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.’


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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.


Car ploughs into revellers queuing outside North London pub

Four men have been arrested after a car knocked pedestrians over “like dominoes” in a busy area of North London.

Three people were hospitalised after they were hit by the vehicle on Essex Road, Islington, late on Saturday night. Their injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

Two knives were also found in the car and nearby, police said.

The victims were lining up to go into the Old Queen’s Head pub when the car came along at speed.

A witness who was in the queue told the Mail Online: “The car came screeching round the corner at about 50mph and was coming straight for me.

“I pushed over the barriers and fell to the floor as the car smashed into three people in front of me. They were knocked over like dominoes.

“Everyone was screaming as the driver then drove off.”

Police said the car’s occupants fled the scene on foot.

Old Queens Head pub
The incident occurred outside the busy Old Queen’s Head pub in IslingtonGoogle/screengrab

The witness added: “It definitely looked deliberate and we all thought it was a terror attack.”

The pub’s bouncers let everyone back inside, she said, and the emergency services arrived shortly after.

A police spokesman said: “Four males, aged between 17 and 19, have since been arrested on suspicion of a variety of offences including GBH with intent and possession of points and blades. All four remain in custody.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Islington Police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Queens head police
Police officers on Essex Road, North London, where a car crashed into pedestriansShulem Stern


Police officer ‘stabbed in leg by robber outside south London pub’

Police officer 'stabbed in leg by robber outside south London pub'
The policeman was stabbed outside a pub on The High Street in Sutton, south London (Picture: Google)

A police officer has been stabbed in his leg as he wrestled with a suspect after a robbery in south London.

Police were called shortly before 7pm to reports of a knife-point robbery close to St James Road, in Sutton.

Officers found the victim and later identified a suspect who fled on foot.

The man was caught by officers and as they tried to arrest him outside a pub on the High Street, a policeman was stabbed in his leg.

His injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

Police officer 'stabbed in leg by robber outside south London pub'
A man was arrested on suspicion of causing GBH and robbery (Picture: Google)

The man was arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm and robbery.

He has been taken to a south-west London police station where he remains in custody.

The victim of the robbery was also taken to hospital with minor injuries. He was not stabbed.

Chief Superintendent Robyn Williams, Borough commander for Sutton, said: ‘Thankfully, incidents of this nature are rare.

‘However, they highlight the risks officers face on a daily basis whilst carrying out their duties.

‘Officers regularly run towards danger in order to protect the public; for one to be assaulted in such a way is totally unacceptable, and it is only by luck that his injuries were not more serious.

‘Our thoughts are with the officer, his family and colleagues.’

Anyone who witnessed either the robbery or the stabbing and is yet to speak with officers is asked to contact police via 101. They can also call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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Polish man reunited with Christmas money lost in London pub thanks to viral appeal

Polish man reunited with Christmas money lost in London pub thanks to viral appeal

After millions of people from as far afield as Australia and the Philippines stepped in to help the £600 pay packet was returned to its rightful owner (Photo: Tobias Alexander)

After millions of people from as far afield as Australia and the Philippines stepped in to help the £600 pay packet was returned to its rightful owner (Photo: Tobias Alexander)

A Polish man who accidentally left his Christmas bonus in a London pub has been reunited with the cash following a social media campaign to track him down.

When a member of staff at the Alexandra pub in Wimbledon, south-west London, discovered a brown envelope containing hundreds of pounds beneath a chair last Thursday, managers Sarah and Mick Dore launched an online appeal in hopes of returning the money to its rightful owner.

The only information the couple had to go on was the name “Mariusz” scribbled on the envelope.

Posting a photo to Facebook with the name concealed, the managers wrote “If this person can tell me which bar it was in, what the name on the front is and how much cash [is] in there…they can come and get it.”

The Dores announced on Wednesday that after millions of people from as far afield as Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines viewed and shared the message via Facebook and Twitter, the £600 pay packet was returned to the correct Mariusz.

“In probably the most understated and anti-climatic end to a saga in history, Mariusz walked into our sports bar and said ‘I’m Mariusz and I think you’ve got my money’,” the Dores said.
Mariusz, who returned home for Christmas and does not use social media, said he was alerted to the campaign by his son.

He was able to confirm which chair he’d sat on and the amount contained in the envelope “to the penny”.

“It is 100 per cent him,” the managers said.

The “incredibly relieved” worker had not informed his wife he had lost his wages as “he didn’t want [any] stress over Christmas” said the couple, who revealed that Mariusz left a “hefty tip” for the bartender who found the money.

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Jack White to perform free gig at London pub today

Jack White has announced a free London show which will take place today (28 March) at 5pm.  The rock musician is celebrating the release of his third solo album Boarding House Reach with the gig at the historic George Inn, near London Bridge.  Entry to the show is free – doors open from 3.30pm and the gig will be a first-come, first-served basis. 

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