With only 3 nights in London, I had to fit in as much sightseeing, shopping and of course food as humanly possible in a very short space of time. After coming from Vienna, land of stumbling across amazing vegan options 24/7, London was surprisingly a little more difficult to navigate vegan-wise but I still managed to find a bunch of cool eats.
Whilst shopping around Piccadilly Circus, I was excited to spot a Whole Foods (I once asked to be buried there). Warning: UK Whole Foods is nowhere near as good as US Whole Foods, well this particular one anyway. There were quite a few vegan options available from the buffet but none of them were as inspiring as the options in the US. I opted for a chana masala, stir fried vegetables and a chickpea salad plus I grabbed a packet of chips as well. The epic crowd in the shop meant that by the time I got to actually sit down and eat, most of my food was cold and it tasted just ok.
That night we decided to make our way to Manna in Primrose Hill. Such a cute little venue that was very busy so luckily they were able to find us a small table out the front. I was feeling like some variety so opted to “build my own meal” by picking 4 side dishes for 14£. I chose the bread with hummus, beans of the day (spiced black beans), potato wedges and crispy marinated tofu. Everything tasted amazing but was so big that I couldn’t finish it, I also regret that I didn’t try something with a little more freshness like greens but that just means I’ll have to come back, right?! Even though I was full I was conscious to leave some room for dessert and went for the petit fours for 5£. This was a selection of cookies, berries and truffles that all tasted lovely and were the perfect end to the meal.
All Bar One is a chain that just so happened to have a location right by our hotel off Regent Street. They had several vegan items on their lunch and dinner menus and were easily able to make their vegetarian breakfast vegan by omitting the eggs and butter from the toast. For 6£ I got toast, tomato, mushroom, baked beans and veggie sausages that tasted super vegetable-y and meaty at the same time, yesss! Plus a cup of tea (I think this may be the rate for weekdays only but on weekends it’s only a little more).
Taking a break from a rainy day of sightseeing, we got off our Big Bus tour back at Regent Street to pay Tibits a visit for lunch. Again, this is a large vegetarian buffet with plenty of vegan options and you pay based on weight. My meal was about 9£ with a cider as well so I didn’t think the price was as bad as others have said in reviews. Then again, I wasn’t that hungry so had a modestly sized plate of salads, onion rings, wedges and some bread. All were really great, especially the snake bean salad!
I was told that Mildred’s was the place to be in London and a lot of others must have heard that too because it was hella packed. They don’t take bookings so we had to wait about an hour at the bar before we were seated at our table. I was still kind of full from lunch but decided to have a burger of the day for 9.35£ that I was unable to finish but absolutely loved! For some reason I still find it a novelty when a restaurant pops vegan cheese on a burger and the patty itself was definitely full of vegetables but still tasted really hearty. I’m still a bit sad I wasn’t able to finish it!
Before jumping on the EuroStar to Paris, we decided to pub it up and head to Norman’s Coach and Horses in Soho. Tell me a pub in Newcastle where I can get tofush and chips with minted peas and I’ll meet you there tomorrow! This stuff was super tasty, light and not super oily, so I decided to back it up with a coconut milk panna cotta with rhubarb and brandy snaps. Whoa baby! I’m going to have to try and make something like that real soon. I think all up this meal cost around 15£ so it wasn’t cheap for a pub meal but well worth it!
As always, here’s my little breakdown of old London town!
Where to Stay
I stayed at Saint Georges Hotel because it was the cheapest place I could find that was still in a great location. It was the most expensive of all the hotels on this trip and while the hotel was nice enough, you’re definitely forking out for the location. You’re just off Regent Street so within walking distance to a bunch of shopping and attractions as well as being super close to major bus and underground routes.
Because much of the stuff we wanted to do was within walking distance of our hotel, we mainly walked around although we were incredibly close to the tube if we ever wanted to get it. I also caught a couple of cabs and Ubers but they were quite expensive so when I return I think I’ll stick to walking and public transport!
I would love to go back to Norman’s Coach & Horses to sample some other menu items and their roast! For a special meal, Manna and Mildred’s are both also excellent options and I will definitely hitting them up again next time I’m in town.
What to Do
With only a few days to get things done, getting on a hop on/hop off tour was a given so that I could tick off all the major sights. I did get off and do the Tower of London but for 20£ I wouldn’t necessarily say that was worth it. Shopping on Regent Street, Oxford Street and Carnaby Street is a great time with plenty of well-known stores and a couple of lesser-known ones too plus I would definitely recommend going to see a show if you get the chance!
Time for me to say cheerio to London now! Next time you hear from me, I’ll back back in Newcastle and telling you all about Paris!