Limoncello Drizzle Cake {GF and sugar-free} Celebrating 2 years.

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I get fairly personal on this blog – after all for me, food is such a foundational part of my day, of my entire life, that there are memories associated with most dishes I make, especially cakes and desserts. (Like Mum’s cake, or Granny’s chocolate mousse, or these ice cream sandwiches.) And sometimes I mention my Cookie Monster. But I don’t really talk about him that much because a) he gets embarrassed like that, and b) I like to keep him to myself.
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Especially considering the past year. We were (or rather, I was) optimistic about long-distance. One year, we could do that, right? Let me fast-forward to the point: long-distance is brutal. Skype is great but human contact is essential in a relationship. There has been more shouting, crying and sulking than either of us would have liked. There were times I thought, ‘This is it, we won’t make it.’ There were more ups and downs than a roller-coaster can boast; at this point, I think we’re both ready to get off the ride.
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That’s not to say we never have good times together. We have loads. Last year we went to Naples and we brought back two bottles of limoncello. Sunshine in a bottle. If I could bottle his smile and save it for a stressful day, I would. But for now, limoncello will have to do; with each bite of this cake I remember that week of sunshine, gelato and blissful relaxation we spent together.

Two years together. Thanks for sticking with me, babe.
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Limoncello Drizzle Cake {GF}

  • Servings: makes one 20cm/8 inch cake, or 8 servings
  • Print

3 tbsp powdered stevia
120g (1/2 cup) vegan butter
2 flax eggs (2 tbsp ground flaxseed mixed with 6 tbsp water)
1 tsp vanilla essence
The juice of a small lemon and the zest of three
120g (1 cup) ground almonds
180g (1 cup + 1 tbsp) polenta
1 tsp baking powder
125ml (1/2 cup) warm water
A few tablespoons of limoncello and soya or coconut cream to serve

Pre-heat the oven to 200ºC (400ºF). Line or grease a round 20cm (8″) springform cake tin.

Cream the butter and stevia till light and fluffy in a large mixing bowl. Add the flax eggs, vanilla essence, lemon juice and zest. Incorporate the warm water and remaining dry ingredients a little at a time to combine them more easily; the batter should be even and somewhat thick, but not lumpy or tough to handle.

Pour into the lined/greased cake tin. Smooth out the top so it’s even. Lower the temperature to 180ºC (350ºF) and bake for 40 minutes; the edge of the cake should come away from the tin and be golden.

Cool on a wire rack. Release the cake from its tin and carefully place it on a tray/plate/stand. (I do this by flipping the cake upside down onto a plate, then flipping it again onto the desired platform of presentation.) Drizzle over as much limoncello as you like without drowning the cake and serve each slice with a generous glug of cream.

Thank you for letting me share my personal stories with you. Your continued support means the world to me. ❤

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Love and cookies,
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Ginger Beer Mango Coconut Ice Cream Float {Suma Bloggers Network}

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Sometimes overcomplicating things is not the best plan. Who am I kidding – it never is. For my first blog post of my partnership with Suma I had planned an epic, mind-boggling, orgasmic ginger beer mango loaf cake. The stuff of dreams. It was going to be moist, delicate, flavourful, exotic and totally blissful. I even shared a sneak peek of the initial trial on Instagram:
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The only thing more soul-destroying than a failed cake is a second failed cake. (And The Fault In Our Stars. It wrecked my heart.)
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After the second trial, which was even uglier and more pitiful than the first, I knew I had to change tack. Let’s face it: I have 48 days to write and hand in my Dissertation, I’ve started a new (stressful) part-time job, I’ve just sent the first drafts of my next two ebooks to my publisher, and then just, you know… life on top of that. Sometimes there is simply no room in such a hectic schedule for an epic ginger beer mango loaf cake. And that is ok.
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The weather is hot, we’re in shorts and t-shirts and we’re trying to tan our pathetically pale skins in the Scottish sun. This could only mean ice cream. So I present to you a simple ginger beer float, with stupendously simple and sugar-free mango ice cream, topped with a lush whipped coconut cream made of only two ingredients. There you go. Enjoy, my lovelies.
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Ginger Beer Mango Coconut Ice Cream Float

  • Servings: makes 1 large serving
  • Print

For the mango coconut cream and ginger beer float:

250ml (1 cup) coconut cream, chilled overnight
1 banana, sliced and frozen
480g (3 heaped cups) frozen mango chunks
120ml (2/3 cup) almond milk

120ml (1/2 cup) chilled Fentiman’s Ginger Beer (see final step: ‘to assemble’)

Puree the first four ingredients in a high-speed blender or food processor until creamy and smooth. Tip: add the mango chunks a little at a time to make life easier for your blender/food processor.

Pour the ice cream into a container and place in the freezer for about an hour. If leaving it longer, do defrost it for about twenty minutes before scooping it up with an ice cream scoop dipped in hot water.

For the coconut whipped cream:

200ml (3/4 cups + 2 tbsp) coconut cream, chilled overnight
1 tbsp powdered stevia

Briskly whip together both ingredients.

To assemble:

Place three scoops of mango coconut ice cream in a sundae glass. Pour over the chilled ginger beer and top with a healthy dollop of coconut whipped cream. Enjoy immediately, by yourself or with a friend.

Variations: Add some caramelised ginger or dried pineapple chunks to your mango ice cream for a fiery kick to complement the ginger beer.

How about you – do you, like me, waste far too much time trying to be an overachiever?

Disclaimer: I was sent some ingredients for this recipe by Suma Wholefoods as part of the Suma Bloggers Network partnership but, as always, all opinions are my own. I am not getting paid for this blog post. 

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Love and cookies,
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Ice Cream Sandwiches: Espresso Biscuits With Pistachio Ice Cream {sugar-free}

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When I was little my sister and used to spend school holidays at my maternal grandmother’s bungalow in Wallonia. It took hours to drive there but it was worth the trip because she lived on the outskirts of a golf course; in the evenings we would simply walk across the garden, through a patch of forest, and out onto the green, where we played amongst the sprinklers’ water jets like they were fountains. It was a good childhood.
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The best part was hearing the jolly tune of the ice cream van as he drove into our street. Bonne-mamie was not the type to spoil us but she never denied us an ice cream. Hearing our accents when we spoke French like only Flemish people do, he asked us where we from. ‘Ursel!’ we cried out proudly. Of course he didn’t where that was; it’s a teensy village in Flanders. ‘Could you come and give us ice creams there?’ Oh the naivety of children.
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My favourite flavour was pistachio and espresso. Odd choices for a child; most would choose vanilla, chocolate or strawberry. I never knew why I liked them; I just did, and that was good enough for me. I still do, in fact.
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Ice Cream Sandwiches: Espresso Biscuits and Pistachio Ice Cream

  • Servings: makes 16 sandwiches with spare cookies
  • Print

For the espresso biscuits:

300g (1.5 packed cups) spelt flour
2 heaped tbsp powdered stevia
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
125g (1/2 cup) vegan butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
a strong cup of espresso (i.e. espresso cup-sized, not US measures cup-sized)

Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Cube the vegan butter and add it to the dry ingredients, rubbing them all together using the pads of your fingertips. The mixture should begin to resemble wet sand.

Add in the espresso and knead together with your hands. Tip onto a clean surface and work the dough into a smooth ball. Cover with cling film, put it back in the bowl and leave to chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF). Line two baking sheets with baking parchment.

Unwrap the dough and, using a rolling pin, roll it out quite thinly on a clean surface. It should be just under half a centimetre thick. Using a cookie cutter 6cm (2.5 inches) in diametre cut out as many shapes as you can and place them onto the lined sheets. Roll up the strands of dough into a smooth ball, flatten again, and start over the process. Do this until there is no dough left; you should have about 30 biscuits.

Bake 13-15 minutes, or until the edges start to brown and crisp up. Cool on a wire rack; meanwhile, prepare the ice cream.

For the pistachio ice cream:

Double the recipe to cover all the biscuits. This makes enough to assemble 8 ice cream sandwiches, leaving you with 14 biscuits, which I like to nibble on as I have tea. 

200g (7 oz) shelled pistachios
250ml (1 cup) coconut cream, chilled
1 tbsp powdered stevia

Pulse the pistachios to a fine powder in a high-speed blender. Add the coconut cream and stevia and blend until smooth.

Pour into a freezer-safe container and freeze for about an hour.

To assemble:

Freeze the biscuits for about 20 minutes before spreading ice cream onto them. To make 8 ice cream sandwiches you will need 16 biscuits and a generous tablespoon of freshly made pistachio ice cream.

If you left the ice cream in the freezer for longer than an hour, you may need to thaw it for half an hour before scooping onto your sandwiches. Use a spoon or ice cream scoop dipped in hot water if you have trouble cutting through the ice cream.

What was your favourite ice cream flavour as a child? Has it changed?

Love and cookies,
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‘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.
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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.
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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!
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‘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 🙂


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

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Love and cookies,
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Baileys Bourbon Creams

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I love everything about Scotland (men in kilts, in particular) but I never thought I would like Scotch. I love me a glass of whiskey, but I’d prefer it to be Irish. However my lovely neighbours refused to accept this and promptly began to instruct me on proper whisky. (Note the absence of the ‘e’.)
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The best place in Stirling for a dram is The Curly Coo, a quaint and old-fashioned looking pub to which I instantly pledged my allegiance. It’s my regular now. Not that I have the funds to regularly go to the pub, but if there’s anywhere I want to go for a drink, it’s there. The landlady, who has a jarring Queen’s English accent, knows her whisky like the back of her hand and I’m told she has an interesting back story. I guess I’ll need to go back and figure out what it is…
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But if I’m really, really honest… the only whiskey I’ve got in my house is my trusted Jameson. That one will always be my favourite. (Sorry Gemma!)
IMG_1965A note for the Americans and other non-Brits: a Bourbon cream is the most attractive and delightful little biscuit there ever was. You may not call it a cookie. No, it does not contain Bourbon. It’s totally non-alcoholic and surprisingly can often be found to contain no eggs or dairy, just vegetable oils. But it’s never sold with a Baileys cream centre, so I decided to make one. There.
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Baileys Bourbon Creams

  • Servings: makes 18 biscuits
  • Print

Adapted from this recipe by Good Housekeeping.

For the bourbon biscuits:

250g (9 oz)spelt or plain flour
125g (4.5 oz) vegan butter
125g (4.5 oz) soft brown sugar
2 tbsp dark cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda

Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add the vegan butter and work it into the dry ingredients by rubbing them together between your fingertips. The end result should resemble wet sand and be moist but not too sticky.

Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for half an hour.

Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF). Unwrap the biscuit dough and roll it out on a clean surface. Make it into a rectangle 23cm x 30.5cm (9in x 12in), and about 0.5 cm (0.25 inch) thick. Cut the rectangle in 3 parts lengthways, then cut across them in 2.5 cm (1 inch) intervals. You should have 36 biscuits.

Place them on a lined baking tray and bake for 20-22 minutes.

For the Baileys Cream:

500ml (2 cups) coconut cream
1 tbsp Irish whiskey
3 tbsp soft brown sugar
2 tsp espresso powder

Add all the ingredients to a saucepan and place over medium heat. Give it about 5 minutes for all the ingredients to melt into each other, then stir with a wooden spoon. Remove from the hob and set aside to cool completely. 

Stir in 2 tsp psyllium husk, then place in the fridge to set. It’s best to leave it overnight, but a minimum of 6 hours will do.

Spread about a teaspoon of the Baileys cream onto the bottom side of a biscuit, then press another one on top. Do this for all of the biscuits. If you have any cream leftover, feel free to dip the biscuits into it or eat it on its own as pudding!

What’s one thing you never thought you’d like?

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Love and cookies,
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Maca, Orange & Almond French Crêpes

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When I was 17 and in my final year at high school, we went on a school trip to Normandy. France, how boring when you live next door. I don’t think any of us expected this to be a memorable school trip. We weren’t a tight-knit bunch, so there was no guarantee that we would get along for a whole week.

The sun shone bright, the sea breeze was fortifying. There’s just something about the Channel that’s invigorating – maybe the thought that you could, if you really wanted to, swim to Britain. We visited the cathedral in Rouen, and re-enacted D-Day on the beach (and we’ve still got the video footage), ate more crêpes than we ever thought we could, and surprisingly, we had a great time. And it did become a memorable week, at least for me. It ended way too soon.
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They say ‘sometimes it’s the little things’; I say 90% of the time it’s the little things that make life worth living. That music box I bought in Honfleur, the prettiest little port I’ve ever seen. The 20km walk along the sand dunes and cliffs of Normandy, and picnicking on the beach. Crêpes for breakfast. Crêpes for lunch. Snack, maybe even dinner. You don’t have to go all the way to Bali for a restorative holiday or trek to the Himalayas to live a great experience. France is close, and good, enough.
IMG_1815I want to go back this summer. It’s on my bucket list: ‘Go back to Honfleur and buy another music box.’ I hope that shop is still there. I’ll buy a music box and eat crêpes on the beach and wear a broad-rimmed sunhat and do sweet FA to celebrate handing in my Dissertation whilst working two jobs and blogging and trying to remain sane.IMG_1824

Maca, Orange & Almond French Crêpes

½ cup almond flour
½ cup spelt flour
2 tsps maca powder
1 + ¼ cup light coconut milk
3 tsp stevia or Truvia
the zest of 1 orange
1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flaxseed + 3 tbsp warm water)
vegan butter or coconut oil for greasing

Whisk all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl. The batter should be quite liquid (perhaps even alarmingly so) and have no lumps. If you do get lumps in your batter, squash them into nothingness against the side of the bowl.

Grease a large, shallow frying pan with some vegan butter or coconut oil. Pour one ladleful of batter in the centre and swirl the pan to distribute the batter in an even circle. Cook on medium to high heat until the edges begin to look golden and crisp and the centre of the crêpe starts to puff up slightly. Delicately flip with a spatula, or if you’re brave enough flip the crêpe with a deft flick of the wrist. Cook for another two minutes on the other side, then place onto a clean plate.

Repeat this process 3 more times.

Serve with blueberries, coconut cream, cashew butter, banana – or whatever you like.

Tell me three of the little things that make life worth living for you?

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Love and cookies,
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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.

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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.
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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).
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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.
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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.
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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

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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,
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