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Back from holiday - and boy, it's chard

As you've spotted from the last few posts, I've been in Zagreb, Vienna and Prague. More posts from the road coming up soon, but I'm well and truly and back to London.


Coming back from holiday is hard. You've just spent all that time doing exactly what you like, enjoying new places, eating, drinking and sightseeing, and then suddenly you have to go back to work, chores and all the rest of the waxy build up that is life. 

So, to keep the holiday feeling going as long as possible, I've been trying to treat London like a holiday. You know, not just going from home to work and back again once a day. 

Here's the first thing that I've been appreciating: Kew Gardens


I've been to Kew more times than I'd like to think about, but it never feels old. It's so huge, it doesn't matter how many times you go, there's always a new corner that's waiting for you to explore it. And, thanks to that hugeness, it doesn't matter how many tourists or locals pile in, there's still always empty benches and quiet alleys for you alone. 

At the moment, there's an exhibition about spices, as demonstrated by these giant inflatables. They have little zips you can undo and have a sniff - this one stank of garlic!


The only downside of sorts is that there isn't much in the way of vegan food at Kew, but with all that grass just begging to be laid down on, it's prime picnic territory. Take a few sarnies, a bit of cake, and settle down to enjoy the view, and you've got all the entertainment you need right there.

My top tip: banana bread and a bench next to Queen Charlotte's Cottage.


For more holiday vibe continuing, I thought I should detour from my normal route home from work and stop by a cafe that was rumoured to have vegan cake.

The cafe, Montage in Forest Hill, doubles as an art gallery and antique shop - you like anything on the walls, you can probably buy it and take it home with you. It's kid friendly, there's dark, moody corners if you need to get work done, and even a little outdoors bit if you're in need of sun.

And yes, they do do vegan cake. Along with three or four non-vegan varieties, there was a promising looking vegan pumpkin loaf. I did the decent thing and ordered a slice. (Side note: they will try to give you a small chunk of cake with your hot drink which may or not be vegan. Stick to the clearly marked vegan cake and you're fine.)

The pumpkin loaf was really light and warmly-spiced - think ginger cake and you're halfway there. Non-vegan cake accompaniment aside, the coffee was pretty was good too!


When I was a kid, during school holidays, me and the family used to go to pick your own places - those farms where you can go and grab a basket and pick your own berries, covertly shovelling every third one into your face and the other two into your punnet.

I got to do the same with Mr Flicking the Vs' family at the weekend. Pick your own places have changed since I was a kid! When I was wee, you could pick strawberries, and maybe raspberries if you were lucky. Now they've got all sorts of fancy shizzle. The one we went to had not only strawberries and raspberries, but beans, peas, rhubarb and even sunflowers.

I couldn't resist grabbing handfuls and handfuls of bright lights chard - not only is it the prettiest vegetable out there, it's so tasty and incredibly good for you. I can't help but think it would also make a great bouquet for a vegan wedding!


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5 comments

  1. I love this post - I've been thinking about going pick-your-owning and I definitely need to stop off at Montage on my way home from work. It's been years since I've been to Kew so they deserve a revisit as well. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  2. I think the idea of treating your home city as a holiday destination is a great idea! :)

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  3. Oooh, I want to go to an orchard and pick a basket or two of something! I want to shove a piece of that banana bread into my face...

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  4. Haha, am loving the idea of chard as a wedding bouquet!

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  5. I love the things you're doing to make home feel like vacay! It's inspiring. We don't often go out of our way to discover fun things at home, and we really really should.

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