EATING VEGAN: ULTIMATE GUIDE

Dining & Nightlife, Mailbox Life

Posted on May 22, 2019 by Mailbox Blog

It’s an exciting time to be vegan. As the number of people switching to a plant-based diet continues to rise, more and more cafes, restaurants and bars are expanding their menus to include vegan food and drink options.

Gone are the days when it was a struggle to find a vegan meal when out shopping. With many of the eateries at Mailbox providing great tasting vegan food, it is the perfect place to discover your new favourite dish. 

Whether you are a committed vegan or interested in eating a more plant-based diet, the following guide will help you choose where to eat or drink on your next trip to Mailbox. 


Now is a great time to plan a trip to Churchills. Since early May, the bar has welcomed BA-HA – a 100% vegan catering service and pop-up restaurant – to offer customers plant-based brunch, lunch, dinner and Sunday roasts. If the partnership proves successful, BA-HA are set to take over the Churchills kitchen on a permanent basis.

As any pizza loving vegan knows, going dairy-free does not equate to giving up the much-loved Italian dish. At Pizza Express, the option to have a pizza made with a tasty mozzarella alternative means that vegans have a great range to choose from. A recent addition to the menu is the Vegan Mezze, a pizza topped with chargrilled aubergine, sundried tomato harissa, and spicy jalapeño and Roquito peppers. Finished with rocket and creamy humous, it’s perfect for those who like their food hot and spicy. Vegans needn’t miss out on the restaurant’s classic Dough Balls either, for they can be ordered with a harissa spiced tomato dip. For dessert, choose from palate-cleansing sorbet or vegan carrot cake.

Several vegan dishes, including a starter of Pea & Mint Tortelloni and a main of Pea & Asparagus Risotto, have recently been added to the Café Rouge menu. Their Summer Salad of heritage and sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, sourdough croutons and greens is perfect for the warmer months. If burgers are more your style, you can choose between the Spicy Chickpea Burger or the Moving Mountains Vegan Burger, both of which are served with chips or salad.

The spring vegan menu at Chez Mal at Malmaison includes a range of starters, one of which is a delicious minestrone soup. Once you’ve finished your main of Squash & Red Onion Tagine or Grilled Provencal Vegetables, treat yourself to a dessert of chocolate fondue accompanied by a fruit skewer and mixed berries.

Over at Zizzi, vegan options include starters of garlic bread and bruschetta, dishes such as the Vegan Spaghetti Pomodoro – just replace the pasta with wholewheat penne or gluten-free fusilli – and a desert of Banana & Raspberry Calzone. How tempting does warm sugared dough filled with banana, raspberries, and berry coulis, served with ripple gelato sound? The vegan pizza of your dreams can be made with MozzaRisella, a delicious mozzarella alternative, and a variety of extra toppings.

The eclectic menu at Red Peppers includes a vegan Thai Green Curry – coconut curry with vegetables and Thai basil – vegan spaghetti dishes, and a spiced quinoa and vegetable burger. From 11am to 5pm, you can order the Vegan Burger Wrap at a discounted price. Filled with mushroom, beetroot and bean patty, hummus, spicy harissa, spinach and cucumber, this wrap is perfect for lunchtime.

Nando’s are the first to tell you that they’re not a vegan restaurant, but that doesn’t mean that vegan visitors are without options. Their Grains ‘n Greens salad is described as a hearty helping of mixed grains, beans and corn served on a bed of baby spinach. If you’re up for something on the spicier side, the Veggie Cataplana is a good option – this rice dish consists of chickpeas, chargrilled veg, beans, and a spicy tomato and coconut sauce. Any one of their vegan starters and sides would make a great accompaniment to your meal. Nando’s recommends letting the team know that you are vegan to ensure that they’re extra careful when preparing your food.

Every Tuesday, the Gas Street Social do two-for-one on all vegan and vegetarian dishes. The restaurant also has several vegan options on their lunchtime menu, including Spicy Peanut Butter Noodles. Vegan burger lovers can opt for the Sweet Potato & Chickpea Burger which comes with crunchy tortilla chips, three bean vegan chilli, and salad – just be sure to ask for a vegan bun. Dishes such as the Buffalo Cauli ‘Wings’ can also be made vegan on request.

A vegan lunch is also available at Harvey Nichols Brasserie. Their Superfood Salad is made up of grilled courgette, quinoa, and an array of fruit and vegetables. For pudding, choose the Tropical Mess – vegan meringue served with mango, passionfruit, and pineapple.

The menu at Aluna, a bar that specialises in creating dramatic cocktails, includes a starter of Chilli Spinach Gyoza – steamed spinach and chilli dumplings served with spring onion and a chilli soy dressing. The vegan main course is Soy & Garlic Aubergine – aubergine cooked in Shaoxing wine, soy, sesame, ginger and garlic, served with jasmine rice.

When it comes to tea and coffee, there are several places that provide vegan milk options such as soya, coconut, almond or oat. At Starbucks, many of the hot and iced drinks can be made suitable for vegans. When ordering, it’s best to let staff know that you are vegan and ask them to leave out whipped cream, Java chips, protein powder, and caramel drizzle. The coffeehouse also has a range of vegan snacks available. You might even be lucky enough to find one of their new vegan food options.

Vegan coffee lovers also have the choice of Caffè Nero. Pair your dairy-free coffee with one of a range of vegan salads and snack pots. The cafe also offers the option of a vegan Panini, sandwich or wrap.

When ordering food and drink at any of the restaurants, cafes, and bars at Mailbox, we recommend that you specify to staff that you are vegan. Doing so will help to avoid any confusion, particularly if you are adapting a non-vegan dish.

We expect that restaurants will continue to put time and energy into developing vegan recipes, so it’s likely that menus will alter as new dishes are added. If you want to find the most up to date information, it’s a good idea to check the official website of the restaurant or cafe you are interested in eating at.

This guest blog was written by Freya Partridge

TREND EDIT: SMART OR CASUAL?

Dining & Nightlife, Mailbox Life

Posted on May 22, 2019

Suit £695, slim-fit striped shirt £89 & Derby shoes £319 all Boss

It’s the dress code that’s guaranteed to confuse … but what exactly does smart casual mean? 

Whether it’s an informal wedding or a summer garden party, “smart casual” is more often than not the directed dress code … but does that mean you veer towards casual or play it safe and go smart? Some interpret the term as meaning they can wear what they like, while others will turn up feeling a little overdressed.

Slim-fit jacket £369, Italian cotton and linen blend shirt £119, relaxed fit trousers £149 all Boss.

 

The definition of both “smart” and “casual” are quite different – one calls for a suit and tie while the other suggests comfy jeans and a favourite T-shirt. So, is it casually smart or smartly casual?

The easiest way to get it right is to plump for a selection of wear-anywhere basics and then add a final flourish with your choice of accessories. A blazer or sports jacket should be your starting point as this is the easiest way to take any casual outfit over the smart threshold, adding an instant dash of style.

Striped cardigan £169 Italian cotton and linen blend shirt £119, cropped trousers £219 all Boss.

Invest in a great pair of brogues or loafers in suede or leather – they work with a suit, a pair of chinos or designer denims and add an air of English eccentricity. Feel free to leave the tie in your wardrobe and instead opt for an open collared shirt teamed with a plain jumper or cardigan for a preppy feel.

 

PERSONAL SHOPPING AT BOSS

Extra slim-fit blazer £369, turtle neck jumper £269, relaxed fit chinos £169 & shoes £299 all Boss

For that big summer wedding it’s essential to get the look right, whether you’re the groom or guest, so ensure you’re the best dressed with a personal shopping appointment with one of the suit specialists at BOSS.

Renowned for its expertise and impeccable tailoring, BOSS boasts an impressive range of on-trend separates and suiting for even the most sartorial needs. From initial consultation to final fitting, the personal shopping team will guide you through the best options for your big day. And as the perfect finishing touch, you can select complimentary personalisation* across shirts, ties and pocket squares to make your outfit as memorable as the event itself.

You’ll find BOSS at Level 2, The Mailbox, or call 0121 632 6010 for further information and to book an appointment.

*Offer valid until 31st May 2019. Not available at BOSS Outlet or Airport Stores. Personalisation only valid when purchasing your full outfit at your personal shopping appointment. Personalisation only valid on BOSS pocket squares, ties and shirts. HUGO BOSS reserves the rights to exclude products made out of materials not suitable for embroidery and cannot accept personalised products for exchange or refund. This does not affect your statutory rights.

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