Community: Forum: Travel

Vegan Travel Suggestions Discussion Forum

I just "added up" Happycow's listings for London, England.

There are now 100+ restaurants / cafe's listed - a few are listed as stores but they have cafe's also.

Now I can see all of my favorites!

What a fabulous city London is!

The London area is much easier to navigate now that it is broken up into 7 clearly defined area's.

PLEASE guys remember to Review more places / update older Review's after you revisit & munch.

There must be another 50+ great restaurants / markets / stores to add.

Responses (13)

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by JohnnySensible at 07/11/08 08:58:23

    Hanway Street / Hanway Place - Fitzrovia - W1 - tiny streets connecting to Oxford Street & Tottenham Court Road - are there any "veggy" places there now?
    In 1979 / 80 I often used to eat / chill in "Mandeer" - it still shows in some other old / rarely updated directories but I believe that it is long since closed down.
    This was one of the best streets in London to buy obscure vinyl records - Shane MacGowan of the Pogues used to work in a record store there.
    Shane MacGowan interview with Kathy Sweeney of The Guardian from 1997 - excerpt -
    +But eventually the lifestyle that fuelled their songs also brought about the band's demise. Shane was frequently `indisposed' while touring. Manager Joey Cashman recalls: `We seemed to shoot ourselves in the foot at every given opportunity. We didn't so much tour the world as fall around the world.' At this time, Shane was reportedly taking 50 tabs of acid a day.
    `Alright it's true, but it was a long time ago. Anyway, once you go over a few tabs that's it. It doesn't have any further effect. And you get used to it, you can function on it. But very few people have the constitution for it. I was surprised that I had. But I was dying to leave the Pogues. I begged them to let me leave for ages, but they depended on me, and emotionally blackmailed me. When I did leave, it was like, Whoopee! F*cking freedom at last.' But now the stories that Shane, without the `discipline' of touring, was about to peg it any second, gathered momentum. `What a load of old cr*p that was. Once I turn 40, I'm really going to start laying into anyone who mentions drink or death,' he shouts, getting all aerated. `It has nothing to do with anything. I'm a musician!' He looks like he wants to kill someone. Gulp. Suddenly he catches sight of some cakes on the bar, left over from the earlier video shoot. `What are those things?' he demands.
    `They're dessert things, eclairs and apple slices, Shane,' replies the barman. `Apple slice!' His face lights up for the first time today. `Pass us an apple slice.' Immediately two huge plates of cakes are placed before him and he tucks in with relish. It comes as a shock to see him eating - and it's not a pretty sight as bits of cake fly out on to the table, accompanied by David Cronenberg-style squelchy noises. `Today I've eaten vegetarian sausages, lentils, kidney beans and mashed potatoes,' he announces.+

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by JohnnySensible at 07/16/08 13:28:23

    2 great "London" related pages -

    Both well worth a read.

    1. Craig Sams talking about the "roots" of many of London's best restaurants / stores -

    2. From Greg Sams site.

    John Lennon cartoon promoting "Seed" 40 years ago - in 1968 -

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by JohnnySensible at 07/18/08 04:39:48

    "Cranks" in Marshall St., London W1 was where I often used to go for inspiration & to relax when I was managing the "Healthy, Wealthy & Wise" veggy restaurant in Soho in the early 80's - this was renamed as "Govinda's".

    I am sure that the Cranks team / businesses also inspired many of Londons veggy restauranters & caterers to start their businesses.

    Here is the Wikipedia page on Cranks -

    Here is the HappyCow listing for the last remaining Cranks location - in Totnes, Devon -

    Here is a short history of CPA & a photo of Cranks co-founder David Canter -

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by gr8vegan at 07/21/08 13:17:15

    Thanks for the hard work! London is super high on my list of Vegan Adventures!!! Will be following in your footsteps or forkstops shortly! I need that damn exchange rate to take a dive, though!

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by JohnnySensible at 07/21/08 15:34:20

    Thank you for the comment Mr gr8vegan - London has a fun veggy / compassionate eating history.
    We need to promote the businesses of today -PLEASE write more London Reviews everyone.
    This is from 77 years ago - full text here -.
    From a speech delivered by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi(2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948) at a Social Meeting organised by the London Vegetarian Society, 20 November 1931
    In the 2 excerpts which I have chosen Gandhi is (1) reflecting on his visits to London's vegetarian restaurants which existed in the late 1880's

    & then (2) reflecting on his milk addiction -
    +I do not propose to take up your time by giving you my various experiences of vegetarianism nor do I want to tell you something of the great difficulty that faced me in London itself in remaining staunch to vegetarianism, but I would like to share with you some of the thoughts that have developed in me in connection with vegetarianism. Forty years ago I used to mix freely with vegetarians. There was at that time hardly a vegetarian restaurant in London that I had not visited. I made it a point, out of curiosity, and to study the possibilities of vegetarianism and vegetarian restaurants in London, to visit every one of them. Naturally, therefore, I came into close contact with many vegetarians. I found, at the tables, that largely the conversation turned upon food and disease. I found also that the vegetarians who were struggling to stick to their vegetarianism were finding it difficult from the health point of view.+
    +What I want to bring to your notice is that vegetarians need to be tolerant if they want to convert others to vegetarianism. Adopt a little humility. We should appeal to the moral sense of the people who do not see eye to eye with us. If a vegetarian became ill, and a doctor prescribed beef tea, then I would not call him a vegetarian. A vegetarian is made of sterner stuff. Why? Because it is for the building of the spirit and not of the body. Man is more than meat. It is the spirit in man for which we are concerned. Therefore vegetarians should have that moral basis – that a man was not born a carnivorous animal, but born to live on the fruits and herbs that the earth grows. I know we must all err I would give up milk if I could, but I cannot. I have made that experiment times without number. I could not, after a serious illness, regain my strength, unless I went back to milk. That has been the tragedy of my life.+
    Note - Gandhi left India for the first time on 4 September 1888, when he was about a month shy of his nineteenth birthday, and arrived in London in late October of 1888.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by JohnnySensible at 07/22/08 12:40:06

    More London veggy miscellany.........

    Boy George lead singer of Culture Club, DJ and Eighties icon - talking in 2001 about Dragana Brown who used to cook / prepare macrobiotic food at the much missed East-West Centre at 188 Old St. in the 80's - now Dranana is the co-owner of "Luscious Organics" -

    BOY GEORGE : Dragana used to work in a little French patisserie called Richoux on South Audley Street in Mayfair. It was near my manager's office and we used to go there for meetings during the Culture Club days. They used to make all the staff wear these daft, frilly Upstairs Downstairs outfits. While I was doing drugs I used to go there quite a lot. I don't remember much about that, but Dragana will as I used to give her huge tips.

    She was quite friendly and not particularly bothered by the fact that I was Boy George. She treated everyone in the same way. A lot of people who went to Richoux were quite vile, like couples where the wife doesn't speak and the husband orders for them both. She handled it all in her very direct way. I think that's why I got friendly with her. I wouldn't say she's tough, but she's very straight-forward.

    A few years later when I'd got clean and started to become vegetarian I went to the East-West Centre in Old Street [east London] where Dragana happened to be working as a macrobiotic chef. It was like meeting an old friend. Yugoslavs can be forthright and blunt. They are not people you forget easily.

    I think Dragana was a little surprised that I was vegetarian. She asked me if I wanted to do an interview for this health magazine she was involved in, but to be honest I didn't know much about macrobiotics. I used to go to this place because it made nice food.

    I agreed and she and Simon came to my house. I ended up interviewing them really, finding out about what they did. Then I began to see Simon for shiatsu and Dragana for cooking lessons. My kitchen's quite big and it was nice having "strangers" over.

    She recently stayed with me for five weeks and very kindly played mum, which is great. Ordinarily I live alone and come and go as I please. It's been interesting having her around because she has, not deliberately, added a sort of stability to my life that I haven't had for years. I probably spent more time in my house over those few weeks than I have in the past three years.

    When you are travelling it's difficult to stick to any sort of diet regime, but Dragana's sister-in-law actually came on my US tour to cook macrobiotic food for me. It was very Michael Jackson. It's vital because when you're in the heartlands of America everything's fried - including the bill. Occasionally I have a cheese sandwich or a Snickers bar. I don't really have as much self control as Dragana. She's quite amazing, and quite a fussy eater. When we go to restaurants if a dish looks bad I'll still eat it. That's kind of a British thing. Dragana will leave it.

    I went to Bosnia two months ago for the first time. It was interesting because I found the men there to be quite butch and aggressive. I felt really odd wandering around with my painted nails and dyed hair. It must have looked like an alien had landed. When Dragana's talking with her Yugoslavian friends they appear to be having enormous rows, screaming and cursing each other. And then, suddenly, it will be all calm and fine.

    But we never fight. First and foremost Dragana is a really good friend. I always describe her as my "normal" friend. I know thousands of people but there's probably only two or three who I'd call in a crisis, people you could trust with a major problem. If I'm feeling negative about myself she's quite good at pointing out how fabulous my life is.

    Full article here -

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by JohnnySensible at 08/12/08 11:53:56

    What a lovely business!

    Does anyone know it?

    We can list it on the "South East London" page when we dig up more details.

    Surrey Street, Croydon, Croydon, London, CR0 1RG

    Market Times
    Mon to Sat 7:00 - 18:00

    Penelope's opening times 9:00 to 16:00

    Surrey Street Market is a market that sells mainly meat & vegetables as well as a range of other items through the week in Croydon, south London. It has a Royal Charter dating back to 1276 linking it to the Archbishop of Canterbury. The market is regularly used as a location for TV, film and advertising. It is located behind the Croydon Grants entertainment facility and Croydon Clocktower arts facility.

    "Surrey Street Market" - in Croydon -



    The article -

    Vegan delights hit Croydon's Surrey Street Market

    07:00 - 12-August-2008

    Surrey Street Market is now home to its first vegan food stall, with owner Penelope Harrison baking all the food from her own kitchen.

    The former charity worker quit her job when she decided she was stuck in a rut, and set up her own stall after wowing her family with her vegan bread and cakes.

    In a real labour of love, Miss Harrison singularly cooks all of her 14 different products at her kitchen in Canal Walk, Croydon.

    She said: "My typical day begins at 5.30am, and my stall's open from 9am to 4pm.

    "When I get home, I like to replenish my stock, so I end up cooking until about 11pm.

    "It's a very long day, but I don't mind, because I really like what I do. It doesn't feel like work."

    The 37-year-old swapped vegetarianism for a vegan diet seven years ago, for health reasons.

    She said: "I wanted to cut down on cholesterol, and cut out animal products.

    "But the supermarkets have lots of processed stuff, and I wanted to make my own and have it all natural."

    An experienced cook Miss Harrison is yet to have any culinary disasters.

    She said: "I haven't had any big problems, I've always been a keen cook, and I'm self-taught.

    "My favourites are the vegan cakes and scones, but one of the best sellers are my vegan pasties.

    "I'm open to suggestions, and some people are asking for flapjacks, so I might start cooking them too."

    Miss Harrison has only been in business since July 28.

    She said: "When I opened I wasn't really nervous because I'm very entrepreneurial, and I think you have to give these things a go."

    Already attracting attention from the public, the chef has been told she has the market's first vegan-only stall.

    She said: "The other market vendors say they've never seen this sort of thing before in Surrey Street.

    "I want to last a long time, because I'm the only person doing this sort of thing.

    "Ideally one day I'd like to get a shop and bake on the premises, but this is good for now."


  • Report Abuse

    Posted by JohnnySensible at 08/12/08 12:07:10

    I just spoke with Penelope by phone.

    Edenbake Vegan Pantry
    Stall 35 Surrey Street Market,
    Surrey Street,
    CR0 1RG

    Opening times are Monday to Friday - 9:00 to 16:00.

    Contact: Ms Penelope Harrison. Telephone: 020 8655 1812. Email: plharrison (at)blueyonder (dot) co (dot) uk

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by JohnnySensible at 08/16/08 06:21:36

    London in the 70's -

    Kenneth Sams -

    Here is an archive of "Seed" magazine -

    The very first issue from 1971 has Ad's for the London businesses "Manna" & "Wholefood" - all of which are very much still in business today!

    Manna -

    Wholefood -

    Plus Ad's for -

    Infinity Foods in Brighton -

    Arjuna in Cambridge -

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by JohnnySensible at 09/17/08 23:11:58

    1917 onwards.......the UK's "raw foodies"

    For 90 years London has been a good place to find "salads".


    + Among the restaurants, Shearns of Tottenham Court Road, deserves a mention, since it was the most famous vegetarian restaurant of the period and was often used for celebrations. Lady Emily Lutyens ordered her nut rissoles from there, which arrived with a neat piece of macaroni stuck in the end to form a bone. Not all vegetarian food had this mimicking aspect, and from this period onwards, vegetarian cooking begins to develop a more distinctive style. A major aspect in this, evident from the middle years of the First World War, was the growing popularity of raw food, often termed in the twenties and thirties 'sun-fired' food. The discovery of the role of vitamins aided this development, though as we have seen the idea was itself older and drew on other perceptions than just the scientific-nutritional. The German Bircher-Benner was particularly influential here, as was the American Bengamin Gayelord Hauser. Hauser's system was essentially that of nature cure, stressing elimination, raw food, fasting and the creation of a 'radiant blood stream'. 'Radiant, life giving foods build vital and healthy bodies. Do not expect to keep young and healthy', he advised, 'if you build with coarse, poor, dead materials', and the Beverley Hills tone of his advice and his own good looks endowed the books with a wide appeal in the period, beyond just traditional vegetarian circles. +

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by JohnnySensible at 09/19/08 06:12:42

    2 quotes from George Orwell - having a laugh at UK / London veg*n's in the 1930's!
    + One sometimes gets the impression that the mere words "Socialism" and "Communism" draw towards them with magnetic force every fruit juice drinker, nudist, sandal wearer, sex-maniac, Quaker, "Nature Cure" quack, pacifist and feminist in England. +
    + For instance, I have here a prospectus from another
    summer school which states its terms per week and then asks me to say 'whether my diet is ordinary or vegetarian'. They take it for granted, you see, that it is necessary to ask this question. This kind of thing is by itself sufficient to alienate plenty of decent people. And their instinct
    is perfectly sound, for the food-crank is by definition a person willing to cut himself off from human society in hopes of adding five years on to the life of his carcase; that is, a person but of touch with common humanity. +

    ... both quotes are taken from his book "The Road to Wigan Pier", 1937, Chapter 11.
    However it is easy to forgive George Orwell as he gave "Animal Farm" to us a few years later.

    For the preface of a Ukrainian edition he prepared in 1947, Orwell described what gave him the idea of setting the book on a farm: "...I saw a little boy, perhaps ten years old, driving a huge carthorse along a narrow path, whipping it whenever it tried to turn. It struck me that if only such animals became aware of their strength we should have no power over them, and that men exploit animals in much the same way as the rich exploit the proletariat."


    The paragraph from "The Road to Wigan Pier" which had the biggest effect on me when I read it as a teenager.

    + When I thought of poverty, I thought of it in terms of brute starvation. Therefore my mind turned immediately towards the extreme cases, the social outcasts: tramps, beggars, criminals, prostitutes. These were the 'lowest of the low', and these were the people with whom I wanted to get into contact. What I profoundly wanted at that time was to find some way of getting out of the respectable world altogether. +

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by JohnnySensible at 09/19/08 06:55:23

    More from George Orwell - "The Road to Wigan Pier".

    + We have reached a stage when the very word socialism calls up, on the one hand, a picture of airplanes, tractors and huge glittering factories of glass and concrete; on the other, a picture of vegetarians with wilting beards, of Bolshevik commissars (half gangster, half gramophone), or earnest ladies in sandals, shock-headed Marxists chewing polysyllables, escaped Quakers, birth control fanatics, and Labour Party backstairs-crawlers. +

    + If only the sandals and pistachio-colored shirts could be put in a pile and burnt, and every vegetarian, teetotaler and creeping Jesus sent home to Welwyn Garden City to do his yoga exercises quietly. +


    Finding these brings back some funny memories.

    I had forgotten wearing sandals in London in the 70's & 80's!

    Several times pairs of my sandals were stolen when I had slipped them off to enter the either the Hare Krishna Temple in Soho - or the Gaudiya Mission in Willesden Green - or the Sivananda Yoga Centre when it was in Chepstow Villa's - all of these places served great free veggy food - ideal for curing "attacks of the munchies".


    Steve Jobs of "Hare Krishna Free Meals" - but in the US - not London -

    + It wasn't all romantic. I didn't have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends' rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. +

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by JohnnySensible at 04/21/11 07:42:14

    The incredible Internet - amazed to find this today whilst browsing - a UK directory last updated in 1995 - some good memories -

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