Monday, 5 December 2016

The Warehouse

The Warehouse
12 Chapel St. North, Colchester CO2 7AT
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/warehousebarandkitchen
Website (Menu online): http://thewarehousebarandkitchen.co.uk/


Whilst the Colchester vegan scene has gone from strength to strength over the past couple of years, one area that remains distinctly lacking is places to eat out in the evenings. But as veganism continues to grow, restaurants are starting to take notice. The re-opening of The Warehouse on Chapel St. North is one such example.

Portobello & BBQ Jackfruit burger
A steakhouse they may be, but their animal-friendly options aren’t to be sniffed at. Of course, eating in a restaurant that also serves slabs of meat is (understandably) not going to suit every vegan, but for those whom have non-vegan family and friends, it provides a great balance for those difficult family meals out.

Stuffed 'Egg Plant Steak'
And we’re not just talking about the regular falafel burger which often frequents the vegan section of any menu. The owners of The Warehouse have clearly put in some effort to come up with an exciting offering for vegans, with options on the starters, mains and desserts; you don’t have to miss out on a three course meal. From curry, to spaghetti, roasted peppers, a stuffed ‘eggplant steak’ and the ever-popular BBQ pulled jackfruit, there is something for everyone here.


Vegan Wines Available!
I’ve eaten a lot of jackfruit over the past year, and I must say that their mushroom and jackfruit burger is probably the best I’ve had; I highly recommend it.  But it was the attention to detail with little things that impressed the most. Having vegan mayo and other sauces available, as well as the sign on the table to indicate which of the bottles of wine were vegan-friendly. It’s always a relief to know that a restaurant is taking veganism so seriously.

So next time you want somewhere new to try, then pop along to The Warehouse, and show that there is a big demand for vegan food in Colchester. That vegan menu is surely only going to keep growing. 



Thursday, 18 August 2016

The Rapid Rise of Veganism in Colchester

The Rapid Rise of Veganism in Colchester

Flashback two years, and veganism was just beginning to make ripples in Colchester. The summer of 2014 saw the very first Colchester Vegan Fair take place at Colchester Arts Centre, and exceeded all expectations with most stall holders selling out before the day was over.

Fast forward to summer 2016, with Colchester’s 3rd Vegan Fair about to take place and it is clear that the times are changing. We’re suddenly living in a very different vegan landscape to that of 2 years ago.

Credit for the rise of the vegan movement in Colchester must, in part, go to the opening of The Den at Twenty Three in March 2015. The Den has managed to seamlessly cross over into the mainstream whilst serving a wealth of hungry customers, from vegans, vegetarians, the v-curious, meat reducing, and omnivores alike; everyone is welcome. All the time using their brand of tasty, regular food (think burgers, paninis, cupcakes, hot chocolates, ice cream, etc.) to show just how indulgent eating vegan can be. Bland rabbit food this most certainly is not.

Whilst The Den shows that veganism doesn’t have to equal healthy; vegan eco-takeaway The Nourish Co. prove that if it’s quick and healthy you’re after, then you’re catered for too.

Stop off on your lunch break to pick up their hearty hot dish of the day, trademark mushroom and lentil ‘sausage’ rolls, ‘smoked aubergine’ BLT, or a plethora of raw, nourishing sweet treats courtesy of local business The Moral Munch.

As if two vegan cafés wasn’t enough, brand new for 2016 is café number three: Découverte. This vintage, tearoom-style eatery serving organic, home-made meals in quaint surroundings has given the vegan community of Colchester another option for when eating out, and shown the growing demand there is for plant-based food.

If you’re only in Colchester for the day, visiting one of the town’s many events throughout the year, whether that be Christmas markets, food fairs or the Colchester Free Festival, then you’ll be likely to see one of Colchester’s vegan catering companies #V Catering Co. or Organic Alex  armed with a stall full of vegan treats to fill up on. Each of these local businesses hold a monthly event at The Waiting Room on one Friday of the month, so be sure to head along to support them.

Veganism in Colchester doesn’t stop at food either. The Garden of Eden Beauty parlour at Lucky Rose Tattoo Clinic on Eld Lane has a fully vegan range of beauty products. So if it is cruelty-free manicures, facials or other treatments you are looking for, then Colchester has you covered.

The award-winning lifestyle magazine Vegan Life is also based and run in Colchester by local vegans, becoming so successful nationwide, that it’s now being shipped to the US too! Plus the creators have now started up the brand new Cook Vegan magazine.

Colchester’s speedy rise to ‘vegan force-to-be-reckoned-with’ shows no sign of stopping, Battered is a new vegan ‘fish’ and chips business, further showing that eating vegan doesn’t have to mean missing out. Look out for their trailer serving vegan lard in Colchester and surrounding towns.  

There seems to be something about being vegan that brings out the inner entrepreneur in people, and the demand is always increasing, meaning you can expect to see more and more vegan businesses popping up around the town, in addition to more options at other cafes and restaurants too. Plus, what a great thing it is for our town and its tourism industry, encouraging more people from far and wide to visit historic Colchester; due to the fantastic cruelty-free offering we have available.

So if you haven’t already been to check out one of these local businesses, come on down to vegan town!
  • Colchester’s 3rd Vegan Fair takes place at The Waiting Room (11am-Late) this Saturday 20th August. There is no entry fee, and everyone, vegan or not, is encouraged to come along to support our local vegan businesses.
  • To keep up to date with the latest in vegan news and vegan finds, like our Facebook page here or follow us on Twitter here

Colchester’s growing list of vegan businesses(Click to be taken to their Facebook page)

·        The Den at Twenty Three 

·       The Nourish Co. 

·       Découverte 

·       V Catering Co. 

·       Organic Alex 

·       The Garden of Eden 

·       Battered

·       Wildflour Vegan Kitchen 

·       Truly Madly Vegan 

·       The Moral Munch 

·       Sunshine on a Plate 

·       Lucy’s Treehouse 

·       Roots Street Food




Thursday, 28 January 2016

#V Street Food Event- The Waiting Room

#V Catering Co.- Street Food Event
The Waiting Room, The Old Bus Station off Queen St. CO1 2PH
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vcatering1
For those of you who are yet to venture to 'The Waiting Room', the location of the 2015 Colchester Vegan Fair and previously 'Vegan Pot Luck' meetings; the former bus station café is a strange and interesting hidden gem of a venue.

It has also become home to '#V Catering Co.', once a month, for their 'street food' events, with this month seeing the return of their popular noodle night.

Delicious Udon noodles surrounded by crunchy veg, juicy mushrooms, optional seitan and covered in a flavoursome hoisin and miso sauce. 

Alongside the main meal, there were pots of #V's homemade 'coconut bacon' available to buy, in addition to three sweet dishes.

Udon Noodles
Of course it only felt right that I should try all three sweet offerings. First up, the gooey chocolate flapjack with whipped vanilla and coconut cream. Yes, that does taste as good as it sounds! This was so nice I actually had to go back and get a second portion, which I believe tells you all you need to know.

It was great to see two other dessert options on the menu, both equally as yummy as the flapjack. A soft and tasty chocolate chip cookie, and well textured New York cheesecake. It's always great eating out and having a vegan dessert, but to have choice between different options was even better. 
Chocholate Chip Cookies

The desserts had my omni friend exclaiming that she couldn't believe the food had any of the traditional ingredients missing- and she couldn't tell a difference from their non-vegan equivalents- praise indeed!

I was also pleased to find that the sometimes slightly overbearing music of previous street food events had been held back until later into the evening, being replaced by some more appropriate background music which allowed for easier conversation.

So be sure to free up the third Friday of every month, and don't come expecting a restaurant-style atmosphere, this is very much a fun pop-up, canteen-type set up, which I feel only adds to its charm. If you're anything like me, you will leave full up, satisfied and looking forward to the next street food event to come along!







Sunday, 17 January 2016

Découverte

Découverte
6 Sir Isaacs Walk, Colchester, CO1 1JJ
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/decouverteshopcafe

PLEASE NOTE: SINCE PUBLISHING THIS POST DECOUVERTE HAS TAKEN ALL DAIRY FROM THEIR MENU, AND BECOME COLCHESTER'S 3RD VEGAN CAFE!

As Colchester continues on its path towards vegan dominance, cruelty free consumers will be pleased to hear of Colchester's brand new vegetarian café. 

Following in the footsteps of Colchester's two fully vegan establishments, comes 'Découverte', which opened on Boxing Day 2015 and consists of a small vintage shop alongside an organic, vegetarian café. Much of the food they serve is vegan, and is clearly labelled with the 'V' symbol.
Lentil & Squash Soup
Due to the cold weather outside, I decided that I needed warming up with a cup of tea served in a beautifully delicate teacup, accompanied with oat milk. Whilst continuing along the 'warming' theme, I opted for the homemade 'lentil and squash' soup of the day, served with seeded bread. Coming in at £3.50, this seemed good value for such a tasty, hearty meal. The freshly heated soup was thick, flavoursome and incredibly filling. The gluten-free vegan chocolate cake which followed, allowed for a sweet treat to finish.
Gluten Free Chocolate Cake
Whilst eating my food I was able to enjoy the beautiful beams and busy walls filled with different vintage items. The café feels small (with 5 tables squeezed into the space) but this is what gives it its character and charm. The owners clearly knew what direction they wanted to go in, and have done that well.

Having spoken to the staff it is clear that they are passionate about the food they make and serve. The café was relatively quiet whilst I was in there, which allowed the owner to talk about the two years of hard work it's taken to get the business up and running, and I was pleased to see that they seem to have established the ways in which they differ from 'The Den at Twenty Three' and 'The Nourish  Co.'(Colchester's other vegan cafés) in the hope that they will also thrive. 

I wish them every success, look forward to paying many more visits to the café, and hope that at some point they will be able to drop the dairy and non-vegan options from the menu in the future.

If you pay a visit to 'Découverte' then let us know your thoughts!

Full menu: Show Menu
Opening Times: 11:00-16:00 (Tues, Weds, Fri, Sat, Sun) Closed- Mon/Thurs

Friday, 23 October 2015

The Nourish Co.


The Nourish Co.
36 St. John's Street, Colchester, CO2 7AD


It's only been 7 months since Colchester got its first fully fledged vegan cafe in the form of 'The Den at Twenty Three', and now the ever-growing vegan community of North Essex is to be treated to a brand new eatery!


The Nourish Co. is marketing itself as an 'Eco-Takeaway'. Think raw cakes, tasty whole food lunches, and lots of healthy snacks; all served with a smile. 

We popped by on their opening day and tried their freshly baked Mushroom and Lentil Sausage Roll with a Raw Chocolate Brownie afterwards, both of which were very tasty. 

The shop itself, though small, has been used to its full potential, with a breakfast bar overlooking the street and small table area for anybody who wants to sit in. Not necessarily a place you'd meet a friend for lunch due to the limited space, but perfect for those short lunch breaks or when passing through town and in need of a bite to eat.


How great it is to have even more choice in the town, and this can only be a good thing for making veganism more accessible. 

We're excited to watch the company grow and continue to spread their message of 'kind and conscious eating', and can't wait to try lots more of their wholesome, yummy food!

Be sure to drop in next time you need a quick snack on the go.

Friday, 21 August 2015

El Guaca

El Guaca
118 High Street, Colchester CO1 1SZ



The Restaurant

Having established themselves in Maldon and Clacton, the Mexican restaurant 'El Guaca' has now arrived in Colchester.

I was intrigued as to what options they might have for vegans as there didn’t seem to be anything explicitly on the menu that was vegan-friendly, so I dropped them an Email, getting a very helpful reply outlining the dishes which could be made vegan, and how to adapt them. So on Tuesday night I went along to give the restaurant a try.

Sizzling Fajita
I decided to opt for the Sizzling Mushroom and Courgette Fajita (without the jack cheese or sour cream) and sizzling it was. If anyone ever tries to claim vegan food is boring then this dish is here to prove otherwise. The sizzling courgettes and mushrooms came on a bed of sautéed peppers and onions, with pico de gallo and home-made (vegan) guacamole on the side, with a bowl of warm flour tortillas ready to be filled with all the tasty filling.

The staff were very attentive, friendly and helpful, and portions rather generous (though on the pricier side of things).  Unfortunately, as is often the case, the dessert menu was lacking in a vegan option, and perhaps this is something the restaurant could look to change in the near future.

If you want to make the experience a tad more authentic then ask a member of staff for a sombrero, and they’ll happily oblige!

It’s always great to see more local businesses thriving alongside the huge chains, so I highly recommend dropping in to El Guaca. Below were the other vegan adapted options that are available, as always be sure to check anything with the staff for peace of mind. Let us know your experiences and if anything needs changing or updating from the menu.


Appetisers
Nachos (without cheese) with Guacamole, Pico De Gallo or Chilli Sauce
Vegetarian Tacos (i.e. with no meat fillings)

Mains
Sizzling Fajita- Courgette and Mushroom (without cheese/sour cream)

Burrito/ChimiChanga/Enchilada with Vegetarian Bean Chilli (without cheese/sour cream)

Saturday, 9 May 2015

The Den at Twenty Three / The Den at 23

23 Crouch Street
Colchester
CO33EN
@theden_at23

Mon 12pm-4pm
Tue-Sat 10pm-4pm
Closed Sunday



"The Den at 23" opened in March 2015, and is Colchester's first cafe to offer an entirely vegan friendly menu!
It is run by Jennifer Dunn of vegan cake company "p.s..it's vegan!", and her husband Robert.

The Den sells breakfasts (such as sausage sandwiches and sausage tofu breakfast muffins), lunches such as burgers and toasted paninis, and sweet options such as cupcakes and waffles with ice cream.

Teas and coffees and hot chocolates are served with a choice of soya, almond or coconut milk, and can be topped with soya whipped cream (and vegan marshmallows!)