The ultimate guide to vegan tapas in Spain

If you ever needed an excuse to indulge in tasty Spanish tapas, then summer is it (and did you know, 16th June is World Tapas Day?)

Eating tapas is more than just the delicious morsels on your plate – it’s also about the atmosphere and company, a Spanish way of life. But if you are vegetarian, vegan or suffer from any food intolerances, choosing the right tapas dishes (particularly if Spanish is not your forte), can be a bit of a minefield.

Now rental specialist has created handy cut-out-and-carry food allergy transalation cards in Spanish for vegetarians and vegans, as well as those suffering from allergies to nuts, gluten, shellfish, dairy and egg.

Jannich Peterson, COO of, said, “Even though restaurants and bars in Spain are becoming more accommodating to dietary requirements such as offering gluten-free options for celiac sufferers, and Barcelona recently being named the first Veg-Friendly City, eating out with special dietary requirements can be stressful. [We have] created this Tasty Tapas Guide to help people suffering from food allergies enjoy the delights of tapas in Spain.”

Take a look at the guide – and enjoy your tapas!

World Tapas Day – Vegan

World Tapas Day - Vegan

An infographic by the team at

Get your ‘5 a day’ at vegan festival VegFest, Glasgow

Glasgow gets ready to host VegFest Scotland, Europe’s largest eco veggie festival this December…

The inaugural VegFest Scotland, taking place 5-6 December at Glasgow’s SEC, is all about going vegan. This family-friendly event will include lots of ideas and inspiration to get healthy eating and vegan activism high on the agenda, including dozens of talks on nutrition, health, lifestyle and campaigns.

vegan-friendly cakes
vegan-friendly cakes

As food is top of the agenda (obviously!), you can grab lunch at the in-house Levy’s Restaurant and their all-vegan menu, or choose from 12 other specialist caterers and around 140 stalls.

Visitors can enjoy vegan cookery demos, kids cookery classes, family entertainment, live music, comedy, a Hemp Expo on the medicinal benefits of hemp, and more.

Vegan gourmet matured cheeses from Tyne Cheese
Vegan gourmet matured cheeses from Tyne Cheese

Vegfest Scotland organisers added, ”Vegfest Scotland is all about going vegan. It’s not about eating less meat, or choosing eggs over fish, or anything like that. It’s about going vegan, pure and simple. It’s a single issue campaign. Go Vegan. For the planet, for the animals, for your health, and for sustainable global food production. And it’s so easy. Vegfest Scotland will demonstrate just how easy it is to go vegan and stay vegan.”

Glasgow initiative The Only Way is Ethics is behind a number of events around Glasgow City Centre in the week preceding Vegfest.

Tickets and booking: Admission to Vegfest Scotland is by advance tickets as well as payment on the gate. Advance tickets are £5 a day or £8 for the whole weekend. Tickets on the gate are £8 for adults and £4 for claimants. Kids under 16 can enter for free.

For more information visit

Raw cakes
Vegan treats

Have we found London’s friendliest vegan restaurant?

Guest blogger Erin Moncur discovers an eco-friendly restaurant that is causing a worldwide stir amongst vegans looking for more than a good salad…

222 Veggie Vegan, just a five minute walk from West Kensington station, first opened its doors in 2004 and has since firmly established a reputation for being London’s friendliest vegan restaurant, serving wonderful and inspiring dishes alongside a great, relaxed atmosphere. Even at its busiest times, it doesn’t take long to be seated and made to feel welcome.

Yummy food at 222 Veggie Vegan
Yummy food at 222 Veggie Vegan

Meet Ben the chef

Ben, who has been a vegan himself since his teenage years, is passionate about helping other vegans enjoy their experience of eating out and, more importantly, to enjoy their food. He picks the menu himself and lovingly prepares the dishes using fresh, natural ingredients that are low in fat and salt.

He also makes sure they are GM free and organic where possible. He works with a small team who share his passions and ideals. If you ask any of them about the food, they can all tell you where it comes from.

The menu

The menu is reasonably priced considering the location of the restaurant. The evening mains vary from £8.95 to £11.95 and the lunch buffet is set at £7.50, or £5.50 if you need lunch to be a takeaway. The dishes are unusual but amazing, from Seitan Stroganoff (a customer favourite) to Pumpkin Noodles with Grated Coconut. You will also find a fabulous mixture of starters, side dishes and desserts.

Their 222 Burger, made from tofu and veggie mince, is delicious. The team are more than happy for you to make requests and variations to suit your own requirements and I encourage you to pop into the kitchen to meet Ben and chat about the food.

Outside 222 Veggie Vegan
Outside 222 Veggie Vegan

For buffet lunches and candlelit evening meals, this is a place to go and experience, vegan or not. It is not hard to see why they were awarded the Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor in 2013.

Location: 222 Veggie Vegan Restaurant, 222 North End Road, West Kensington, London W14 9NU

Contact for reservations and more info: 020 7381 2322 /


Putting the green into gourmet at T.E.D Restaurant, London

We’re very pleased to welcome our newest guest blogger Jane Cook of award-winning eco-friendly food/travel/lifestyle blog HungryCityHippy (recently named the Guardian’s sustainable blog of the week)! On a recent weekend in London, Jane tried out the new T.E.D restaurant in King’s Cross…

TED restaurant, Kings Cross, London

“Think. Eat. Drink”

T.E.D is an acronym for ‘Think. Eat Drink’; it’s also the name of the consultancy team behind the restaurant, and should tell you a lot about what the founders of this special place are trying to achieve. Restaurant entrepreneur Jamie Grainger-Smith and his team are behind it all, whose brilliant brains have also brought us the likes of Fifteen (with Jamie Oliver), and other eco-friendly restaurants including The Waterhouse. They have a vision to drive the food and drinks industry to create forward-thinking and environmentally aware businesses that are commercially successful, and T.E.D Restaurant is living, breathing proof that it’s an idea that works.


Situated in the increasingly up-and-coming area of Kings Cross, if I had to describe T.E.D’s interior, I’d say it’s got the elusive ‘smart-casual’ dichotomy absolutely nailed. Bright, modern and airy, the white walls act as a perfect canvas for the splashes of colour found throughout, and vases of fresh, delicate meadow flowers adorn every corner. The black and white signage outside is contemporary yet classic, and the tan leather booth in which our party of four were seated was cosy and intimate without being crowded. In truth, I loved it all.

Eating and drinking at T.E.D is special

The regularly-changing menu at T.E.D is centred around sustainable British produce, with a focus on seasonal and locally-sourced ingredients. One of the signature dishes is Somerset beef tartare, hand-chopped and served with toasted sourdough bread and a single, free range, egg yolk. Of course, in any ethically-driven restaurant, vegetarian food is going to be a big deal too, and on my visit I tucked in to a beautifully balanced main of fresh pappardelle served with chilli, broccoli and anchovies. Other menu highlights included diver-caught plaice, cockles & girolles, and a lovely, cheesy courgette risotto with ricotta and courgette flower.

A drinks list to-die-for

The wine list here is bursting with biodynamic and carbon-neutral bottles, and there are a couple of organic beers on offer too. If cocktails are more your bag, the list is eclectic and imaginative. I’m never one for dessert, so when I visited, I ordered a ‘Black Forest Flip’ to finish my meal – a pretty lilac-coloured drink made from Martell VS Cognac, Black Forest syrup, free range egg and fresh cream. It was a decadent and delicious treat, something all cocktails should be, but sadly so few ever are.

T.E.D Restaurant is open for lunch and dinner Monday- Saturday, and 12-4pm on Sunday. Two courses with wine for two, approximately £75.

For more information and booking visit

‘Good’ credentials:

  • Use ethical and responsibly-sourced ingredients
  • Sustainably sourced fixtures and fittings used throughout the restaurant including salvaged furniture
  • Hand-picked contractors built the restaurant were selected based on their eco-sensitive practices
  • Part of the T.E.D consultancy, a wider network within the food industry whose aim is to eat, drink and think more ethically


About the author: Jane is a lifestyle blogger from Cardiff with a focus on the ethical and eco-friendly. Her blog HungryCityHippy covers restaurant reviews, travel, beauty and environmental awareness and is based mainly in the cities of Cardiff and London. Catch more of her on Twitter @HungryCityHippy.

Five of the Best Vegetarian Fine Dining Menus

At Goodtrippers we love to champion good, ethical, sustainable food, and great vegetarian eateries top the list! Here are five of the best vegetarian tasting menus served at some of the UK’s finest dining establishments.

Vegetarians often have to trawl through those ‘top 50’ style restaurant lists and guides to find somewhere that offers more than the sole ‘vegetarian option’, so to highlight the best dining options for veggies, Travelzoo has created a map of the UK’s best fine-dining restaurants, showing where to go in Britain for an elegant night of exquisite food. The map has been created with the help of the UK’s food bloggers and there were clear favourites for vegetarian fine dining. Here we take a look at five of the most exclusive fine-dining restaurants in the UK and their meat-free menus:

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Pied a Terre, Fitzrovia, London
This two-Michelin-star restaurant in the heart of London has chef Marcus Eaves at the helm, creating dishes that have been meticulously prepared and perfectly executed. The dishes sound delectable with courses on the taster menu including delights like a salad of white asparagus with shaved parmesan, confit meyer lemon and black olive dressing. The atmosphere is sophisticated; the right blend of polite, professional and relaxing.

A 10-course vegetarian tasting menu is available from £94 a head

Manchester House, Manchester
Located in Tower 12, the Manchester House restaurant is not what it first appears to be. The ‘normal’ façade of a city tower shouldn’t fool you – inside is Aiden Byrne’s restaurant, serving up luxurious dishes in a comfortable and fun atmosphere. How you dine is up to you – choose à la carte or dine at the Chef’s Table. A tasting menu is available for both lunch and dinner and includes scrumptious morsels such as Hot and cold pea soup, pea mousse and lemon emulsion; Braised salsify with artichoke gnocchi and cavolo nero; Apple and eucalyptus sorbet, verjus granite.

A vegetarian 13-course taster menu is available from £95 a head

The Ledbury, Notting Hill
Located in Notting Hill, The Ledbury received its much coveted second Michelin Star with Head Chef Brett Graham at the helm. Brett started his career is Australia in a simple fish restaurant at 15 years old, working up to a role at the Banc restaurant in Sydney where he won the Josephine Pignolet Award. Brett’s roots in seafood echo through the vegetarian menus with dishes like Sliced Turnips with Seaweed and Frozen Horseradish. Although the atmosphere is as professional as you would expect from a restaurant with two Michelin stars, there is a very welcoming and laid back tone to it whether you enjoy a visit at lunch or at dinner.

The vegetarian tasting menu starts at £100 a head

Texture, Marylebone
Diners who enjoy a wine experience as much as a food experience are in safe hands at Texture; Agnar Sverrisson and Xavier Rousset, Head Chef and Head Sommelier respectively, established Texture in 2007 but have a long history working alongside each other and have picked up many impressive awards along the way. Head Chef Sverrisson grew up in Iceland and the menu has an obvious Scandanavian influences with ingredients like skyr, Iceland’s famous yoghurt-like export. The vegetarian tasting menu showcases the chef’s modern European style with dishes like New Season English Beetroots with goat’s cheese snow and pistachios.

The taster menu starts at £72 a head (with five complementing wines available for £52)

Blue Elephant, Imperial Wharf, London
Using the freshest ingredients and exotic fusions, Head Chef Khun Noroor Somany Steppe has created a collection of authentic vegetarian Thai dishes for Blue Elephant’s tasting menu. Using a mix of traditional methods and novel flavour unions the Blue Elephant has reached global success with 12 sister restaurants around the world. One of the most popular vegetarian dishes is the Doi Kham Eggplant Salad; during her collaboration with the Royal Project, using vegetables and herbs from the farm at Doi Inthanon, chef Nooror created a purple eggplant salad with towhu, herbal spice and a hint of truffle oil.

The vegetarian tasting menu is available from £38.00 per person

Find out more: Travelzoo has created a fine-dining map showing 200 of the best restaurants all over the UK, with recommendations from the UK’s foodie bloggers.

Urban Food Fest London returns with ‘V Corner’

We’re excited to hear that last summer’s street food ‘hit’, the Urban Food Fest in Shoreditch, East London, is back for another season of fine foodie treats from Saturday 12 April. And alongside the usual plethora of organic, local, free-range, handmade and natural street food and drinks on offer, Urban Food Fest has now added ‘V Corner’ – a whole area dedicated to vegetarian, vegan and (very) raw gourmet delights!

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Promising to offer more than the token ‘salad in a pitta’, ‘V Corner’ will serve up a mouth-watering range of vegetarian, vegan and raw food delights that may turn even the most committed carnivore – think vegan sweet potato maki sushi, veggie wild mushroom burgers, veggie tofu hotdogs, raw mezze, egg-free chocolate fudge sponge, and dairy-free apple crumble pie.

Each week, the night food market (located in an unused car-park space near Shoreditch High Street station – but don’t let that put you off, it adds to that urban east London vibe!) will be filled with 15 different food trucks and stalls selling a selection of gourmet street food dishes, many created exclusively for Urban Food Fest, alongside fab cocktails, craft beers and imaginative soft drinks.

Chow down on Chinese jian bing crepes, pulled pork burgers, sliders, Austrian specknoedel, mac ‘n’ cheese, gourmet salads, Mexican tacos, Portuguese desserts, fresh gyoza, Spanish tapas, cupcakes and much (much!) more… Live music and entertainment accompanies the feasting, as well as a theme – 12 April is ‘Where’s Wally’ with free cocktails for the best fancy dress.

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Visitor info: Free entry; 5pm ’til midnight every Saturday from 12 April to 21st June 2014

Location: Euro Car Parks, 162-175 Shoreditch High Street, London E1 6HU

For more information visit

Pieminister’s new Stokes Croft diner, Bristol

Goodtrippers samples the gourmet pie maestros’ newest eaterie in central Bristol

Pieminister Stokes Croft outsideBristolian foodies have somewhere new to add to their ‘must visit’ list this summer – the latest edition to pieminister‘s expanding empire, the Stokes Croft dining space. With a company ethos focused on ethical and local produce, and sustainable practice, pieminister ticks all the boxes for us at Goodtrippers!

Opened on the site of pieminister’s original premises (where it all started 10 years ago), Stokes Croft serves quality pies and West Country cider until 11pm every day. The dining space (the old kitchens) is all exposed brickwork, polished concrete and neon signs – with the addition of a piano for some live entertainment (yes, we did resist the urge to tinkle the ivories).

Food – award-winning pies and ethical sourcing

The menu is nice and simple: Choose a pie for £4.20 (from a lucky 13 fun-sounding list including Matador Pie and Kate & Sidney); add mash or minty mushy pieas for £1.50; a topping for 30p (grated cheese, gravy or crispy shallots); or take the lot for ‘The Mothership’ meal deal for £7.95. You can grab a quick snack of a Mr Porky sausage roll (outdoor reared British pork) or Mr Hot (with added chilli and spices).

Goodtrippers tried a Freeranger Pie – lovely chunks of free range British chicken (pieminister is the only national pie brand to use only free range British chicken) offset by salty ham hock topped with West Country Cheddar. We also had the MSC-approved Pietanic Fish Pie – nice big pieces of mixed fish and prawns in a lovely creamy sauce.

Don’t be put off if you’re vegetarian – the menu may be, naturally, meat-heavy but vegetarians have more than the one token Pieminister Stokes Croft (inside)veggie option. Choose from the Heidi Pie (Somerset goat’s cheese, red onion, sweet potato, spinach); Wild Shroom Pie (wild mushrooms, asparagus, white wine, cream); or The Big Cheese Pie (West Country Cheddar, garlic cream cheese, buttered onions).

If you’ve still room for pudding, try a Bristolbocker Glory made with ice-creams from nearby Bath’s Marshfield Farm.

Drinks – local and well-crafted

The bar is well-stocked with local West Country ciders (naturally) and local craft beers. And you don’t have to wait until 6pm to try Bristol’s own 6 O’Clock Gin. However, if you’re there first thing in the morning (Stoke’s Croft opens at 10am), boost your mid-morning with a coffee from Bristol’s Extract Coffee Roasters. Tea comes from House of Bath.

Where to find

Pieminister, 24 Stokes Croft, Bristol BS1 3PR (open Mon-Sat 10am-11pm; Sun 11am-11pm). T: 0117 9423322

If you can’t visit the new Stokes Croft dining space, there are plenty of shops, pubs, markets and delis where you can eat pieminister’s sustainable, ethical pies – here are just a few (visit for the full list):

London: Pieminister, 24 Leather Lane, London EC1N 7TS (open Mon-Fri 11am-9pm; Sat-Sun 12-5pm)

Manchester: Pieminister, 53 Church Street, Manchester M4 1PD (open Mon-Sat 11am-8pm; Sun 12-5pm)

Oxford: Pieminister, 56-58 The Covered Market, Oxford OX1 3DX (open Mon-Sat 10am-5pm; Sun 11am-4pm)

‘Good’ credentials:

  • Use ethical and responsibly-sourced ingrediants (British meats including free range chicken, outdoor-reared pork and venison, MSC-approved fish)
  • Only national pie brand to use free range British chicken in all their chicken recipes
  • Vegetarian pies are approved by The Vegetarian Society
  • Work fairly with farmers and producers as local as possible to their kitchens to reduce food miles
  • Committed to reducing their carbon footprint – the cardboard cartons used are sourced from sustainable forest and are fully compostable and recyclable)


Want to win a selection box of yummy pieminister pies? We’ve teamed up with pieminister to offer one lucky winner a box of 12 award-winning pies, plus summer picnic goodies – see our competition details here

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Brunch at The Toucan Cafe, Minehead, Somerset

Before heading back home from a lovely week in a rural farmhouse in Somerset, a quick pit-stop at nearby Minehead uncovered this Toucan mural, The Toucan Cafegem – The Toucan Cafe, the perfect place for a healthy and hearty brunch.

Located on the main high street and upstairs from the accompanying Toucan Wholefoods health store, The Toucan Cafe serves an entirely vegetarian menu. The bright, colourful (handpainted bird murals are everywhere) cafe is spread over three small, but very light and airy, rooms so you should be able to grab a seat (if not, they are good at takeaways). When Goodtrippers visited on a Friday morning, the place was buzzing with locals, many of whom appeared to be regulars.

Organic and healthy food

We ate a delicious (and incredibly filling!) falafel sandwich with hummous and chilli sauce, served with a much more interesting salad than your average obligatory garnish (mixed leaves and homemade dressing came to life with the addition of sprouting seeds and pumpkin seeds). Also on the table, a ‘full English’ breakfast vegetarian style served with wholesome chunks of their lovely granary bread. This is filling stuff (in a good way!) which rather put paid to our plans to buy lots of foodie goodies from the nearby farmers’ market to eat on the way home (we did that anyway, just not eating it until the next day!).

Parrot mural, The Toucan CafeThe rest of the lengthy menu includes a range of organic veggie snacks and treats – homemade soup of the day, gluten-free savoury muffins, mezze plates, superfood salads, toasted paninis and sandwiches called things like ‘The Bugs Bunny’ (grated carrot, alfalfa sprouts and more if you’re wondering), and their own McToucan Burger (vegetarian, of course). Drinks include a good range of coffees (including flat whites), herbal teas, fresh smoothies and other soft drinks. There is also an extensive range of homemade cakes and other sweet treats – it would make a lovely afternoon tea spot.

If you’ve already stocked up on health foods and natural skin care products downstairs in the shop, there’s always the Toucan therapy rooms on the second floor ready to take your bookings for massage, Reiki and reflexology (although perhaps not immediately after brunch….!).

The Toucan Cafe is open 8.30am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday. Tel: 01643 706101, E:

‘Good’ credentials:

  • 100% vegetarian menu
  • Organic, wholefoods
  • Fairtrade coffee
  • Health food shop downstairs
  • Complementary therapy rooms upstairs

Toucan Wholefoods outside

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