Paisley Food and Drink Festival – A Vegan Guide

Recently I was invited on a press trip up to Scotland for Paisley Food and Drink Festival. Paisley is a town located a quick 15 minute drive from Glasgow. It’s history visible from its beautiful architecture and recognisable Paisley fabric design. The most striking of Paisley’s architectural legacy is the Paisley Abbey, acts as the centrepiece of the food and drink festival, which takes place in the grounds of the Abbey.

This year, Paisley Food and Drink festival had a large focus on vegetarian and vegan foods, so I was excited to see what they had on offer. The fourth annual festival proved a real hit with more than 10,000 people turning out to sample some of the best produce and street food from across Scotland over the two-day festival. A number of activities took place over the weekend including the Gin 71 bar, who hosted tasting sessions which proved very popular (I think I managed to sample 8 different gins in the end?), and live cooking demos from Masterchef’s Gary Maclean and Dirty Sanchez’s Matt Pritchard (AKA The Dirty Vegan).

Vegan Churros // Paisley Food and Drink Festival // roughmeasures.com

paisley-food-and-drink-festival
 Leigh and I with our Vegan Haggis

We managed to sample most of the vegan options (including some vegan ales from the CAMRA Real Ale Bar), during the day, with my favourites being:

There were plenty more options which we unfortunately didn’t have the stomach space to sample, but it’s a good enough excuse to head back next year!
Overall it was a great day with much food, drink and live music.

Vegan Hot Dog // Paisley Food and Drink Festival // roughmeasures.com

Paisley Blossom Trees // roughmeasures.com

Vegan Crepe // Paisley Food and Drink Festival // roughmeasures.com


Disclaimer: I was invited to Paisley to attend the Paisley Food and Drink Festival and write about my experience – all opinions are my own.

Vegan in Bansko with Snomads

Hello dear readers, it’s been a while. I’m back after an extended hiatus (something about buying a cafe and all the hard work it en tails) to bring you one of my favourite posts to date: Vegan in Bansko with Snomads.
Long time audience members will know how much we love snowboarding, so when Snomads asked me if we’d like to come out to Bansko and stay with them for 5 days and immerse ourself in the Bulgarian Mountain life, we booked a flight pretty sharpish.

Bansko is relatively new to the ski scene, but is becoming more and more desirable, highly down to it’s affordability. Bansko is an old and characteristic town, sitting among 3 mountain ranges, the Pirin, Rila and Rhodolpe. As Bulgaria’s most popular and best loved ski resort, there is an upbeat feel to the town. The slopes are wide and open, and unlike many of it’s French/Swiss counterparts, beautifully quiet. We didn’t queue for a chairlift once during our 5 day stay. There was a wide range of slopes to suit all abilities, and we loved looping the trees and finding fresh powder tree run after tree run (thanks to Maks, Rosie and Mike for showing us some amazing spots!)

Snomads was started in 2012 by a British group of friends looking to start an authentic, organically focussed holiday company. Now hosting 4 impressive chalets, they aim to make your holiday as authentic and memorable as possible. All their holidays include return airport transfers, daily shuttles to the slopes and unlimited wine (hurrah), beer and local rakia with meals.

Snomads dinner table // roughmeasures.com

We were picked up from Sofia airport and spent the 2.5 hour drive listening intently to our transfer driver as he told us about the city and the history of Bulgaria. We arrived just after the biggest snowfall in 5 years for the town – stoke levels were certainly high all round.
Tony, Rach, Matt and Mike welcomed us into Chalet Diana Ross with a big smile, the offer of a warming mulled wine, and a slice of vegan Lamington cake (a first for me – and fitting as we arrived on Australia day!). We were given a full tour of the chalet and then shown to our (huge!) room. With an en suite, balcony and enough room to fit in some pre-riding yoga, we were pretty happy!

While we were there to enjoy the slopes, we were also excited to be able to relax in a chalet with mod cons and luxuries like a hot tub, sauna and table tennis table! There is an honesty bar in the Chalets, and free wine and beer during meal times.

Chalet Diana Ross sleeps up to 25, but there were 8 of us there during our stay. It was nice to get to know the other guests and catch up every evening and share tales from the day’s excitement.

Below is a breakdown of our dinner meals during our 4 day stay – we were well and truly impressed with the food and how well they catered for us as vegans:

Day One:
White Bean and Tomato Bruschetta
Veg Stew with Mash and Homemade Bread
Salted Caramel and Apple Tart

Day Two:
Potato, Mushroom and Ginger Soup (Rach explained her Mum used to make this for her when she was sick, I loved it so much she sent me the recipe!)
Carrot and Walnut Burger on Beet Puree and Vegan Slaw
Vegan Bread and Butter Berry Pudding

Day Three:
Caramelised Onion and Roasted Pepper on Polenta Cake
Mexican Spicy Roasted Red Peppers with Spinach and Potatoes
Vegan and Gluten Free Sticky Date Cake

Day Four:
Rocket, Squash, Seed and Nut Salad
Mushroom Pilaff with wild Market Mushrooms (Tony – who is a native Bulgarian – made this dish and he was very proud of his delicious vegan concoction – he told me he had never cooked a vegan meal before this!)

It was safe to say we were well and truly satisfied after every meal. Food was plentiful and filling and just what we needed after a full day riding.

Dining Room at Snomads // roughmeasures.com

Polenta Cake with Snomads // roughmeasures.com

Carrot Burger // roughmeasures.com

We found eating on the mountain ok, but the vegan options were limited in some restaurants. There was normally a soup or salad though (plus fries… lots of carbs to keep these legs strong).

On the Tuesday evening the staff organised a trip down to a local Thermal Spa for a few hours – an beautiful hot outside pool with a restaurant and bar access. For £17 you can enjoy a few hours soaking in the water and the price includes a free drink – handy tip – go for the G+TL it’s HUGE!

We ended our stay with a fantastic group night out bowling and then onto watch a live band at one of the popular pubs. All the chalet staff came out and it just felt like a night out with old friends.

The staff could not have been more friendly or accommodating and we were genuinely gutted to leave. There are regular flights from most UK airports to Sofia so what are you waiting for – book that trip now!
Massive thanks to the whole Snomads team for an unforgettable few days!

Snomads - Lounge // roughmeasures.com - Vegan in Bansko with Snomads
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hoto credit – Snomads

Snomads - Art // roughmeasures.com - Vegan in Bansko with Snomads
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hoto credit – Snomads

Snomads - Bedroom // roughmeasures.com - Vegan in Bansko with Snomads
Photo credit – Snomads

Bansko views // roughmeasures.com

Bansko Mountains // roughmeasures.com


Disclaimer – I was invited to stay with Snomads at Chalet Diana Ross in return for a review – all opinions are my own. Thank you for following me on my adventures.

V for Vegan at Dough Bath – A Review

Well hello there dear friends. It’s been a while (a longer while than I had anticipated but hey, such is life). I won’t blabber on about why I have been AWOL and instead just get on with telling you all about a very good pizza experience that I recently had. So let me tell you about Dough Bath – A Review.

Residents of Bath will probably have heard of Dough by now. Nestled in the famous Corridor, one can smell the soft aroma of freshly baked pizza from many metres away. Dough’s mission is to bring Bath the finest quality ingredients, cooked simply at the best possible value. Their love of pizza in its purest form that led them to explore new innovations that they believe haven’t been seen in UK restaurants before. With bases such as kamut, turmeric and hemp, it’s easy to see why Dough is so popular. They’ve also got 4 different gluten-free bases.

We popped down a few weeks ago to try out their new vegan offerings. I was immediately drawn to ‘V for Vegan’, with vegan cheese, beetroot carpaccio, crispy parsnip, capers, yellow courgette and rocket sauce on kamut dough. C went for the ‘Vegetariana’, without the mozzarella. Both pizzas were large portions, and we didn’t have to wait long for them to arrive. The ‘V for Vegan’ was utterly delicious, with a generous helping of all toppings, but I especially loved the crunchy addition of parsnip crisps scattered on top. The vegan cheese was also some of the nicest I’ve had on a pizza. The ‘Vegetariana’ was also a good, but we both said that my choice was the top pick.
To finish we had some vegan ice cream, which was a good end to the meal.

Dough Bath - A Review // roughmeasures.com - A review of my experience at Dough, Bath, sampling their new vegan pizza.
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hoto credit – Dough, Bath.

The service we received was lovely, we felt relaxed and at home during our meal. The restaurant started to get busy and I could see all customers were getting the same friendly service that we had.

Vegan or not, I would highly recommend you get your bottoms down the Dough and sample some of their delights. We’ll be returning pretty soon that’s for sure!

Dough Bath - A review // roughmeasures.com - my honest review.

V for Vegan at Dough, Bath // roughmeasures.com - my review of the famous pizza restaurant; Dough.


Disclaimer – I was invited for a meal at Dough. All opinions are solely mine.

Digital Detox at West Withy Farm

I feel refreshed. For the first time in over 6 months, my brain is a little calmer. We’ve just returned from 2 days in rural Exmoor, on a Digital Detox at West Withy Farm. Ian and Lorena invited us down to come and enjoy the tranquility at West Withy Farm Cottages. With a focus on switching off and enjoying the surroundings and nature, I knew a digital detox was just the thing I needed.

West Withy Farm is located around 20 miles west of Taunton. The cottages are set within the 23 acre farm, the nearest neighbour is half a mile away. The cottages were converted from two Exmoor stone barns in the mid 1980’s to create charming holiday cottages perfect for a quiet getaway.  West Withy Farm have been welcoming visitors for 30 years.
Each cottage oozes character – from huge beams to 50 cm solid stone walls. The cottages are now complemented by modern internal facilities. With a lovely kitchen space, dining corner and lounge, plus bedrooms with oh-so-comfy beds.   All the cottages have their own garden, ours had a view of the pond so we could watch the geese from the kitchen in the morning.

We arrived and were greeted by Ian, who showed us around. He explained they collect their own rain water, which supplies the cottages. They also make their own bread, butter and jam, and grow many of their own fruit and vegetables. They have cows, horses, sheep, geese and many other animals in their farm. He had even thought to arrange a telescope for us, in the hope we could catch some star gazing time in, but unfortunately the clear skies were not in our favour and it was cloudy both evenings.

Digital Detox at West Withy Farm // a much needed rest and break in tranquil Exmoor // roughmeasures.com

Digital Detox at West Withy Farm // a much needed rest and break in tranquil Exmoor // roughmeasures.com

After a lovely, deep nights sleep, we spent Saturday exploring Exmoor and the surrounding Devon areas. We walked over the misty, foggy moors and up to Dunkery Beacon. Unfortunately the impending weather meant we couldn’t see much, but it was good to stomp around the soggy moors, walking in the dregs of the March snow that had fallen the week before. We headed on to Lynton and Lynmouth, two small villages sitting on top of each other on a cliff, connected by a very steep path or a cliff railway. We found a cosy pub to grab an early lunch, and then headed for a walk along to the Valley of the Rocks. We spent the afternoon exploring the coast path as the weather lifted slightly. We arrived back at Withy Farm, tired and content, hoping to see some stars, but the clouds hadn’t lifted enough for us to view anything other than dark, black mass.

After a lazy Sunday breakfast of Ian’s homemade bread and damson jam it was time to say goodbye to Ian and West Withy Farm. We left the peaceful countryside and headed back to the coast to explore more of the South West Coastal path. The clouds had cleared and we spent the day walking the coast, stopping at rocky bays and taking in the views across to Wales. We arrived home that evening rested and calm. I kept my phone off for the evening and enjoyed the last few moments of switching fully off.

Since this trip, I am so much more aware of how much time I spend (waste) on my phone. I love Instagram and the other social channels are an important part of having my blog, but switching off now and again is so good. I’ve noticed an increase in my energy levels since spending less time on my phone. Will you try a Digital Detox sometime soon? I am thinking once a month, who wants to join me?

Digital Detox at West Withy Farm // a much needed rest and break in tranquil Exmoor // roughmeasures.com

Digital Detox at West Withy Farm // a much needed rest and break in tranquil Exmoor // roughmeasures.com

Digital Detox at West Withy Farm // a much needed rest and break in tranquil Exmoor // roughmeasures.com

Digital Detox at West Withy Farm // a much needed rest and break in tranquil Exmoor // roughmeasures.com

Digital Detox at West Withy Farm // a much needed rest and break in tranquil Exmoor // roughmeasures.com

Digital Detox at West Withy Farm // a much needed rest and break in tranquil Exmoor // roughmeasures.com

Digital Detox at West Withy Farm // a much needed rest and break in tranquil Exmoor // roughmeasures.com

Digital Detox at West Withy Farm // a much needed rest and break in tranquil Exmoor // roughmeasures.com

Digital Detox at West Withy Farm // a much needed rest and break in tranquil Exmoor // roughmeasures.com

Digital Detox at West Withy Farm // a much needed rest and break in tranquil Exmoor // roughmeasures.com

Digital Detox at West Withy Farm // a much needed rest and break in tranquil Exmoor // roughmeasures.com

Digital Detox at West Withy Farm // a much needed rest and break in tranquil Exmoor // roughmeasures.com

Digital Detox at West Withy Farm // a much needed rest and break in tranquil Exmoor // roughmeasures.com

Digital Detox at West Withy Farm // a much needed rest and break in tranquil Exmoor // roughmeasures.com

 


Disclaimer – West Withy Farm Cottages invited me to come and stay and enjoy a Digital Detox at West Withy Farm. I was not paid to write a positive review and all opinions are my own.

The Perfect Valentine’s Dinner with Wayfair.co.uk

Now, PDA fan I am not, but I do like love. Like The Format once sang, I love love, I love being in love. I love being in love with C, with family, with food, with our cats, with life. Love is a good feeling. I do not love overly crowded restaurants with half of the city’s population declaring their undying affection for one another on one specific day of the year. I do however, love cooking and setting the table nicely and having a proper sit down meal, facing each other, without distractions, and enjoying the pleasure of food and our company, and let’s be real, a large glass of wine.

Perfect Valentine's Dinner // roughmeasures.com

Perfect Valentine's Dinner // roughmeasures.com

Perfect Valentine's Dinner // roughmeasures.com

Perfect Valentine's Dinner // roughmeasures.com

Wayfair.co.uk is a great place to source items to spruce up your table for a nice meal in. From actual tables, down to the finer details like candleholders and vases (because we are all hoping we are going to get a bunch of flowers, am I right?!) – they have it covered. Since we moved off our floating home and into a real life (non-floating) house, I have used them a lot.

When Wayfair.co.uk asked if I would like to partner with them and style up my kitchen table for The Perfect Valentine’s Dinner, I knew exactly the look I wanted to create before I could even type Yes. I am a lover of earth textures and plants (oh hey all you Virgo Earth Element folk out there) and I wanted something that reflected this. I chose copper tones in the candle holders, both the flute and the tumbler glasses, and of course the gorgeous marble platter. They are such lovely pieces and I love having a slightly jazzier style of glass to use for special occasions.

Charlie says we should style up every dinner like this, but then it wouldn’t be as special would it? I am however, going to try and do it once a week, to make a little extra effort to the one I love.

Positivity and love to you my friends, speak soon.

Perfect Valentine's Dinner // roughmeasures.com

Perfect Valentine's Dinner // roughmeasures.com

Perfect Valentine's Dinner // roughmeasures.com

Perfect Valentine's Dinner // roughmeasures.com

Perfect Valentine's Dinner // roughmeasures.com


Disclaimer – I was sent products from Wayfair.co.uk in return for a post. Words and thoughts are entirely my own. Thanks for helping me side hustle my way through this thing we call life.

Harrods Christmas Hamper: The Harrogate

Harrods Christmas Hamper // roughmeasures.com - my review of The Harrogate Hamper 2017

My review of the Harrods Christmas Hamper: The Harrogate

Over the years, I have managed to acquire some rather nice hampers. I love their wicker look and they make great storage options. But mostly, I like what the often contain – food! I did a little squeal when Harrods asked if I’d like to review one** of their Luxury Christmas Hampers. They have a vast selection on their website, and I would be reviewing ‘The Harrogate’ – a generous hamper with an enormous selection of indulgent treats, perfect for Christmas time and festive evenings.

Read more

Savoury Turmeric Granola with Cully and Sully

Savoury Turmeric Granola // roughmeasures.com - a tasty, crunchy and aromatic granola to top soups, salads and anything else

Textures. Salty and sweet. Smooth and rough. Liquid and crunch. That’s what I like. Something with some bite. I love a hearty soup in Autumn and Winter, but sometimes miss the motion of chewing or crunching on some ‘substance’, this savoury turmeric granola was a whimsical idea that turned out rather fantastic. We have made it on repeat since then and pack it into a jar for easy accessibility at every meal time.  Read more

Win 3 A Little Bit Artisan Dips

A Little Bit Dip review and competition // roughmeasures.com

When the lovely folk at A Little Bit got in touch about their delicious artisan dips made with fresh herbs, I was eager to hear more. I am a little bit dip obsessed. Give me hummus, guac and baba ghanoush, give me hot salsa with crunchy corn chips, give me white bean dips with all the garlic. I’d happily have a selection of dips for dinner every evening. I like having lots of little options to choose from. The selection feels like a pic’n’mix, and who can argue with that? Read more

Vegan Slow Cooker Autumn Apples

Vegan Slow Cooker Autumn Apples // roughmeasures.com

In my parent’s garden, behind the house where I grew up, there are 4 or more apple trees lined up in a row. Every year they bear their fruits of the season; big, juicy apples ready to be baked or turned into chutney. We would have apple pie for weeks while my mum tried to use up the bucket loads of fruits that the trees had gifted us with. This vegan slow cooker Autumn apples recipe reminds me of all those times we would plead to have something different for pudding, but were secretly glad we got to have a comforting bowl of homemade pie.

Vegan Slow Cooker Autumn Apples // roughmeasures.com

I love making these vegan slow cooker Autumn apples on a cosy Sunday afternoon. Just 10 minutes prep, then 2-3 hours in the slow cooker makes for an oh-so-easy comforting pudding recipe fit for a king or queen. I used my Crock Pot and love the fact I can switch it on and forget about it for a few hours. More time for snuggles on the sofa in front of the fire.

Vegan Slow Cooker Autumn Apples // roughmeasures.com

Vegan Slow Cooker Autumn Apples // roughmeasures.com

Vegan Slow Cooker Autumn Apples // roughmeasures.com
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Vegan Slow Cooker Autumn Apples

An oh-so-easy pudding to make in your Crock Pot

Ingredients

  • 40 g roughly chopped hazelnuts
  • 3 tbsp trail mix seeds and nuts of your choice
  • 2 ½ tbsp coconut sugar
  • ¾ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 4 dried cinnamon sticks
  • 4 medium sized apples
  • 300 g soft brown sugar
  • 180 ml traditional apple cider
  • 1 tub dairy free yoghurt

Instructions

  1. Combine the walnuts, trail mix and 2½ tbsp of the coconut sugar in a small bowl and add ½ tsp of cinnamon.

  2. Slice the base of the apples to create a level surface and then peel the top third of each apple and core.
  3. Place the apples in the Crock-Pot® Slow Cooker pot and spoon the walnut mixture into the cavity of each apple. Place a stick of cinnamon on top of each apple.
  4. Combine the remaining cinnamon, 130g coconut sugar and apple cider in a small bowl. Pour over the apples and cover.

  5. Cook on low for 2-3 hours.
  6. Remove the apples with a slotted spoon. Spoon ¼ cup of the cooking liquid over each serving.
  7. Serve with a scoop or 2 of yoghurt to balance the flavours.

Recipe Notes

Serves 4 Cooking time: 2-3 hours (low)

 

I made this recipe in my 5.7 litre Crock Pot slow cooker. It’s a perfect size for us to meal prep and cook in bulk. You can lift the lid and serve straight from the bowl, but when you just want to stir, the hinge means you don’t drip water on the counter. I haven’t used a slow cooker before, but I am loving the ease and simplicity of the Crock Pot. Winter cooking is a-go!

October is peak season for slow cooking, why not follow along on social media using #Crocktober! You’ll find loads of fantastic blogger recipes and inspiration to encourage you to get your Crock Pot out and get creating.


Disclosure: This CrockPot recipe for slow cooker Autumn apples is sponsored by Crock-Pot. Thank you for supporting the brands that make it possible for me to continue following my passion. All opinions are my own.

An Autumn Colour Challenge

Autumn Colour Challenge // roughmeasures.com

Autumn is one of my favourite seasons. I love the golden hues that make the trees glow, the cooler misty mornings with pink sunrises, and cosy evenings infront of the fire. Now we have swapped a boat for a house I appreciate these even more. Wrapping up in throws on the sofa and settling down with a book in front of a glowing woodburner, these are my Autumnal moments that I love. I remember running into the park and nose diving into piles of leaves as a child. Gleefully kicking up orange leaves and watching them float down like nature’s confetti. Watching the trees change colour in wonder from my bedroom window. The smell of the first bonfire of the season. The first conker fight with my brothers. Autumn holds so many happy memories for me and I itch for it’s return year upon year. Read more