WIAW #4: Weekend in Wantage

Wantage is a lovely little village in Oxfordshire. Fortunately for me, my sister lives there so I always have a place to stay if I need to get out of the city for a few days.

Paddington Station

I took the train on Friday evening from Paddington to Didcot Parkway. It was packed as always. I don’t understand how people can find it in themselves to commute every day, or even every week from London to some other town, sometimes as far as Birmingham. Isn’t that mentally draining? But I digress… 

I think it’s so funny how everyone is staring at the screens in the same way for minutes on end… until the platform for their train is revealed and I find myself running alongside them to get a seat.

I forgot to photograph my dinner on the Friday evening but it wasn’t very exciting, to be honest: just a plateful of colourful spirally pasta with tomato sauce (made from tinned tomatoes and some dried herbs) with veggie meat we got from the supermarket on the way to my sister’s house. 

This little bubba slept on my bed for a while! We’re cat people, in case you hadn’t noticed. 

I was ready to have a healthy and extra yummy breakfast on Saturday: behold my homemade muesli

If you have kids (or if you fancy yourself a large child, like myself) this is the perfect breakfast for them. I combined about 1/4 cup porridge oats with 1tsp cinnamon, some sugar star sprinkles, a crumbled homemade chocolate coffee vegan cookie and 1/4 dried fruit (raisins, currants and apricot). Oh, and some wheatgerm, just ’cause I had it lying around. I couldn’t find any normal soya milk in small cartons, so I just bought some travel sized chocolate soya milk cartons. A super indulgent and super easy breakfast for the child within all of us. 

And a cup of tea with that, please.

My sister also still had some Speculoos spreadable paste and Kwatta chocolate sprinkles that my mum brought back from Belgium (I ate the last of my stash eons ego), so I took the liberty of making myself some toast.

I walked over to the Saturday morning market just in time to get a Chelsea bun (my first ever!) from the bread stall. They were quite obviously not vegan, but more on that later in this post.

See that cute little boy? Minutes before I took that shot he bumped into me with his scooter. I’m glad he doesn’t seem resentful 🙂

My favourite shop for interior decorating.

When I reached the house, everyone was in a turmoil because we were late picking up my sister’s boyfriend’s son, so I jumped in the car without taking my camera or even my handbag. Luckily my sister had her Nikon camera to take a picture of my delicious lunch: a gorgeous, rich, creamy sweet potato chilli soup with homemade bread at the Bear & Ragged Staff, a charming pub not too far from Wantage. I was so stuffed. But that might have been one of the best, if not the best soup I’ve ever had. 

Being funny at the pub

Unfortunately the weather was not good enough–read: it was bloody pouring–for us to go on a long walk with the boyfriend’s father’s dogs, so we just went home and watched a lot of Disney films (works for me! 🙂

Starting out with Ratatouille (YES! A kid’s film about food!), then moving on to Robin Hood, cutting it short halfway through to watch some of The Land Before Time (remember this? I used to watch it all the time as a kid and even re-enacted some scenes with my friends). 

I love this review the critic Anton Ego gives near the end of the film, when all is said and done and the fate of the restaurant lies in his hands. This review is pure art. (Eng Lit student rant over.)

The little boy kindly shared some of his Cadbury’s chocolate buttons with me. I couldn’t say no to that cute face. 

Dinner was a can of butternut squash and edamame bean soup from Baxter’s (see here for another post about this). Yum. I love Baxter’s (or rather, the few Baxter’s soups I can eat!).

And then it was bedtime. So. Tired. I always forget just how much energy kids have. When did I get so old?!

I had the privilege of sleeping in the very cool Octonauts bed.

I was so stuffed in between meals that I did not need any snacks (seriously, I was going to explode!).


The next day I had pretty much the same breakfast, only this time with some sliced bananas, which made it all the more awesome. And herbal tea.

Near lunchtime I got peckish, so I ate one of the two nakd bars I’d brought along. I went for pecan pie but eh… it didn’t taste as good as a real pecan pie. 

And then cuppa soup. Not vegan; it contained some milk powder, but there wasn’t much else around. 

And then it was time to go home! Sadly… But I managed to have a store bought crêpe with Speculoos spreadable paste before leaving. So. Yummy.

I have to say, though, I am glad to be home for one reason: I get to eat a totally plant-based, wholefoods diet again. And boy, are my intestines rejoicing! It’s like a party in there. Bye bye, bloaty feeling! Sayonara dairy-products-induced pimples! It was fun seeing you for the weekend, but now it’s time to get back on track. 

A note on eating non-vegan foods:

I am vegan 90% of the time. The remaining 10% consists of occasions when I find myself faced with nothing but vegetarian food, at best, and I’m hungry. I will not starve for my ideals. That’s just silly, not to mention dangerous if continued over an extended period of time. So if the only thing I can have is cuppa soup, which contains milk powder, than so be it. At least it’s still vegetarian. I will always go for the ‘most vegan’ option, i.e. the one that contains as few animal products as possible. Is there a possibility that there is  a bit of cream in my soup, or that it was made with chicken stock instead of vegetable stock? If so, I’m not going to make a fuss in the restaurant, which would only embarrass the staff and myself, not to mention that it feeds the misconception that ‘vegans are fussy eaters’. If you want to make us look bad, well, I can’t stop you. But I can choose what I say and do, and I choose not to make a fuss when it is unnecessary. 

How was your weekend? Let me know in a comment! xoxo

— Clem

One thought on “WIAW #4: Weekend in Wantage

  1. J'adore ton blog, c'est amusant, intéressant et la soupe pas vegan dans la tasse, c'est MA TASSE, je l'ai laissé chez Mimi !!!!!! et oh les pains au marché à Wantage, autre chose qu'ici…..et Gipsy !!!!!!!!!!!! lovely…


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