Insight Into | Why I Won’t Remain Vegan

As you may be aware, I took the pledge of Veganism this January. Why? Well, why not was my response to most. I wanted to try something different, and see what all the fuss was about. However, I am now taking the pledge against Veganism. Why? For the following reasons:

1. Social Life 
Without a doubt the number one reasons for not sticking to Veganism is the sheer anti-social nature of it. Don’t get me wrong, there are an incredible number of restaurants popping up all over the place serving vegan menus, but do you really want to restrict yourself to 5% of a menu? Do you really want to have to check the menu of every restaurant suggested by friends and family to see if you can actually eat anything before making a commitment? Yes, 2018 is already revolutionary in its Veganism adoption, but for now, I am not willing to question a night out with friends at the thought of not being able to sit at the table and enjoy the meal with them.
2. Cows 
Quite honestly, I just miss cows milk. Ever since I can remember I would drink more than a couple of pints of milk a day, so I knew this was going to be one of the biggest challenges. On top of this, as a huge coffee fiend, no one will ever convince me that almond milk or oat milk comes close to the full-fat stuff in a flat white!
3. Placebo 
Telling myself I was going vegan simply made me want to eat everything that wasn’t. For the past few years I have reduced the amount of meat I have eaten (thanks to a traumatising chicken experience in China!), and this hasn’t bothered me in the slightest. That is until I told myself I couldn’t eat it because I was ‘vegan’. All I did was crave a beef burger and sirloin steak. Whilst just living my life without even thinking about it I was naturally making more health conscious decisions.
4. Cost 
Okay, so whilst many will argue that eating Vegan is not more expensive because you’re spending less on meat la di dah di dah, quite frankly this wasn’t the case for me. Due to buying minimal meat before, the alternatives I was buying were in fact more expensive. For example, coconut yoghurt – comes in at at least £3 a pot, compared to your 99p natural yoghurt – and to be honest, my Sainsbury’s natural yoghurt tasted a whole lot better!
5. Extra Supplements 
For anyone that has done their research, they’ll be aware that there are key vitamins and minerals missing from a vegan diet. Most prominently, vitamin B12. The thought of having to have B12 shots at the doctors, purely because I wasn’t allowing to nourish myself with them in their natural form was quite frankly ridiculous. You’ll spend more on that than a glass of milk so for me it just wasn’t worth it.

Going forward:
Whilst I won’t be continuing with veganism, I am certain that I will continue to eat less meat and most likely stick to a relatively vegetarian diet. My dairy intake will likely be reduced, and I will add more grains and pulses to my diet. No I don’t hate animals or want to damage the planet, so don’t hate me for not sticking to vegan, but I’m just simply not convinced its the lifestyle choice that is right for me. I have huge respect for those that can do it, and preach to continue to do so. But just be aware it’s not for everyone, and preaching like there’s no other choice is neither fair nor responsible. Let people make their own choices on the matter, and do what’s right for you as an individual not for those around you.
The Habit Hunter x

 

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Habit Hunter Hotspots | January Edition

WHAT IS IT? Sipsmith, passionate pioneers of London’s gin renaissance and Ham Yard Hotel have teamed up once more to bring back the pioneering hot gin experience for the counter-culturists, contrarian natured and ‘ginthusiasts’.
WHERE: Ham Yard Hotel, 1 Ham Yard, London, W1D 7DT
NEAREST TUBE: Piccadilly Circus

 

WHAT IS IT? Re:Solutions Festival invites wellness worshippers to join them in a celebration of health and wellbeing featuring thought-provoking speakers, health and fitness gurus, conscious food concessions and mindful meditation.
WHERE: 15 Hanbury Street, E1 6QR
NEAREST TUBE: Liverpool Street

 

WHAT IS IT? Get ready to experience like never before the adrenaline-fuelled thrills of one of the top movie franchises built on speed. Fast & Furious Live, the all-new, ground-breaking arena show, takes audiences closer than ever to the films.
WHERE: 02 Arena, Peninsula Square, SE10 0DX
NEAREST TUBE: North Greenwich

 

WHAT IS IT? Bringing a high-octane mix of cabaret, modern burlesque and scandalous circus frolics to the Aldwych Theatre, LA SOIRÉE is a must-see. From eye-watering stunts to saucy hula hooping sequences, it’s outrageously entertaining, though not for the faint-hearted.
WHERE: 49 Aldwych, WC2B 4DF
NEAREST TUBE: Piccadilly Circus

 

WHAT IS IT? Turn you tree into dinner this year instead of binning it after the festive season. This supper club will show you how, as you munch your way through beetroot and spruce cure salmon, lamb and pine wine tagine and spruce and ginger ice cream.
WHERE: Secret Location
NEAREST TUBE: Secret Location

 

WHAT IS IT? It might look like a Full Moon party, but this evening of sketching is an experiment in light, colour and texture. The models become ‘living sculptures’ covered in UV lights and reactive body paints. Trippy.
WHERE: Duke of Wellington , De Beauvoir Town, N1 9BL
NEAREST TUBE: Dalston Jct

 

WHAT IS IT? Is your new year’s resolution to be your most confident self? The School of Life is on hand to make that commitment come true. The class will cover how to overcome impostor syndrome, how to outgrow the legacy of childhood timidity and see that you leave with confidence-inducing ideas.
WHERE: 70 Marchmont St, London, WC1N 1AB
NEAREST TUBE: Russell Square

 

WHAT IS IT? Bigger, brighter and bolder, the Lumiere London light festival returns for a spectacular second edition. More than 40 UK and international artists reimagine London’s iconic architecture and streets, transforming the city into a dazzling nocturnal art exhibition.
WHERE: All over London
NEAREST TUBE: Check website for full location details

 

WHAT IS IT? Get a taste of the highlands on the high street (well, just off it, anyway) as the venison specialists turn their focus to haggis served with neeps and tatties on a week-long Burns Night celebration menu.
WHERE: Mac & Wild
NEAREST TUBE: Oxford Circus

 

WHAT IS IT? If you’re going vegan for 2018 (or just for January) head to Walthamstow Village, where Plant Dawgs is serving up its plant-based take on the hot dog. The Nag’s Head, (Walthamstow), just turn up, Mondays throughout January.
WHERE: The Nag’s Head, 9 Orford Road, Walthamstow
NEAREST TUBE: Walthamstow Central

 

The Habit Hunter x

Top 5 | Winter Hangouts in London

1. The Monkey 47 Lodge

What is it? Wrap your hands around hot and cold cocktails inspired by German desserts, like Monty’s Strudel cocktail – paired with homemade apple pie. Tucked away just off the pavement hurly-burly of High Holborn, this feels as special as a private members’ club, excellent for after-work escapism or an après-shop refuel.
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Where: Rosewood London, 252 High Holborn, London WC1
Nearest Tube: Holborn

2. Lodge D’Argent

What is it? What screams winter wonderland more than the Northern Lights? This Arctic inspired rooftop, sitting on top of the hustle and bustle of The City, brings two igloo tents to central London complete with an Aurora Borealis Cube in the restaurant’s entrance.
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Where: Coq d’Argent, No. 1 Poultry, London, EC2R 8EJ
Nearest Tube: Bank

3. South Pole Saloon

What is it? The South Pole Saloon comes to Brixton, South London Where Christmas goes to get naughty! Legend has it that deep in the snow drifts of the South Pole there is a Saloon. This decadent and debaucherous dive bar plays host to a Christmas spectacle like no other, for it is here the elves come out to play…
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Where: Brixton Rooftop, Pope’s End, Brixton, SW9 8JH
Nearest Tube: Brixton

4. The Moroccan Medina 
What is it? The Jemaa el-Fnaa square is making its way over to trendy Shoreditch this season for a burst of winter warmth. Think colourful tiles, exotic drapes, and an oversized wigwam filled with cushions and lanterns. On the menu is a range of spice-infused cocktails such as a Casablancan Mint Tea, spiced hot buttered rum and gold pomegranate Bellinis all to be ordered at the Majorelle Garden-inspired bar.
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Where: Queen of Hoxton, 1 Curtain Road, London, EC2A 3JX
Nearest Tube: Liverpool Street

5. Woody Bear

What is it? Croque monsieurs, wheels of raclette and box-baked Mont d’Or oh my. If that wasn’t enough to lure you in, spiked eggnog and draft Negronis are offered to wash everything down. Take a spin in the teacups and a ride on the animal see-saws for a dash of thrill. 
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Where: Woody Bear, 535 Oxford Street, London W1C 1LY
Nearest Tube: Bond Street

The Habit Hunter x 

Habit Hunter Hotspots | November Edition

1. Take a trip to Winterland

WHAT IS IT? Winterland will take the place of this summer’s Neverland, featuring everything from enchanted forests to cosy winter lodges, along with festive cocktails and a Thames-side Christmas beach. For foodies, Jimmy Garcia will be serving up the cheesiest of fonduesand raclette burgers from his pop-up lodge. And if you didn’t get a chance at nabbing one of Coppa Club’s Thameside igloos, there are three of them here overlooking the river. 
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WHERE: Wandsworth Bridge Road, SW6 2TY
NEAREST TUBE: Wandsworth Town

2. Grab your tickets to Chambers of Flavour V3 

WHAT IS IT? Chambers of Flavour is a multi-dimensional dining concept brought to you by the crack team behind Gingerline. V3 marks the third flavourological chapter in the Chambers of Flavour story and promises to be a longer, more fantastical, multi-dimensional dining adventure.
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WHERE: Secret Location
NEAREST TUBE: Secret Location

3. Indulge your tastebuds at Tobacco Docks 

WHAT IS IT? Taste of London: The Festive Edition, the little sister to the summer festival, is the perfect way to kick off the Christmas season in style. Between 16 – 19 November 2017 East London’s stunning Tobacco Dock is transformed into a foodie wonderland brimming with London’s tastiest food, festive tipples, a fantastic chef line-up. 
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WHERE: Tobacco Docks, Wapping Ln, St Katharine’s & Wapping. E1W 2SF
NEAREST TUBE: Shadwell

4. Watch Sparks fly in Battersea Park 

WHAT IS IT? Award-winning pyrotechnicians are behind the illuminations set to fire up the Wandsworth skies. Tickets almost always sell out in advance, so get booking early to see bonfire-torching and an eye-popping 22-minute display, which this year will be set to tunes inspired by the rather abstract theme of ‘Power’.
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WHERE: Battersea Park, Albert Bridge Road. SW11 4NJ
NEAREST TUBE: Battersea Park

5. Head to the flickering fire garden at Kew 

WHAT IS IT? This winter, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew will transform into an enchanted winter wonderland as the much anticipated Christmas at Kew returns once again. After the staggering success of the last four years, Kew has once again teamed up with entertainment promoter Raymond Gubbay Ltd to create a brand new illuminated trail around the Gardens with over 1 million twinkling lights.
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WHERE: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey. TW9 3AE
NEAREST TUBE: Richmond (overground)

6. Get into the Xmas spirit early at Winterville 

WHAT IS IT? Festive playground Winterville is back, swapping Victoria Park for Clapham Common and featuring more dancing, eating, laughing, drinking and skating than you can shake a snow globe at.
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WHERE: Windmill Drive, Clapham Common. SW4 9DE
NEAREST TUBE: Clapham Common or Clapham South

7. Don’t count the calories at Fattie’s Bakery 

WHAT IS IT? Looking for an indulgent salted caramel hot chocolate (uh… who isn’t?) look no further than Fattie’s. Not only is the thick, silky chocolate laden with the salty caramelly stuff, marshmallow is piped around the rim and toasted until golden brown. Either eat all the marshmallow first, eat a bit to make way for the chocolate or buy a cookie and mop up the marshmallowy goodness!
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WHERE: Fatties Bakery, 126 Druid St, Bermondsey. SE1 2HH
NEAREST TUBE: Bermondsey

8. Get inspired at Tribe Shake Shack 

WHAT IS IT? It’s a 2-week TRIBE community concept store on Charlotte Street in Shoreditch celebrating the launch of TRIBE Protein Shakes and the TRIBE community.
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WHERE: 45 Charlotte Road, Shoreditch, EC2A 3
NEAREST TUBE: Shoreditch High St or Old St

9. Take in some Thai drinking food at the Smoking Goat

WHAT IS IT? Thai restaurant Smoking Goat has opened a second branch in Shoreditch, this time focusing on Thai drinking food. In a nutshell this is a restaurant that just screams fun. You’d have to be pretty determined not to have a good time. 
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WHERE: 64 Shoreditch High Street, E1 6JJ
NEAREST TUBE: Shoreditch High St or Old St 

10. Embrace truffle season at Sartoria

WHAT IS IT? Truffle season is here.. and there are few that do it better than Sartoria and their white truffle menu – it is honestly a thing of wonder! Hailing all things truffle, Francesco Mazzei and his team at Sartoria has created an entire menu dedicated to the white truffle.
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WHERE: 20 Savile Row, Piccadilly. W1S 3PR
NEAREST TUBE: Piccadilly Circus 

The Habit Hunter x 

Habit Hunter Hotspots | October Edition

1. Take in a Piece of Italy at House of Peroni 
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WHAT IS IT? The House will bring to life the vivacity and zest for life that is undeniably Italian, and will transport guests to the bustling streets of Italy where they are given the chance to reimagine citrus and explore previously undiscovered flavour combinations.

WHERE: N&C SHOWROOMS, 3-10 Shoreditch High Street. E1 6PG
NEAREST TUBE:  Shoreditch High Street

2. Head to Brixton for a Touch of Bavaria
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WHAT IS IT? Bavaria meets Berlin in the heart of Brixton. They’re bringing the biggest craft beer selection south of the river plus Steins of Prosecco & many kinds of cocktails to share.

WHERE: Brixton Rooftop, Pope’s Road Brixton. SW9 8JH
NEAREST TUBE: Brixton

3. Dine Under the Stars at Pergola Winter Edition
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WHAT IS IT? Pergola Paddington Central is BACK!!! And it’s tastier – and toastier – than ever before. They’re back with a brand new roof on their top deck, fully covering and weatherproofing their site ~ bringing the outside IN!

WHERE: Pergola Paddington, 5 Kingdom Street, Paddington Central. W2 6PY
NEAREST TUBE: Paddington

4. Become a Gin Master at The Holborn Dining Room
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WHAT IS IT? The Gin Journey is a perfect introduction to this very British spirit. Guests will learn about its place in London’s history (with over 7,000 gin shops catering to Londoners in the 18th century, it is no surprise that the spirit’s popularity remains to this day), how gin is made, and how different botanicals help create unique and exciting nuances in flavour. Guests will also sample 4 different gins, with the opportunity to make their own gin cocktail.

WHERE: Holborn Dining Room, 252 High Holborn. WC1V 7EN
NEAREST TUBE: Holborn

5. Dine as a Beauty Leave as a Beast
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WHAT IS IT? The Vaults is an underground network of tunnels that hosts theatrical spectaculars, sprawling festivals and artistic adventures of all kinds. Forget the fairytale ending, this ball is about swinging from the chandeliers. Think thigh slapping, dancing on the table, eating with your face.

WHERE: The Vaults, Leake Street. SE1 7NN
NEAREST TUBE: Waterloo

6. Take in a Tipple at London Cocktail Week 
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WHAT IS IT? Returning for its eighth year, the biggest drinks festival in the UK, London Cocktail Week (LCW), is joining forces with World Class to celebrate the best and booziest of our capital’s cocktail scene from Sunday 1 to 8 October.

WHERE: All over London
NEAREST TUBE: N/A

7. Sip Gold Pomegranate Bellini in a Moroccan Hideaway 
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WHAT IS IT? Inspired by Morocco and the famous Jardin Majorelle (AKA Yves Saint Laurent Garden), the Queen of Hoxton rooftop will be transformed into a medina come October. With patterned cushions, rugs, throws and lots of candlelight, their winter wigwam will channel Marrakesh, as will the selection of food and drink.

WHERE: Queen of Hoxton, 1-5 Curtain Road, Shoreditch. EC2A 3JX
NEAREST TUBE: Liverpool Street 

8. Go Cocoa Loco at The Chocolate Show 
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WHAT IS IT? Truffles, bars, brownies and cakes galore await you atThe Chocolate Show from 13th-15th October,as the UK’s biggest celebration of the nation’s favourite sweet treat!

WHERE: Olympia National Hall, Hammersmith Road, Kensington.
NEAREST TUBE: Kensington Olympia

9. Head into the Wild 
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WHAT IS IT? Working in collaboration with Sager + Wilde restaurant in Paradise Row, The Botanist Gin, the first and only Islay gin, is bringing the Hebridean island to London for one week only.

WHERE: Sager & Wilde, Arch 250 Paradise Row. E2 9LE
NEAREST TUBE: Bethnal Green

10. Get Behind the NFL 

WHAT IS IT? This year the NFL is celebrating 10 years since the first regular-season game was staged in London by playing a record four games. Two games will take place at the historic Wembley stadium on September 24 and October 1, with two further games being played at Twickenham Stadium on October 22 and 29 which will bring the total number of games staged in London to 21.

WHERE: Wembley & Twickenham Stadium
NEAREST TUBE: Wembley/Twickenham

The Habit Hunter x