Feb 18, 2018

Last weekend Alexandra Palace hosted Vegan Life Live

Korina of Baking Bad Vegan, who bakes the gorgeous rose cupcakes our birthday and High Tea guests have been enjoying for the past year, was kind enough to send us some free passes so we could take a look at how much the vegan movement has progressed in recent years. 

And what a glorious day for it! Alexandra Palace is a beautiful venue and offers expansive views of the city.

Ally PallyLondon View

On Sunday the South East had a flurry of hailstorms, which made for some dramatic skies, which we just had to share. Also I could see my house from here! But I digress... 

Korina wasn't wrong - there is so much more out there in the plant-based diet world than there was a few years ago when we were first looking. 

We were at VeganLife Live specifically to increase our range of vegan savouries. Because we can't cook onsite at Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium, we're always looking for quality bakers of savoury vegan treats suitable for commercial service, and it may surprise you to know: they are hard to come by! Bakers, it seems, have a decidedly sweet tooth.

Sadly for us, we didn't find quite what we needed, but what we found instead was a cornucopia of delicious street-food indulgences for plant-based eaters: Mac and Cheese, Jerk Chicken, Vegan doner and more.

There is also a growing range of fitness supplements, cosmetics, and snack ranges for the committed herbivore. 

Accompanied by the delightful Lou from Another Kind Studio - our talented designer pal who created the Lady Dinah's logo (5 years ago now!) - we set off on a miniature vegan gastronomic adventure. Here's a couple of favourites, if you want to read more, check out the Vegan Life Live Exhibitors list. Most exhibitors offer catering services or can be found at local food fairs, so check out their sites and socials and see where you can find them!

Baking Bad Vegan

Well of course we're going to have a favourite! If you haven't tried Korina's cakes at our cafe, you can catch her at a trade fairs and the occasional consumer vegan fair, like Veganlife Live. 

Give her a follow on insta to see where she'll be next. Look for the smiley unicorn behind rows of rose cupcakes! Give her Caramel Brownies a try, they are 👌🦄🌈

Fit Delis Protein Supplements

This one is a pick for fitness bunny Lou: Lauren tends to exercise by accident only.

However, even if you're not a big exerciser, it is a common concern for people changing to a vegan or vegetarian diet to worry about how their protein intake will be affected and supplements are one option to keep things in balance.

Fit Deli was a little sweet for our palate, but the samples were mixed with rice milk, which adds extra sweetness to the product. Fit Deli can be mixed with water alone for a less sweet alternative. Worth a try! 

Brownins

Not everyone enjoys a meat substitute, but we're willing to give anything a try - after all there was a time when sausages were a weird thing and we all got used to those! 

We tried Brownins Jerk Chicken wrap and it was a remarkable meat substitute. It's made of soya protein, and retained a convincing meat texture, reminiscent of slow-cooked chicken. It was prepared in a satisfyingly rich umami savoury jerk sauce and served with salad in a wrap - definitely worth giving them a follow online and giving them a try if you're open to meat alternatives. 

 

Rainforest Creations

A beautiful rainbow of things to taste and enjoy! Although we enjoyed the novelty of meat and dairy substitutes at the fair, sometimes fresh, crisp vegetables doing their vegetable thing is all you need.

Nature gives us a fantastic palate of flavours to work with and Rainforest Creations do a lovely job bringing out the best of each raw, fresh ingredient. 

#repost @betterraw

A post shared by @ rainforestcreations on

And that's it from us!

We really could have done a much longer post about this, there was so much on offer and the plant-based eating movement is clearly taking off in a big way as consumers increasingly reject the impact of industrialised farming on animals, the environment, and their conscience.

We're hoping to see more and more plant-based catering suppliers emerge in the coming years. Working with animals every day as we do, there's no denying their sentience, self-awareness and individuality. It makes eating animals far less appealing and a number of team members have turned to a vegetarian or vegan diet during their time at the cafe. 

We've been thinking a great deal about turning Lady Dinah's into an animal-product-free cafe - what do you think? Let us know in the comments!

Leave a Reply

  • Posted On March 11, 2018 by Kirsten Henry

    I’ve just found you from having an email sent by virgin experience days – I wondered if you would cater for a coeliac vegan and found this post! So is everything in the cafe vegan? And are there any vegan options that are also gluten and oat free? Love what you are doing and the reviews speak for themselves – I think I need to pay you a visit!

  • Posted On February 18, 2018 by Catherine

    Yes yes yes please do! :D

    I love that even before you opened (I was an early crowdfunder), you mentioned that you were going to provide vegan options. It’s so nice to be able to go out somewhere and not feel like you’re being awkward and picky for having a conscience. And even from a purely business-based standpoint, surely it makes sense to increase your customer base – food from plants doesn’t exclude anyone unless they are allergic to specific ingredients. I’ve been a vegan for eight years and the number of vegan fairs has exploded – the last couple I have been to, the queues have been ridiculous, which just shows the massive demand and that mainstream eateries/retailers need to take heed!

    Something commonly cited as a deterrent to going vegan is a lack of options when eating out/on the go, which (although definitely improving the last couple of years with Pret a particular inspiration) is still an issue in certain places. I really think that there will come a point when animal-friendly food (and other products) are so much a part of the general ‘market’ that people will just end up leaning that way and tipping the balance – convenience. That and realising that it isn’t inherently weird or anything – vegan cake just tastes like cake, it doesn’t taste like soya beans any more than traditional cake tastes like egg! Curries taste like spices, etc. So the more companies that get involved, and the sooner, the better :)

    I really admire that Lady D’s staff are so open to this – thank you for caring. <3 I find it reassuring that working with cats has inspired staff to consider other animals as equally deserving of respect and kindness. I would love it if customers absorbed some of this through delicious food that they might not otherwise have tried. It is easy to feel despair and anger when the world seems skewed towards cruelty or apathy, and it lifts my spirits whenever anyone – person or business – makes a move in a kinder direction, so thanks for this blog post.

    PS – the Rainforest Creations food looks incredible!

All blog comments are checked prior to publishing