Gluten-Free, Vegan London


This weekend we went to London to watch The X Factor in real time. It broke my heart to leave Kar and Toffel, but I love the sheer expansiveness and conveniences of my husband's former city. Suddenly, we remembered what it's like to be in a place where it's not totally normal to wait two hours for food to arrive, train stations don't smell like pee, and cheddar cheese is widely available. The only disappointing thing was I always look forward to seeing Londoners' zany, colorful outfits, but for some reason, everyone dressed in navy, grey, and black this time. The sole pops of color we saw were pom-poms on knit beanies covering blue or pink dyed hair.

I'm not cool, so I don't have any hipster photos or recommendations, just a few sustainable / gluten-free / vegan favorites.


Unmade

A brand like this- based at Somerset House, collaborations with Christopher Raeburn and Paris Essex- usually means inattentive, aloof staff. In fact, they are as friendly and approachable as their inclusive take on design. Instead of manufacturing clothes destined straight for the landfill, customers initiate the made-to-order process, personalizing their own clothing, knitted by one of several lovingly named machines (the one pictured here is Helga). Each Unmade label is printed on recycled fabric with a barcode allowing you to trace the origins of each garment, from ethically sourced merino wool to spinners and suppliers. The unisex pieces are so thick, soft, and well-crafted, you can even wear them inside out.


Matcha lattes

If pumpkin spice lattes are Selena Gomez, matcha lattes are Meryl Streep, and not many places make the latter in Paris (exceptions being Café Kitsuné and Café Pinson, which are both annoying). In Covent Garden, TY Seven Dials is a reliable spot for a nice, bitter-yet-smooth matcha latte- I love the zero-waste teas and reverse osmosis water filter. Likewise, vegan and gluten-free Good Life Eatery makes a delicious one, as does Tombo, where you can also enjoy matcha soft serve.


 

Selfridges

This is as basic as Ugg boots and pumpkin spice lattes, but for the first time this weekend, I visited Selfridges Food Hall. From gluten-free vegan Borough 22 donuts to gluten-free matcha cakes, bulgogi jerky, and GF wood-fired pizzas, describing the stunning array of celiac-beloved delights without reverting to trite platitudes is impossible. I was excited to see Lola's retro flashing neon lights, which bore the promise of cupcake milkshakes. Unfortunately, their red velvet wheat-free cupcake is wack. Eating one is like opening a Delvaux box and finding a Coach wristlet inside.  




Saatchi Gallery, Tate Modern, and the Tate

The air-hardened clay cows by Stephanie Quayle, Richard Wilson's oil room, and Nopchai Ungkavatanapong's rice cookers are worth Instagramming, as is Tracey Emin's bed installation, returned to its former home, the Tate.


Shoreditch: Redchurch Street and Club Row

Everybody loves Labour and Wait and Barber & Parlour, but you can also try on ethically sourced woolens at Guðrun&Guðrun; Instagram succulents at That Flower Shop; sample gluten-free Korean fried chicken at Bird; and get a haircut at the Bike Shed. The only hotels I know people like here are Hoxton and Shoreditch rooms. One of my husband's friends called Ace Hotel "a scam."

Notting Hill

This was my first time visiting Portobello Road- I didn't like it. It reminds me of that section of Porte de Clignancourt, right after the bridge, where people sell knock-off Comme des Garçons Play t-shirts, "Stan Spiths," and simulacrum of Frozen merchandise. On the other hand, I love the neighborhood's cute mews and found the gluten-free market vegetable burger at Honest delightful. Soon the area will be home to London's first zero waste restaurant: Tiny Leaf.

 

Other Recommendations


  • Wild Food Cafe Raw whole foods vegan restaurant www.wildfoodcafe.com
  • Nama Raw vegan oasis in Notting Hill with amazing cheesecake www.namafoods.com
  • Yorica Vegan, gluten free sweet treats like cookies, brownies, and ice cream www.yorica.com
  • Tibits Vegan afternoon tea www.tibits.ch/en.html
  • Cookies and Scream Vegan, gluten free bakery www.cookiesandscream.com
  • Ronchini Gallery Minimalist, spatialist, conceptualist gallery | www.ronchinigallery.com
  • Vanilla Black Vegan friendly Michelin starred vegetarian restaurant www.vanillablack.co.uk
  • Libreria | Existential, lo-fi bookshop (with whiskey tastings) straight out of Borges | libreria.io
  • Ai Wei Wei | Exhibition at Royal Academy of Arts | www.royalacademy.org.uk
  • Just Fab Vintage double decker bus serving vegan gluten-free Italian | www.just-fab.org
  • Ruby's | Vegan gluten-free donuts | www.rubysoflondon.com
  • Cupcakes and Shhht  | Vegan gluten-free cupcakes | www.cupcakesandshhht.com
  • 26 Grains | Scandinavian-style porridge café | www.26grains.com
  • Pappa Ciccia | Gluten-free pizza | www.pappaciccia.com
  • Cabana | GF Brazilian bbq | www.cabana-brasil.com
  • Kin | GF Asian street food on Leather Lane |  www.kinstreetfood.com 
  • Arepa and Co. |  Gluten-free Argentinian |  www.arepaandco.com
  • Beyond Bread |  Gluten-free bakery |  www.beyondbread.co.uk
  • Ceviche | GF Peruvian with vegan options |  www.cevicheuk.com
  • Tanner & Co. | Brunch spot in an old tannery tannerandco.co.uk
  • Romeo's | Classic gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free bakery | www.romeossugarfreebakery.com
  • Bahn Mi Bay |  Bahn Mi baguettes and gluten-free bo bun |  www.bahnmibay.co.uk
  • Department of Coffee and Social Affairs | I forget why I put this here | departmentofcoffee.com
  • St. Pancras Clock Tower | Best place to stay in London IMO | www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/501171

One hotel I think is nice for gluten-free vegans is La Suite West, which is almost David Lynch-esque in its darkness, and serves raw chocolate chili fudge cake smothered in peanut butter sauce 24 hours a day.

Paris to Go

2 comments:

  1. I am kind of dying over your latte metaphors, love it!

    ReplyDelete