What being vegan actually means…

What being vegan actually means…


No, it doesn’t just mean you eat hummus all day…

vegan

The number of vegans in Britain has risen by more than 360 per cent over the past decade, with more and more people switching to either a full on vegan diet or plant-based way of life. Along the way, this spike in vegan converts has sparked a fair few debates including discussion around whether a vegan diet is more, or less healthy, what counts as veganism (are eggs included or not?) and so on.

So, to help dispel fact from fiction, we have put together a helpful guide to equip you with all the info you need before you decide to embark on a new way of eating. And have asked Go Vegan World’s founder Sandra Higgins and nutrition expert, Luciano Venezia, Co-Founder of EDO – an app designed to help vegans with their daily choices – to talk further about veganism so that we can uncover the myths from the facts.

What is veganism?

Sandra says: ‘Veganism means non-violence. It describes a way of living in alignment with the value of justice that avoids causing unnecessary harm to all sentient life. There is no ingredient in the lives or bodies of other animals that humans need for their health or wellbeing. Therefore, we use other animals for reasons of taste, pleasure, convenience and tradition.

Every year 7 billion humans breed and kill 70 billion land animals and kill trillions of fish for food. Therefore, while veganism is not a diet, how we eat greatly affects other animals. Vegans avoid participating in unnecessary violence by not using or viewing other animals as food, clothing, entertainment, research tools or objects.

The greatest problem on earth today is the notion that some lives matter less than others. We imagine that non-human lives hardly matter at all. We live as though our difference from other species entitles us to use them and that they exist for our benefit. This view is not only inaccurate, it is unethical.’

Luciano takes a similar stance, ‘Put simply, being a vegan means eating only plant based foods, excluding all animal products such as meat (including fish, shellfish and insects), dairy, eggs and even honey.

There are a number of different types of ‘vegan’ and of course a number of different reasons why an individual would choose to follow a vegan diet. Some choose to go vegan to avoid the exploitation of animals, others are concerned about the environmental impact of the dairy industry, while others prefer a vegan diet for health reasons.’

vegan

How healthy is a vegan diet?

Sandra explains, ‘All the major world nutrition and dietetics associations declare that a plant diet, devoid of any animal products, can meet all our nutritional requirements, and help prevent and treat some of the most significant burdens of disease in the Western World including heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.

A growing body of clinical evidence is demonstrating that animal foods contribute to human disease and premature mortality and that a plant diet confers significant health benefits. The meat, egg, fish and dairy industries have been promoting their products to us as healthy foods because they profit from doing so. It is our human right to be aware that these products contribute very significantly to our risk of developing disease and decreasing our lifespan.

In practice, a plant diet contains foods ranging from the everyday lasagne, shepherd’s pie and pizza to the luxurious gourmet plant cheeses, ice creams, and chocolates. There is a delicious alternative to every animal product including flesh, fish, dairy and eggs.’

Luciano adds, ‘Those who follow a plant-based diet typically have lower levels of cholesterol and blood pressure, a lower body mass index, and reduced risk of death from heart disease and cancer.

However it is important to note that when following a vegan diet it can be more difficult to supply your body with the right amount of nutrients each day. Therefore those who choose to go vegan should carefully plan their meals each day and include a wide variety of highly nourishing foods.

Particularly, as a vegan, there are three crucial areas to be aware of day-to-day:

Protein

When following a plant-based diet you may find that at first you struggle to get enough protein. The good news is that there is plenty vegan protein sources such as natural soy, lentils, beans, quinoa, and seitan.

Calcium

The NIH recommends that adults between the ages of 19 and 50 get a minimum of 1,000 mg of calcium a day. For vegans to be able to achieve this the key is eating a variety of naturally calcium-rich foods such as kale, bok choy, almonds, soy beans and figs as well as calcium-fortified foods such as cereals, plant-based milks, and tofu.

Iron

Iron deficiency is common among vegans, because they are not swapping red meat with other foods which provide the mineral. The best way to prevent the deficiency is by eating plenty of whole grains and legumes, as these are packed with Iron. It’s also sensible to consume foods with sources of Vitamin C, such as strawberries, citrus fruits, cabbage and leafy greens, as this dramatically improves the rate at which your body absorbs iron.’

One simple way to help achieve this balance is by switching to an oat m*lk that not only helps limit your impact on the planet (without meat and dairy consumption, we would collectively need 3.1 billion hectares *less* farmland to produce our food – an area equivalent to the U.S., Chine, the EU and Australia combined!) but will also help you get your daily intake of fibre, zinc, folate, iron and magnesium. However, not all oat milks are created euqal, so be sure to go for one that isn’t laden with sugar and other unnecessary additives. We love Plenish Organic Oat M*ilk, £2.00, which has only three ingredients (oats, filtered water and a pich of sea salt) and tastes amazing.

To really see the effects of dairy consumption, try their online carbon calculator , where you can calculate the environmental impacts of Plenish milks compared to the average milk consumed in the UK. It really is eye-opening…

vegan

Vegan apps

Luciano gives his insight, ‘Following a strict vegan diet can be very challenging. For example, the additive E1105 is Lysozyme (found in many common foods) is almost always extracted from eggs; and not many vegans recognise this when making food choices. There are also lots of non-vegan wines and beers on the shops shelves which are made using processed animal products.

Today, there are lots of amazing websites, devices and apps which can support and guide vegans with their food choices.

For instance, the EDO app carefully evaluates food labels using a unique algorithm, to provide users with information about food which is tailored to their dietary preferences, intolerances, and allergies. So, by using EDO, vegans can easily discover if a product is 100% vegan – and, if not, find out which are the ingredients that have caused the incompatibility. The app therefore takes the work out of eating well for vegans, and helps to guide them to make healthier food choices.’

vegab

Vegan recipes

Sandra shares her tips, ‘Just because you’re vegan, that doesn’t mean you can’t still have a fantastic meal. There’s free access to thousands of recipes online and there are some excellent vegan cookbooks on the market. Go Vegan World has its own free downloadable guide, which contains recipes and a weekly meal plan. It also includes tips on how to substitute animal foods and choose other products such as clothing and cosmetics.’

Luciano also adds, ‘Contrary to popular belief a vegan diet doesn’t have to be boring or tasteless! There are many amazing recipes that I’ve tried, including Vegan Shepard’s Pie, Chickpea Curry and Vegan Vanilla Fudge Cupcakes.

Whenever I’m looking for inspiration, one of my all-time favourite vegan recipe sources is Jamie Oliver’s website.’

EDO is available to download on iPhone (App Store) and Android (Google Play). Used by over 400,000 people in Italy, it starts at £30 for a yearly subscription. 

The post What being vegan actually means… appeared first on Marie Claire.

Costa’s festive menu is here and it’s exactly what we want for Christmas

Costa’s festive menu is here and it’s exactly what we want for Christmas


There’s so much more to it than gingerbread lattes

costa christmas menu
Credit: Costa

The countdown to Christmas starts that bit earlier every year. Halloween is still weeks away and yet we’re already pining after the best beauty advent calendars and shopping for these amazing Harry Potter baubles.

Oh, and have you heard about the Aldi chocolate wine? We’re already planning to stock up when it goes on sale.

But things aren’t stopping there. Festive cheer – and menus – are cropping up everywhere, and Costa has just released a list of their own merry offerings, and we can’t wait to try it all.

Making a comeback this year are the black forest hot chocolate and the gingerbread and cream lattes, alongside some new flavours including caramelised orange and cream, hazelnut praline and cream, and gingerbread and cream – all of which are available as hot chocolates or as lattes.

Customers will also be able to get their hands on a luxury hot chocolate, described as ‘small but beautifully formed rich, dark and decadent.’ Fancy.

costa christmas menu

Credit: Costa

For coffee lovers, there will be a festive roast blend to sing to your tastebuds, but if you’d prefer something a little different you could try the new hot spiced apple or hot caramel drinks on offer.

There are also some sweet and savoury treats available, such as gluten free vegan mince tarts, gluten free vegan iced fruit slices, gingerbread and sticky toffee wreath cakes and clementine drizzle loaf cakes.

Plus a special mention to the pigs in blankets mac’n’cheese. Drool.

And let’s not forget a rather extensive variety of Christmas sandwiches, which also cater to veggies and vegans, will be hitting the shelves, fan faves being the Christmas cheese board panini and the veggie Christmas lunch wrap which includes sweet potato falafel with Wensleydale and cranberry cheese and spiced plum chutney.

The menu, as well as the Costa Christmas themed cups, launch on November 1st.

We’re ready and waiting…

The post Costa’s festive menu is here and it’s exactly what we want for Christmas appeared first on Marie Claire.

Sainsbury’s launch a cheese advent calendar and it’s a yes from us


*Starts the Christmas countdown immediately*

cheese
Credit: Photo by REX/Shutterstock

Words by Jadie Troy-Pryde

Christmas is coming, and the countdown is most definitely on. For the skincare and beauty buffs out there, you’ve got beauty advent calendars and beauty crackers to see you through the season. If festive booze is more your bag, you need to check out this Aldi chocolate wine. And if you want to make it a truly magical holiday, then you’ll be booking yourself a spot at the new Harry Potter bar.

But for many of us, Christmas = cheese. And lots of it.

So thankfully, Sainsbury’s has launched a delicious cheese advent calendar for fondue fanatics everywhere.

Whether your favourite cheese is a nice bit of Applewood, or you’re more inclined to go for a classic Cheddar, there’s something for everyone.

The 24 day calendar offers a daily nibble of the good stuff, with a range of seven cheese types – from Jarlsberg, Applewood and Edam, to Red Leicester, Wensleydale and Cheddar.

sainsburys cheese advent calendar

Credit: Sainsbury’s

Plus, there’s an exclusive bite waiting behind one of those doors – Wensleydale with gingerbread. Interesting…

All you need to do is pop the advent calendar in the fridge and enjoy a bite a day throughout December.

Sound like your kinda thing? Same.

You’ll be able to get hold of your own cheesey advent calendar from November 14th, and it comes in at a very reasonable £10.

Add crackers and a nice helping of chutney, or if you’d prefer enjoy the individual chunks by themselves because, let’s face it, sometimes you just want cheese without faff.

Either way, we’ve got a feeling it’s going to make the countdown to Christmas brie-lly fun (sorry).

The post Sainsbury’s launch a cheese advent calendar and it’s a yes from us appeared first on Marie Claire.

Aldi is selling chocolate wine for Christmas and we’re here for it

Aldi is selling chocolate wine for Christmas and we’re here for it


Merry Christmas indeed

christmas tree with wine bottles
Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

Words by Jadie Troy-Pryde

Every now and then, something rare and magical enters our lives and we’re forever changed. Like when this incredible Harry Potter bar popped up (complete with wand-made cocktails, no less). Or when these gorgeous beauty advent calendars turned up to make the countdown to Christmas even better.

And now, we’re being treated to something extra special in time for the festive season, courtesy of Aldi.

The supermarket have decided to marry two of our favourite things to create something truly unique – chocolate wine.

Yep, masterminds have been working hard to create the drink that blends Tempranilla grapes and chocolate essence, with a subtle helping of spice, vanilla and fresh cherries.

Now, it might sound like an unusual combination, but considering it costs just £9.99 we’re willing to give it a shot.

Plus, it was awarded ‘silver outstanding’ for quality in the International Wine and Spirit Competition, so we’re sold.

aldi chocolate wine

Credit: Rubis

Rubis, the brand behind the brilliance, says: “Our chocolate wine is an unforgettable taste sensation – extraordinary in every way.

“Surprising, distinctive and deliciously decadent it satisfies the curious and rewards the adventurous.”

The chocolate wine launches on November 14th, and it’s fair to say that they’ll no doubt be flying off the shelves the minute they land.

So if we were you, we’d put the date in your diaries now.

If you’re not quite convinced, Aldi currently has another treat in store for you. Enter the pumpkin spice Irish cream liqueur, which comes in at a mere £6.99, and includes ‘hints of cinnamon and nutmeg’.

We’re here for both, tbh.

The post Aldi is selling chocolate wine for Christmas and we’re here for it appeared first on Marie Claire.

This sausage dog cake has just made birthday parties so much cuter

This sausage dog cake has just made birthday parties so much cuter


Move over Colin the Caterpillar.

sausage dog cake
Sabine Schurhagel/imageBROKER/REX/Shutterstock

Be still our beating hearts, Sainsbury’s has just launched the best cake of all time. There’s always going to be a time and place for a beautiful floral gateau, but we’re all about the brand new sausage dog cakes that have just been released. They’re genuinely making us a little emotional and they’ve even named the little pupper, so say hello and get ready to eat Sammy the Sausage Dog.

He (or she, Sammy could stand for Samantha) is absolutely adorable and it definitely doesn’t hurt that the cake’s pretty affordable, priced at just £10. It also sounds positively delicious, as Sammy’s made from a chocolate sponge filled with chocolate flavoured buttercream — topped off with icing and a cute edible collar.

Sainsbury’s Sammy the Sausage Dog Cake

sausage dog cake

Priced at £10, available at Sainsbury’s

Buy now

According to Sainsbury’s, people all over the world are totally mad for sausage dogs as there’s currently over 2.7 million Instagram posts about them. Even before this cake dropped, searches for ‘sausage dog items’ on their website alone had spiked by 65%. They basically created this cake to give the people what they want and we for one are grateful to them for it.

They’ve also released a couple of other fun cakes, including a smiley Debra the Zebra and my personal favourite – NANCY THE NARWHAL. Who said unicorns had to have all the fun? Both Debra and Nancy are Madeira sponge cakes filled with raspberry jam and Sainsbury’s is totally speaking my language RN.

Sainsbury’s Debra the Zebra Cake

sausage dog cake

Priced at £12, available at Sainsbury’s

Buy now

Sainsbury’s Nancy the Narwhal Cake

sausage dog cake

Priced at £12, available at Sainsbury’s

Buy now

So, if you’ve been charged with buying the office birthday cake – put that uninspired frosted cake down because you’ve got cuter options now.

Honestly, who could say no to those little icing eyes?

The post This sausage dog cake has just made birthday parties so much cuter appeared first on Marie Claire.

The most fun & innovative advent calendar ideas for kids

The most fun & innovative advent calendar ideas for kids


(And big kids, ofc)

Advent calendar
Advent calendar

By Rebecca Fearn.

Advent calendars have come on leaps and bounds since when we were kids. It’s no longer just about your average Dairy Milk option (although these are still great); now advent calendars span across all categories, from food to toys and stationary. Scroll on to browse our best selection of kid-friendly advent calendars 2018…

Hotel Chocolat Up To Snow Good Calendar

How much is it?

£8

When can I buy it?

Now, at Hotel Chocolat.

Want to upgrade slightly from the classic Dairy Milk purchase? This is delish, and how cute is the name?!

Selfridges The Art File Christmas Tree Calendar

 

How much is it?

£12

When can I buy it?

Now, at Selfridges.

If you have a child who’s super creative and into art, this is the one for them. Each window opens to unveil a beautiful festive-themed picture.

 

Selfridges The Art File Nutcracker Calendar

How much is it?

£12

When can I buy it?

Now, at Selfridges.

Little ballet fans will love this, which opens daily to reveal a super cute dance-themed image.

Haribo Christmas Advent Calendar

How much is it?

£7

When can I buy it?

Now, on Amazon.

Want to gift someone cute and little a sweet treat but not chocolate? Who wouldn’t love this Haribo calendar?!

 

Amazon Handmade Solid Oak Advent Calendar

How much is it?

£75

When can I buy it?

Now, on Amazon.

Yes, this is a rather boujee option. But it’ll last for years to come; think of it as an investment. The wooden frame comes with metallic hanging sacks which can be filled with your chosen gifts.

Paw Patrol Advent Calendar

 

How much is it?

£25

When can I buy it?

Now, at Argos.

Kids can collect a tiny figure each day and by Christmas they’ll have a full set to create a scene. That’s basically their present done, right?

Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar

How much is it?

£24.99

When can I buy it?

Now, at Argos.

The Christmas essential for Star Wars fans who love lego.

 

Peppa Pig Advent Calendar

 

 

How much is it?

£19.99

When can I buy it?

Now, at Argos.

Peppa Pig is just about the cutest thing around for kids so delight fans of the sweet pink character with this.

 

Disney Princess Advent Calendar

How much is it?

£16

When can I buy it?

Now, at Boots.

We honestly can’t think of anything we’d have loved more than this as kids. Disney just transcends time…

 

12 Days of Fizzmas Many Moods Bath Advent Calendar

How much is it?

£20

When can I buy it?

Now, at Boots.

Perfect for the little beauty fan in your life; it’s never too early to learn how to pamper yourself!

 

Create A Charm Bracelet Advent Calendar

 

How much is it?

£20

When can I buy it?

Now, on Not On The High Street.

This is great for slightly older kids who love to get in touch with their creative sides.

Personalised Christmas Playlist Advent Calendar

How much is it?

£18

When can I buy it?

Now, on Not On The High Street.

How cool is this innovative idea? Behind every door is a unique Spotify code to play a different festive song in the run up to Christmas.

The post The most fun & innovative advent calendar ideas for kids appeared first on Marie Claire.

48 seriously cool places to have brunch in London

48 seriously cool places to have brunch in London


Marie Claire’s guide to the best breakfasts and brunches in the Big Smoke

Brunches in London

From beautiful bowls of granola to hangover fry ups (and everything in between) we’ve rounded up London’s best breakfasts and brunches, where the food is both delicious and highly Instagrammable.

London’s best breakfast places

Kettner’s Townhouse, Soho

You wouldn’t necessarily expect to find peace and tranquillity in Soho, but Kettner’s Townhouse offers exactly that. Less than five minutes away from Leicester Square tube station, the restaurant, champagne bar and 33 bedroom townhouse offers breakfast every day from 7am-12pm. Kettner’s serves classics such as Eggs Royale (£12) or a Full English (£8/£14), as well offering the particularly indulgent option of adding Exmoor caviar to the dishes.

We were blown away by the sheer number of freshly made juices and smoothies that Kettner’s offers, too – the Energy botanical (£4.50), with its mix of orange, mango, passionfruit, ginger, lime, cacao, maca perked us up and the Matcha shake (£5) was a delicious creamy healthy(ish) option to end our meal.

Christopher’s, Covent Garden

Nestled in the heart of Theatreland, Covent Garden staple Christopher’s has one of the most expansive brunch menus that this seasoned brunch fan has ever encountered – and quality is just as great as the quantity.

In the sun-filled dining room, we were treated to superlative riffs on brunch staples from all over the culinary map. The Superfood Brunch menu means that even those who don’t see weekends as a chance to indulge will be in heaven: we loved the Born To Be Green super smoothie (£7) and the Avocado and Tomato Toast, with its perfectly poached egg on top (£10).

If you fancy something more decadent, Christopher’s has also got your back here, too. The Lobster Benedict (£24) is generously laden with the most tender lobster, while the Milk Chocolate Brioche French Toast (£12) was out of this world… a heady combination of copious amounts of melted chocolate, brioche, ice cream. Combine this with the fact that a separate Build Your Own Pancake menu exists, and it’s clear that Christopher’s also caters for those with a sweet tooth.

Make sure you combine your meal with a cocktail – it would be frankly rude not to, thanks to Christopher’s famous Martini Bar. We tried an incredible signature dirty martini, as well as a Vesper (named after the character from Casino Royale), which managed to combine vodka and gin without either becoming overpowering. Thanks to its delicious food and brilliant service, Christopher’s, a dinner-must for over 25 years, is now definitely one of our go-tos for brunch.

Aqua Shard, London Bridge

It’s hard to beat the 360 views of London from level 31 of The Shard, home to its cavernous two-storey restaurant Aqua. And now there’s a brand new brunch menu to try as you drink in those uninterrupted views across St Paul’s and watch toy-sized trains far below sliding in and out of London Bridge.

The new brunch offering is a push-the-boat out affair featuring truffle, lobster and Wagyu beef. At £48 for 3 courses, it’s also one to be lingered over well into lunchtime, as smaller breakfast-friendly starters of buttermilk pancakes and a dinky eggs benedict lead into main courses of beef sirloin, Scottish lobster thermidor and a decadent truffle-laced bubble and squeak. If you’ve still got room to spare there’s a pudding menu of white chocolate and lime cheesecake, brownies and treacle tart.

Just as well there’s a lift to take you back down those 31 floors…

WOLF, Stoke Newington

For all you East Londoners, we have found your new go-to brunch spot. WOLF, located on super hip Stoke Newington High Street, celebrates authentic Italian food – and, boy, does it celebrate it in style.

Standard brunch ingredients like eggs and sausages are of course on the menu at WOLF, but head chef Karla Knowles (formerly of Petersham Nurseries) has turned these old favourites into new classics. Each element of our fennel sausage dish with deep fried egg, flat gnocchi and caramelised tropea onions (£10) was delicious both individually and combined, while my guest and I actually fought over each rich and salty morsel of the broken eggs with anchovies and capers (£7.00). We finished our meal with the banana bread (£7.50), where sour rhubarb and the comforting softness of the marscapone working together as the perfect foil for the banana.

We also have to give the drinks a huge shout out – not only does WOLF offer a ‘bottomless brunch’ with either their Aperol cocktail or takes on a Bloody Mary or Bellini, their cocktail menu is the stuff of dreams. Each drink was developed in house: the combination of cardamom-spiced rum, cinnamon and pineapple juice in the ‘Ananas Speziato’ (£9.00) was totally incredible.

WOLF also offers a dinner menu, so regardless of the time of day, you can savour a meal in a restaurant where food really is king.

Granary Square Brasserie, Kings Cross

If you haven’t done brunch at the Granary Square Brasserie – the new restaurant from the team behind The Ivy Collection -then get in now. Slap bang in the heart of Kings Cross, by the famous fountains next to Regent’s Canal, it’s the perfect pit stop to refuel in one of the City’s most vibrant locations.

It’s a place that celebrates, no, revels in its all-day dining concept seven days a week. The delicious all day brunch menu at weekends ranges from classic breakfast favourites  such as home-made granola and Eggs Benedict, to an exquisite range of lighter offerings (think Crispy duck salad to Tuna Carpaccio) and more substantial meals (classic Fish Pie with salmon, cod and smoked haddock, a Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder with roast vegetables and delicious steaks including an incredible Cote de Boeuf ). High on our recommendation list is The Hake – the best fish dish we’ve had in ages and the Shrimp and Scallop burger is to die for.

Go for the weekend brunch menu (until 4pm) and experience the resident DJ by the central cocktail bar in the heart of the restaurant as you settle into the sumptuous velvet banquette seats with a Bloody Mary. If dining ‘al fresco’ is your thing, check out the terrace for views across Regent’s Canal. With its coloured parasols you can almost believe you’re in the Riviera.

Pickled Fred, Shoreditch

What a little gem we’ve discovered hiding 20 seconds from Shoreditch’s Brick Lane. Opening in September Pickled Fred has been dishing up a new take on Asian food with dishes like the incredible roasted cauliflower or beef shin and bone marrow rending, there’s something for all – vegans, vegetarians, gluton-intolerants and carnivores.  So we were extremely pleased to hear they’ve just launched a less than ordinary brunch menu available from 11:30 to 3pm. If you need a change from Eggs Benedict (as delicious as it is) how does this sound – Halloumi Fries with harissa yoghurt and pomegranate; Chermoula Aubergine with labneh, dukkah, pickled cherry tomatoes, rocket, feta and cous cous or a Jackfruit Scotch Egg that will make you seriously question how something that good and convincing could really be meat-free.  Also on offer is a bottomless brunch for £25, you can have a flatbread of your choice with 90 minutes worth of unlimited Bloody Marys, Aperol Spritz or Prosecco.

Dishoom, Covent Garden

best breakfasts london

Dishoom, Covent Garden

The bacon naan has become the stuff of brunch legend in London, with eager queues of early bird city dwellers vying for a table. Luckily they serve coffee in the queue.

The Social Pantry, Clapham

best brunch london

There’s a friendly neighbourhood feel to this chic, award-winning independent cafe on Lavender Hill. It’s also a great compromise if the group you’re meeting up with includes both a hungover pal in need of a salty fry-up and a virtuous yogi who’s been up since seven and wants to mainline some grains. From the ‘something filling’ section of the menu there’s delicious chai-spiced French toast and the full English ‘Pantry’ breakfast, while your yogi friend will love the super-C smoothie bowl.

Ask for Janice, Farringdon

best breakfasts london

Take an early morning stroll (or jog, dare we suggest?!) around the Barbican before heading to the quirky Ask for Janice for brunch, where you can order a breakfast burger in between taking pictures of the kooky but cool interiors.

The Continental Pantry, Notting Hill

Best brunch London

Brunch at The Continental Pantry in Notting Hill

Run by old pals Kate and Maria, The Continental Pantry serves food inspired by the pair’s upbringings in Madrid and London. Pop in first thing for some fresh, crunchy sourdough with butter and jam, or mashed avocado on toast with lemon and smoked salmon.

100 Wardour Street, Wardour Street 

best brunch london

The party never really stops at this 8am – 3am breakfast/lunch/dinner/late night newcomer in the heart of Soho, and rightly so given the building’s history as the site of the old Marquee Club, where The Rolling Stones did their first ever live gig. Saturday brunch is a fun, buzzy affair where bottomless Prosecco is encouraged and the three-course menu mixes classic 11am favourites – smoked salmon and scrambled eggs – with dishes like harissa and agave roasted aubergine. Worth booking in for a long sitting.

Sexy Fish, Berkeley Square

Sexy Fish

Egg and soldiers, Sexy Fish style

Sometimes you need to go all out. And few places cater a more luxurious brunch than London’s hottest Asian eatery, Sexy Fish. The restaurant from the people who brought you The Ivy and J. Sheekey has launched a new brunch menu every Sunday, where the music, food and cocktails flow from 11.30 – 4pm (in case your hangover’s so bad you can’t face the world until mid-afternoon). There are plenty of bespoke twists on brunch classics to tempt you, like the asparagus egg and soldiers (above), but the real must-try is the ‘Sexy Benedict’, a spin on eggs benedict cut through with black charcoal muffin, lobster and truffle. It tastes and looks as decadent as it sounds.

Sartoria, Mayfair

best breakfasts london

Sartoria, Mayfair

Following an extensive refurbishment, Savile Row’s Sartoria re-opened its doors in late 2015 with a brand new breakfast menu to sink your teeth into. With classic Italian cooking – courtesy of renowned Italian chef Francesco Mazzai – our highlight has to be the Eggs Purgatorio, a rich egg baked in a spicy tomato sauce with freshly baked Italian breads on the side.

Village East, Bermondsey

best breakfasts london

Village East, Bermondsey

While it may not be your usual breakfast dish, confit turkey hash with poached eggs and spinach has become a firm favourite at Village East. If you’d rather save turkey for Christmas, then you can order up their Campfire breakfast or the protein-filled Steak & Eggs breakfast right up until 4pm on the weekends.

M Restaurants, Victoria

best breakfasts london

Aurélie Four @photobyA4 / Marcel @lecorgi

Want to go out for brunch but love your dog too much to leave him / her at home? M Restaurants has launched a weekend ‘Dine With Your Dog’ brunch menu at their branch in Victoria, where you and your furry pal can kick off the day together with a two-course brunch and some bottomless bellinis (for you). If you want total immersion in the dog-dining experience you can even partake in the ‘six legs brunch’ menu, which features a specially tailored menu of two courses each – two for you, two for your dog (no Pedigree Chum, we promise), but if that sounds a little close to the bone (sorry) you can leave your dog to the four legs menu and tuck into some quinoa porridge, followed by waffles with maple butter. We took Piper (below) to try it out and she licked the bowl so much she pushed it across the room with her nose. The dog equivalent of a five-star review.

best brunch london

Lobster Bar, Richmond Road

best breakfasts london

Lobster Bar, Richmond Road

Seafood lovers, rejoice! The Lobster Bar in Hackney serves up a variety of seafood brunches (beyond smoked salmon and scrambled eggs.) We recommend the indulgent Lobster Benedict.

Rawduck, Hackney

Best places to have brunch in London

Rawduck might be a cool Hackney breakfast hang-out, but the food shows there’s substance there as well as style. Make sure you order one of the ‘Sparkling Rhurbarb Shrub’ breakfast cocktails.

Urban Coterie, Shoreditch

best breakfasts london

Urban Coterie

On the 17th floor of the futuristic M Building in Shoreditch – which has been built to look like a giant triangular optical illusion – Urban Coterie‘s ‘Brunch with a view’ let’s you tuck into your duck scrambled eggs and hot smoked salmon while looking out across the East London skyline. Designed by Urban Coterie’s Anthony Demetre, a three-course brunch includes bottomless mimosas for £32 (warning: if you’re tucking into the drinks the building will look even weirder on your way out.)

The Clifton, St John’s Wood

the clifton

If you’re up north, dip off a side street on Abbey Road and make your way to The Clifton, a historic 19th century pub. While it was closed for a little while, it’s finally reopened as a modern gastropub and the menu is serious.You’ll get all the regular brunch staples with a dash of the uncommon – smoked hake, anybody?  – and if you’re feeling truly decadent then you can kick off the affair with a cheeky oyster and perfectly spiced Bloody Mary. The portions are pretty major – we had the waffles served with crispy Dingley Dell Bacon and fried duck eggs (naturally topped off with a generous helping of maple syrup) and it could have probably fed two people. There’s no place better than their glass conservatory on a sunny day.

Polpo, Soho

best breakfasts london

Polpo, Soho

With branches in Notting Hill, Covent Garden, Chelsea and Smithfield, as well as the one that we tried in Soho, Polpo is gaining popularity and spreading fast thanks to its Venetian bàcaro menu. The brunch offering, which launched earlier this year, features delicious poached eggs and scafata, ricotta on toasted sourdoughs and brunch pizzettas. As in pizza for breakfast. Need we say more?

ROKA Aldwych

Best places to have brunch in London

ROKA Aldwych

The best breakfasts London has to offer don’t always feature avocado and eggs. The Han Setto weekend brunch at ROKA is perfect if you’ve had enough of that to last you a lifetime. For £59 (which includes a bellini when you arrive and wine) or £43 if you’re off the booze, the brunch features some of the Japanese restaurant’s star dishes, like the raw salmon, avocado and wasabi tobiko maki and the beef, ginger and sesame dumplings. The first course is followed with a Japanese robata grill of fresh fish and meat and a dessert platter. Delish.

The Ivy Kensington Brasserie

Best places to have brunch in London

The Ivy Kensington Brasserie

If the setting for you is just as important as the food, then the beautifully plush Ivy Kensington Brasserie is definitely the place to go if it’s a special occasion. The weekday breakfast and weekend brunch menus are full of classic dishes with some luxurious additions. Truffled eggs, anyone?

Berners Tavern, Berners Street

Best places to have brunch in London

Berners Tavern, Berners Street

Step into The London EDITION for a taste of their renowned breakfast menu in a beautifully decorated restaurant. With high ceilings, walls covered in paintings and attentive waiters, this is a pretty special place to start the day. Sack off the healthy options (chilled citrus salad with ginger and lime is one) for the Hazelnut waffles, berries and cream.

Foxcroft & Ginger, Dalston, Soho and Whitechapel

Best places to have brunch in London

Foxcroft & Ginger, Dalston, Soho and Whitechapel

With a working bakery downstairs you can just be ‘popping out to buy some bread’ when you head to Foxcroft & Ginger. And while you’re there picking up your sourdough or rye, you might as well try something from the incredible breakfast menu. All the egg dishes are spot on.

BungaTINI, Covent Garden

Best brunch london

Italian-themed bar and restaurant Bunga Bunga has been running legendary party brunches in its Battersea branch for several years now. These generally feature loud music, a never-ending supply of prosecco and more breakfast-themed Italian food than you can finish, including the ‘Bunga Benedict’ and ‘Englishman’s Breakfast’ pizzas. If you’re not quite up for the noisy Battersea fiesta, Bunga Bunga’s Covent Garden sister restaurant BungaTINI has just launched a new ‘Wood-Fired Brunch’, which includes unlimited bellinis, wood-fired pizzas and a fun party atmosphere without the raucous crowd. Burrata for breakfast? Why not.

Bubbledogs, Charlotte Street

best brunch london

A really good hotdog is an underrated thing, perhaps unfairly getting less airtime than the ubiquitous burger. But champagne and hotdog joint Bubbledogs has been working to change all that since it launched in 2012, brainchild of Sandia Chang and her husband James Knappet, who now runs a Michelin starred restaurant called Kitchen Table at the back of the venue. This year Bubbledogs has branched out into the brunch market, teaming up with artisanal spirits company The86Co. for weekly brunch parties. There’s a Bloody Mary menu and the hotdogs are served with a sunny side up fried egg. We recommend the Jose (above) a hotdog topped with fresh tomato salsa, avocado, sour cream and pickled jalapenos.

Duck & Waffle, Heron Tower

best brunch london

Duck & Waffle, Heron Tower

With views stretching out over London, Duck & Waffle has become one of the most sought after reservations in the whole of the city. As the restaurant is open 24 hours, we suggest turning up before sunrise (whether that’s straight from bed or straight from the club) and settling in for breakfast with a view. Tip: order the restaurant’s eponymous dish, put it on Instagram and you’ll probably get a comment or two from the chefs. The new version of ‘compliments to the chef.’

Sketch, Soho

Fantastical, photogenic and bloody well brilliant, sketch may be a little bit out of your budget to become your ‘regular’ but this is definitely a place you can name-drop and Instagram to your heart’s content, which is what most of us want these days from a meal out, isn’t it? Once you’re there, you might as well hang around for their equally brilliant Afternoon Tea.

Bel-Air, Paul Street

best brunch london

Bel-Air, Paul Street

Billed as ‘feel good fast food’, Bel-Air founder Andrew Bredon aims to bring a bit of LA to EC2. The cafe serves up a selection of breakfast pots, including their appropriately named Muscle Beach which has grilled steak, smokey spinach, sweet potato and a poached egg. Perfect for those wanting to make some #GymGainz.

Andina, Redchurch Street

best brunch london

Andina, Redchurch Street

Currently daydreaming about spending your days on a beach somewhere with a wildly good looking man fanning you? Take a trip to Peru (while staying in Shoreditch) at Martin Morales’ Andina where you can eat Granola Andina and greek yoghurt or Peruanazo which is two fried eggs, tacu-tacu with rice and butterbeans, belly bacon and saltado criollo. Who needs the bright blue shores of Mancora?

Berber&Q, East London

best brunch london

Berber&Q, East London

With a permanent queue snaking outside of its door, Berber&Q has become the hot brunch spot in town. A newly launched menu will further cement its reputation for being one of the best places to start the day. We suggest getting there early.

BunnyChow, Wardour Street

best brunch london

BunnyChow, Wardour Street

South African Street Food concept BunnyChow serves up a particularly delicious veggie breakfast option with salsa beans, aubergine, peppers, spice-kicked red onions and a fried egg. Enough to tempt even the strongest carnivores.

Busaba Eathai, Soho

Best places to have brunch in London

Busaba Eathai, Soho

Busaba Eathai’s new brunch menu features coconut porridge, fisherman’s spiced rice and their so-called ‘perfect hangover cure’ – the Busaba Bloody Mary and Khai luak. We’re told that Khai luak is a soft boiled free range egg with a gentle Thai seasoning which is stirred and then taken as a shot followed by a Bloody Mary chaser… we’ll be leaving that one to someone more hardcore.

Brew, Putney and Clapham

Best places to have brunch in London

Brew, Putney and Clapham

While Brew do an incredible take on Turkish Eggs, we’re more likely to order the soft-boiled eggs with soldiers – which come with a choice of Marmite or Vegemite, may we add – as an homage to our childhood days spent dipping soldiers into runny yolk.

Casa Brindisa, South Kensington

Best places to have brunch in London

Casa Brindisa, South Kensington

One of the best tapas restaurants around, Casa Brindisa also serves up a mean breakfast and brunch. Try their mushrooms, scrambled eggs, tomato and Manchego or just order like there’s no tomorrow and scoff a whole plate of Iberico ham yourself. We won’t judge you.

Carluccio’s, various locations

Best places to have brunch in London

Carluccio’s, various locations

Probably not the first place you may think of when your best friend suggests ‘breakfast?’, but Carluccio’s has got a pretty substantial morning menu and one you should definitely try out. With their handy little deli you can also pick up some lunch while you’re there. Easy like Sunday morning and all that…

Eelbrook, New King’s Road

Best places to have brunch in London

Eelbrook, New King’s Road

A favourite spot with the Chelsea lot, Eelbrook’s brunch should ideally be eaten al fresco on the terrace overlooking London’s Eel Brook Common so you can people-watch as you munch. We love the Baked Tilley’s Eggs with tomato, yoghurt, harissa and grilled flatbreads – a London brunch with a Middle Eastern twist.

Farm Girl, Portobello Road

best breakfasts london

Farm Girl, Portobello Road

Make like Julia Roberts and head to Notting Hill for a breakfast with a twist at Farm Girl. With naturopathic doctor (nope, us neither) Melly Lou of Liquorice Lifestyle advising on nutrition for the menu, you can guarantee you’ll come home feeling grrrreat.

Granger & Co, various locations

best brunch london

Granger & Co, various locations

Go healthy with the slick Granger & Co by ordering one of their fruit and grains dishes with a smoothie; we’re a big fan of the buckwheat bowl.

OPSO, Paddington Street

best brunch london

OPSO, Paddington Street

With a full range of breakfast dishes going on, OPSO is one of the most loved brunch and breakfast places in the Marylebone area (and, for that matter, the city). You can either choose to start your day off right with their Earl grey infused rice porridge or one of the granola dishes or indulge your naughty side with the pancakes. We like them covered in praline spread and hazelnuts.

Ottolenghi, Various Locations

best breakfasts london

Ottolenghi, various locations

Famous around London for being one of the best delis around, Ottolenghi serves up a mean breakfast. While the whole menu is great, it would be wrong to go there and not order their signature Shakshuka. It’s seriously tasty.

Providores, Marylebone High Street

Best places to have brunch in London

Providores, Marylebone High Street

As one of the first restaurants to bring brunch to the capital, Providores pulls a big crowd and regularly has a queue of hungry punters outside. They’ll all be ordering Peter Gordon’s signature breakfast dish, the Turkish Eggs.

Street Kitchen, Parkgate Road

Best places to have brunch in London

Street Kitchen, Parkgate Road

Street Kitchen on the Broadgate Circle is run by Jun Tanaka and Mark Jankel with a mission to serve up ‘slow food, fast.’ Pick up a Caravan Roosters coffee from the barista before stuffing your face with one of their SkMuffins with farm sourced ingredients.

The Jam Tree, Clapham

Best places to have brunch in London

The Jam Tree, Clapham

The Jam Tree does classics with a twist (where doesn’t these days?). We suggest ordering the black pudding, apple and chutney on toast as well as one of their nine variants on a Bloody Mary.

The Modern Pantry, Clerkenwell

best brunch london

The Modern Pantry, Clerkenwell

Another name on the tip of every foodie Londoner’s tongue, The Modern Pantry is a place for those who like their breakfast healthy. We’d go for the Honey roast oats, seeds and nuts with grated apple, pomegranate and greek yoghurt if we were that way inclined… you know, you could just eat their less healthy sugar-cured omelette.

Tredwells, Upper St Martin’s Lane

London's best breakfasts

Tredwells, Upper St Martin’s Lane

Marcus Wareing’s informal restaurant in Covent Garden has a great brunch/breakfast offering with cheat day treats such as caramelized banana eggy bread with bacon, maple syrup or chorizo jam and slow cooked egg, avocado and toasted sourdough. If you’re sticking to the diet plan then you can order granola or a seasonal veggie frittata.

Whaam Banh Mi, Great Windmill Street

london's best breakfasts

Whaam Banh Mi, Great Windmill Street

If you’ve got a sweet tooth from the moment you wake up then Whaam Banh Mi have got you covered. Chocoholics should order the fresh, daily baked Banh Mi smothered in Nutella.

Coya, Mayfair

Best breakfasts london

Isn’t London amazing you can now enjoy the best of Latin American cuisine as a bottomless champagne brunch.   London’s first Peruvian restaurant that opened to critical acclaim in 2012 has launched a brand new menu including their new signature brunch cocktail the ‘Pisco Mary’.  Dine on Peruvian dishes such as Corvina Trufa (Corvina ceviche with truffle) and Arroz Nikkei (Chilean sea bass casuela) created by Executive Chef, Sanjay Dwivedi and served in the South American inspired dining room. As the DJ plays chilled house you can relax while the in-house nanny keeps the kids entertained (Sundays only FYI).  Situated opposite Green Park and 5 minute walk from Bond Street it’s the perfect location to take a break from some serious window shopping.

London best English breakfast

Two of our favourite spots for a trad fry-up…

Bibendum, Fulham Road

best brunch london

Bibendham, Fulham Road

There’s a bit of a story behind this one so bear with us: Bibendum is named after the Michelin man (yes, the Michelin man). He’s actually known as Monsieur Bibendum, a name which comes from the Latin phrase Nunc est Bibendum which translates as ‘now is the time to drink’. While this may be a slightly inappropriate name for a mascot used to advertise car tyres, it’s a bloody great name for a restaurant. With all that in mind, we’d recommend heading there for the two most important Bs in life: breakfast and a Bloody Mary.

Parlour, Regent Street

Best places to have brunch in London

Parlour, Regent Street

Parlour’s quirky breakfast menu features classics such as smoked salmon with scrambled eggs as well as their full English Parlour Breakfast. You can also DIY at their toast station with some fresh baked bread.

Have you got a favourite breakfast place in London? Tell us in the comments section below.

The post 48 seriously cool places to have brunch in London appeared first on Marie Claire.

After just one week, Meghan Markle’s charity cookbook is already a best seller

After just one week, Meghan Markle’s charity cookbook is already a best seller


All for a good cause!

meghan markle cookbook sales
REX/Shutterstock

Since Meghan Markle and the Hubb Community Kitchen launched their joint cookbook, sales of the book have gone through the roof and it’s become something of a sensation. The project, titled Together: Our Community Cookbook, has become a bestseller internationally and especially here in the UK. It’s great news for the charity kitchen as all the proceeds from the book have gone towards their efforts. It’s pretty wild how quickly it’s taken off, given that it was launched literally last Wednesday.

According to PEOPLE, the book has racked up close to 11,000 sales in the UK which is pretty wild and is currently the sixth most sold book on Amazon US. Amazon UK also revealed that currently, it’s the third best selling book in the food and drink category – trailing behind Jamie Cooks Italy and Deliciously Ella The Plant-Based Cookbook.

meghan markle cookbook sales

REX/Shutterstock

We also chatted with Bea Carvalho, Waterstones’ Cookery Buyer, as the book’s doing fantastically well with brick and mortar shops too. Although she couldn’t divulge the book’s sales statistics, it’s apparently been a real winner since it landed on their shelves.

Bea said, ‘We’ve been really pleased with the success of Together. The press and social media activity following the announcement generated a huge number of pre-orders, and created a real sense of occasion in our shops when the books arrived.’

‘Our sales continue to be strong and show no signs of slowing down, and the response we’ve had from our customers has been overwhelmingly positive,’ she continued. ‘We’re very proud to be helping to raise much needed money for this very worthy cause.’

Last week’s launch was literally everywhere when it happened as well, as it was one of Meghan’s first high profile projects as a member of the royal family. Her mother Doria Ragland also came along to show her support and Prince Harry was spotted beaming with pride as she whizzed around, totally in her element. Even if he did sneak off with a couple of samosas when he wasn’t supposed to.

Together: Our Community Cookbook

meghan markle cookbook sales

Priced at £9.99, available at Waterstones

Buy now

The book features a foreword by the Duchess of Sussex, who met the team behind The Hubb Community Kitchen when she volunteered to cook with them for the survivors of the Grenfell Tower Fire. The BBC reported that Meghan said she felt ‘immediately embraced by the women in the kitchen’ and hailed the diversity of people who had come together as ‘pretty outstanding’.

Featuring over 50 recipes from places as different as the Middle East and North Africa, the cookbook is a meaningful reflection of London’s diverse population.

Together: Our Community Cookbook is available now both on Amazon UK and at Waterstones. Priced at just £9.99, all of its proceeds go towards funding the Hubb Community Kitchen.

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Enough with positive thinking: here’s the surprising power of positive drinking

Enough with positive thinking: here’s the surprising power of positive drinking


Actually doing your bit, made easier.

thirsty planet

Words by Izzy Palmer

People talk a lot about positive thinking without really meaning much. It’s in danger of slipping into becoming an active hindrance, and an irritatingly-saccharine buzzword. Positive thinking doesn’t bring food to the hungry, after all, or make any difference whatsoever to a polar bear. If someone claims with pride that they ‘don’t preach’, but prefer to focus on an optimistic attitude, it can raise eyebrows. Are you essentially admitting that you don’t believe in doing anything concrete, but want to somehow feel helpful anyway? A positive outlook is all well and good in theory, but when it comes to charity, it sounds dangerously like making excuses for doing nothing.

So what can we do? Well, luckily, there’s another option: positive drinking.

We haven’t lost our heads – it’s not all as barmy as it sounds. In a nut-shell, doing our bit has turned out to be a whole lot easier thanks to water bottle brand Thirsty Planet.

With every Thirsty Planet water bottle purchased, you make a guaranteed donation to Pump Aid, thereby helping bring water to disadvantaged parts of Africa.

thirsty water local

This means people are giving to charity perhaps without even thinking – seduced instead by the convenience of the three different sizes and the ergonomically designed bottle. Doing your bit has never seemed so appealing.

Thirsty Planet, launched in 2007, has already raised two million pounds and brought access to clean water to 1,350 more people. Pump Aid are now responsible for supplying over 10% of the entire rural clean water supply in Malawi and Zimbabwe. Crucially, they work with local communities so that they then know how to maintain their water pump using local resources. This isn’t a short-term solution; it helps individual lives and works with communities at a minute level, bringing independence as well as water.

thirsty water community

With reducing single-use plastic being the zeitgeist of the moment, it might seem controversial to be recommending a water bottle company. The truth is, sadly, society is a long, long way off from cutting plastic water bottles out of daily life – and denying that helps in no way. Rather, let’s make sure that when we do buy a water bottle, we buy one like Thirsty Planet: 100% recyclable, and making a difference elsewhere.

Best of all? They also come in a glass bottle range.

Thirsty Planet is available at Waitrose. 

The post Enough with positive thinking: here’s the surprising power of positive drinking appeared first on Marie Claire.

Your ultimate summer cocktail

Your ultimate summer cocktail


Chin-chin.

Summer is officially here! And here at Marie Claire it’s most definitely our favourite time of year. Beach holidays, music festivals, bbqs, long evenings and even longer nights – what’s not to love? If your anything like us your biggest conundrum come the weekend is finding the perfect balance between sunbathing and socialising. And well we can’t tell you the optimum ratio to maximise tanning hours and seeing your friends we can tell you which cocktail you should be enjoying whilst doing both!

Our tipple of choice? Żubrówka Bison Grass Vodka. With it’s uniquely aromatic ingredient, bison grass, perfectly complimenting the hot summer temperatures any drink you choose to make with this will be soft on the palette and delicate in flavour.

Żubrówka Bison Grass Vodka is part of a 500-year-old history, with each bottle’s blade of rare, hand picked bison grass enhancing its unique provenance and flavour. Cool, right?

And the cocktails you need to be making with it. We’ve selected our two favourites – simple, classic and totally refreshing you literally can’t go wrong…

Zu-Cooler

Apple ZU

Ingredients
50ml Żubrówka
100ml traditional pressed cloudy apple juice
Squeeze of lime

Method
Fill a highball with ice, add all the ingredients and stir. Garnish with a few slices of apple and a sprinkle of ground cinnamon to tickle your tastebuds.

Apple-Zu

Zu Tonic

Ingredients
50ml Żubrówka
100ml quality tonic water
2 lime wedges

Method
Fill a highball with ice, add all the ingredients and stir. Garnish with an un-squeezed lime wedge. Perfection!

So what are you waiting for? Refresh and impress your friends with these ultimate summer cocktails.

 

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