Friday, 15 August 2014

My year of more and less: month seven

I'm starting to realise a major benefit of not shopping this year. I no longer have to try and find space for new purchases. No more trying to squeeze one more item in the cupboard. I'm also become much better at just going with what I have. I needed a new phone case and rather than buy a new one I just grabbed a pink fluffy one (purchased by my mum but never used) out of the car boot sale box. Ok it's not totally my style, but it does the job and is easy to find in my bag.

July goals

My July goals were to give blood, clear 5 items from my 40 for 40 list, and get in with my letter writing ebooks. How did I do?

  • I looked into giving blood, and got lots of useful advice from friends about bring nervous. I can't give blood at present because I have some lingering cold sores, and the blood.co.uk, which had lots of useful information indicates I have to wait until these have sorted themselves out. I'm hopeful I might make an end of September donation session, and what better excuse in the meantime to take better care of myself than I have been.
  • I've did a couple of items on my 40 for 40 list but am feeling less rushed about the whole thing. I don't currently have 40 items on it, and if it takes me until I'm 49 to do them all so be it. The important thing is to keep doing new things and not to be put off by fear of the unknown.
  • I've decided on the sections/chapters for my ebook, and written notes for what the content in each section will be. I just need to start doing the actual writing.

My three day rotation through my goals wasn't as effective as I hoped. I'm not certain if this is because it just doesn't work for me, or if being overwhelmed by all the other stuff in my life interfere with things.

 

August goals

I was away for a few days at the end of August and failed to do my usual big picture, and mini goals planning for the month. I intended to do it on my return and was struggling to come up with some not too exhausting sounding goals. I was pretty horrified when I opened my planner to discover that at some previous point I'd written in some energetic goals and decided on effort for my word of the month.

 

Happily I usually write in pencil so I took an eraser to my words, and replaced them with:

  • Sleep more
  • Read more
  • Clear niggling tasks

My word of the month is no.

 

I think a month of rest (relatively speaking) will do my lots of good and allow me to get on with new exciting things in future months.

 

Wishing you green ink and good food,

Annastasia

 

 

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

What's in my lunchbox? When I grow up I want to be a sandwich

Aubergine, tomatoes, olives and bread

It's that glorious time of the year. The market is full of produce. Friends drop by with food to share. Lunches are easy to prepare, and eat.

The man at the vegetable stall added a few extra aubergine to my purchases. So I roasted them on Sunday morning. The form this basis of this lovely sandwich ingredient salad. For best results you should add the olives, tomatoes and bread while the aubergine is warm. However I can't say that waiting until it was cold has impaired the flavour. The sourdough bread is softened by a morning in a tub with the fresh vegetables but remains chewy. This works well against the other softer textures.

 

Celery and grape

I was a bit surprised by how well this combination worked. I suppose though it's only a Brie, grape and celery sandwich minus the bread and Brie. Sweet and savoury. Soft and crunchy.

To read: Real World by Natsuo Kirino

Does one enjoy Kirino's novels? I was drawn into Out, and the same is true of this one. Maybe it's something about the way the characters feel as if they are acting out their own lives. The ways secrets are never secrets. The glimpse of Japan that isn't the exotic Western view. This had a David Lynch feel in the way the actions of one character impacted on a community.

 

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

What's in my lunch box? Just add veg

 

Lunch box

Saturday was the monthly gathering of Chelmsford Veg Up, a vegan meet up group. I made cashew cheese to share as part of our pot luch arrangement, and was pleased to bring some home. Teamed up with a little veg, some bread and a little dessert it made an easy and tasty lunch.

Clockwise, from top right:

  • Cucumber and wonderfully sweet cherry tomatoes
  • Greengage and piece of Sue's flapjack, packed with fruit and seeds
  • Lightly toasted sour dough with cashew cheese
  • Radishes
Book jacket the yard by Alex Grecian

To read: The Yard by Alex Grecian

The review that prompted me to track this title down pointed out this the author was American, and had never visited the parts of London he describes, but added that this was hard to believe. I agree. Grecian conveys the atmosphere of London in the 1890s with no effort. You are simply sucked in wanting to now what happens next. What happens next is you devour as many pages as you can before having to go and do something else.

 

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

What's in my lunch box? Sling it all in potato salad

Box of potato salad

On Saturday I headed to the London Vegan Beer festival where I drank various fine vegan beverages, listened to bands, took part in karaoke, and partook of some vegan BBQ.

One of the dishes on offer at the BBQ was a potato salad. Alas it was so tasty I ate the lot before thinking that I should have snapped a photo. However let me describe it as the house special fried rice approach to potato salad, only not fried and minus the kind of animal related items. The potatoes had been mixed with peas, corn, gerkins, and mayonnaise. Possibly a few other items crept in to this king of potato.

I attended a family BBQ on Sunday. As is the case with my family it was over catered. So it would have been rude not to bring home with me some leftover jacket potatoes and create my own multi ingredient potato salad.

Into the mix went: chopped jacket potatoes, radishes, carrot, cooked peas, Fry’s Polony, Plamil garlic mayo, and gherkin burger relish.


Book cover on stranger tides by Tim powers


To read – On stranger tides by Tim Powers

I’ve been trying to find a title of his that lives up to The Anubis Gate. This isn’t it, but it’s still pretty good. A good tale with plenty of swashbuckling, and a bearable amount of magic to add spice. I found the descriptions of sea battles hard going but it was satisfying watching our hero develop, and seeing plot elements come together.

 

Friday, 11 July 2014

My year of more and less: month six

So June was busy, and included among its highlights a very sunny car boot sale, a reception at the Japanese embassy, and plenty of time spent in parks. I resisted the urge to buy any clothes of shoes so I think I can consider month six of my project/experiment/exploration a success.

I am actually horrified by the size of my summer wardrobe. I really only need a third of the clothes I have. That said I do wear most of them, just over a few years rather than a few days or weeks. So maybe I should be continuing with my ‘no purchases’ experiment into 2016.

My June goals were:

  • Keep a sugar diary
  • Upcycle my raincoat
  • Do a Real Wild biography

Progress in June

Keep a sugar diary – I keep reading things online and getting in flap about my sugar intake. I’m fairly certain that it’s ok; my diet is pretty clean. However there seemed to be all kinds of things to take into account, and I wasn’t sure about fructose, glucose, and sucrose. So I did some reading up around the subject, noted down what I ate every day, and then analysed the sugar content. As it turned out my diet is largely clean, and when I do reach for sugar it’s with open eyes.

Upcycle my raincoat – take one stained and torn raincoat that I can’t bear to part with. I decided to dye, purchased and applied dye, and came up with a design to cover the rips. I just need to do a few minutes of sewing and it’ll be done.

Do a real wild bio – I enjoyed Do What You Love’s New Year Revolution pack so much that I thought I’d give their Real Wild Bio a go. Despite breaking it down by section I found it quite difficult to get cracking on it. However when I did it took much less time than I expected, and I was quite pleased to be able to see some themes that run across my life.

July goals

I’m taking a slightly different approach to my goals this month. I’m working through each of them on a three day rotation. That means if circumstances mean I miss doing a task I can pick it up on the next day assigned to this goal. I’m hoping this will make me feel less stressed, and give me more flexibility.

  • Plan and write a draft of an ebook on letter writing
  • Give blood – I’m terrified of needles so this should help me get over that, and behave in a socially responsible manner.
  • Work on 5 forty for 40 goals- I’m starting this by picking 5 things to work on.

I’m anticipating July will be another busy month with burlesque, allotmenting, vegan meetups, BBQs, and books.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

What's in my lunchbox? Rice, not potatoes

 

Usually at this time of the year I’m all about potatoes. But I had a big bag of rice in the cupboard that seemed to be heading to be way out of date. So I cooked the whole lot and froze it. This was a brilliant move as it allows me to make dishes like this spicy rice. Perfect for using up the odds and ends in the fridge. Also perfect for when you find you have no soy sauce left.

Use plenty of oil and fry an onion and some garlic. Dump in the cooked rice. Then add whatever you have to hand. In this case the last of a pan of marinated tofu ( a soy sauce free marinade), my faithful chilli flakes, and my new favourite seasoning turmeric. Then take this from plan old fried rice to amazing fried rice by turning off the heat and stirring in a few handfuls of greens.

It reheated really well in a microwave. Clearly it’s one of those dishes that benefits from reheating. I served with tomatoes and cucumbers. They complement the flavours and the heat nicely.

To read: The long earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter

This is so easy to read, but at the same time fills your head with thoughts about how you would cope with the situation, and what the right thing to do would be. It’s the literary equivalent of enjoying a really well prepared and presented meal that leaves you feeling full but not stuffed.

I like the way that individuals are presented as being different, and that they are not always thrilled by this prospect. I'm intrigued by the different ways they deal with not fitting in. By contrast other characters think that they’re thinking outside the box, but they’re not. It’s a great demonstration that when mankind is presented with something really exciting their first thought is money, and their first action seems to be destruction.

This reads like a perfect blend of Stephen King, David Brin, and Philip Pullman. I'm delighted that it's the first in a series.

The concept of the long earth itself is massively exciting. To be able to be elsewhere in an instant. To be able to escape from the madding crowd. To be alone. I was almost tempted to put my potato crop to use and build a stepper.

 

 

 

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

What's in my lunch box? A tale of two pancakes


I’ve had a real craving for some kind of vegan cream tea. A scone with strawberries and vegan cream of some kind. Then a non-vegan chum told me they were planning Eton mess but had forgotten to buy meringues so they used pancakes. And so was born my lunch of stuffed pancakes.

From top right:

  • Cucumber
  • Vegan pancake filled with macadamia crème and strawberry compote
  • Vegan pancake filled with cashew cheese and raw spinach
  • Cherry tomatoes

To read: She-wolves by Helen Castor

I love to read about history, and Elizabeth I has always been one of my heroines. That said I have a slightly less rosy view of her than I did as three year old. Anyway I was intrigued by the thought of reading about other strong charismatic queens and I haven’t been disappointed. Family trees for the various noble families are always complicated and confusing so looking at three families in detail has been brilliant for filling in the gaps in my knowledge. I now understand why the loss of the White Ship was so significant. I’m finding this hard to put down which has got to be a good sign of readability.

 

 

Thursday, 19 June 2014

What's in my lunch box? Posh toast

I'm reading, in a terribly slow fashion, An Everlasting Meal by Tamar Adler. I can only manage about a page at time because I then feel the need to think deeply about whatever brilliant truth about food she has revealed. And I then want to follow that up by experiencing it. So this time it was about putting things on toast. In fact pretty much anything on toast. No one can deny toast is a marvellously versatile food, which works at al lends of the gourmet scale.

So today it was lightly toasted bread topped with hummus, peppers, tomato, and radishes. I had just enough cashew cheese to cover a single slice. Then I followed up with plenty of strawberries. You don’t get much more gourmet than that!

To read: Night Film by Maria Pessl

I adored Pessl’s first book Special topics in calamity physics. This one wasted no time in setting the scene and making you question everyone and everything. I particularly liked the bits of media scattered throughout the book revealing information about the mysterious Film maker Cordova. A great way of dragging the reader into the story.

 

Thursday, 12 June 2014

My year of less and more: month five

I’ve now completed 5 months without purchasing clothes, shoes, or accessories. It feels so normal that I’m wondering if I might do a second year. How long would it take me to use up everything in my wardrobe? Would I find myself wearing a bizarre collection of items?

My New Year Revolution targets for May were:

  • Create a list of places to visit in Essex
  • Make a button collar
  • Come up with some ideas about developing Not the vegan police

I managed the list of places in Essex with no problems. I finished it ahead of schedule. However progress on the other two was shockingly bad. I found it hard to find the time to sit down and sew. I considered this fair enough as I would need to meet various criteria to carry out this task (i.e. be at home, daylight, capable of stitching).

It does occur to me that if I’d taken 10 minutes to select the buttons I wanted to use this would have been a portable project. Likewise there is no excuse for not even starting to brainstorm ideas around Not the Vegan police. Getting started does seem to be the issue here. With future targets I will tell myself to do 2 minutes just to get started and hope this gets the ball rolling.

June targets are:

  • Keep a sugar diary – just to see if I am indulging too much
  • Write a real wild biography
  • Upcycle a raincoat

Let’s see how the 2 minute rule works with these. I can also apply it to my Forty for 40 project which seems to have slowed down. My only progress has been to read a book on wild swimming.

 

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

What's in my lunch box? Take four

 

Summer has definitely arrive on my allotment. I came back from my plot with potatoes, spring onions, spinach, and strawberries. Sag aloo suggested itself as the ideal recipe. I decided to use the recipe for from indian cookery from Pebble Mill at one by Lalita Ahmed. It's a cracking little book. Very matter of fact.

It might have helped if I’d actually started following the right recipe and not in an absent minded fashion gone along with the potato curry in gravy on the opposite page.

However the end results were good, if a little spicy. I think some flatbreads will be making an appearance with other servings to offer a contrast in texture and taste.

Sweet, fresh strawberries were very, very welcome for dessert.

I’m wondering what other recipes I can create using the four ingredients from my allotment. Potato salad? Some kind of frittata?

To read: My Amish childhood by Jerry S. Eicher

Arcadia, which I read last week included some Amish characters, but you only caught a glimpse as if they weren’t of much interest to our main character (a pity as his community surely had much in common with theirs – they ‘d just been doing ti longer). Anyway it seemed fitting when this turned up on my ‘to read’ pile. Admittedly I wasn't expecting a tale of a new Amish commute in South America but it's opened my eyes. I wasn't entirely surprised by an Amish community that was so trusting and calm, but was expecting the struggles to adapt to a modern world and the questions about the direction their religions should take.

 

 

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

What's in my lunch box? For a grey June day

 

This seems at first glance a warming, hearty dish, and so surely inappropriate for the height of summer. However as we've experiencing our usual changeable weather with a good dose of grey it actually suited summer vey nicely.

Plus it's very easy to put together. It's a vegan version of this Butter bean, parprika and chorizo stew. It's a very forgiving recipe which happily adapts to the ingredients at hand, and you pretty much just chuck it in a pan. Mine included gently fried onions, garlic and peppers. Then I threw in parprika and rosemary, gave it a good stir and finished off with a can of tomatoes.

I served with toast, lettuce, radishes and advocado.

To read: Arcadia by Lauren Groff

With most of the actions taking place on a commune it's a delight to find a book where the characters are pretty much all vegan. As a result a reference to quesadillas filled with mushrooms and soy cheese, or squash ravioli is a meal that I can really relate to. We follow Bit through his hippie childhood until utopia falls apart. And then we pick him up in his adult life when things don't seem to be much more stable. Yet the thing that makes this so enjoyable is Bit's ability to appreciate small delights. From his observations of nature on the commune to the feeling of connection that domestic lights create in a city.

 

 

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

What's in my lunchbox? Don't follow the recipe


I'd say today's lunch perfectly illustrates a point made a food writer some years ago. I think it was Matthew Fort writing in The Guardian who said if you miss an ingredients or do something differently in a recipe it probably won't be a disaster. It might turn out differently to how you expected but it'll probably be edible.
Mind Body Green has a delightful recipe for a tuna style sandwich filling. This isn't it.
I glanced at the recipe yesterday afternoon, and then relaxed when I saw that the seeds and nuts did not need soaking overnight. It would have been helpful if I had then soaked them in hot water. And if I'd had a red onion to hand and some mayonnaise. And if I hadn't decided that adding the celery to the blender was a really good idea.
But I improvised, add some dried onions, a bit of leek, some kelp powder, plenty of seasoning. And it's turned out fine. I haven't eaten Tuna for several decades so I have no idea if this is anything like it. Probably not but it made for a perfectly pleasing lunch with some cracked black pepper Ryvita, and some roasted Broccolli.
I'll give the proper recipe a go at some point. I rather like using sunflower seeds and almonds as a change from soy and peanuts. It important both for the novelty/variety, and because it broadens the cooking experience.
To read:
Dark Satanic Mills by Marcus Sedgwick, Julian Sedgwick, John Higgins, and Marc Olivent.
I do like a nice graphic novel, and this once was excellent. It wasn't nice at all. The dark pages, filled with a barely recognisable London, told a tale of oppression and violence. It was frighteningly believable. A reminder of the need for tolerance and understanding.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Colchester Vegan Festival 2014


Colchester held their first vegan festival on 10 May so I popped along with some of the Chelmsford Veg Up Group.

The event was held at the Arts Centre, a former church. It was certainly atmospheric with some quirky decor.

There were a variety of stalls including 2 breweries. Us Essex folk do love our ale.I sampled the Hellhound Brewery (Twisted Blonde was delightful - almost a light wine/beer hubrid) but alas Pitsfield had run out before I made it through the crowds surrounding their stand. Maybe I'll get a change to try their wares at the London Vegan Beer Festival.


There were also a number of cake stalls which either had massive queues or were sold out. I managed to snaffle a brownie and a cupcake from P.S. It's vegan, and thought they compared favourable to Ms Cupcake. And Kizzy's cookies weren't bad either.
Hodmedod's offered the first Quinoa grown in the Uk and a range of different beans. I'm looking forward to adding the black badger peas to a lentil and stone fruit salad.

There was hot food in the form of Ken's curry. It must have been good as the queue was almost out of the door.

The cafe area was well placed to look down on the fair activity. Tea and cake was provided by Ruby's vintage tea party. I was delighted by the vegan cake on offer but less than chuffed at the none china being used to serve it.


All in all this was a jolly outing. I came home with a bag of goodies to enjoy. An excellent start for Colchester who did well in attracting both punters and stall holders.

 

Same time next year? Yes please.

 

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Dash for coffee

I delighted to stumble across Dash while visiting Vegan X.

I was only looking for coffee so it was real bonus to find somewhere that offered excellent coffee, had friendly knowledgable staff, and who catered for vegans.

The he,pful chap who helped me decide which coffee to enjoy assured me that they were looking into getting some vegan cake. They hadn't found a supplier they liked yet (but it seems that they haven't met Ms a Cupcake either).

It's certainly nice to see another vegan place in that part of town, so I might be back for another loyalty card stamp!

 

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

What's in my lunch box? Seasonally new

 

The thing I really like about trying to eat in a seasonal manner is how the variety in my diet massively increases as the summer gets closer. I was very happy when I got the market last week and was able to pick up new potatoes, asparagus, and radishes. This was a nice easy lunch to throw together with some tofu and a few bits from my allotment.

Salad – boiled new potatoes, boiled asparagus, raw spinach, raw rocket, radishes, fried tofu (Dragonfly brand – and a particularly tasty batch). Dressing made with oil, cider vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper.

Rhubarb crumble – home grown rhubarb topped with flour, brown sugar, oil, cinnamon, and ginger

 

Friday, 9 May 2014

My year of less and more: month 4

Home made elephant costumes

I've now managed four months without purchasing new clothes, shoes or accessories. Last week was a bit of a struggle as I put together various costumes for Spring Fling. However as I was unable to buy clothes I had to make do with what I had or what I could borrow. As a result I had no purchases that I would wear only once, no panicked searches through the shops, and the chance to get innovative. I learnt how to make a beard from a ball of yarn; a skill I'm sure I'll find further use for.

Targets wise things went better in March then April, mainly because my goals got a bit woolly. So I completed March's tasks of garden clearance, creating a classics reading list, and organising a vegan meet up. While I did things in April the results weren't so clear cut.

My progress was as follows:

  • Clear my sewing pile - it's smaller than it was. Three are still a number of items that need work, and a few are going to form monthly goals of their own.
  • Learn about Triads - I now know what these are. A good opportunity to temping myself of the basics of the murky world of musical theory. Should a huge help next time I'm reading Bass a guitar magazine.
  • Clear junk out at a car boot sale - I've set dates to do boot sales. I've made a huge pile of stuff to sell. I just need to. Ring the two together.

My 'challenges' for May are:

  • Make a button collar necklace
  • Make a plan for my sites Not The Vegan Police, and The Vegan Sandwich
  • Create a list of places to visit in Essex

As the outcomes for these are more clear cut it should easier to know if I've done them.

 

I also need to up my game on 40 for forty.

Things that are the various of my list are:

  • Making crumpets - crumpet rings have been purchased
  • Read a book on wild swimming
  • Find out what the a Shipping Forecast is all about
  • Look up vegan food swaps

So another busy month beckons bringing an emptier house, a better used wardrobe, and an engaged brain.

 

Wishing you green ink and good food,

Annastasia

 

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Chelmsford Veg Up

Saturday saw the first meeting of the Chelmsford Veg Up group at the Ideas Hub.

I’d billed the event as a meet up, but quickly discovered the good people of Essex love a pun. So in order to avoid endless meet/meat jokes we’re embracing Veg Up.

I sat there just before noon wondering if I would get any takers so I was delighted when people began arriving, and after a moment of awkwardness the conversation vegan to flow.

Attendees quickly got to know each other as they shared the best vegan places in the area, and vividly described favourite dishes. Ideas for activities flowed, and included a Chelmsford vegan website, meals out, and a pot luck.

The group will be meeting again on 24 May from noon until 2pm at the Chelmsford Ideas hub. We also plan to visit Colchester Vegan Fair on 10th May.

Why not come and join us? Vegans, and the vegan curious welcome.

 

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

What's in my lunch box? Party bag

I went to a baby shower yesterday which turned out to be rather good. It was delightful to catch up with various friends, see what gifts the mother-to-be had received (everyone bought a copy of a favourite childhood book), and I particularly enjoyed partaking of the buffet.

The lovely organisers had gone to the trouble of including vegan food, and labelling it as such. They also gave me several bags of leftovers to bring home so my plans for making lunch box dahl flew out the window. I devoted the time to reading the latest Joe Hill book instead (definitely not suitable for small children).

From top right:

  • Rhubarb crumble – to be served with a spoonful of vegan vanilla yoghurt (more leftovers)
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Radishes
  • Tofu sausage chunks
  • Raw carrots, pepper, and baby corn – to eat with hummus

To read:

Gentlemen prefer blondes by Anita Loos

This is an absolutely charming read. I'm liking the way Lorelei and Dorothy don't seem to let anything stand in their way. They have no self doubt, and seem like little rays of sunshine. When something blocks them they just take a break and appear elsewhere.

 

Friday, 25 April 2014

Berlin in ten bites

I previously visited Berlin 1990. I’d not long been vegetarian, and recall that I seemed to spend a lot of time avoiding seafood. A pizza covered with mini purple octopi/octopuses lingers in my mind…

Food aside, it was an exciting time to visit. The Berlin Wall was coming down. Changes were afoot, but hadn’t yet happened so I could observe the difference between East and West while developing a taste for Rye bread and getting to know my friendly host family.

Returning 24 years later a lot had changed, particularly in East Berlin. Who could have imagined a Starbucks and a McDonalds in Alexanderplatz? Happily this time round I faced no issues with little purple creatures (although I have noted for future trips that gemuse means vegetables). Here’s my trip to Berlin boiled down to ten easy bites (and they’re not just food).


1. Travel by train is cheap and convenient. You also get to see plenty of interesting sights without having to walk. I wanted to get off and explore at so many stations because the views looked interesting. I bought the Berlin Welcome card online, and it was easy to change my voucher for a travel ticket at the airport, then you just validate your ticket (stick it in the red machine on the platform to be date stamped), and you're good to go.

The East Side Gallery
Wire wool and pom-poms

2. You’ll still do plenty of walking so pack suitable footwear, and plan for a late afternoon nap. I’d definitely recommend The East Side Gallery. It’s is a 1.8 km length of Berlin wall that acts as an outdoor art gallery. The wire wool and pompoms filled huge metal cages as part of an installation on peace!


3. If you’re seeking vegan food you’ll want to spend a chunk of time in Friedrichshain where you’ll find Veganz, Goodies, Yoyo, Oh la la, Zeus and Voner. you'll get very familiar with Warschauer Strasse station. 

A vegan kebab!


4. Voner is quite a walk but totally worth it. I thoroughly enjoyed a vegan kebab served in a kind of crusty pitta. If only I’d had room for the chip with cheese and fried onions. And this interesting chap in the fetching blue suit is nearby.


5. Leave plenty of room in your bag for filling up at Veganz before you go home. I was sad that I couldn't fit the whole vegan turkey in my bag (and failed to photograph it), but made up for it with Daiya cheese, various sausages, chocolate and biscuits.

Zeus
Outside Zeus

Inside Zeus - note the 'decor'

6. Take a notebook and a pen so you can contribute to the walls of eateries like the amazing Zeus. After all you need something to distract your salivating taste buds while you wait for your pizza to arrive.

Sit on the stage and admire the exhibits


7. The Ramones museum is in the back of a bar and for 5 Euros you get entry, a drink, and a badge! A museum in a bar – how cool is that!

The ceiling at Yellow Sunshine


8. Don’t miss Yellow Sunshine. Wouldn't the ceiling decoration make a great tattoo? And where else can you enjoy a vegan Lapland burger?

Vegan crepe with potato and sweet onion

9. I wish I lived near Oh la la so I could take my non vegan friends there. The crepes taste moreish, and the tea comes with shaped sugar cubes. Sweet and savoury crepes are on offer so you have an excuse to have more than one.

10. And no trip is complete without ice cream! I stumbled across Caramello’s after leaving Yoyo. Despite being full of burgers, wurst, and chips I felt that it would be rude not to sample their wares. There’s always room for vegan ice cream in a vegan waffle cone!

If you’re looking for further non food recommendations may I suggest :

Marienkirche - the oldest church in Berlin. It's worth sticking your head in the door to peek at the dance of death fresco.

Rotes Rathaus - Berlin's town hall. Entry is free and there's lots of lovely art tucked away inside


DDR museum - terrific is you like your museums full of buttons to push and flaps to lift


I could definitely have done with  a few more days (although not sure my aching feet and stuffed belly would have agreed) so I'm thinking about my next trip.

Wishing you all  things green, 
Annastasia