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

THE BEST THINGS TO READ, SEE AND DO IN 2019

Dining & Nightlife, Mailbox Life

Posted on May 22, 2019

With a new year well underway we’ve rounded up some must-reads, the best things to see in the city and what to do. From cookbooks to theatre, 2019 is looking good.

 


What to Read

Jog On, Bella Mackie | Wear: Calvin Klein Zip Hoodie

A new release by Bella Mackie, Jog On is an insightful and honest narration on her account of running as a simple but effective change to her life. As a motivating start to the year, get inspired and pair this Calvin Klein Zip Hoodie, £65 over activewear to stay warm during those winter jogs.

 

The Green Roasting Tin, Rukmini Iyer | Use: MADE.COM Deja 12 Piece Dinner Set

A big thing for 2019 is reducing meat consumption, so why not follow on from Veganuary with The Green Roasting Tin. This book is filled with 75 recipes, half vegan and half vegetarian for you to cook at your own leisure. It’s easy, simply pop everything in a single dish and let the oven do the work. Want the best in dinnerware to serve it up with? These MADE.COM Deja 12 Piece Dinner Set in Tonal Grey & Blue, £79, style up any meal.

Normal People, Sally Rooney | Shop: Flint+Flint Vetivert Candle

Named the 2018 ‘Book of the Year’ by Waterstones, and with a plethora of other awards under its belt, Sally Rooney’s Normal People is an exquisite love story perfect for a night-time read. Take some time to wind down and set the scene with Flint+Flint’s Vetivert Candle, £30 for some seriously cosy downtime.

 


What to See 

Take That at Arena Birmingham | Drink at: Aluna

Marking their 30th anniversary, Take That will be coming to the city for seven whole days. Before you head to the show at Arena Birmingham, why not start the fun with speciality cocktails at Aluna. Think cocktails with extra flair, like the aptly named ‘Lava Lamp’ or a ‘Marshmallow Daiquiri’, and if you’re sharing, make sure you look out for the ‘Cauldrons’ for two or more – and get your cameras at the ready because this is quite the spectacle. 

Les Miserables at Birmingham Hippodrome | Eat at: Tom’s Kitchen  

After nearly a decade since its last sell-out UK tour, the much-loved musical Les Miserables is returning to Birmingham Hippodrome in April. Dine beforehand with the pre-fix menu at Tom’s Kitchen with 2 courses for just £18, the perfect way to start your evening. Begin with Pressed Ham Hock Terrine or Roasted Beetroot & Feta before choosing from delicious mains including Lake District Farmers Minute Steak and Butternut Pumpkin Risotto. For just £4 extra indulge in dessert, try the Dark Chocolate Brownie and the Homemade Ice cream. 

Available Monday – Friday between 12-2:30 pm & 5-6:30 pm for matinee and evening shows.

A Private War at Everyman | Eat at: Everyman Cinema 

Spend an evening with Everyman Cinema, the epitome of luxury viewing. Enjoy food and cocktails delivered to your own private sofa while watching A Private War alongside a satellite Q&A with the cast (Monday 4th Feb). The film stars Rosamund Pike and Jamie Dornan with a fearless storyline as journalist Marie Colvin is driven to the front lines of conflict zones across the globe for an on-the-edge-of-your-seat watch. 

 


What to Do

Home Renovations | Shop: MADE.COM, BoConcept and Heal’s

Don’t forget about your home when keeping up to date with the 2019 trends. This year is already seeing a modern twist on Art Deco – think rich colour palettes and curved silhouettes. The MADE.COM Margot Left Hand Facing Chaise Longue in Old Rose Velvet, £449 stands as a soft statement, which is perfectly complemented by an olive green Velvet Plain Cushion, BoConcept, £58  to really nail this year’s must-have colour combination. Opt for a Fine Edge Mirror in Gold, £319, Heal’s to fill any empty wall space – above a fireplace, in an entry hallway or as your dressing table partner, it will fit seamlessly into any home whilst adding a touch of 20s inspiration.

Celebrate World Gin Day | Drink at: Harvey Nichols Brasserie

Sip in style and enjoy the celebration of all things gin on Saturday 8th June at Harvey Nichols Brasserie. Offering 21 variations of the drink (including cocktails) alongside a delicious bar menu, why not start the day with a relaxing afternoon pamper treatment from Heaven Skincare before indulging at the bar.

Take part in Velo, 12th May | Use: Ribble Cycles

With a new date, name and route, Velo Birmingham & Midlands is back and better than ever, ready for a 100-mile ride around Birmingham and the surrounding areas. Whether you’re riding for charity or tackling a personal challenge head on, get yourself the best in bikes with Ribble Cycles. As an official sponsor of the event, they really know what they’re doing, so why not take a look at the Aero 883 Disc Bike, £1,699  which is a bestseller! Pair with the 150gsm Merino Short Sleeve Baselayer, £16.99 for great performance in all conditions.

Tags: 2019culturedoFashionlifestylereadsee

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