Travel: Best Vegan Food Spots in Glasgow, Scotland

Happy new year everybody! I hope you all had a great Christmas break. I find the new year the perfect time to get focused and set out goals to achieve for the next twelve months. In my previous blog, I picked out some of my highlights from 2016 (view here), but unfortunately the world of animal rights still has a long way to come, so I plan to achieve much more in 2017!

I spent my New Year’s in Glasgow with one of my best friends and photographer Lottie, check out her awesome photography website here. It’s no wonder she decided to move to Scotland, it really does have spectacular views. We drove to Glen Coe and were greeted by mountains, snow, and plenty of sheep! If you’re staying in Glasgow, Glen Coe is about a two hour drive, and perfect for a day out escaping the city and appreciating the natural world.

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Now…on to the food! To be honest, Scotland really did surprise me. An area known for traditional dishes such as haggis (which you can find the vegan version of at the restaurants I’m about to talk about), I didn’t hold out much hope for vegan food. I was so, so wrong. Not only is the vegan scene thriving in Glasgow with an aray of different vegan pubs and restaurants, these just happen to be the coolest places in town too. My first stop was The Flying Duck which I had heard about prior to visiting, this was just next to the city centre, so easy to find for yummy vegan goodness.

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I absolutely loved everything about this venue; the artwork, the food, the music, the vibe. It reminded me a little of my favourite vegan pub back home in Essex called The Railway Hotel (check out my write up of Mother’s Day at The Railway here). Extra points for the amusing menu with a section named ‘Dawgs’.

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We ordered burgers and mac ‘n’ cheese, which was a little optimistic but its easy to get carried away with vegan food. Everything was delicious. It’s definitely worth checking out The Flying Duck website to see which bands are playing too.

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I also visited Stereo which was another vegan pub/restaurant/gig venue, with a similar vibe to The Flying Duck. I’d heard good things about Stereo, and it’s safe to say I wasn’t disappointed. I think this photograph says it all.

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So good! A special mention goes to the battered cauliflower which was amazing. I also had a hot dog with pretty much everything, and brownie for desert. Everything on the menu looked great! After visiting both places, I was reminded of just how relaxing it is going to a restaurant that is 100% vegan. No worrying about specifically ordering soya milk, or making sure the margarine on the bread is plant-based…Glasgow has you covered with these 100% vegan food spots!

I had also planned to visit Mono which I have heard great things about, however this was closed on New Year’s Day (my last day)… so I guess I’m just going to have to make another trip to Glasgow soon! It definitely looks worth checking out, and all these restaurants are within walking distance from Glasgow city centre…bonus!

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So if you’re travelling to Glasgow for whatever reason, you’re pretty much sorted for vegan food. Are there any other hidden gems in Glasgow I haven’t mentioned? I just hope the rest of Scotland is this vegan-friendly!

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Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2014 Exhibition

This week I visited the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at The Natural History Museum in London. I was very impressed with the images at this exhibition, however there were a few photos that particularly stood out to me.

While the majority of the exhibition focused on appreciating nature, there was a small section that instead depicted the problems faced by nature, due to the actions of humans. The Wildlife Photojournalist of the Year Special Award was given to Brent Stirton for a particularly memorable series of images focusing on canned hunting in South Africa. This showed the different sides of canned hunting, and revealed a shocking image of a recently hunted lion being washed so that the hunter can keep their ‘trophy’. It seemed incomprehensible that the reason for the suffering exposed in this image is purely for human enjoyment. Canned hunting is a huge issue today which seems to be getting worse, as an increasing number of lions are being bred purely so they can then be shot by a paying human being in a closed off area. This seems to be an addiction to the list of dangers faced by lions today, and with their population steadily decreasing, canned hunting seems to be nothing short of a complete lack of respect for animals and nature.

Canned Hunting - South Africa. Brent Stirton
                       Canned Hunting. Brent Stirton – Wildlife Photojournalist of the Year

Sea of Death by Paul Hilton was also a stand out image for me, showing a large number of freshly-retrieved shark fins drying on a beach. This title is very appropriate, as the image gives an overbearing air of death, where the sea is normally a symbol of life. Dishes such as shark fin soup are becoming increasing popular, and I was shocked with the statistic that 100 million sharks are killed every year for this completely unnecessary practice. With lions the predators of land, sharks are the predators of the sea, and these two images show how as humans are advancing, we are simply using and destroying even the most powerful of nature as we see fit. These photographs seemed to overshadow everything else, all was brilliant photography, but these select images represent how modern photography is being used to tackle world issues. Although humans are creating these issues, we are also the ones to stop it.

The winning image for the Adult Wildlife Photographer of the Year Award was entitled The Last Great Picture by Michael ‘Nick’ Nicholas. I thought this black and white photograph of a group of lions was outstanding and well worthy of the title.

The Last Great Picture - Michael 'Nick' Nichols
                                                             The Last Great Picture – Michael ‘Nick’ Nichols