How To Do Valentine’s Day In Dublin… Vegan Style

If you haven’t yet made plans and you’re looking for something nice (and vegan) to do in Dublin for Valentine’s Day, read on!

Get a three course 100% vegan Valentine’s meal for just €25 at Aperitivo! If you’ve never been, the eatery is VERY small, so expect to be a little cramped as Valentine’s night is super busy. But it’s all worth it for a slice of Buttercream Dream’s vegan rolo / cookies n’ cream cake! Just LOOK at that deliciousness!

Note: there’s an error in the Aperitivo menu – it’s not coconut cream!) and a Speculoos cake (Lotus biscuit flavour) is also available on the normal menu! Woo!

valentines vegan dublin

According to their Facebook page, there are a few spaces left so get booking! If, however, you aren’t lucky enough to bag a place, you can also head to Cornucopia, who have an ALL DAY Valentine’s deal as well! It’s slightly cheaper at €40 for 2 rather than €50 (like at Aperitivo).

valentines dublin vegan

And finally, the fanciest (and most expensive) dinner option for Valentine’s is at Platform 61 on South William Street! For €30 each you get a three course meal with a champagne cocktail. This is a little steep, but the menu looks SUPERB and there are no less than THREE dessert options, including vanilla ice cream with pumpkin seed oil, vegan brulée and a naughty brownie. Hell yes. Thanks to Veg and Vegan Dublin for posting about it!

valentines vegan dublin

For your money you’ll get two meals or salads, two desserts and two glasses of wine or beer. Not bad, right? And at least at Cornucopia, you know there’s plenty of space even if it’s busy and you’re getting a filling meal!

The Rolling Donut is set to have a themed donut for the day that’s in it (smooth strawberry marscapone filling and a strawberry glaze… sounds delish) and to keep us vegans happy, there will also be a vegan one on offer too!

vegan valentines dublin
Photo: The Rolling Donut Facebook page

According to a question asked on their Facebook page, the vegan donut will get a facelift, so it might just be a glammed up version of the usual raspberry flavoured one! Keep an eye on their Instagram and pop in to treat yourself and your loved one on the day!

If you’re feeling romantic, stop by Grafton Street and pick up some fresh lillies of roses for your partner (or just for yourself, sure why not?) and stop by Nourish to pick up a box of Booja Booja chocolates!

valentines vegan dublin

And if you REALLY want to pamper yourself or your significant other, check out Skinfull Affairs’ special Valentine’s offer. For €50 each, you get a Yon-Ka botanical vegan facial with mask, followed by an ultra relaxing head massage as well as a standard manicure (or gent’s manicure). Offer ends February 18th! Book here. You can also get matching henna tattoos of love hearts if you’re so inclined (€10 for both)!

What are you doing for Valentine’s day? Are you having a quiet night in? Let me know in the comments!

Cake photo: Aperitivo’s Facebook page

 

 

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The Bohemian, Newcastle-upon-Tyne | Restaurant Review

If you’ve read my other recent posts (or if you follow me on Instagram), you’ll know I took a trip to Newcastle in the UK last week. I used the wonderful Happy Cow resource to figure out where all the vegan places were, and on the last night I checked out The Bohemian with my boyfriend and best friend (neither of whom are vegan).

We were only in the city for a few days so I missed out on some other places I wanted to go to, but I’m glad I got to The Bohemian. We’d actually headed to Pizza Express beforehand to try out the new vegan cheese (and we actually got dessert there too), but sure feck it. Holidays mean you can treat yourself! And treat ourselves, we did.

Continue reading “The Bohemian, Newcastle-upon-Tyne | Restaurant Review”

Difontaine’s Pizzeria In Temple Bar Unveil New Vegan Pizza

Oh my god, the time has come. Difontaine’s Pizzeria in Temple Bar has just unveiled their new vegan pizza! Be still, my rumbling tummy.

The pizzeria made the decision to offer a vegan pizza after gauging interest on their Twitter page:

With 1,075 votes and a resounding 84% YES GIVE US VEGAN PIZZA, they started sourcing ingredients and conducting taste testings with very willing volunteers.

I used to absolutely love Difontaine’s pizza, I made a beeline for it (or Ray’s, depending on how drunk I was – those cobblestones are treacherous in heels!) after every night out when I visited Dublin.

Once I went vegan, I had to say goodbye to many much-loved foods, but I’m so BEYOND happy that I can now have the glorious taste of Difontaine’s back in my life.

vegan pizza dublin
Difontaine’s staff with first customer to try the vegan slice

From what I can gather, the pizza is sprinkled with a Follow Your Heart mozzarella/parmesan mix with their own cashew ricotta. Early accounts (the pizza is available on the menu from 5pm today) have said that it tastes absolutely amazing. I don’t doubt it one bit.

If you’re looking for more vegan pizza to try, check out my article on 3 other places to get pizza in Dublin!

A Day At Donegal Donkey Sanctuary

I first heard about the Donegal Donkey Sanctuary about 6 months ago. I constantly made plans to visit, but these plans didn’t materialise until last weekend. A few friends and I (plus two of the cutest kids you’ll ever see) went on Sunday and had a really great time. We just wanted to see some cute donkeys, but we learnt a lot about their plight and the amazing work the volunteers at the Sanctuary do every day to keep the donkeys safe and happy.

We arrived at around 2pm and walked over to the donkeys, who came up to us straight away. They’re such lovely gentle creatures with the softest hair and they’re so badly treated in so many countries. Many of the donkeys taken in by founders Danny and Sandra Curran have suffered years of abuse and neglect and were abandoned at the sides of roads or woods, and some have been taken in from people who no longer have the money to care for them.

The fantastic, kind-hearted Currans took in their first donkey after a phone call from a family friend informed them of a starving, dehydrated donkey tied to a scrapped car in a bog. After that, many more donkeys came into their care from a number of different places.

The sanctuary has gone from strength to strength over the past few years and now has a new stable block, large barn, tea room and gift shop. However, these additions have cost a lot of money. As Danny himself has said, they get very little money from the government to help ease the massive financial burden. They rely almost entirely on the generosity of others.

The sanctuary is a fantastic place for kids to see animals they wouldn’t normally see and get them used to interacting with animals. Sanctuaries are a much better option than places like zoos where animals are kept behind bars in tiny enclosures for the rest of their lives, or worse, circuses that use and abuse animals for entertainment. A sanctuary is the ideal place for kids to see animals living their lives in peace.

It’s great for animal-loving adults too though! I loved walking around at my leisure seeing the donkeys and petting them. They’re complete sweetie pies, though one of the donkeys tried to take a nibble at my jacket while I was petting him. I had no idea my clothes were so delicious!

Donegal Donkey Sanctuary

If you love animals, please support this wonderful sanctuary in any way you can. Go up and visit, drop a euro or two into the donations boxes, take a few pictures, bring a thermos of soup and have a lovely Sunday to yourself. Top tip: bring a coat as the days are getting colder and you’ll be outside quite a bit!

How can you help? 

There are a few different ways you can help the sanctuary house and feed the donkeys, particularly during the winter months:

Have a birthday party at the sanctuary 

A really great way you could help the donkeys while saving a lot of money is to have your child’s birthday party at the sanctuary. There are four or five tables in the gift shop that would be ideal for party food and parents of the kids can donate money in lieu of presents for your little one. Or they can buy some of the donkey themed gifts from the gift shop as all the money goes towards caring for the donkeys. Admission to the sanctuary is FREE so you’re saving way more money than you would if you went anywhere else AND you’d be doing good.

Donegal Donkey Sanctuary

Volunteer

The sancutary is always in need of volunteers for several duties like working with the donkeys, mucking out stables, brushing and grooming, helping in the gift/coffee shop, administrative duties, website maintenance, grass cutting, fencing etc. Give the sanctuary a call or an email if interested!  

Donate money

You can do this in a few ways: Give money directly to the sanctuary, organise your own fundraising event in aid of the sanctuary, or buy bales of hay in lieu of traditional presents. For example, you can buy 1 bale of hay for €5, 2 for €10 and so on. You’ll also get a voucher to give to your loved one so they know you’ve donated money to the donkeys in lieu of their gift.

Donegal Donkey Sanctuary

Adopt a donkey 

You can “adopt” a donkey at the sanctuary for €25 per year. You will receive an adoption pack which contains an adoption certificate, a photograph of your donkey, a fridge magnet and a letter outlining the donkey’s life story to date. You can visit your adopted donkey or donkeys as often as you like at the sanctuary.

These make a fantastic gift for an animal loving friend or a birthday or Christmas present!

Make a purchase on their online shop 

There are plenty of lovely gifts on the sanctuary’s online shop, including coasters, mugs and magnets with the faces of the very donkeys you’d be supporting.

Donegal Donkey Sanctuary

It hurts my heart to know that donkeys just like the ones I spent time with are hit and starved and over-worked to the point of exhaustion and death in places all over the world. They are trusting, docile, beautiful creatures who deserve to live peaceful lives. Do yourself a favour and head up to the sanctuary some day and spend some time with them. It’ll do your soul good!

If you’re trying to find the sanctuary, it’s located halfway between Letterkenny and Lifford, and if you aren’t paying attention you’ll definitely miss the little brown sign indicating the turn-off, so keep your eyes peeled!

Have you been to the sanctuary? Let me know what you thought in the comments!

Where To Get Vegan Dinner In Dublin

As you’ll probably know if you follow me on Instagram, I’m a huge fan of Dublin. I love it. It’s my favourite place to be, and not just because of the growing number of vegan options. And there are plenty!

vegan dinner Dublin

When I first started looking for vegan options, I either tried my luck and asked in different restaurants and cafés (if you don’t ask, you don’t get!) or I went to Cornucopia. There really weren’t very many options in Dublin when I transitioned back last year. Now, however, we’re spoiled for choice!

I’ve put together a list of places I myself have been (or others I know have been) where there are definitely vegan friendly options. I know there are a few more note-worthy places in the city as well, but I’ll mention the ones I have direct experiences with! I will do an ultimate list of vegan places in Dublin at some point though.

Sova

I was dead excited the first time I went to Sova. An ENTIRELY vegan menu? Yes, please! I’m happy to announce it’s just as delicious as you’d hope.

vegan dinner Dublin

The only item I tried that I didn’t like were the schnitzels. But everything else was fab! Read my full review here.

What to order: the seafood chowder

Koh

Like most restaurants, Koh serves meat and all manner of animal products, but they also have quite an extensive vegetarian menu and even some vegan options as well (yummy ones!)

vegan dinner Dublin

This place is what I call a “special occasion restaurant” as it’s VERY expensive, but it’s well worth the price. Get the vegetarian starter platter, which is suitable for vegans! The vietnamese rolls are to die for.

What to order: the yellow curry with tofu

Cornucopia

Cornucopia is one of Ireland’s oldest vegetarian restaurants -if not the oldest – but it is slowly making its way to becoming totally 100% vegan! It’s not there yet, but you’re always guaranteed to have a huge range of vegan choices, both for dinners and for treats!

Boojum

Burritos are the holy grail of foods for vegans. It’s also super easy to make it vegan and often doesn’t prompt a lot of questions, which is a plus for the shy vegans among us! There’s nothing tastier than a big dollop of re-fried beans and rice wrapped in a doughy pocket and filled with onions and peppers. Mmm.

Umi Falafel

One of my favourite restaurants ever, Umi is a staple for me every time I visit Dublin.

vegan dinner Dublin

It has loads of vegan options (including a semolina cake that I haven’t tried yet actually!) including plenty of ways to have your falafel as well as spinach filo rolls and wrapped vine leaves, as well as a hearty lentil soup.

What to order: Lebanese falafel with batata hara

Aperitivo

If you’re hankering after a pizza, look no further than Aperitivo! It even does vegan cheese AND vegan bacon! This restaurant is quite small (think Harry Potter’s cupboard) so it fills up fast, but if you get it on a quiet day, you’ll be in luck!

What to order: Vegan Meat Feast

Blazing Salads

Although I haven’t been here personally, I’ve heard great things. I’ve passed it plenty of times and I always seem to already have a full belly. They have lots of vegan options including a moroccan style chickpeas casserole and a tofu miso soup.

What to order: red lentil soup

Happy Food

This is a little off the beaten track, but the trek is worth it. It’s at the end of Camden Street down a side alley (so you might miss it if you’re not looking carefully!)

vegan dinner Dublin

They sell all manner of vegan food and there’s even a yoga studio attached.

What to order: the Happy burger

Diwali

You can’t go wrong with Indian food! Most Indians have a vast range of vegetarian options and, in my experience, they’re always happy to cater for vegans. Just make sure you let them know your needs and they’ll handle it for you! Namaste is another restaurant that’s good for options if you’re not close to the city.

Brasserie 66

I tried this place out with my boyfriend as a treat just to see what vegan options were available! I ended up getting seriously big portions of lovely grub. I got the organic leaf salad with black pepper croutons, roasted cherry tomatoes and olives with lemon dressing, as well as a vegetable tagine and sorbet for dessert.

The chef even offered to make me pea soup (the soup of the day had dairy in it) but I didn’t want to put him out.

What to order: vegetable tagine

Token

Dublin’s newest (and probably only) gaming bar and restaurant, this is heaven for all you geeky vegans out there. Although the menu is very expensive, the food is great and there’s huge variety!

vegan dinner Dublin

What to order: hotdogs and chips