This was my first time at Mary & Archie, despite living super close. My partner and I were looking for somewhere to have a kick-ass Sunday breakfast and not having much luck at all.
Any Mancunian would assume Chorlton is haven for vegan food .... Sadly not the case. There is Tea Hive (which is great if you want mushrooms on toast) and an ENTIRE vegan grocery store, which is the best place on earth, but Chorlton isn't a spot with a wealth of vegan food options. (Which is okay by the way! I ain't the entitled type.)
We were walking past Mary & Archie and it looks gorgeous from the outside. I'm Australian, so anything with a great-looking coffee machine, big open doors, outdoor seating and fresh flowers on the tables is going to take my fancy. Once we sat down and got a glass of water, I felt I could close my eyes and pretend I was home in Brisbane... it had the same feel and vibe of a curb-side Aussie cafe. And I love that. (The weather is even nice today!)
We grabbed a menu and, as expected, there was no vegan breakfast (not shocked. Ever.) We approached the counter like naughty children to ask if we could be the Annoying, Menu-Changing People and the staff were fab. "Yeah, change what you want!" "Vegan? Totally fine."
THANK YOU. I guess we are in Chorlton. We can't be the first ones.
We sat down at a lovely table, right by the open doors and were served pretty much immediately. All the staff were ace - warm, friendly, didn't treat us like vegan-aliens. She jotted down our breakfast amendments and then, tragically informed me that they don't have soy milk. Only almond and coconut.
This is growing more and more common and it devastates me. I inquired why and she said they are just trying it out, seeing what sells best. Totally understandable - business need to be good businesses and stock what sells.
But I have gone to more and more places lately that are not serving soy milk and I fear it's a response to the fear-mongering around soy, which has been largely proven to be baloney.
There is a LOT of negative press around soy (though it has eased off in the last year or so) and I certainly took the time to do my research to see if there was something in it.
Is soy actually bad for us? To save you time and energy and me typing for ever and ever, here is an awesome video from Unnatural Vegan on YouTube that is great watching, and very well researched.
All I would say to cafes is - please don't shun soy for any health reasons. I WELCOME any comments on this post or on my Facebook page if you have new information to share - I am always eager to learn and I keep an open mind. But, from my previous exhaustive research and drinking soy every day for the last five years and feeling absolutely ace (not to mention my partner's 33-year-long soy consumption without sprouting boobs) I don't believe there is anything to fear. Science has done it's thing and they haven't found anything scary.
So, aside from my not-soy latte (which is not Mary & Archie's fault. As I am one of the only vegans in the world who don't worship almond milk) our experience was fantastic. The breakfast arrived and I nearly cried into the perfectly ripe, perfectly seasoned avocado.
It was delicious.
I highly recommend any vegans popping by this place. You'll get a lovely coffee (depending what milk you like!) a delicious breakfast and a very warm welcome.
Thanks Mary & Archie for treating us good :)
Mary & Archie is located in Chorlton at 111 Manchester Rd, Manchester M21 9PG
Let me tell you about my latest amazing discovery...
VEGAN TUCK BOX!
Vegan Tuck Box is an amazing, fairly new vegan company that specialise in guilt-free, DELICIOUS vegan snacks that boxed up and delivered right to your door!
I nibbled away at my Tuck Box for about a week and found it an amazing staple to have sitting in the pantry. I primarily used it for snacking (which I do a lot of!) and sharing with friends. Some samples I took with me for a hectic day, some were great for after exercising and others, perfect for when I had friends over and needed sweet treats to share.
Where I live in Manchester, it's not exactly easy to find decent vegan snacks. Having my Tuck Box made my life (and shopping!) that bit easier for the week. (And more delicious.)
So, What Was in My Tuck Box?
I honestly don't know where to start bragging about these snacks. My first endeavour was the Fig and Linseed Flapjack - which was a no-brainer as someone who is slightly obsessed with Flapjacks.I saw it in the box and dived in straight away. This one was super healthy, nutritious and a perfect, high-energy snack.
The Doisy and Dam Chocolate Bar was saved for sharing with friends, which was a good move because if I'd attempted that alone, the entire thing would have been polished off, no problem whatsoever. I got this out along with the Emily Apple Fruit Crisps and the Thai Summer Heat Peanuts for everyone to share. It made an amazing sharing board, but have to confess - the Peanuts stole the show. They were perfectly spicy, a delicious combination of flavours, wholesome ingredients and SO moreish. I was fighting for the last mouthful.
My partner and I shared the Raw Brownie and it was great. Kind of exactly what you expect from a raw brownie - but up there as one of the best I've had. Again, perfect for taking in your bag for a sweet snack during the day. The company, Elements for Life, seem fantastic also, which is always a bonus. I'd never heard of them, so thank you Vegan Tuck Box for introducing us.
Honestly - everything in this Tuck Box was worth bragging about. The Promamel Cashew Milk sample was super handy for a busy work day, the Sarelle chocolate was delicious (and they have an amazing array of sweet products on their website!), I LOVE the Maca Superseeds and am still finding ways to include them in my meals.
A quick favourable mention has to go to the Ten Acre Hickory BBQ Crisps, which were really tasty (coming from someone who usually doesn't like crisps!) and JJ's Chocolate Covered Vanilla Cocomels. These two bites were really sweet, deliciously chocolatey and no one would guess were vegan.
If you've not yet discovered them - definitely go check out the Vegan Tuck Box haven. They have Gluten Free boxes, Classic Boxes (which change each month), Mini boxes and Gift Boxes, which I will utilise for my next friend's birthday!
Love and Sweet Potatoes (and snacks!),
Over the last few weeks I've been fortunate enough to try an amazing new product, "Nothing Fishy"; a 100% Vegan Fish Oil that is a healthy source of Omega 3, ethical, non GMO and completely sustainable.
(UNLIKE fish farming.....)
If you're new to veganism, long-term vegan (or just a damn regular human being) you should take your health seriously and ensure you're getting what you need. Our body is an amazing thing, but it needs building blocks to work properly and function at its optimum.
Vegans get a lot of buzz issues to stress over: protein, calcium, iron, B12, OMEGAS. "Where do you you get your Omega 3 if you're not eating fish?!" "Where do you get your protein if you're not devouring steak?!"
Bless them, they get so concerned.
Thankfully, most vegans can answer these questions in a heartbeat. Plenty of fruits and vegetables have protein, not to mention beans, tofu, nuts and such, but it can get a bit complicated after that. Looking after your Omega 3 is very, very important and something maybe not all vegans are clued up about. Non-vegans tend to associate Omega 3 with fish and fish oil (eww) and may imagine it's difficult for vegans to come by.
Well happily, it isn't.
I've always used Flaxseed for my Omega 3, sprinkling it over my porridge in the morning or adding into smoothies, but after doing some very enjoyable research on the Nothing Fishy website, I read up about how Omega sourced from Algae is far better for us and comes straight from the source. (Always the best way, surely?)
"We choose Omega 3 from algae as it's healthier, it's highly sustainable and it doesn't contain any toxic chemicals. Each capsule packs at least 200mg of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) - which is a miracle supplement for your eyes, brain and heart. Our algae is fermented in a controlled environment. It's non - GMO, vegan-friendly and there's no unpleasant aftertaste. As algae is the original producer of the beneficial Omega 3 fatty acids, it's the purest form."
If you need any reasons why Fish Oil is a no-go zone, Nothing Fishy have great information on their website to keep you informed and they promote a healthy, sustainable vegan lifestyle.
Just one of the scary statistics (proving why humans shouldn't be relying on fish for any form of nutrition or well being) is that the levels of mercury in the sea have risen by 30% in the last 20 years alone. Fish are living in contaminated waters. They are caught, killed and then processed in a disgusting, unsustainable, unethical way (taken to a processing plant, mashed up on an industrial scale, cooked, chemicals added, encapsulated) for us to take AS A HEALTH SUPPLEMENT. It's ludicrous. If we can get the essential omegas, vitamins and minerals we need straight from the natural source, surely that makes the most sense?
I cannot recommend this product highly enough. It's as simple as taking 2 tablets a day with food and you never have to think about your Omega 3 again.
I've never really been very diligent (or bothered) about supplementation, but it pays to be careful and many people supplement with brilliant diets. If you want to have a carefree, sustainable, healthy option for you Omega 3 - I highly recommend Nothing Fishy. They are clearly a caring, compassionate company and are putting out a product they believe in.
"We don't believe a health supplement should be poisoning people or destroying the environment."
I could not have had a more delicious lunch or overall positive experience at tibits. The atmosphere was warm and friendly, the staff seemed to genuinely enjoy what they were doing and...best of all...it was BUSY. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing an ethical, happy and well-run business succeeding.
I look forward to my next time in London so I can have lunch or dinner here. I also plan on attending their next Vegan Day, which is on the 18th of November.
Tibits is located at 12 - 14 Heddon Street, London. The perfect location to do a little post-lunch window shopping, which may have been exactly what I did. They do also do a cookbook and an online
Recipe Library, so check that out!
I was invited to review tibits and given my meal complementary, but all opinions stated above are 100% my own and honest.
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