As you fine folks know, my girlfriend Victoria (Check out her blog!) is a vegan, but also has a few dietary requirements added to this. So when it came to her birthday, I knew I had to pull a few tricks out of the old sleeve to make it a memorable day for her. Here is what I did!
TONY AND JEN’S
Tony and Jen’s is a great health food cafe/restaurant on the Lisburn Road in Belfast. It is essentially Victoria’s home and she visits there as much as possible. Her favourite thing to get is the vegan pancakes of the month, but oh, not just any pancakes… Double stack pancakes! It always looks good. Plus they also cater to meat eaters like myself, I just have to pay a little extra to get some beef or chicken added to my meal.
Anyway! As it was her birthday she got to decide where to meet up with her mum and her partner for lunch. Of course she picked Tony and Jen’s which was handy as I had planned a few little things revolving them which I will get into. Victoria picks her pancakes and gets her pictures and is all smiles as she truly loves those pancakes. I can see it in her eyes… If she had to choose between me and pancakes, then the pancakes would win!
I had been in contact with Tony and Jen’s for quite a little while planning some sort of cake to be made for Victoria. They couldn’t make a cake that would be okay for her dietary needs (Gluten and soy free etc) but they could make up a peanut butter slab with some inscription on it. I was all for that, as I know Victoria loves her peanut butter! Then we went with ‘Happy birthday Double Stack’ as during the conversations we joked about how Victoria loves her double stack pancakes. After the meal and present giving, I go to buy some little treats that they have, Raspberry Ruffle balls and Lemon Cheesecake ones too. As I come back, the girls who work there bring out a little nude peanut butter ball with a candle on it for Victoria to blow on. She gets all shy when attention is on her and it was actually really cute. Look below for what she got there.
If you are in Belfast go there and enjoy yourself. I highly recommend the stew if you are not in a pancake mood!
I got Victoria a few of the normal things someone gets for their birthday, flowers, books, candles and Lush. I actually got her a load of stuff from Lush from their Comforter range as they are being discontinued and I knew Victoria loved that product.
I then wanted to get her some more vegan treats so I hit up Nutmeg (a local health food shop in Belfast) and got her some gummy sweets as I remembered her talking about how she doesn’t really get to have treats like that anymore. I then also bought a larger box off Amazon that was also vegan and gluten friendly.
With dinner, I decided to go as big as possible. We go to a restaurant/bar called the Woodworkers and they do some vegan options and the main one Victoria gets is the vegan platter, which has sweet potato wedges, chickpea falafels etc. I thought I would go a little bigger on this occasion as it was her birthday after all! So if you follow my blog a bit, you will know I started vegan Mondays. Just an evening where I cook an evening meal for Victoria. This has ranged from lasagne, Thai green curry, pizza and chilli con Carne to name a few. Why not make all of them in a nice platter/tapas style dinner.
A bright or not so bright idea came to me… Why not make all of them in a nice platter/tapas style dinner. She will love it! I knew she would as she seems pleased anytime I try to cook for her. She is cute like that.
I had all the ingredients bought the day before and then got up at 7am to start prepping. I wasn’t going to spend a few hours of her birthday stuck in the kitchen while she sits bored. So I get everything, made, a little lasagne, pot of chilli, bolognese, green curry, and I steamed the sweet potato ready for cooking before being served.
When we get home after being in town and collecting her last food based present. I begin work in the kitchen as she sorts out her tweets (ever the good blogger). I steam a load of vegetables, cook the lasagne and prep everything to look at least decent… I then serve it all and it looked like this…
I think it is okay. An awful lot of food leftover though! Luckily I bought her Tupperware too as I had made a joke of getting her some as she loves them, but putting her presents inside them… So you know I did just that! We used said boxes to put her leftovers in and then she was fed for at least a few more days! Good work Scott!
P.S. She did not die from my cooking, so success again!
CRUMBS VEGAN BAKERY
Finally, we came to a cake. Everyone has to have a cake on their birthday, thems the rules! So I did some research and found Crumbs Vegan Bakery, based in Lisburn. I messaged Louise and she was so helpful. I was able to say what Victoria couldn’t have and she was able to handle that easily. I was actually worried about a cake, as my attempts have been okay, but I have sucked at the buttercream thus far… I might have to ask her for some tips!
I differed on the style of cake to get Victoria as after a visit to the zoo, she expressed an interest in red velvet cake. But I thought I would play it safe and go the basic birthday route, vanilla cake and buttercream with some strawberry jam. You can’t go wrong with that combo!
Luckily for me, Louise was going to attend the Twilight market in Belfast that night so I could pick up the cake then. So I had to find an excuse to bring Victoria to that market as I wasn’t going to get away for an hour to collect it as the market didn’t open until 4 pm. We go there and as we walk around I cannot see the stall. I panicked a little, but eventually, we found it and I had even had a line of getting her a cupcake. Victoria was ecstatic and loved the cake! Which is handy. We had a big slice each and even had some vegan, gluten free ice cream. It was so good. So if you are in Northern Ireland and need a vegan cake, get on it. Affordable and delicious!
Well, that is that an eventful great day was had! What do you recommend for birthday treats for a vegan/someone with dietary restrictions? Let me know!