The Allotment Vegan Eatery – First Impressions

The Allotment Vegan Eatery, located on Lloyd Street, makes fine dinning simple and relatable (and gluten free too). As soon as you walk in it feels welcoming and cozy, even though it’s quite spacious.

We visited early on a rainy Monday to take advantage of the Eat Out To Help Out scheme, which they are continuing through September. I really liked the simple and natural feel to decor and layout. There is an extensive drinks menu offering juices, bottled soft drinks, beer, teas, cocktails and wine.

Small Plates

My bloke’s tiny dish was too tiny to eat out of properly but he found the Edamame Salad, with kale, chilli, spring onions, soy and tamarind dressing was really refreshing.

I found the little boats made from Chicory leaves to be the perfect way to eat tenderstem broccoli with black olive tapenade, toasted hazelnuts and pumpkin and pomegranate seeds. A unique combination which worked really well.

Large Plates

My bloke likes a good risotto but he’d never tried a beetroot risotto with ricotta before. This dish had a lovely flavour but both the maple glazed beetroot and the ricotta were similarly sweet, so it needed another salty or sharp flavour to break them up and help define them both.

I ordered the ‘fish’ and chips. Wow, we’re those chips big and crispy! The minted peas had a subtle flavour which was just right and the homemade tarter sauce was a perfect accompaniment. The ‘fish’ was made from banana blossom which had a texture similar to shredded duck and tasted strongly of lemon. The batter had a nice crunch but the fish was crying out for some kind of salt but there was no salt and pepper on the table, a trend which is becoming more common I’ve noticed.

Dessert

There were only two desserts so we ordered one each to share. Blueberry Cheesecake and a Hazelnut Slice.

The hazelnut slice base was made of crushed hazelnuts, with a thick layer of salted caramel praline, topped with solid Belgian chocolate ganache. The portion of this delicious desert was so big I was glad I was sharing it.

The base of the blueberry cheesecake was made of crushed pea cans and almonds, topped with a vanilla and blended cashew filling, topped with blueberry and chai seed compot. Such skill must have gone into making this as it was wonderful!

The inclusion of fresh fruit and ice cream with both deserts was a nice touch and lifted their flavour, rather than just being sweet deserts.

One thing I have to mention is how uncomfortable the wooden chairs are if you don’t have any back fat. The next day a part of my spine actually felt bruised! There is a settee (which was taken) and I noticed other metal chairs when we were leaving.

Service was timely and friendly although we did arrive early and it got a lot busier later. We wouldn’t eat there again unless it was for a treat like a birthday as we found it to be too pricey for our budget but I can understand why, as it’s evident a lot of thought, skill and care goes into the food.

πŸ–€βœ¨Chrissieβœ¨πŸ–€

My Surprisingly Green Lifestyle 1970’s – 2000’s

70’s

My Grandparents were quite poor so they β€˜up-cycled’ or made things to reduce buying cheap crap which wouldn’t last.

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80’s

My parents supported nature by planting insect and bee friendly plants (their parents had organic allotments/gardens all their lives) growing tomatoes and hanging up bird feeders.

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I was in Junior school in the 80’s where we got taught about the hole in the O-zone layer, global warming and recycling (you had to take it to certain supermarkets).

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In the 80’s we lived a 20 min bus ride away from The Body Shops so I saved up my spends and bought cruelty-free skincare and perfume.

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90’s

We never ate much read meat, only in Potato Hash and corned beef butties. Any fresh meat we bought from the local butchers, who had local suppliers.

So for a kid from a low income family, in the middle of a city, I was lucky to grow up with a fairly sustainable and considerate lifestyle, without actually considering it!

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___________________

2000’s

I’ve cut right back on fast-fashion. Overall, I only buy things which I know I will wear for years or even decades to come. If I like something I will take a photo of it, wait for five days and then if I’m still sure I want it (and it earns a place in my wardrobe) I’ll buy it.

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When I come back from the shops I empty my spare change into a money box and when it’s full I spend the money at an independent business and/or charity shop.

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πŸ’š What do you aim to start or stop doing? πŸ’š

πŸ–€βœ¨Chrissieβœ¨πŸ–€

Monthly Roundup – August

I’ve taken screen shots from my Instagram to remind me, and show you what I’ve been up to this month.

Skincare and Haircare

I cut my curly hair using tips from Brad Mondo and tips from various natural hair vloggers to style my 2C curls.

I changed my contraception so got quite a few hormonal spots and this Body Shop Tea Tree, Skin Clearing Mattifying Toner was invaluable; as was The Ordinary, Lactic Acid which very gently and naturally exfoliates.

Now it’s the end of August and my skin has settled so I’m using Neal’s Yard Remedies Orange Flower Toner and Orange Flower Moisturiser everyday to keep my skin all glowy and nourished (along with the The Ordinary Lactic Acid twice a week).

Food, glorious food!

Me and my bloke spent our Tesco vouchers on Pizza Express (who will be going into liquidation next month apparently) and order two ‘new’ veggie pizzas and all of the salad.

To take advantage of the governments ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme we went to Ruyi Vegetarian Restaurant. Amazing!

I’ve gotten back into the fake meat brand Vivera and have been making simple stir-fries. Like these Vivera Shwarma Kebab strips with rice and pea and sweet corn and Jamaican Jerk BBQ sauce.

The hot weather made really reduced my appetite so these mezze/tapas style bowls were great to nibble on.

Style

I’ve had purchasing a Nirvana tee at the back of my mind for decades and this month I found an official pale pink one. Cute and grungy!

I got sick of buying summer shoes that were either too flat and bad for my shitty joints or too heavy or that flew off my feet going down stairs. I bit the bullet and bought Crocs. I actually think these look pretty bad-ass as they remind me of late 80’s/early 90’s street style. Here’s my full review of Crocs.

I still think the simplest thing to wear is a maxi dress. Hides a ton of sins and all you have to choose are shoes and then a jacket/cardigan for evening.

Lifestyle

In the crazy hot weather I’ve been wearing these sandals from Newlook, drinking Rockstar blueberry energy drink, using this light and fruity perfume from Eden and ( even with my limited concentration span) flew through My Sister The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite.

The households charity shop donations for the second quarter of the year: A crazy wide pair of linen trousers, a face scrub you have to mix from powder (I managed to spill the first pot everywhere), vest I’m now too big for, too small jeans, a teeny-tiny dress from Japan, shoes which I’ve had over a decade and worn out.

Tips on How Not To Be Constantly Late and a fun checklist to see How Basic Are You?

Listened to

80’s pop and bluesy rock.

Watched

Snowfall about the start of the crack epidemic in early 80’s LA, like a mixture of Breaking Bad, The Getdown and The Wire.

Canada’s Drag Race, love Priyanka!

Galdem (on BBC iPlayer) about women making it in the UK grime scene.

Read

My Sister The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite.

Don’t forget to like, comment or subscribe! Xxx

πŸ–€βœ¨Chrissieβœ¨πŸ–€

First Impressions of Ruyi Vegetarian Restaurant

Finally visited Ruyi Vegetarian House (Withington) who do delicious vegetarian and vegan food, specialising in mock-meats.

They are doing the #eatouttohelpoutscheme during the week.

The general standard of cooking was fantastic and the staff (even though they were so busy) were so attentive. Really relaxed, friendly atmosphere too.

I ordered: Peking Ribs (lovely), Salt and Pepper Tofu (quality), Mixed Veg (subtle seaweed flavour).

My Bloke ordered: Peking Ribs, Satay Chicken (amazing) and Stir Fried Mushroom (lovely).

They’re moving to Chorlton very soon, which is a very trendy and unique place to be. I do think it will be such a shame for this part of Withington that another veggie/vegan place has gone, along with the closure of Boho Utopia cafe recently.

πŸ–€βœ¨Chrissieβœ¨πŸ–€

How Not To Be Late All Of The Time

  • I’ve struggled terribly for years with keeping track of time, planning my time and executive functioning (getting around to doing tasks). For me, this is due to my Autism and Dyspraxia but I know it’s a general problem for so many people. Do you often get so (hyper) focussed on doing a single task that you loose all sense of time or often get too distracted by irrelevant tasks?
  • Here are the coping strategies for being on time, that I’ve learned over 30+ years:

  • Get everything ready the night before by putting all of the essentials in your bag or together in a pile (which you have to walk past on the way out).
  • Plan your outfit and/or make sure your shoes/bag/coat are clean and presentable beforehand.
  • To figure how long it will take to get ready break down your daily routine into tasks, then assume each task is going to take a few minutes longer than you would think.
  • At the start, factor in ten extra minutes for zoning out or hyper-focussing on something or for one of those ‘Oh crap, I’ve properly arsed this up’ sort of moments.
  • If you are able, get into the habit of agreeing on a time to meet up a bit later – even though (in your head) you are still aiming for the original time – to give yourself a margin.
  • Set an alarm or a timer to go off half way through the time you have left to get ready, to give you some perspective on how you are doing.
  • Don’t rely on public transport/a lift/taxis to be on time either and allow for rush hour traffic.
  • Now you should fall into the middle of the time slot you’ve mentally and socially allocated yourself.
  • If you are still late sometimes? Try not to stress. Shit happens.
  • πŸ–€βœ¨Chrissieβœ¨πŸ–€
  • How Basic Are You? Just for fun :o)

    • You own a Hydroflask or Waterbottle #
    • You buy pretty stationary #
    • You never use it #
    • You wear scrunchies #
    • You have an avatar of yourself and change it’s outfits regularly #
    • You have had a yoga/fitness instructor/physio “change your life” #
    • You buy so many scented candles #
    • But rarely light them #
    • You have a favourite nut milk #
    • You LOVE Riverdale #
    • You plan events by making Pinterest/mood boards
    • You have lots of retro and vintage ‘inspired’ things but they are all new #
    • You have an astrology/arrow/love heart/infinity tattoo
    • You ‘do’ brunch #
    • You take group photos and put retro filters on them #
    • You love Taylor Swift
    • You own a Nutri Bulit/blender/juicer #
    • You’ve said “I seriously need to detox!” #
    • You’ve gone to Glasto/Coachella
    • You explain that you’re “weird and so ditzy”
    • You watch Love Actually/Bridget Jones/The Holiday every Christmas
    • You love oversized jumpers with tiny shorts/leggings #
    • Your favourite season is Autumn/fall
    • You put Christmas/Halloween decorations up asap #
    • You’ve posted throw back photos of holidays saying “Take me back…” #
    • You’ve bought a book because a celeb recommended it #
    • You watch Love Island
    • You use the words ‘literally’ and ‘basically’ way too much #
    • You love iced lattes or mochas #
    • You live in Ugg’s, Tivas, Crocs or ‘Berkies’ #
    • You’ve been a ‘sexy’ version of something for Halloween #
    • You’ve watched Keeping Up With The Kardashians deliberately #
    • You’ve made your own denim shorts/halter top #
    • You love the (younger) royal family #
    • You love “a cheeky Nando’s”/Visit to Chipotle
    • You’ve made a TikTok/Insta story in baggy joggers but full makeup
    • You feel so much better when you’ve had your nails ‘done’
    • Your ‘reasonable’ amount of plushies/teddies is taking over your space #
    • You call everyone hon/chick/babes/sweetie whether they like it or not #
    • You do quizes like this #

    This is inspired by a quiz from Buzzfeed. I’ve changed it to incorporate a more UK based audience and added and removed a few things. Here are Freddie and Kelsey, two US influencers, taking it themselves for As/Is channel.

    What did you score? I got 29/40, which doesn’t really surprise me!

     

    20 Tips for Living a Greener, More Sustainable Lifestyle

    TIPS ON LIVING A GREEN LIFESTYLE

    1. Recycle/Upcycle
    2. Reuse/Repair
    3. Buy organic
    4. Reduce plastic consumption (use wooden/fabric/glass/metal alternatives)
    5. Avoid single use plastic
    6. Support independent companies
    7. Buy local produce
    8. Campaign/fund raise for wildlife and nature
    9. Drive an electric car or cycle or use public transport
    10. Use cruelty free and natural skincare, selfcare and household products
    11. Buy from and donate to charity shops
    12. Sell quality items on Depop and donate the money to smaller charities
    13. Use fabric tote bags for shopping
    14. Grow your own veg (growing a little tomato or chilli plant or regrowing veg ends like lettuce on your windowsill counts)
    15. Avoid fast fashion as much as possible
    16. Get clothes altered and learn how to hem and use darts to alter size/shape (fairly easy but makes a huge difference).
    17. Buy your electricity and gas from Good Energy/Ecotricity
    18. Use the phone provider Eco Talk
    19. Turn off the light when you leave the room
    20. Wear another layer, rather than turning up the heating

    Just do your best and don’t stress!

    πŸ’šβœ¨Chrissieβœ¨πŸ’š

    Frida Kahlo Beaded Earrings from Sour Cherry

    I bought these gorgeous Frida Kahlo earrings from an independent shop called Sour Cherry (which also stocks handmade jewellery by Wilderness). The jewellery is designed and hand made by Kayleigh, Katy and Ana and the designs are quirky-cute! You can visit Sour Cherry online as well as visiting the shop in Afflecks, Oldham/Tib/Church Street, Manchester.

    Such thoughtful packaging ^_^

    They’ve stated that they will not be restocking these so you better get them while stocks last!

    πŸ–€πŸ’ChrissieπŸ’πŸ–€

    Daily Gratitude Challenge – Home Sweet Home

    This is meant to be a daily gratitude challenge, created by Suzie Speaks but being the sporadic wench that I am, I’ll be dipping in and out of this so I’m not numbering the themes. I’ve also added categories so it wasn’t one big long waffle as I’m sure you know how much I like to wa….

    Home Sweet Home

    What style I’m rocking at home

    No matter how much lovely ‘loungewear’ I own (including oversize cardigans) 80% of the time I wear a long dressing gown draped around my shoulders, cloak style. So I’m grateful I can do this at home.

    The neighbourhood

    It’s a mix of races and nationalities and has a much lower crime rate these days. There are independent takeaways, hairdressers and ‘bit of everything’ shops, with one small suburban shopping centre of chain stores and charity shops. Ooh, I like that as the tittle for an indie song ‘Chain stores and charity shops’.

    Where is my home?

    I live with my Dad but also spend time at the blokes and my Dad spends time at his Missus and then we both spend time at home together. There’s two floors so we still have our own space and he does top-up shops for me. I hate washing up, he doesn’t mind. He hates vacing up, I love it! We watch Dragons Den, The Apprentice, The Voice, Great British Bake-off and shout enthusiastically at the telly. I’m greatful that when their paths do cross, my bloke and my Dad get along well.

    Yard or Garden

    There’s a tiny but lovely back yard which is full of flowers, which I am so grateful to sit out in on a nice day or just to look at from the settee.

    I moved to Cheadle Heath

    Just as the 2008 (?) recession hit and many companies went into liquidation. Working as a temp came in handy…until it didn’t and I had to move back home. I still had a few good friends and I met the bloke a week later so it didn’t feel like I was stuck at home. I usually get a cab or bus into town (only 15 mins) from my blokes to go to gigs or for nice meals out.

    The neighbours

    The top of the street is like a little community where the neighbourhood kids play out together, which really reminds me of the street in the 80’s. At the bottom (my bit) there are more private people. A few usually give me a big smile and a wave and I’m getting better at recognising them out of context (a common Aspergers thing), like when we are at the local shops etc.

    As usual, whoever wants to join in with this idea, please do!

    How does this differ from your home and neighbourhood?

    πŸ–€βœ¨Chrissieβœ¨πŸ–€

    The 90’s Blog Tag

    I knew I had to join in with this tag when I voted for it on Heather of Just Geeking By‘s Twitter poll. Great idea to let your readers vote, Heather!

    Favourite TV Show

    Queer as Folk, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, My So Called Life and Footballers Wives. Lots of box sets on VHS. I was a teen for the majority of the 90’s so I’d love anything that was ‘cool’ or ‘mint’.

    Favourite 90’s Song

    One cassette single I remember being played on repeat for an entire six week school holiday is Trouble by Shampoo about two girls in their late teens missing the night bus home.

    What’s Going On by Four Non Blondes, Stay by Shakespeare Sister, then later a load of Happy Hardcore, Gangsters Paradise by Coolio and Breathe by The Prodigy.

    Favourite TV Add

    It has to be the famous Guinness beer surfer advert with the awesome track Phat Planet by Leftfield.

    NSYNC or Backstreet Boys

    In the UK it was Take That or East 17 (I preferred the latter but new all the words to every TT song) and then later Oasis V’s Blur (I went with Blur as I realised Liam Gallagher was/is a bit of dick. Alex James from Blur seems to be a bit of a snobby tw@tt though so, whatever).

    Did You Collect Anything Back Then

    Garfield stickers and shag bands (skinny rubber bracelets and if one broke it was meant to be a sign you’d get a shag soon – they were not intuitive AT ALL).

    How Many Tamagotchis Did You Go Through

    Two. A cute little dinosaur which turned into to a Tetradactyl and flew off the screen! I couldn’t be arsed with second and kept loosing it but people kept passing it on until it’d get back to me!

    Favourite Video Game and Console

    Sega Megadrive and Sonic the Hedgehog or Streets of Rage.

    Favourite Cereal/Free Toy

    There was one cereal that gave out big Casper (the film about the friendly ghost) stickers which glowed in the dark.

    Who Was Your 90’s Crush Growing Up

    Mel Gibson – don’t judge, he was fit in the Leathal Weapon Films! Oh, and Christian Slater and Bruce Willis.

    What Was Your Fave Disney Channel Movie

    We were too poor to afford a Sky dish.

    Disney, Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network

    I watched Sky at my mates after school. No idea what channel/network it was on. Pinky and the Brain, Anamaniacs, Rugrats, Hey Arnold, Sharky and George and Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Sister Sister.

    Weirdest Fashion Trend

    I know people think 90’s style was cool and alternative but in a rough high school that was considered weird. Halley Hanson sailing jackets. Why were a bunch of scally’s wanting those!?

    What Were Your Fave Toys You Would Play With

    A little Boglin (I made mine all punky with loads of piercings), a giant slinky, those smiley sunflowers with arms and legs you won at the fair and ‘plushies’ when they were just called ‘soft toys’.

    Fave Early Morning or Saturday Show

    Before school the nation would watch The Big Breakfast with Chris Evans, Johnny Vaun, Denise Van Outten and Paula Yates (and that chemistry laden interview with Micheal Hutchens from INXS). Live and Kicking was on a Saturday with Philip Scofield and a young John Barrowman as the Hollywood reporter.

    Favourite McDonalds Happymeal Toy

    I was grossed out by the texture of dead animal until I was 14 and even then only liked chicken nuggets but I do remember getting a mate (who’d just started working there) to pinch me a rare Rugrats chunky blue watch, haha!

    Favourite Book

    I hate horror films so naturally I progressed from Sweet Valley High to POINT HORROR! Teachers Pet and Freeze Tag were wicked!

    What Would You Watch When You Got Home From School

    Blue Peter (the days of Matt Baker trying boxer-size or Connie Huq jumping out of planes SAS style), then while eating our tea on our knee, would be the The Simpsons and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air with my Mam and Dad.

    What Is The One Thing From The 90’s You Wish Were Available Today

    My posse of around 12 mates, which included friends of friends that I was (nearly) always happy to see. They never singled me out as ‘the weird one’ even though I struggled so much with what I now realise is Dyspraxia, Autism and Hypermobilty Syndrome. They never asked how I could somehow be ditzy and witty or adventurous and clumsy all at the same time, they were just accepting and patient. I met some of them a few years back and they have changed…a lot -_-

    Tag Your All It!

    Anyone who wants to join in with this tag please do, seriously please, I love reading these things.

    This has been so much fun and has really challenged my memory, seeing as I drunk copious amounts of alcohol every Friday night through most of my teens, I think I did rather well!

    Which answers do you relate to….?

    πŸ–€βœ¨Chrissieβœ¨πŸ–€