Newly-vegan London pub says their food sales have tripled since going plant-based

Newly-vegan London pub says their food sales have tripled since going plant-based
(Picture: emisgoodeating/Instagram)

Veganuary has been absolutely massive this year.

We’ve seen the opening of London’s first vegan Chinese. Goodfella’s just released the UK’s first ever mainstream vegan frozen pizza. And nearly every chain seems to be bringing out their own range of plant-based sandwiches and wraps.

This month has also seen two London pubs turn 100% vegan.

Veganism isn’t a minority interest anymore.

And if you want further proof that that’s the case, just look at the Blacksmith and Toffeemaker – a pub in Islington which switched to a fully plant-based menu this year.

They’ve just reported that sales are up three-fold.

The pub turned vegan for a variety of reasons, says general manager, Sam Pryor.

‘From a sustainability point of view, it’s tragic to see the huge amount of resources that go into feeding livestock for meat only for us to have to throw unsold meat out once it’s past its use-by date,’ he explains.

Super sweet #35mm shot of the pub in #sunny #autumn #vibes by @rossvincentedwards #35mmfilm #35mmphotography #35mmstreetphotography #london #londonpub #londonpubs #pub #autumnleaves #autumn🍁 #autumn2017

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‘No matter how smart you are with ordering, there is always waste where meat and dairy products are involved. This aspect isn’t really seen by the customer but most people in the trade would acknowledge that it is a big issue.’

While reducing food waste was a key driver (they’ve also stopped using plastic straws), Sam says that animal welfare and ‘horrifying’ intensive farming was also a major consideration.

So, on 5 January, the meat grinder got thrown out and a new menu was brought in which saw things like ‘Green Mac ‘n’ Cheese and ‘Halloumi’ and kimchi burgers come to the fore.

NEWS #vegan #veganfood #veganuary #londonvegan #plantbased #crueltyfree #foodbank #veganrecipes #veganeats #vegansofinstagram #veganism #veganfoodie #veganlunch #vegantreats #vegantravel #veganlondon #veganuary2018

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In fact, Sam claims that customers actually seem to prefer their new vegan mac ‘n’ cheese to the old dairy-filled one.

Going vegan has clearly paid off for the pub.


‘Everything we make we sell. Any increase in ingredient prices are offset by the lack of waste and we basically have free marketing courtesy of the incredibly supportive vegan community. Everyone is willing us to succeed which is something you just don’t get with any other crowd.’

So, will the Toffeemaker be staying vegan after January?

London now has 2️⃣ vegan pubs. Two! This is the @blacksmith_and_toffeemaker in Islington near Angel. We went with nonvegan friends and got one of everything. We all enjoyed it. Sublimely pubby food complete with fries and polenta chips. I got the halloumi kimchi burger 🍔. Oh and green Mac n cheese. And there’s vegan 🍷 🍻 🍺 booze too. Swipe ➡️ to see more 📷 and the full menu. Place was full – vegans and non vegans. And the staff were lovely and super friendly. Definitely good times 🎉🎊

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‘We are 100% staying vegan for as long as the pub is standing,’ says Sam, who fully expects his customer base to increase.

‘Organisations such as Veganuary are increasing the profile of veganism in the UK all the time and the number of people choosing a vegan diet is growing exponential.’


MORE: Domino’s keeps running of vegan pizzas because Aussies are all living their best vegan lives

MORE: Asda launches new vegan range that’s perfect for your lunchbox

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London Coffee Week

There’s a reason why the Espresso Martini is one of our favourite cocktails – we simply love coffee!

And it isn’t just us. Dick Bradsell – creator of the much-loved cocktail – said that the Martini was a big hit with his creative partner-in-crime, a well-known young lady who walked into his bar in the late 1980s, asking for a drink that would “Wake me up, and then f**k me up.”

Who was that ‘well-known lady’, you ask? Well, although Dick hasn’t officially told anyone her identity, he did confirm in a widely-circulated video that it was none other than the supermodel, Kate Moss.

Great taste in fashion and drinks? No wonder we love you, Kate.

Sadly, we can’t 100% confirm that it was indeed Kate that was in Dick’s bar that fateful night (sorry!). What we can confirm, on the other hand, is that we know what it takes to make a bloody good coffee cocktail! And, in celebration of London Coffee Week, we’re going to clue you in as well…

First off, forget all that skinny caramel macchiato nonsense, at the end of the day what makes a great coffee cocktail is just that, great coffee – or as it’s commonly known, coffee liqueur.

Coffee liqueur is a serious business, and it has been for a very, very long time. It’s believed that the marriage of coffee and alcohol dates as far back as 800 A.D, when African tribes started fermenting coffee-berry pulp into, get this, coffee wine. Yeh, doesn’t sound too appetizing…but it’s a pretty good start!

It wasn’t until the mid 17th century that coffee began its much-needed journey from sludgy berry pulp to delicious distilled spirit as, around this time, the enterprising Dutch were beginning to commercialize that new-fangled art of distillation.

The story goes that the Dutch, who had amassed quite the empire at this time, were wondering what to do with all their spoiled bitter oranges imported from the West Indies? One solution was to add them to the alcohol they were distilling to camouflage the vile taste of rotgut…of course, now it just tasted vile AND bitter – so they decided to add another novelty that arrived with colonization, cane sugar. They then discovered that if they redistilled the rotgut alcohol a couple more times, the vile flavour disappeared – Voila, Orange Liqueur!

But it didn’t end there. After discovering this magical infusion, the Dutch decided to try out some of the other exciting, foreign ingredients that they were importing from their far-reaching empire – ingredients that included our favourite caffeinated friend, coffee!

It’s no exaggeration to state that the Dutch invented Liqueur. The Clever-clogs.

It didn’t take long for news of these tasty liqueurs to spread through Europe, and it did…quickly. England was bowled over with this marvel and, by the end of 17th century, the drinking of liqueurs had spread as far as Italy and France.

Of course, we’ve progressed a lot since the rotgut alcohol days of the 17th century (at least, we hope), and so have our coffee liqueurs. Today, we have a wide range of liqueurs to choose from with an exciting pool of alcohol bases – from vodka and rum, to gin and tequila.

Here are some of our absolute favourites that are certain to add that much-needed kick to your coffee creation:

– £29.95

Enough with the history, this is a modern coffee liqueur for the ‘cold-pressed’ crowd.

Mr Black uses the finest beans are sourced from Papua New Guinea, Ethiopia and Brazil and roasted to an exact specification to ensure the rich flavour and caramelisation. These beans are then cold-pressed to give a less acidic brew with a rounder mouthfeel. The final product is then combined with pure Australian Grain spirit to give this dark rich liqueur an amazing coffee flavour.

Hints of toffee and marmalade are also present with a fine citrus edge to finish. They haven’t just concentrated on the liqueur though. The bottle itself is literally a work of art. Australian artist Dale Bigeni illustrated a striking owl design for the Mr Black bottle. Beautiful and delicious.

– £21.95

In the small Welsh village of Abergwyngregyn, Aber Falls Distillery is the first Distillery in North Wales for more than a century. Making products that take inspiration from the area’s heritage and history, the bottle design features a Triquetra, also known as a trinity knot, inspired by Celtic symbology.

Aber Falls Coffee & Dark Chocolate, inspired by the iconic Espresso Martini, balances aromatic coffee with the bitter dark chocolate – creating a deliciously rich and velvety liqueur with a sweet finish.

A perfect liqueur for anyone looking to enhance their creations with indulgently smooth chocolate flavours – which is pretty much everyone, we think.

– £26.95

XO Cafe is one of the most recent additions to Patron’s range and has quickly grown in popularity.

Created by blending the Silver range with natural coffee essence, look out for the flavour of chocolate and vanilla and of course ground coffee.

Why not celebrate Cinco de Mayo with a Patron XO inspired Espresso Martini? It’ll certainly keep you dancing…

– £29.95

Pirate’s Grog Black Ei8ht Coffee Rum Liqueur is an incredibly smooth and unique spirit with a twist.

Made by blending Pirate’s Grog five-year-old Honduran rum with Brazilian cold-brew coffee, this is an elegantly balanced blend with notes of chocolate, caramel and a hint of toffee.

The rum liqueur was originally created for the perfect Espresso Rumtini, but tastes fantastic as a digestif, straight up over ice or as a coffee liqueur.

In the words of Miss Moss, hope these wake you up and…well, you know how the saying goes.


The post London Coffee Week appeared first on 31Discover.


The London Wine Week Hub

They’ll be transforming their urban oasis into a wine-filled garden where you can kick back and bask in sunshine with a cold glass of something delicious in the shadow of the Shard.

The newest foodie hub in Bankside, Flat Iron Square is home to a tantalising line-up of bars, food vendors, restaurants, street food trucks, outdoor space and a live music venue. From Tuesday to Sunday of LWW you’ll find us in their garden – a partially covered yard with feasting tables, it’s own cabin and easy access to the Food Arch where we’ll be recommending pairings to all the wonderful wine partners who’ll be joining us.

So what’s happening in the hub? 
For starters, Loire Valley Wines will be serving up one of their region’s most iconic varieties at the ‘Muscadet Truck’. 

Freixenet will be looking after your rosé cravings with its Vintage Van serving up pink fizz – WOO!

Pol Roger is parking up in a land rover to serve jeroboams of Champagne alongside a vast selection of their still wines. 

Or… start your evening with a refreshing glass of this summer’s must-have aperitif – white port and tonic – from Graham’s. Yum.

Onsite wine bar Tap & Bottle will be handing over the keys to iconic merchants Berry Bros. and Rudd for the Tuesday and Wednesday evening for their first ever pop-up wine bar, then come Thursday you can retreat from the outside world and make it your first port of call for a LWW £5 flight.

Friday night we’ll see the regal return of the Rogue Terrace – bringing those Fri-YAY vibes they’ll have DJs spinning vinyl all weekend and lashings of vermouth for you to quaff.

And if you’re looking for a place to catch the Royal Wedding… the London Wine Week Hub will be the place to be. We’ll be celebrating the royal couplee with a screening of the nuptials, a dedicated menu of fizz and cake, and a good old fashioned knees up through till the evening.

The Hub is open to all and free to attend throughout the week howeverFestival Pass holders will benefit from a discounted price point of wines starting from just £5. 


Twitter appeal reunites man with pay packet he left in London pub

Mariusz (centre) is reunited with his wages after he left them in the Alexandra, Wimbledon Photograph: The Alexandra, Wimbledon

Twitter appeal reunites man with pay packet he left in London pub

Alexandra pub’s tweet went viral after Mariusz, a construction worker, left his £600 wages on floor before Christmas

The search for a man who left his pay packet in a west London pub before Christmas has ended in success after he came forward to claim the money.

Thousands of people appealed on social media over the Christmas break to find Mariusz, a Polish construction worker, who left his £600 wages on the floor in the Alexandra pub in Wimbledon, south London, on 21 December.

December 27, 2017

“It was quite anticlimactic after all that searching. He just walked into the pub and said, ‘I’m Mariusz and I think you’ve got my money.’ Apparently he went back to Poland over Christmas, but he didn’t tell his wife he’d lost his paycheck,” pub manager Mick Dore told the Guardian.

“He was a lovely bloke and he had tears in his eyes when he came in. Mariusz said his son had seen a photo of the envelope on social media and asked if it was him,” he added.

Dore, who runs the pub with his wife, Sarah, tweeted last Friday:

The Alexandra (@TheAlexSW19)

Somebody lost their Crimbo wage packet in here last night. We found it, and we’ve got it. Let us know the name on the front, how much, and which bar it was in, and it’s yours. Please RT so we can get this fella his Christmas wages back.

December 22, 2017

The appeal went viral after Harry Potter author, JK Rowling, and entertainer Alan Carr retweeted the post to their millions of followers.

After claiming the money on Wednesday afternoon, Mariusz left a £50 tip for the waiter who found the pay packet on the floor of the pub last Thursday.