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Scotland

“It is one of the most hauntingly beautiful places in the world, the history is fascinating, the men are handsome and the whisky is delicious.” – J.K. Rowling

Scotland // Gratitude and Greens

After a month in the U.K., I came home two weeks ago, exhausted. My trip started in Edinburgh and ended in Cambridge, with stops in Aberdeen, St Andrews, and London in between. I caught up with dear friends and ate to my heart’s content. I attended important events like a bachelorette, a graduation, and two weddings, and by the end of it all, I was ready to come home to my routine. Even though I had to head to work the morning after I got back, waking up in my own bed with my smelly dog and making coffee in my own coffee pot was such a relief.

I spent my month-long adventure hopping from place to place on trains, planes, and cars. From the windows, I watched as sheep and cows grazed on the rolling meadows underneath a sky that was, occasionally, the most picturesque blue and dotted with puffy white clouds. Most of the time, however, the sky was grey, threatening to rain. When the sun shone we went for walks: from our temporary home in Edinburgh’s New Town to The Chocolate Tree by the Meadows; around Haddo House and Pitmedden Garden in Aberdeenshire; and around St Andrews, the seaside town we went to university in. One afternoon we ventured out to West Sands for a walk on the beach, and ten minutes in, we were met with pouring rain.

Scotland // Gratitude and Greens

Scotland // Gratitude and Greens

Scotland // Gratitude and Greens

Scotland // Gratitude and Greens

So, where did I eat and what did I do while I was in Edinburgh?

  • Leo’s Beanery – My favourite café of all time, in case you didn’t realize from all the times I’ve Instagrammed my coffee from here (and here and here). Josie, the manager, is one of the warmest people you’ll ever meet.
  • Nova Pizza – I’d walked by dozens of times on the way to Leo’s Beanery, but only got to try their pizza for the first time this visit. We got the vegan parmigiana pizza and pizza carbonara.
  • Henderson’s – I like to visit Henderson’s for their vegan haggis and sticky toffee pudding. They’ve got a casual restaurant in their basement, a deli up top, and a vegan bistro around the corner on Thistle Street. Compared to all the incredible vegan brunches you can get in North America, breakfast/brunch here isn’t the best but it’ll take care of any greasy brunch cravings you have.  They also have vegan scones in their deli. If I had to pick? Go downstairs for veggie haggis and then have the sticky toffee pudding for dessert. If you go around the holiday season, they’ll even have mulled wine!

Leo's Beanery, Edinburgh, Scotland | #travel #edinburgh #scotland #unitedkingdom #coffee

Leo's Beanery, EdinburghLeo's Beanery, Edinburgh

Henderson's, Edinburgh

Scotland // Gratitude and Greens

Edinburgh, Scotland | #travel #edinburgh #scotland #unitedkingdom

Edinburgh, Scotland | #travel #edinburgh #scotland #unitedkingdom

Edinburgh, Scotland | #travel #edinburgh #scotland #unitedkingdom

  • Urban Angel Café – Simple, healthy food across the street from Henderson’s. They’ve got a lovely breakfast menu (also on the menu: veggie haggis!) and a nice selection of juices/smoothies. I love their oats and have a soft spot for their chai lattes…
  • The Chocolate Tree – I first discovered The Chocolate Tree years ago at a food fair when I was still studying at St Andrews. I bought a truffle from them and ended up buying a whole bag because they were so. damn. good. Their café in Edinburgh is cozy, has plenty of vegan options, and serves some of the best gelato and chocolate I’ve ever had. What to order: the hot chocolate, the affogato, the dairy-free dark chocolate sorbet, and if you still have space, a slice of their vegan chocolate cake. Oh, and truffles.
  • Dig-In Brunstfield Community Greengrocer – I discovered Dig-In after a visit to The Chocolate Tree when I saw a beautifully stocked grocer next door. Their shelves were filled to the brim with seasonal produce (both local and non-local) and I went home with an armful of heirloom tomatoes and locally grown Strawberries.

The Chocolate Tree, Edinburgh, Scotland | #travel #scotland #edinburgh #unitedkingdom #chocolate

The Chocolate Tree, Edinburgh, Scotland | #travel #scotland #edinburgh #unitedkingdom #chocolate

The Chocolate Tree, Edinburgh, Scotland | #travel #scotland #edinburgh #unitedkingdom #chocolate

The Chocolate Tree, Edinburgh, Scotland | #travel #scotland #edinburgh #unitedkingdom #chocolate

  • Leo and Ted – Leo and Ted is part of the Leo’s Beanery family and is located just down the street from The Chocolate Tree and near the Meadows, Edinburgh’s largest park. It’s a tiny little café with excellent coffee and homemade treats!
  • Arthur’s Seat and Salisbury Crags – I haven’t climbed Arthur’s Seat, but I did climb Salisbury Crags this time around and the views of the city were incredible. If you’re looking for a good walk or a mildly easy hike, I’d highly recommend paying these two peaks a visit.
  • Fortitude Coffee – We stumbled upon this coffee shop one morning when everyone was tired and un-caffeinated. Their flat whites did the trick, though.
  • Peter’s Yard Café – Sourdough pizzas, open-faced sandwiches, pastries, and coffee.
  • Stockbridge Market – This is the most vegan-friendly market I’ve ever visited! Almost every stall had a vegan option. I enjoyed a channa masala and roti for lunch, and devoured a raw vegan matcha and chocolate cheesecake with a cup of Steampunk Coffee for dessert.

Steampunk Coffee at Stockbridge Market, Edinburgh | #travel #edinburgh #scotland #unitedkingdom

Stockbridge Market, Edinburgh | #travel #scotland #edinburgh #unitedkingdom #vegan #veganfood

Stockbridge Market, Edinburgh | #travel #edinburgh #scotland #unitedkingdom

Stockbridge Market, Edinburgh | #travel #edinburgh #scotland #unitedkingdom

Steampunk Coffee at Stockbridge Market, Edinburgh | #travel #edinburgh #scotland #unitedkingdom

Steampunk Coffee at Stockbridge Market, Edinburgh | #travel #edinburgh #scotland #unitedkingdom

Steampunk Coffee at Stockbridge Market, Edinburgh | #travel #edinburgh #scotland #unitedkingdom

Stockbridge Market, Edinburgh, Scotland | #travel #edinburgh #scotland #unitedkingdom

Until next time,
Genevieve

I Left My Heart In Edinburgh + Vegan Mince Pies

vegan mince pies // gratitude and greens // #vegan #vegetarian #plantbased #baking #holidaybaking

 

Where is home for you? I left my heart in Scotland when I first left a year and a half ago, and I left it again when I had to bid farewell to Edinburgh a few days ago. People often ask me where home is, and to be honest, I don’t quite have an answer. As the old saying goes, home is where the heart is, except I’ve left bits and pieces of my heart everywhere so I feel compelled to say something along the lines of home is everywhere but nowhere. Home is constantly changing, shaped by the memories I have and the ones I continue to create. It’s where I want to be at that very moment. Scotland holds many special memories for me; I had the best four years of my life there at university, where I met some of my dearest friends and, of course, Lewis. It’s a sort of home for me, and although I don’t know if I will ever return to live there, I have a deep longing for all things Scottish and the life I had then: the accents, the cobblestone streets, and cozying up with a cup of tea while moaning about the terrible howling wind and the perpetual greyness that I have come to love and crave.

That perpetual greyness and darkness made it especially difficult to photograph this time I was there, and I am not a good enough photographer yet to masterfully capture all the nooks and crannies I want to share with you. So, for now, here are the photos I managed to take, and a recipe for vegan mince pies. Come summer, I will have a proper post with all my favourite places in Edinburgh for you!

Edinburgh, UK #travel #scotland #unitedkingdom

Edinburgh, UK #travel #scotland #unitedkingdom

Edinburgh, UK #travel #scotland #unitedkingdom

Leo's Beanery, Edinburgh

Some of my favourite things about the holiday season in the U.K. were the abundance of mince pies and mulled wine. I have to admit that I wasn’t a fan of mince pies at first, but it’s hard not to love the warm winter spices and I eventually came around. Contrary to what it sounds like, mince pies aren’t actually made of animal mince- the mince is made of candied peels, dried fruit, spices, and some boozy goodness, and all of this is wrapped up in a lovely little crust. I believe the pies were originally meaty pies with some dried fruit, but over the years the pie has evolved and it is no longer made with meat. Some places still make them with beef suet, however, so I can never be sure when I’m out looking for a good mince pie.

vegan mince pies // gratitude and greens // #vegan #vegetarian #plantbased #baking #holidaybaking

vegan mince pies // gratitude and greens // #vegan #vegetarian #plantbased #baking #holidaybaking

Unfortunately I don’t have a recipe for you today, as most of my time here has been spent with my family. I will, however, link you to the recipes I used for the pie crust and filling: the rustic spelt crust from Oh She Glows and Nigella Lawson’s cranberry studded mince meat.  I took a page out of Nigella’s book and opted for star-topped mince pies instead of a fully covered pie, and the addition of cranberries are really so lovely.

Happy holidays!
Your edible plant enthusiast,
Gen.

<< this week in food and sustainability: 12/12/2015 – 12/20/2015

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California: San Francisco + Big Sur

What’s the best road trip you’ve ever been on? For me, this trip probably takes the cake.

The last month of my life has gone by way too quickly and I have soaked up more sun than I have in the past year. I fell in love with Portland, San Francisco, and everything between and around the two cities. I have a city guide for Portland and St. Louis coming in for ya in the next few weeks, but here are my San Francisco + Big Sur favourites for now.

pacific grove, california // gratitude and greens // #travel #wanderlust #california

pacific grove, california // gratitude and greens // #travel #wanderlust #california

big sur // gratitude and greens // #travel #wanderlust #bigsur #california

EAT:
San Francisco

the mill, san francisco // gratitude and greens // #travel #coffee #sanfrancisco #california

  • Greens – James Beard Award nominated vegetarian restaurant. They have a creative spin with vegetarian dishes and a great view.
  • Cafe Gratitude – Wholesome vegetarian food with mindfulness and positivity inspiration in Berkeley.al's place, san francisco // gratitude and greens // #travel #sanfrancisco #californiatartine, san francisco // gratitude and greens // #travel #wanderlust #sanfrancisco #california

the mill, san francisco // gratitude and greens // #travel #coffee #sanfrancisco #california

Big Sur

  • Big Sur Bakery – Absurdly expensive food and just okay coffee, but it’s a nice place to sit and hang out.
  • Julia’s Vegetarian Restaurant – Our best meal while we were in Big Sur! It’s in Pacific Grove, about a 40 minute drive from where we camped, but the food was delicious (the Iris salad with the vegan avocado caper dressing was amazing). Pacific Grove is a cute seaside town and we really enjoyed walking around the town.

big sur // gratitude and greens // #travel #wanderlust #bigsur #california

california // gratitude and greens // #travel #wanderlust #california

california // gratitude and greens // #travel #wanderlust #california

COFFEE + Juice

Besides Four Barrel Coffee at The Mill and Blue Bottle Coffee, we really didn’t drink much coffee in San Francisco. We also didn’t have much juice, besides once at Pressed Juicery. But what we had at those places were good, so pay them a visit if you are in town :)

Side note: While it’s not coffee or juice, we did visit the Boba Guys for some “real” bubble tea. It was very refreshing to find a bubble tea place with no artificial flavourings, colourings, or sweeteners!the mill, san francisco // gratitude and greens // #travel #coffee #sanfrancisco #california

SEE + DO:
San Francisco

  • Ferry Building – Indoor market with restaurants and artisan food shops. Fun + delicious wandering guaranteed.
  • Asian Art Museum – My first visit to a museum entirely dedicated to Asian Art. The permanent collection has art from over 40 countries.
  • de Young  – They’ve got a sweet art selection and an even cooler temporary exhibits. We were lucky and got to catch the last of the JMW Turner exhibit. There’s a viewing tower you can walk up for free to get a view of the city.
  • Golden Gate Park – I wish we had more time to properly explore Golden Gate Park, especially the Botanical Gardens and Japanese Tea Gardens.
  • Palace of Fine Arts – Beautiful building built for the Panama Pacific International Exposition. You can go for a stroll or go for a show.

san francisco // gratitude and greens // #travel #wanderlust #sanfrancisco #california

ferry building, san francisco // gratitude and greens // #travel #sanfrancisco #california

ferry building, san francisco // gratitude and greens // #travel #sanfrancisco #california

Big Sur

big sur // gratitude and greens // #travel #wanderlust #bigsur #california

big sur // gratitude and greens // #travel #wanderlust #bigsur #californiacalifornia redwoods // gratitude and greens // #travel #wanderlust #california

california redwoods // gratitude and greens // #travel #wanderlust #california

Oh, and here’s a little snippet of our drive down the West Coast… Yep, I even uploaded a video to Youtube!

BOOKSHOPS:

  • Omnivore – I was so excited to discover that San Francisco had a bookstore just for books on food. Lovely selection of books and magazines on food.
  • Green Apple – Perfect for getting lost in. The store has many nooks and crannies filled to the brim with both used and new books.
  • Booksmith – Accidental discovery while we struggled to look for the bus stop we needed. My favourite thing about the store is that practically every book has a little notecard under it from a member of staff with a snippet of why they loved it.
  • Dog Eared Books – Also an accidental discovery. Just a really adorable and cozy bookshop.

omnivore books, san francisco // gratitude and greens // #travel #books #sanfrancisco #california

omnivore books, san francisco // gratitude and greens // #travel #books #sanfrancisco #california

 

dogeared books, san francisco // gratitude and greens // #travel #sanfrancisco #books #california

 

Happy Friday!
Gen

<< sunflower seed apple crumble

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