Eating my way around Glasgow – vegan style!

I made a very special vegan trip to Glasgow at the end of February. James Aspey, vegan activist from Australia, was going to be in Scotland for the first time to talk to over 150 vegans attending a workshop organised by Go Vegan Scotland. My very good friends from Australia had talked about and posted James’ speech on social media (you can watch the one minute version here) and I was touched and encouraged by his passion to speak on behalf of the animals being consumed either as food or products we use on a daily basis. I was also lucky to meet and have a quick chat with James at the Go Vegan Scotland stall at Buchanan Street in the afternoon.

When you’re in another city that offers such a wide variety of vegan-friendly or vegan only restaurants and cafes, you can’t go all the way to Glasgow and not sample all the good places you’ve heard so much about, so that’s exactly what I did…fitted in a few vegan bar/restaurants and a cafe to my day trip schedule!

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Afternoon tea at Leadburn Inn

Growing up in Hong Kong, one of the things that stuck the most in my childhood is living a hybrid of Western and Chinese cultural habits. Eating Chinese meals, drinking cups of tea with milk and sugar (you only ever drink Chinese tea black). Speaking in English to friends, speaking in Cantonese in shops only to get asked if I was visiting from England (apparently because I spoke Cantonese with an accent and still do). Watching Japanese anime cartoons after school, then Wallce & Gromit series at night.

The one thing that I never experienced while living in Hong Kong is the holy grail of ‘extravagance’: afternoon tea (or high tea as it was referred to then). It’s seen as something the wealthier portion of the population would do. If you didn’t go for afternoon tea at The Peninsula, you’ve not really truly experienced a British tradition. Luckily for me, it’s not such a fad here and it’s a fun British thing to do with friends when they’re visiting, or if you really want to try their pastries and cakes to see how well they can bake.

We decided to spend that day at Rosslyn Chapel (where they filmed the last part of The Da Vinci Code film) in Roslin and wanted to go somewhere nearby. Continue reading “Afternoon tea at Leadburn Inn”

Eating our way around Glasgow!

While my best friend was visiting, we went to Glasgow for the day. After all, you haven’t seen the important parts of Scotland if you haven’t seen Glasgow and Edinburgh, right?

We visited all the usual touristy haunts: George Square, GoMA, the Wellington Statue, Buchanan Street and Glasgow Cathedral. We even went shopping at Buchanan Galleries where I ended up spending a bit of money in Forever 21 for some much needed jeans and a replacement faux leather jacket. The two that I wore often now sport unseemly shoulder and wrists the kitties managed to scratch to bits. I pretty much got a whole new outfit (with lovely black glitter flats from New Look.

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Breakfast at Mimi’s

When you’ve got friends who know you so well, you need to make sure you show them how much you appreciate them. Not only because they’re good friends and will probably be there with you till the end, but also (selfishly!) as long as you keep looking after them too, they will keep treating and introducing you to the good stuff! My friends know how much I love baking and have a very sweet tooth, so whenever one particular set of friends, the OH and I arrange to have dinner at each others, we make sure to bring baked goodies from one of the local bakeries that the other hasn’t tried yet.

It was on the night of Chinese New Year this year that said friends brought over some really amazing cupcakes and traybakes from Mimi’s Bakehouse that had me salivating like the dog in Pavlov’s experiment. After that, we made an arrangement to have breakfast there and the rest is history.

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Happy birthday to you!

The OH had his birthday recently to which I was frantically baking for in preparation for the surprise birthday and the 30+ guests we had invited to the event without him knowing. Unfortunately, we didn’t really get to spend as much time out at the beach during the day, it was too hot for Tigger and Nala so after about 15 minutes of taking them to the beach and coaxing them to drink some water from their bowl to no avail, we had to bring them home where they would be more comfortable seeking out cooler spots to rest and drink water when they got too hot or thirsty.

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Baking up a storm in the kitchen!

I’ve planned for a while now what I was going to bake for the OH’s birthday and it’s finally all set in motion and done! It’s definitely not easy trying to keep it a secret when he’s around a lot of the time! I tried baking his cake, the raspberry cheesecake brownie, and pumpkin pie cake truffles as treats and posted relevant recipes for them.

Not only is it a hardship trying to keep the baking activities secret from the OH, but when you try baking with two cats in the house, it’s like you’re Big Brother keeping watch over them when your back’s turned!

Source: The Hummingbird Bakery

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Nice to meet you, Patisserie Valerie!

Source: Patisserie Valerie

One thing my friends and colleagues can attest to is my sweet tooth and also my inability to resist any delightful looking slices of baked heaven. I arranged to meet a friend at one of the Patisserie Valerie stores and knew I was going to be in trouble. Have you passed by any of their 3 stores in Edinburgh or any of their other cafés across the UK? They know how to tempt you into their stores to buy their pieces of decadence by their strategically displayed pastries and cakes or to enjoy their delicacies in their warm and welcoming café area where staff tempt you further with a nice cold drink during the hot summer days or a nice steaming cup of hot tea or coffee.

Continue reading “Nice to meet you, Patisserie Valerie!”