good I compare literally every other vegan cheese pizza to Greedy’s. And while many others are very strong contenders, they nearly always come up short. Greedy pizzas are “fast food” style pizzas with thicker, fluffy crusts. Not unlike what you’d get from the major delivery chains, but so much tastier and fresher! They have one dedicated vegan pizza on the menu, but are happy to swap out the dairy cheese for vegan on any of their pizzas. You can even make the cheesy garlic bread pizza vegan. Talk about ooey gooey cheesy garlicky bready perfection! 07.05.20 – An An XL “Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot” with vegan cheese from The Greedy Pizza 18.09.20 – Vegan cheesy garlic bread from The Greedy Pizza 18.09.20 – The Freegan Vegan with added pepperoni from The Greedy Pizza Read More Adventure Local: West Bletchley Homemade Growing up, we would regularly have Make Your Own pizza nights at home. It was a fun family activity, cheaper than ordering chain delivery pizzas, and so delicious! Plus, everyone gets to have exactly the toppings they want so no grumbling from us kiddos. I have kept up the tradition into adulthood and it’s been absolutely delightful. I love getting creative with toppings! Homemade cashew “cheese”, roasted grapes, anchovies – the world is my oyster! And to get your homemade pizza as cheesy as any restaurant’s? I really like Sheese mozzarella style, but any block of vegan cheese you can get in your supermarket will work grated on top and baked as normal. 23.07.21 – One of the many dairy free pizzas I’ve made Murati’s Pizzeria (various locations, MK) Italian restaurants are rarely, if ever, my first choice for a meal out. Between all the mozzarella and parmigiano, there’s just too much sneaky dairy to maneuver around! But Murati’s Pizzeria, Milton Keynes’ local independent Italian chain, is a different kind of Italian restaurant. Murati’s have an entire vegan menu, nice vegan cheese for their pizzas, and will happily make anything they can dairy free if you ask nicely! Several of their pizzas even come cheese-less. The cheese-free seafood pizza is delicious, creative, and one of my favorite things on their menu! Their pizzas have really flavorful, chewy, crispy crusts and are baked in a gorgeous traditional pizza oven. You can usually order them to takeaway when the restaurant isn’t too busy, but it is definitely worth booking a table to get your pizza hot and fresh. Enjoy the ambiance, and maybe even a cocktail or two! 07.07.18 – Murati’s Seafood Pizza which comes cheese-less as standard Read More My Top Vegan Eats in Milton Keynes Purezza (various locations, UK) Founded in 2015, Purezza is the UK’s first vegan pizzeria. After visiting the Bristol outpost, it’s not hard to understand how they’ve opened 4 restaurants in less than 7 years. Purezza proves dairy and meat aren’t always necessary by making some of the best pizzas I’ve ever had. And I’ve been to Italy! We had the one with the pesto on a hemp base, the meat fest special on a sourdough base, and a spicy maple dipping sauce. Everything was delicious, and perfect for anyone eating dairy free because you can order anything on the menu without risk of cross contamination or having to make loads of special requests! Their meat alternatives are really impressive, the crusts are chewy and tasty, and the wood-fired oven baking takes the flavors to the next level. 31.10.21 – Purezza’s vegan pesto pizza on a hemp base 31.10.21 – Purezza’s vegan meat feast special The Takeaway This list is only the beginning, and I can’t wait to keep adding to it as I find new delicious dairy free pizzas! Have you tried any of my top dairy free pizzas yet? I’d love to hear what you think. Happy National Pizza Day, and happy dairy free pizza eating! Subscribe to FinalJesstination Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. The Best Dairy Free Pancakes in Milton Keynes February 27, 2022 Dinner at The Green Man Eversholt February 6, 2022 My Top Dairy Free Pizzas February 6, 2022 My Top Vegan Eats in Milton Keynes January 19, 2022 About Contact Facebook-f Instagram Twitter Pinterest Privacy Policy

My Top Vegan Eats in Milton Keynes

Two chargrilled skewers of vegan lamb piled on a bed of salad with minted sour cream drizzled all over

My Top Vegan Eats in Milton Keynes This is my second year of doing Veganuary and I am loving it! I always feel so much more creative in the kitchen, and love trying new veg-forward recipes throughout the month. But sometimes you just want someone to cook dinner or make sweet treats for you, don’t you? That’s where this guide to my favorite vegan eats in Milton Keynes comes in handy! After extensive (though not exhaustive) research into the MK vegan food scene, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite vegan-friendly breakfast & brunch, lunch & dinner, and dessert & treat vendors around town.   So whether you’re vegan, dairy free, or just veeg-curious I hope this guide helps you find a new favorite vegan treat. Happy vegan eating! Vegan Eats in MK French Affaire Out of Office Coffee, Witan Studios The Quirk Space A Vegetative State The Chester Arms Greedy Pizza Ole Tapas Bar Saf’s Kitchen Walnut Tree Fish & Chips Clare’s Vegan Cakery Fuuudge Nutmeg Kitchen My first experience of vegan treats from The Quirk Space was summer 2020. My in-laws surprised Ben and I with a delivery of sausage rolls, peanut butter cups, and brownies for our anniversary! Every piece was absolutely delicious. The sausage rolls are now a family favorite, I always love a dark chocolate peanut butter cup, and the brownies are some of the best I’ve had.  19.06.20 – Sausage rolls, peanut butter cups, and chocolate brownies from The Quirk Space 29.08.20 – A delivery of freshly baked croissants from The Quirk Space Read More My Top Vegan Eats in Milton Keynes Breakfast & Brunch French Affaire I love visiting French Affaire for a fancy brunch out with my husband or the girls! It is an adorable French bistro that offers several delicious vegan items on their brunch menu including crepes and baguettes. I’ll confess I have yet to try their baguettes. The crepes are just too good! While the only savory crepe on French Affaire’s menu is Falafel, they were more than happy to make Le Chevre vegan for me. Both Falafel and Le Chevre are stuffed with so much flavor I never feel like I’m missing out.   Just make sure you save room for a sweet crepe. The Apple Tatin Flambee is a showstopper! It is filled with caramelly soft apples, and flambeed in Calvados as they place it on the table in front of you.   Location: Stony Stratford   Dietaries: Some vegan items on the daytime menu, none on their evening menu 10.07.21 – La Chevre vegan quiche at French Affaire Out of Office Coffee, Witan Studios Fluffy American pancakes are one of my favorite breakfast foods, second only to waffles. Leslie Knope definitely had the right idea! And lucky for me (and you!) the newest Out of Office Coffee location in MK has delicious vegan pancakes on their all day brunch menu. The fluffy stack of pancakes come topped with yogurt, berries, and granola, making a perfect sweet vegan brunch option. Though if you’d rather start your day with something savory, Out of Office also offer a tasty-looking tofu scramble on sourdough toast.   Location: Central Milton Keynes   Dietaries: A range of vegan and gluten free items to choose from 29.05.21 – Vegan pancakes at Out of Office Coffee Witan Gate Out of Office Coffee, Witan Studios Fluffy American pancakes are one of my favorite breakfast foods, second only to waffles. Leslie Knope definitely had the right idea! And lucky for me (and you!) the newest Out of Office Coffee location in MK has delicious vegan pancakes on their all day brunch menu. The fluffy stack of pancakes come topped with yogurt, berries, and granola, making a perfect sweet vegan brunch option. Though if you’d rather start your day with something savory, Out of Office also offer a tasty-looking tofu scramble on sourdough toast.   Location: Central Milton Keynes   Dietaries: A range of vegan and gluten free items to choose from 05.11.20 – An assortment of chocolatey treats from The Quirk Space 12.11.20 – A vegan sausage roll from The Quirk Space The Quirk Space If you’ve been following me for awhile, you’ll be very aware of my love for The Quirk Space. It’s a cute cafe, shop, and event space in the heart of Olney. It is also the only place that serves nothing but vegan eats in Milton Keynes!     For a light breakfast, The Quirk Space offers great coffee, a variety of vegan milks, and cakes and pastries to takeaway. I highly recommend the croissants! But perhaps the real star of the breakfast show is their “Breakfast Stuff-in Muffin”. The sandwich is stuffed full of the tastiest vegan alternatives to your favourite breakfast sammie fillings. Bacon, sausage, egg, and cheese – all delicious and all plant-based. You can also add ketchup or brown sauce if you like, but it’s perfectly tasty on its own!         Location: Olney         Dietaries: All vegan, can cater to gluten free 17.07.21 – The Quirk Space’s Breakfast Stuff-in Muffin Lunch & Dinner A Vegetative State A Vegetative State is a firm favorite at Milton Keynes vegan events and street fairs, and it’s not hard to see why! They make their own seitan-based meat alternatives to serve up in a variety of deli sandwiches and burgers. If you’re a fan of New York style deli sandwiches, you need to try A Vegetative State’s famous Reuben sandwich! Multigrain bread is stuffed full of vegan pastrami, sauerkraut, Violife cheezy slices, and Thousand Island Dressing, griddled til toasty and melty, then topped with a pickle. It is absolutely delicious and tastes so similar to the “real deal”. As a lover of Reubens I’d prefer more traditional rye bread, but this is a great swap!   Location: Local street food events – follow their socials for the latest popup at a local street fair or takeaway event   Dietaries: All vegan 05.12.21 – A Vegetative State’s vegan Reuben sandwich

Adventure Local: Newport Pagnell

A tall sign made of two beams of wood holding a black piece of metal with the iron bridge, Welcome to NEWPORT PAGNELL, and a car cut out of it that's backed by a white sheet of metal so you can see the images

I have called Newport Pagnell my home off and on since 2017. Ben was born and raised here, and we’ve lived with his parents several times when figuring out our own housing situation. Between living and visiting here regularly over the last few years, I like to think I’ve gotten to know the town pretty well. So here’s a guide to my favorite nature walks, town life highlights, eats, and drinks to help you adventure local in Newport Pagnell! Nature Walks There are so many lovely nature walks to be found in and around Newport Pagnell! All make for nice walks in the great outdoors, no matter the weather. Unless there’s been flooding, in which case you might want to avoid Castle and Riverside! Bury Field – An ancient common ground that has been mentioned in texts going back to 1276 CE. A wide open space with lots of desire paths for meandering, a popular area for dog walks, several good benches to rest on and take in the moment. Castle Meadow – A small green space with multiple picnic benches. Connects to Ousebank Gardens by a nice footbridge over the River Ouzel. “Farmer’s Field” – A section of farmland between Newport Pagnell and the A509 heading to Chicheley. A herd of deer have made it home for the past few months, and I’ve even seen several foxes playing together! Ousebank Gardens – Well manicured gardens near a community center, connected to a lovely old cemetery that sits at the foot of the beautiful St. Peter and St. Paul’s church. Riverside Meadow – The biggest floodplain during peak rainy periods. Also the biggest green area to walk or run through that’s not set too far out of town. A large playground for kids that was recently revamped, and a few popular swimming areas for warm summer days. Tongwell Lake – Just over the M1 from Newport Pagnell, it is one of the famous balancing lakes of Milton Keynes. So many species of birds call the lake home, my favorites are the playful cormorants! A great running route, and lots of benches and picnic tables scattered around it. Town Life This is a truly special town with a thriving high street, plenty of town events, and it’s very own luxury British car brand! Here is just a small list of the things that make this town so much fun to “Adventure Local” throughout Newport Pagnell. Aston Martin Works – We all know of Aston Martins as James Bond’s favorite cars, but did you know that the brand has a historic connection to Newport Pagnell too? A manufacturing plant from 1955-2007, it operates as a showroom and restoration workshop these days. Community Events – Newport Pagnell Town Council and a few volunteer groups have worked together over the last few years to create some wonderful community events. We especially love the Summer Carnival and Firework Night! And Food Truck Friday each month is not to be missed. Market Hill Greengrocer – My in-laws love his eggs, we love all the gorgeous veg he stocks every day. Well worth a nose to supplement your weekly shop. No. 38 Vintage Emporium – Do you love vintage? Do you love small, locally handmade pieces of jewelry and homegoods? Then No. 38 Vintage Emporium is the shop for you! Such an adorable space full of so many gorgeous pieces. Nothing Wasted Refill Shop – The place to go for all things eco-friendly. They stock some lovely sweet things (vegan brownie bites and fudge spring to mind), and as the name suggests, plenty of dry and hygiene goods to refill your stocks at home for a reasonable price. Eats There are so many restaurants in Newport Pagnell. Like, so many. Here are my favorite restaurants in town, based on flavors and willingness to cater to my dairy-free requirements. Capadocia Turkish Restaurant – There are a lot of Turkish restaurants in Milton Keynes, and Capadocia is one of the best. We’ve celebrated so many milestones here – they even hosted our dinner party the night before we got married! They will go out of their way to give you dairy-free + gluten free bread, and are always happy to point out meals on the menu made without dairy products. Kakori – Definitely our family favorite Indian restaurant in town, and there are plenty to choose from. The flavors are are always so fresh and vibrant, and they’re really helpful with picking out dishes that don’t contain dairy. Murati’s Pizzeria Ristorante – A great classic Italian restaurant. You know a place will be happy to cater dairy free diets when it has a dedicated vegan menu, and Murati’s is always happy to oblige. One of my favorites from their menu, the seafood pizza, even comes cheeseless as standard! They offer vegan cheese for pizzas too. Pin Petch Thai Restaurant – A delicious and authentic Thai restaurant. Thai food tends to be mostly dairy free naturally so I always feel safe eating here. They also have a great vegan menu. Pin Petch offers takeaway but the freshness of those meals has been hit and miss for us so definitely book a table when indoor dining is available. Drinks It wouldn’t be a complete Adventure Local: Newport Pagnell guide if I didn’t provide a list of the best places to get drinks in town! The Kings Arms – The best beer garden in town, bar none. They pull a good Guinness, have a decent range of gins, and is my favorite place to get a cider on a hot summer day. Murati’s Pizzeria Ristorante – If you’re looking for a cocktail in Newport Pagnell, Murati’s is the place to go. They make a great Cosmo, and are even offering takeaway cocktails during lockdown. Out of Office Coffee House – Newport Pagnell’s very own branch of the small local coffee chain. They make a mean oat latte, and I’ve been recommended to try an iced cortado from them on a hot

Vegan Treats at The Quirk Space

A brown cardboard box topped with a black and white striped paper bag and tied up with black and white string

Vegan Treats at The Quirk Space As my first Veganuary comes to a close, I thought I’d highlight a local café that’s gotten us through the month with their vegan treats – The Quirk Space! A disclaimer: my in-laws are best friends with the owner’s parents so we order treats from The Quirk Space more frequently than we would otherwise! But we absolutely adore all the food she puts out. And as a fully vegan café, they fill the vacuum left by Elaingel closing in Bletchley in May 2020. The Quirk Space is a vegan café and shop located in Olney, just a short drive outside of Milton Keynes. It’s a great space and they’ve done a lot of work on it over the past year!  To Start My first experience of vegan treats from The Quirk Space was summer 2020. My in-laws surprised Ben and I with a delivery of sausage rolls, peanut butter cups, and brownies for our anniversary! Every piece was absolutely delicious. The sausage rolls are now a family favorite, I always love a dark chocolate peanut butter cup, and the brownies are some of the best I’ve had.  19.06.20 – Sausage rolls, peanut butter cups, and chocolate brownies from The Quirk Space 29.08.20 – A delivery of freshly baked croissants from The Quirk Space Read More My Top Vegan Eats in Milton Keynes The Main Event You can get all manner of vegan treats from The Quirk Space. In addition to the sausage rolls, they have pasties and curries for lunch, so many tasty cakes and sweets, and lovely coffees. As I am dairy free, it’s so refreshing knowing I could happily eat anything at the café and not deal with any nasty side effects! The Quirk Space is striving to create a welcoming space for everyone regardless of dietary and lifestyle choices. To that end, they don’t noticeably “play up” their vegan ethos to put off any omni guests. They are just happy to be serving delicious, animal-free food to anyone who visits. A thoughtful addition to the café is a food and homegoods shop. The Quirk Space stocks a range of vegan “dairy” products like Mouse’s Favourite cheeses and whipping cream, and various accessories like headbands, reusable coffee cups, candles, and tote bags. 05.11.20 – An assortment of chocolatey treats from The Quirk Space 12.11.20 – A vegan sausage roll from The Quirk Space The Takeaway I’d be hard pressed to pick a favorite item or two from The Quirk Space’s menu – I’ve loved everything I’ve had from there so far. But if you like croissants, they are a must. They warm up crispy and flakey in the oven for a lovely breakfast treat, and you would never know they were completely vegan! And getting an oat mocha before a walk around Emberton is always a good idea. The Quirk Space is a great all-rounder vegan shop that this city is lucky to have. Dinner at The Green Man Eversholt February 6, 2022 My Top Dairy Free Pizzas February 6, 2022 My Top Vegan Eats in Milton Keynes January 19, 2022 Adventure Local: Newport Pagnell May 7, 2021 About Contact Facebook-f Twitter Instagram Pinterest Privacy Policy

Date Night at The Moon Highgate

The Moon Highgate Menu on 12 September 2020. They marked everything on the menu that I could eat because it was dairy free, or could be made dairy free with substitutions.

On our first holiday evening up North this September, Ben and I enjoyed a date night at The Moon Highgate in Kendal. As soon as we settled on spending part of our holiday in the Lake District, I got to work researching “Jessica-friendly” restaurants! After all, what’s holiday without lots of good food? We booked an Airbnb near Kendal, so I focused my efforts there. The Moon Highgate’s menu stood out to me against a few other menus from the area, thanks to its seasonal offerings and its listing of dietary requirements. I took a chance, made a reservation, let them know I’m dairy free, and hoped for the best. They did not disappoint! They greeted us with a menu that had notes on what I could eat, and everyone looked after us so well the entire evening. And the meal only went from strength to strength from there! To Start Our date night dinner at The Moon Highgate began with freshly baked sourdough bread. Usually served with butter, they brought me a dish of olive oil instead. Ben of course got to have the butter, which they’d topped with flakes of salt! The bread itself was so delicious we definitely let out a few happy moans while devouring it. For our starter, we split the cornish mackerel. Light, flaky, and just a bit fishy – it was a perfect starter. Some shaved cucumber and salsa added a great punch of freshness. The Mains Event You know how the hallmark of a good meal is when the table falls silent for a moment while everyone enjoys their food? Well, I don’t think Ben or I said a single thing for several minutes after we got our mains! I ordered the pan roasted cumbrian chicken, with duck breast instead of chicken as the dairy free alternative. Duck is one of my favorite meats, so I was a happy camper! It was cooked perfectly, and it paired wonderfully with a barley and corn salad and some sherry sauce. Unfortunately, I avoid mushrooms as they tend to set off my acne, but Ben said they were cooked wonderfully! And I was pleasantly surprised when we received the bill and there was no upcharge for the duck either. Ben ordered roast loin of roe deer. We both love game, so when we saw roe deer on the menu, we knew one of us had to order it! With no dairy free alternative for that meal, Ben was the lucky one. He absolutely loved it. At one point I snuck a little bite and loved it too! They served the deer rare and it just melted in the mouth. Some lovely looking roast potatoes, creamy mash, braised faggot, and steamed kale accompanied the deer. All in all a great meal to have on a chilly evening. The Moon Highgate is proud of their seasonal menus, and these dishes highlighted that seasonality perfectly. The duck and the deer, with their respective sides, were lovely renditions of early autumn on a plate. The Takeaway I absolutely adored my entire meal at The Moon Highgate. From start to finish the flavors were incredible. We ended the date night with an espresso each, something I have only recently started enjoying. Ben even got a piece of homemade fudge with his coffee! They make their fudge with cream so I didn’t try it, but Ben liked it and we both enjoyed our coffees. The food was delicious, the restaurant warm, and the staff so welcoming. There were plenty of vegan and gluten free options for every course, and if you have a more specific requirement they are happy to cater to that as well. If you’re ever near Kendal, I would highly recommend visiting The Moon Highgate for a lovely date night dinner out.

Casual Drinks at Cafe Belge

A brown Belgian beer in a tulip beer glass that reads Kermis

Add Your Heading Text Here If you’re looking for a new place for casual drinks Cafe Belge can’t be beat. They had good beers, good coffee, and very good looking cakes and bacon baps. We visited for the first time this past Sunday, but we’ll be heading back soon to try the baps! It’s a relatively new cafe, having opened in February shortly before lockdown. They’ve been back up and running for a little while now, but I actually only found about about the cafe while scrolling through Google Maps last week!   What excited me most about discovering Cafe Belge is finding out they stock Belgian beers! Ben lived in Brussels for two years, and I stayed with him his last 6 weeks there before we both moved back to England. Needless to say, we both have quite the affinity for Belgian brews! But finding reasonably priced Belgian beers in this country is a bit tricky. So for the last few years we’ve making long weekend trips to Belgium to stock up at the source! It’s always nice seeing the sights and meeting up with friends in Brussels, and of course the beer offering is unparalleled. But neither of us feel comfortable traveling abroad in the current climate so our annual trip is on hold for the foreseeable. 23.08.20 – A view from the inside out. Lots of cozy chairs, and bifold doors that open out to a large patio and garden complete with a chicken coop. The Experience In steps Cafe Belge to the rescue! I couldn’t find a menu online, and weren’t sure what to expect. So we were pleasantly surprised to find they have a solid selection of Belgian beers for very good prices. Beers that would cost £5-10 in another bar were only £3.50-6! It was almost like being back in Brussels…   I was driving so I only had one beer (Vedett Witbier), and an oat latte. The Vedett was a lovely witbier, with slightly more flavor than you’ll usually get in such a pale beer. Perfect for drinking out on a patio on a warm, sunny day! And the oat latte was one of the better dairy free lattes I’ve had. I usually avoid going for anything other than an Americano at cafes to spare myself a disappointing dairy free coffee, but this one was delicious. Smooth and creamy, with the coffee still shining through. They have oat and almond milk by request and at no extra cost, which is always nice to see.   My husband had a few more beers than me, but I of course had to try them all! He had one we can’t remember, a Kermis Brune, and a Vedett Blond. The Kermis Brune was my favorite (I’m a sucker for a brown beer), but they were all lovely. And it was so nice to be enjoying Belgian beers outside of our home again! 23.08.20 – Vedett Witbier on the patio 23.08.20 – Oat latte inside after it started raining For Those Interested In COVID Safety Measures: Staff weren’t wearing any sort of masks There didn’t seem to be any real social distancing observed We saw no track and trace sign in anywhere   This all felt fine when the bifold doors were open and half the patrons were spread out on the patio. The indoor space is pretty large and open, and people kept to their spaces. But as soon as it started raining and people came inside it felt a bit close for comfort… So we maintained our own social distance at a table in the corner. Just something to keep in mind if you’re interested in checking the place out anytime soon!   23.08.20 – Kermis Brune in its matching glass The Takeaway We really enjoyed our afternoon of casual drinks at Cafe Belge. It seems to be mainly focused on serving good coffee and beer. But if you’re looking for no fuss savoury food, you can get sausage or bacon baps, burgers, and chips. In fact, we saw one bacon bap come out of the kitchen and immediately decided we’d be back soon to try one ourselves! And in keeping with their cafe styling, they had lots of lush looking cakes cut into very generous slices as well. It was a really cute space, with a good sized patio that would be lovely to sit out on for hours on a nice day. Unfortunately it was raining off and on when we visited, so we were mostly just inside. They also had some very fluffy chickens in their own coop + fenced in area a bit away from the patio. They were very cute and adventurous! As we were leaving we noticed the chickens making a break from their yard. We told the manager and apparently they do that regularly! Even though it’s a bit further out near Beachampton, Cafe Belge is worth the drive for some lovely casual drinks with friends and family. Dinner at The Green Man Eversholt February 6, 2022 My Top Dairy Free Pizzas February 6, 2022 My Top Vegan Eats in Milton Keynes January 19, 2022 Adventure Local: Newport Pagnell May 7, 2021 About Contact Facebook-f Twitter Instagram Pinterest Privacy Policy

Romantic Valentine’s Dinner at Sweet ‘N’ Seasoned

A glass of prosecco with a strawberry in it on a table with lots of little heart decorations and

This year I was incredibly lucky to win a Valentine’s dinner at Sweet ‘N’ Seasoned through an Instagram giveaway. We have never been a couple to celebrate Valentine’s Day, but this was too good to pass up! After enjoying a delicious vegan brunch there with my brunch gals last summer, I was looking forward to sharing the same with my husband. Sweet ‘N’ Seasoned is a waffle diner that specialises in all day breakfast for every diet. They also have a wonderful vegan menu. Little did we know, a full 5 course meal was awaiting us, with nary a brunch item in sight! Though the majority of the menu was vegan, there were fish and steak options for mains as well. I am not vegan myself, but I am extremely lactose intolerant. For that reason, I follow a dairy free diet. This often means I’ll opt for a vegan item on a menu rather than asking the kitchen to make all sorts of substitutions. Over the last few years of this, I have gotten fairly well-versed in the current state of vegan offerings out there. It’s getting better but still extremely hit and miss! Sweet ‘n’ Seasoned is definitely one of the hits. To Start Upon entering the diner, we were greeted with a glass of prosecco and lovely decor. They clearly had a lot of fun decorating with heart balloons and confetti! Our Valentine’s dinner at Sweet ‘N’ Seasoned began with an assorted canape sharing platter. The omni platter included filo prawns, spicy meatballs, spring rolls, and tuna mayo profiteroles. The filo prawns were my favorite! My husband ordered the mushroom risotto ball and I had the “salmon” sashimi, both vegan, to start. I still cannot believe how like salmon the sashimi tasted! It was truly a revelation. And in my husband’s eyes, the only way to possibly improve on the perfection of a good risotto is to deep fry it. So he was of course incredibly pleased with his arancini. The Main Event For mains I had fish with Anna potatoes and my husband had steak and mash. Unfortunately, we waited quite a long time before getting our mains. The fish and steak were both tasty, but after such an impressive selection of canapes and starters, they fell a bit flat. However, the chefs more than redeemed themselves with dessert. We both had the baked vegan cheesecake. It was absolutely divine. Smooth and creamy, not too sweet, with perfectly crumbly base. Decadence on a plate! To finish the meal they presented a few chocolatey bits, but at that point we were so stuffed we hardly touched them. Everything was delicious, even if our mains weren’t quite as exciting as the rest of the meal. We would’ve happily paid the £45 a head for the quality and inventiveness of the food. And it was so refreshing to have vegan options as the default! The Takeaway Before we left, we made a point to speak with the chefs. I thanked them profusely for such a delicious meal, and shared my delighted surprise that we weren’t offered a single brunch item! We discovered this was a way for them to start dipping their toes back into the catering/private chef waters again. They took a few years off to focus on the diner and wanted to stretch their creative muscles! All I can say is I am very much looking forward to seeing them put on more events like this in the future. Unfortunately, due to rent hikes and the current pandemic, Sweet ‘N’ Seasoned have had to leave their premises. But I doubt they’ll be down for long as they are a resourceful duo! Luckily, we snagged a box of their “Vegan Brunch for 2” takeaway special that ran a few weeks before they shut their doors for good. So we’ve satisfied the waffle craving for now, but can’t wait to see what they get up to next!

Adventure Local: West Bletchley

One of my 2020 intentions was to start really getting to know where I live better, to “adventure local” in West Bletchley and greater Milton Keynes. It feels almost like a cruel joke that pandemic lockdowns happened and forced me to live by my adventure local resolution! But it’s also been a blessing. I’ve gotten to explore so much more of the area than I would have otherwise! Most of April and May weekends were spoken for by the end of January, with us planning to visit friends or family in a different city every weekend. It would’ve been a blast, but I can’t say I’m not enjoying feeling refreshed at the end of the weekend either. The end of May officially marked my 3 year anniversary of living in Milton Keynes. And we’ve been living in West Bletchley for 2 years now too! In that time I definitely haven’t explored as much of the city as I’d like. Between spending most weekends with friends in the various pubs of Newport Pagnell when we still lived there, not having a car until last year, and…life getting in the way, we just never made the time. But we’ve got nothing but time now, and we are making the most of it! I’ve enjoyed getting to know our local area so much better over the last few years. We’ve ambled through verdant parks, strolled along historic high streets, indulged in delicious takeaways, and sampled more than our fair share of drinks. But what good is gaining this local knowledge if I don’t share it? So here’s a little guide to my favourite places in and around West Bletchley that are only a walk or short cycle away! Nature Walks: Milton Keynes gets a bad rap for a lot, but one thing it doesn’t get enough credit for is all the lovely nature parks you can find tucked away just off the nearest roundabout. And West Bletchley is absolutely surrounded by them. In fact, 3 parks on my list are so well connected by paved paths and greenery that it’s hard to tell where one stops and and the next begins! Here are our favourite nature parks, in order of distance from our old rental near the H8 Standing Way border of West Bletchley. Tattenhoe Valley Park – A nice stream runs all the way through. There are exercise stations along the paths (for when we can use them again!). Trees line the entire park, creating plenty of shade and making it feel nicely secluded. Furzton Lake – A gorgeous lake to walk around. So many different species of birds call it home, including a nesting pair of swans currently raising 4 cygnets. Howe Park Wood – The forest floor is covered in bluebells during the spring. The trees and trodden paths make you feel as if you’ve left Milton Keynes far behind. Bonus: a cozy cafe and cute instrument-playing frog statues. Blue Lagoon – An old quarry-turned-nature reserve. Desire paths + picnic areas are maintained by mowing, everything else is left wild. Loads of blackberry brambles good for picking during the season. Waterhall Park – One wide, long path lined by mature evergreens in a way that feels very Continental European. More meandering paths. Near lots of fields. We even saw some cows by a stream! Town Life: When people hear “Bletchley” they more often than not think of Bletchley Park. But Bletchley town life has more than just Bletchley Park going for it! Despite only being a few short miles from Milton Keynes city centre, it has a lovely high street. And only a little bit further along, in Fenny Stratford, is the best club in town! Due to the ongoing pandemic, the accessibility of these sites is a bit hit and miss currently. But do give them a visit once lockdown eases! Bletchley Park – A piece of living history in Milton Keynes, an extensive and impressive museum on gorgeous grounds. We spent a day there a few years ago and only saw a fraction of the buildings! Tickets can be expensive, but MK residents get a discount and they’re good for a year so you can go back as often as you like. Very worth the price of admission. Currently closed due to lockdown Bletchley High Street – A great mix of independent, charity, and standard high street shops. Several great butchers, greengrocers, and cafes. Lovely lights during the holiday season Molly’s Pantry – A greengrocer and refill shop. Lovely fresh fruit and veg sourced as locally as possible, and they’ve just added a whole range of dry goods to their lineup too. Stocks lots of natural cleaning and hygiene products. They even offer delivery by robot if you live close enough! Pink Punters – The only LGBTQ+ venue in town, and definitely the best club in MK if you’re looking for a great night out Eats: One of the best bits of my “Adventure Local: West Bletchley” initiative has definitely been trying all the independent restaurants! In no particular order, these are our favourite restaurants and takeaways we’ve found around West Bletchley. The Greedy Pizza – The self-described “little sister” to Fenny Stratford’s The Greedy Italian (sadly haven’t made it here yet!). Incredible sourdough pizza, good vegan cheese, great daily deals. Definitely worth pre-ordering as they can get really busy. Cafe Sen – Authentic Vietnamese food in a whole in the wall cafe. Their special bahn mi is a must if you eat meat, and their crispy tofu is delicious in a baguette or noodle salad if you don’t. Try a Vietnamese coffee too! The Three Trees – Part of a small local chain, good grub in a cute pub. Had a nice steak dinner for a decent price and they were helpful with my dairy free requirements. Made for a lovely date night. The Good Friend – Our favourite Chinese takeaway in Milton Keynes yet. Their crispy fried chicken wings are incredible, the beef ho fun