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Restaurant & Hotel Reviews

Travelodge Abingdon Road, Oxford, UK

Accommodation Posted on Thu, January 17, 2019 01:06PM

The Travelodge on Abingdon Road is about 2 miles out of the city centre and easily reached by car or bus.

First of all, we must say that the vegan breakfast we had at this Travelodge was the best ever! I’m English, have had a full English all over my fair homeland and nothing touches this one. You can also eat vegetarian/omnivore here, too.

Every component was just right, from the non greasy Linda McCartney vegan sausages, tomatoes and mushrooms to the perfectly seasoned baked beans. Add to the fact that it’s buffet style and that there are plenty of side choices (cereals, pastries, fruits) and you have a real feast that’ll set you up for a day of sightseeing. You have to pay a little extra for it on top of the room rate but believe me, it’s worth every penny, and it’s served in a pleasant, airy downstairs area that we really enjoyed starting our day in.

The hotel itself is about 2 miles out of the city centre and easily reached by bus. We got off the airport bus in the centre of Oxford, then bought a bus ticket on a local bus that allowed us unlimited 24 hour travel on Oxford public transport (you buy these tickets on any bus) so this meant our journey from town to hotel cost around GBP1 each way. The bus dropped us at the park and ride, a 3 minute walk up the road from the hotel.

Our room was comfy, clean, modern and although it looked out on a main road it wasn’t noisy at all, the window insulation was excellent.

Early check in/late check out is offered for a small extra fee, there is strong wifi and there are cheaper deals to be had if you book well in advance.

And if you enjoy running, there’s a path leading all the way into Oxford; jogging around Christchurch College in the early morning when there were few people around was one of the highlights of my trip.

It’s also a convenient location for visiting the outstanding Blenheim Palace, which can be easily reached using a bus from the city centre.

Travelodge Abingdon Road

Manna, London, UK

Restaurants Posted on Thu, January 17, 2019 12:59PM

Manna restaurant, one of Europe’s finest and oldest gourmet vegetarian establishments, in Primrose Hill (just north of Camden) celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2018.

It’s been fully vegan for over 10 years and be you vegetarian, vegan or omnivore you’re going to be impressed by the quality and inventive nature of the food on offer, the service, atmosphere and the fair prices.

We visited for lunch and had the maki (made using quinoa instead of rice)…

…an almond and leak tart with a polenta base to share…

…a beetroot and black bean burger…

…and to finish a sticky toffee pudding and a orange chocolate mousse with ‘vice’ cream. With 2 drinks that all came to under GBP50, not bad at all.

A prime motive for the owners has always been to provide fine dining in the international tradition but with meatless recipes and vegan alternatives rarely available in restaurants, anywhere.

They travel the world compiling recipes and use only the highest quality, ecologically and socially responsible ingredients, fair trade products when available and organic and local products whenever fresh and viable and they say that to the best of their awareness all their food is GM free.

The food is superb and it’s fair to call it fine dining, served in an informal setting. The chairs aren’t the sort you relax into, it’s a functional space with competent staff serving excellent meals. We’ve visited on this occasion for lunch but we’ve also been for dinner and loved it.

We advise you reserve a table, Manna is invariably busy!


Roux at the Landau, London, UK

Restaurants Posted on Thu, January 17, 2019 12:42PM

Roux at the Landau was the finest of the fine dining restaurants we enjoyed in London, which was really no surprise to us bearing in mind that father and son Albert and Michel Roux Jr are at the helm!

Note; Roux isn’t a vegan restaurant but you can eat vegetarian (very well!) here.

Located in the West End, opposite All Souls Church (that can be seen from the restaurant through grand arched windows), we dined here before heading to the theatre, which did mean we had to cut our experience tragically short as we got our timings mixed up. And tragic is the correct word given the heavenly service, food presentation, taste and overall feel of being there; this was a dining experience of a high quality.

Don’t make our mistake, allow 2 hours at least for your meal here, it’s not just the food and wine you need time for but the spaces in between, the reflecting, the savouring, the wallowing in sheer enjoyment.

One dish I shall never forget is the artichokes “à la Barigoule” with bulgur and a turmeric emulsion. So light, so pleasing on the eye as well as the tongue, and for the pleasure it gave me I’d say it was superb value, too.

I dream of the day when restaurateurs of the Roux’s calibre focus on vegan dining, I’m certain they’ll have much to offer the plant based style. Until then, I’ll recommend you visit Roux at the Landau, please, if you wish to eat vegetarian. Your evening will be sublime, your expectations met, you fine dining bar forever raised.

Roux at the Landau