New Years Bits and Bobs

Wishing a belated Happy New Year to everyone. We only returned from our break this week hence the lack of blogging. We had a good, restful break albeit it not the one that we were expected! You may remember that we had booked a week for new year at the castle apartments in Harlech where we had such an amazing break back in October. We were so excited to be going back but when we arrived there was water damage to the apartment and we had to be moved to alternative accommodation. All this happened in the start of a big storm that raged for 24 hours and was a bit stressful and disappointing to say the least. However, the customer service from the rental company was really good and they found us a nice apartment in Criccieth to stay in and have offered us a complimentary mini break in the castle apartments for later this year. Considering the devastation that was happening in the North of England and Wales due to the flooding over Christmas we were thankful to be somewhere warm and dry. My Auntie and Uncle suffered severe flooding at their home and have had to move out. It's just awful what has happened to large communities and hopefully lessons will be learnt and better measures can be put in place to prevent this sort of devastation happening again.

The weather was pretty bad whilst we were away and we spent a lot of time in the apartment. I was glad we'd done quite a bit of food shopping and meal planning beforehand. I got The Abundance Diet for Christmas and enjoyed making some lovely breakfast smoothies from there as well as the Lightened Up Laksa pictured above. We had this for our tea on New Year's Eve and it left plenty of room for our now traditional cheese and crackers board. The Nutcrafter Creamery cheeses we tried were nice and up there with the Midas ones we had last year might

Our New Year's Day breakfast was also from the Abundance Diet and was Pudla - a type of Indian breakfast omelette made with chickpea flour. We absolutely loved this and will definitely be experimenting with more Pudla recipes.

One of the advantages of relocating to Criccieth was that we discovered Dylan's. Dylan's is a restaurant housed in an original art deco building right on the seafront. I loved the naturally inspired decorations they had like this printers tray of beach finds.

Their Christmas trees were made from driftwood and fairy lights.

There were a couple of options on their menu labelled vegan and some others that could be easily veganised. I ordered this wild mushroom and caramelised onion pizza without the cheese. It was tasty but I think I would ask for an extra veg next time. I had a really similar one at HOME the new arts centre in Manchester just before Christmas that had artichoke with wild mushroom and it was one of the best pizzas I've ever had.

Matt order the tacos which were labelled as vegan and we ended up sharing both dishes. We agreed that these were the stand out dish. They are actually a starter that we asked them to double up to make it a main and we were a little surprised that they were served as a cold dish. The flavours were excellent though and they comprised of sweet potato and coriander corn tacos with mashed chickpeas, pumpkin seeds, mojo picon and burnt lime.

We managed to eat out one more time on the holiday at the Black Cat which was somewhere that we'd visited for a drink back in October. It's a cafe with a shabby chic vibe serving homemade food set in the grounds of Glyliffon Parc near Caernarfon. We went for the 2 for £10 meal deal of vegan Shepherds pie served with slaw, salad and corn chips. From what we've read the Black Cat do great vegan cake but sadly as on our last visit there was none to be had.

As with our last visit we ventured into Porthmadog when we needed supplies. The health food shop Vegonia on the high street is amazing, one of the best I've been in. We found some new to us snacks such as this Cheezy Kale popcorn.

These chickpea chips were so moreish and great to accompany a Bloody Mary.

Here's one final find to leave you with from Vegonia which has blown my mind. I've never been the biggest fan of fruit teas but I was feeling a bit sniffly and thought the Vitamin C hit from this Pukka Blackcurrant Beauty tea might be useful. Also I was intrigued to see what a tea blend with beetroot in the ingredients would taste like.

Guys, it tastes like these!!!!

Seriously, it tastes like blackcurrant and liquorice sweets. Best tea ever! Go buy some now.


  1. I'm sorry that the weather messed up your plans but as you said at least you were somewhere warm and dry and that's what matters. I'm sorry to hear about your aunt and uncles home, that's awful.

    It looks like you had a good trip in spite of the weather. Dylan's looks great, I love Christmas trees that are just wood and fairy lights, totally not my aesthetic at home (my love for tinsel and a classic reg / green / gold colourscheme is too strong) but I always think it looks so pretty. I could murder some shepherd's pie right now, I clearly need to get back to the UK again this year!

    1. Thanks for the kind words Jojo and remember if you ever make it up to Derbyshire when you're back in the UK you must come and visit - Matt makes the best shepherd's pie too!

  2. You definitely made the best of a bad situation with the weather - the tacos look great, as does the pudla. And the Christmas tree is very cool too! I've seen a few people talking about the Abundance Diet and praising it - are you making lots from it? And would you recommend Nutcrafter cheeses? Was toying with buying some just the other day!

  3. I've just made the things in the post so far from the Abundance Diet but it's a lovely book and I'm keen to make more. I've just seen that Bianca at Vegan Crunk is doing the 28 Day meal plan from it for January so I'll definitely be watching her blog for ideas on what to cook next. We liked the Nutcrafter Cheeses and I would recommend them. We tried the dulse and the smoked garlic ones and I think the latter was my favourite. The packaging is good and delivery time was fast too. Are you a member of The Vegan Lifestyle Association? It's free to join online and once you're signed up you can get a discount code from their site to use on Nutcrafter purchases which I think covered the postage costs.

  4. Yay! Your post makes crave with sweets. I gonna lost my 2016 Healthy Lifestyle resolution. You made a great post this year. :D

  5. Sounds like the weather there is awful, I am glad you were able to escape the brunt of it and still have a nice break.
    I LOVE The Abundance Diet, there are so many great recipes in there.

  6. OMG! Black current and licorice! I got addicted to these when I was just vegetarian from my local "British import" shop. But the ones I ate I think had condense milk or whey or something like that.


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