Review: Petit Vour beauty box

Petit Vour title review
This blog is 99% about vegan baking and desserts, and I know that’s why you’re all here. But did you know that once upon a time I wanted to be a make-up artist? I used to wear really wacky looks to school in my teens but lost interest when I started attending university. When I transitioned to a plant-based diet make-up became even more foreign to me because I didn’t know which make-up brands used animal-based products (answer: lots) and which ones tested on animals (answer: fewer now than some years ago, and new laws are protecting animals from testing). The research was too daunting, so I stayed lost for years.

So when Petit Vour offered me a beauty box to review, I couldn’t say no. These beauty boxes (The Vegan Kind is coming up with one as well) are a godsend for plant-based people: no need to research a brand before you purchase their products, the items in your box are certified plant-based and cruelty-free. Amazing!

My first Petit Vour box, the Bon Voyage! summer edition, was packed with loads of goodies:
Petit Vour shampoo conditioner petit vour cleanser petit vour serum
Petit Vour collage 2 nails
The verdict:

The NCLA JetSetter Collection nail polish is what I was most excited about, especially since I really like wearing baby blue nail polish lately. Just a couple of coats plus a clear top coat looks fantastic and I’ve found the polish lasts around 5 days before it starts looking really chipped. (Note: I am not at all careful with my nail polish and tend to engage in lots of activities that chip nail polish, i.e. swimming, doing the dishes without rubber gloves on, tearing open packages with my nails, …)

EvolvH UltraShine Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner: I only needed one squeeze of the shampoo to completely soap in my entire hair – and my hair is really long and thick! For the conditioner I did need a bit more, but then again I dye my hair and it does get quite dry, so I always require a lot of conditioner. I loved the delicate perfume that clung to my hair afterwards; I smelled like an orchard in bloom. Score!

Mun No. 1 Aknari Nighttime Dream Youth Serum: I wasn’t a big fan of this. It felt oily on my skin as I applied it, but I have to admit the next morning my skin did feel moisturised, not tight at all. Still, I don’t think I would buy the product.

But the Tay Rosehip Balance Cleanser, on the other hand – only a small bit, just a drop on my finger, was enough to cleanse my skin after wearing a full face of makeup for the whole day. It didn’t dry out my skin as I had feared, which is ideal.
Petit Vour Collage
What’s great about these beauty boxes is that contrary to what I thought there is a multitude of vegan cosmetics brands out there! And as the demand for them grows – through beauty boxes, for example – I can only image that soon hughstreet shops will start stocking more of them, too.

Petit Vour – ‘the crème de la cruelty-free’ – is an American company but boxes ship internationally.  A monthly subscription for USA boxes is $15, Canadian boxes $23 and international boxes $30; free shipping for the US, $15 internationally. International orders may take up to 14 days to ship. If you like what you get in your boxes head over to the Petit Vour Store where you can find anything from lipstick to makeup brushes and perfume.

What’s your favourite vegan brand of cosmetics? Leave me your tips in the comments below! 🙂

Like what you read here? Let’s keep in touch! Sign up for email updates and follow me on InstagramTwitterFacebookPinterest and Tumblr! You can also follow my blog through Bloglovin‘.

Love and cookies,
thevegancookiefairysignature-2

‘Vegan For Fun’ Attila Hildmann – Book Review + GIVEAWAY {ENDED}

814AyeMk52L._SL1500_If veganism had been hard (as many people, all too often, ask me whether it is) I could never have done it. If I’d had to eat bland salads, tasteless meals or yucky soups every day, I would have thrown in the towel instantly.

Thankfully, veganism is a lot more fun than that.

Attila’s got the kind of attitude I like – his vegan manifesto is that eating and cooking with healthy ingredients is fun, and even better you’re helping making the world a better place at the same time. Win-win situation, right? 🙂

My current flatmate is German, and I spent a week in Germany when I was 17; back then I was a vegetarian, and I thought veggie options were thin on the ground in Berlin and Münich, where I spent most of my time. So imagine my delight when I discovered Attila’s book; a lot of typical German fare is effortlessly veganised and – dare I say it – looks and tastes even better than the real deal!

My cooking has been in a bit of a rut lately, but Vegan For Fun has injected some new life into my cooking. I’ve tried sandwich flavours I’d never thought of before, made an extravagant and oh-so-simple dessert that pleased my non-vegan friends, and guess what – I had a lot of fun cooking and eating this food.  IMG_1934
Of course, I had to make a döner, which is a hugely popular meal in Germany. I may have slightly overstuffed mine, and I added ketchup just because, but man it was good and filling.
IMG_1833
My new favourite sandwich is undoubtedly the Cashew Dream Sandwich. Cashew butter in a savoury sandwich. Who knew. It was a party in my mouth.
IMG_1950
But we all know I adore gnocchi. I’ve tried making them before, but unsuccessfully – until now, that is. Attila’s foolproof recipe has made me a pro in gnocchi making (and now at last I know what to do with all those potatoes I get in my veg box).

But guys – we need to talk about the Snicky Bars? Obviously based on Snickers, these are the bomb dot com (yes I just said that). I was never a huge Snickers fan until I met my Cookie Monster, who loves to eat all sorts of chocolate bars in front of me, knowing full well I can’t have them. These bars (which I made in triangles) hit that spot, bullseye. You’ve got to try these!
IMG_1944
‘Every vegan meal helps both individuals and all of us. I simply want to get as many people as possible excited about vegan food.’ – Attila Hildmann

Vegan For Fun has a couple of chapters on resources, eating on the go, handy websites, Atilla’s fitness tips, shopping and cooking tips – basically everything you need to know in a nutshell to make your transition to veganism super fun. What I like most about this book and its author is that he just looks like a cool guy (um, and he’s easy on the eyes, too.)

If this book sounds like something you’d find useful, you can win a copy – and you get to choose whether you’d like the digital or print book! For each of the options below you get an extra chance to win:

Follow me on Twitter @clemcookiefairy
Like my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/thevegancookiefairy
Follow me on Instagram http://instagram.com/thevegancookiefairy
Like my Pinterest page http://pinterest.com/clemcookiefairy
Follow me on Bloglovin’ http://www.bloglovin.com/thevegancookiefairy
Comment below
to tell me the most valuable thing/tip you’ve learnt as a vegan 🙂

That gives you 6 chances to win! Whichever way you participate, do make sure I have a way of contacting you!

The winner will be selected at random by Friday 13 June 5pm Greenwich time. Giveaway open internationally!

EDIT: GIVEAWAY CLOSED. The winner is Pixie Vincent, who commented below. Congratulations, I’ll be in touch with you shortly 🙂


IMG_1946
Disclaimer: I was provided with a free digital copy of the book but as always all opinions are my own. 

Like what you read here? Let’s keep in touch! Sign up for email updates and follow me on TwitterFacebookPinterest and Tumblr! You can also follow my blog through Bloglovin‘.

Love and cookies,
thevegancookiefairysignature-2

Vegan In Scotland – The Forest Café, Edinburgh

Welcome to the fourth review of Vegan In Scotland, the blog series in which I review vegan/vegetarian restaurants, cafés and shops in Scotland. Ever since I moved here, I realised it is noticeably harder to eat out and stick to a plant-based diet in Scotland than it was when I lived in London. After several months of frustration, I am making it my mission to suss out vegan/vegetarian places to eat all over Scotland — if it takes me all the way out to the Hebrides! (But hopefully not.) The first reviews are on StereoDavid Bann and Henderson’s.

************************************************************************************

Last Wednesday I found myself on my way to a last-minute trip to Edinburgh and decided to make a stop at The Forest Café to refuel before heading home. It has good reviews on HappyCow.net, my main source for finding vegan places in Scotland.
IMG_1807
My first impression was not great – I wandered around the Tollcross for over half an hour, growing hungrier by the minute, and with a dangerously full bladder, unable to find the place. Out of sheer desperation I sent out a call on Twitter and thanks to my friends (Shonalika, I’m looking at you) I made it to the Forest Café. Be warned: it’s hard to find if you don’t know where it is. There is no clear sign for the café, which is located in an inconspicuous red brick building across from Bank of Scotland.

Upon walking into the café for the second time (the first time I asked if they accepted cards  – they don’t – so I had to run back to the nearest ATM) I asked if the lady at the counter could kindly point out to me which items on the blackboard were vegan. ‘Actually, all of them can be made vegan,‘ she said. Those are words I like to hear! My hunger now reaching danger levels I promptly ordered a big bowl of the soup of the day (£3.50), Lara’s last salad (it sounded interesting, and if it was listed, I assumed this mysterious Lara must have liked it) (£2.00) and a Mexichai latte (£2.00).
IMG_1813
Indulge me while I rave about this Mexichai latte: if ever there was a cure for the muggy Scottish spring weather, when it’s kind of chilly but walking will make you hot and bothered, and you feel like you need something warm but not something heavy – this is it. Delicately spiced and creamy, it hit the spot.
IMG_1810I had a look around whilst waiting for my order; the furniture is mismatched, the interior design reminiscent of a tropical jungle with its dark azure walls, colourful mosaics painted on the windows and lack of lighting. (The toilet, in the basement, also matches the jungle theme. You’ve been warned.) Unsurprisingly the radio plays world music, giving the place a cool, vibrant atmosphere. A board advertises the gigs happening at the Café in the near future, and another tells you about special events such as free French language classes.
IMG_1811
IMG_1809
Lara’s last salad, a colourful mix of couscous, quinoa, beetroot, smoked paprika, mushrooms and seeds, looked promising, but something about it let me down. Maybe the celery? The parsley? I dislike both, but perhaps without them the salad would have been improved. As it was, it tasted kind of like… earth.
IMG_1808
The soup was a heavenly blend of tomato, carrot, mushroom, lentil, coconut and tamarind; soothing, rich and sweet. I wish I had the recipe for it. Served with nutritious brown bread and some vegan butter, it was perfection.

Unfortunately all the desserts available (at the time) contained honey and so were not strictly vegan; the vegan chocolate cake had sadly sold out already. You know what that means – I’ll be back for it!

If you are the type of person to judge a place based on their food rather than their upmarket interior design, fancy chairs or hygiene standards, this could be a good little place for you. It was excellent for me because I don’t mind the hippie vibe, I care about the food most of all, and the price secondly (and the bill, for once, did not send me into hyperventilation mode), but I’m not sure I’d take someone on a date there. I’d be somewhere I would go to read or do homework, to have quiet time by myself.  IMG_1812

Bill total for one person: £9.50 (!!!) (And that’s only because I had two lattes.)

The Forest Café
141 Lauriston Place, Edinburgh, EH3 9JN
 0131 229 4922
info@theforest.org.uk
The Forest on Facebook and Twitter

Like what you read here? Let’s keep in touch! Sign up for email updates and follow me on TwitterFacebookPinterest and Tumblr! You can also follow my blog through Bloglovin‘.

Disclaimer: All opinions are my own. I am not endorsed for this review and the meal was not complimentary.

What’s your scene – budget-friendly hippie café or sophisticated restaurant?

Love and cookies,
thevegancookiefairysignature-2

Vegan In Scotland: Henderson’s Restaurant and Deli Review

Welcome to the third review of Vegan In Scotland, the blog series in which I review vegan/vegetarian restaurants, cafés and shops in Scotland. Ever since I moved here, I realised it is noticeably harder to eat out and stick to a plant-based diet in Scotland than it was when I lived in London. After several months of frustration, I am making it my mission to suss out vegan/vegetarian places to eat all over Scotland — if it takes me all the way out to the Hebrides! (But hopefully not.) The first reviews are on Stereo and David Bann.

***********************************************************************************

IMG_1474
I could think of no better way to start the Easter weekend than a much-anticipated visit to Henderson’s vegetarian restaurant and deli in Edinburgh. I had already visited the café at St John’s near Princes Street – it was good, but nothing to write home about. (The cake was dry. Few things are more disappointing than a dry cake.)

But I knew that if there were this many Henderson’s branches across Edinburgh there must be a good reason. I am nothing if not determined to see the good in everything.
IMG_1457
The restaurant is located in the basement of the deli, down a flight of bucolic stairs. (In the summer this is unfortunate, as we would have liked to dine in the sun, but I imagine it must be delightfully cosy in there in the winter.) There is a menu scribbled onto a blackboard behind the buffet, but otherwise you can pretty much mix and match your salads and cooked lunch. About half of the dishes are vegan, so there is plenty of choice. The ‘famous’ haggis and the bean burger were tempting but I was curious about the mushroom stroganoff, having never had one in my life. I left my partner to order and grabbed a ginger coconut lemon bar on my way to our table.

There was nothing pretty about my stroganoff, but it was nutritious and enjoyable. Not sure I would order it again. When my table companion’s bean burger arrived I was nearly green with envy: a baseball-sized patty, golden brown and crisp on the outside, lounging on a bed of fresh lettuce and juicy cherry tomatoes, served with a just-spicy-enough tomato sauce. And those wedges. Gargantuan, crackling, dusted with paprika and cayenne. I was very happy to finish off my companion’s plate.
IMG_1461 IMG_1463
I liked my little coconut bar but it was too crispy for me, and actually quite tough to chew. I wish I’d gone with the chocolate hazelnut cake they were serving that day, but I felt compelled to try something different for once. (Note to self: stick with what you like.)

 

The room is poorly lit and vaguely resembles the interior of a second-rate Swiss chalet pub, but it isn’t uncomfortable and the food mostly makes up for it. We agreed that this was not the ideal place for a couple to have a cosy meal together but rather a family restaurant, or somewhere you would dine out with a group of friends. There were a number of children around, which might bother some adult diners.

Looking at the website afterwards I discovered they offer 10% student discounts. If this was advertised anywhere in the restaurant, I did not notice it, but I’ll make sure to ask next time. IMG_1464 IMG_1465 IMG_1466_1
We went up to the deli post-lunch; it was quite empty, everyone being out in the sun that day. I asked for a fresh juice and to my delight they made it for me on the spot. There was an excellent selection of teas and plenty of vegan chocolate, including some chocolate eggs by Considerit, which I love.IMG_1468IMG_1467IMG_1469

IMG_1470
My overall verdict: I’ll happily go again. There were so many dishes I wanted to try but my stomach begged to differ. By now you’ll know we’re modest eaters, and our bill came to just under £20 for two people. If you live in Edinburgh and want to buy lunch or a snack on the go, or get a few special ingredients, I would definitely recommend the deli. The food is fresh and moreish.

Henderson’s restaurant and deli
94 Hanover Street
Telephone : 0131 225 2131
email mail@hendersonsofedinburgh.co.uk

Disclaimer: All opinions are my own. I am not endorsed for this review and the meal was not complimentary. 

Have you been to Henderson’s? Which Scottish vegan restaurant/café/shop should I visit next?

Love and cookies,
TheVeganCookieFairySignature #2

Vegan In Scotland: David Bann, Edinburgh

Welcome to the second review of Vegan In Scotland, the blog series in which I review vegan/vegetarian restaurants, cafés and shops in Scotland. Ever since I moved here, I realised it is noticeably harder to eat out and stick to a plant-based diet in Scotland than it was when I lived in London. After several months of frustration, I am making it my mission to suss out vegan/vegetarian places to eat all over Scotland — if it takes me all the way out to the Hebrides! (But hopefully not.) You can read the first review about Stereo in Glasgow here.

———————————————————————————————————-

I’ve wanted to have dinner at David Bann in Edinburgh for months now. This vegetarian/vegan restaurant boasts positive reviews on HappyCow.net, a site I am finding rather useful these days. My lunch companion and me headed out to Edinburgh on a chilly overcast Sunday in search of exciting, satisfying food.

banew22
(photo credit: David Bann)

David Bann is located in St Mary’s Street, off the Cowgate and Royal Mile in the centre of Edinburgh’s Old Town. It’s possibly my favourite part of Edinburgh, with its centuries-old monuments and pretty cobbled streets, street vendors and the inevitable bagpiper. The restaurant itself is fairly inconspicuous, and you wouldn’t know it is a specifically vegetarian restaurant unless you were previously aware of it. We were greeted by friendly staff who showed us to a table by the window. For a Sunday lunchtime it was rather quiet, but the atmosphere was low-key and sophisticated.

Our waitress let us know about the soup of the day: leek, potato and butterbean, not vegan or gluten-free, unfortunately – it’s reassuring to know they are aware of their customers’ varied dietary requirements. My dining companion ordered the soup, since he’s not vegan, and I opted for what I could only describe as the logical meal for me to order: a chilli pancake with roasted vegetables, grilled sweet potato and chocolate. (Yes, chocolate in my main meal! Oh heaven, oh delight! I was positively squirming with anticipation.) I would have felt disappointed to leave without trying the marinated fried tofu with mango chutney, so I ordered that as a side dish. We drank some water flavoured with slices of fresh lemon and orange.

chilipancake
The wait was not long at all. My eyes, firstly, were satisfied as soon as I saw my pancake – it was simply marvellous, from presentation to the size of the  meal – and then my tastebuds as I took my first bite. All the flavours were so perfectly balanced: juicy roasted vegetables, just the right amount of spice that leaves you feeling warm and cosy, not like your tongue’s been charred off, and that chocolate – simply sublime. The stuff of dreams. I would try to recreate it at home but I doubt I would ever get it right.

marinated tofu
I was disappointed with the tofu: it was crispy, yes, but the marinade flavour was non-existant and I had hoped the mango chutney would be a dip, not slices of picked mango.

leekpotatobutterbeansoup
My companion, a man of few words as you know, gobbled up his soup and bread, which can only be translated with a mild Limerick accent as: ‘Lovely, that.’

For two people our bill came to just under £20, which I consider to be a fair price, especially considering the quality of the food. I will dream of that pancake for years to come. True, we ate modestly, but I can vouch for the affordability of the entire menu.

Sadly, I did not see any of the desserts on the menu indicated as vegan or ‘could be made vegan’. Perhaps if you intend to dine at David Bann you can phone ahead and inform them of your dietary needs, and I’m sure, considering the helpfulness of the staff, that they might prepare something specially for you.

I heartily recommend this elegant restaurant to anyone who wants to experience vegan food at a higher culinary level. This would be the perfect location for a grown-up birthday party, a business meeting or a date. Though that pancake was so delicious I might be tempted to return by myself very soon!

David Bann
56-58 St Mary’s Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1SX
0131 556 5888
info@davidbann.co.uk

Disclaimer: All opinions are my own. I am not endorsed for this review and the meal was not complimentary. 

Have you been to David Bann? Any good dishes I should try next time?

TheVeganCookieFairySignature #2

Winner of The Vegan Kind Giveaway!

The giveaway has now ended and a winner has been selected. 

And the winner is…


Vicky Rockcliffe from West Yorkshire!


Vicky writes the blog Gluten-Free SCD and Veggie and is a follower of mine on Pinterest. Thank you for entering the giveaway, Vicky, and congratulations! I hope you enjoy your first free The Vegan Kind box. Please email me your at clemencemoulaert (at) hotmail (dot) com and I shall put you in contact with The Vegan Kind so you can claim your first box. 

Thank you to everyone who entered – I wish I could give you all a cookie! But I have S’mores Topped Sweet Potato Brownies in the oven if that’s any consolation?

Love and cookies to you all,
xoxo


Vegan Scotland: Stereo, Glasgow.

Welcome to the very first review of Vegan In Scotland, the blog series in which I review vegan/vegetarian restaurants, cafés and shops in Scotland. Ever since I moved here, I noticed it is noticeably harder to eat out and stick to a plant-based diet in Scotland than it was when I lived in London. After several months of frustration, I am making it my mission to suss out vegan/vegetarian places to eat all over Scotland — if it takes me all the way out to the Hebrides! (But hopefully not.)

****************************************************

Can you look past the dilapidated building, the canteen furniture and the fairly slow waiting staff? If you can tolerate the grungy interior design long enough for your food to arrive, you will be richly rewarded, I promise. I ate the best food of my life here. A bold statement, and here’s why:

We strolled in on a cold, dreary day in early January after having trudged through a good bit of Glasgow. I was ravenous and not at all inclined to look far for a big plateful of honest, good grub. In a little side street in central Glasgow, Stereo, an inconspicuous but surprisingly large and totally vegan restaurant, held my salvation. 

Admittedly, the staff, though welcoming and polite, were a bit slow to act. I got up and fetched my own menu. We had plenty of time to salivate over the menu before we got to place our order.

But when the food came, I knew we’d hit jackpot. The vegan cheese quesadillas, oozing and hot from the pan, served on a generous plate with a lovely crisp, fresh, peppery rocket salad, was heavenly. I also had a humungous bowl of steaming chunky tomato and chickpea soup, just the right level of spicy, with homemade bread on the side. All the bread is made fresh daily; it is soft and pillowy on the inside, with a crunchy crust. 

Look… at… that… cheeeeeeeese.

My table companion, the Cookie Monster, warily ordered the burger. He said it was beautiful, but he’s a man of few words; I say it was unlike any burger I’ve ever eaten: filling but not heavy, with nutty undertones, warm spices and that same fresh salad on the side (so different from the usually bland ‘side salad’ most restaurants serve). My only wish was that the bun had been wholegrain, but I’ll forgive them that. 

Rotund as I was after scarfing it all down, I seriously considered ordering the dessert of the day (an obscene square of dark chocolate brownie with ginger and ice cream on top), but in the end reason prevailed. I guess I’ll have to go back and try it some other time…

The prices were quite affordable, mid-range shall we say. The burger was £7.00, my soup and soup £4.00 and the quesadillas of heaven (which also come as a gluten-free option) cost £7.50. We drank only water. Total bill: £18.50 for two people. 

The verdict: 4 out of 5 stars. 

Just to prove that we ate it all… 


22-28 Renfield Lane, Glasgow, G2 5AR • Telephone: 0141 222 2254


Now it’s your turn — have you got any recommendations for vegan or vegan-friendly places to eat, drink or shop in Scotland? This does not merely relate to food — fashion, home and gardening are of interest to me, too. 


P.S.: Have you entered my giveaway for a FREE box of vegan products from The Vegan Kind? If not, you really should!