Tuesday, March 19, 2013

VEGAN LONDON: Let the Trip (recap) Begin

I've just traveled to London, England- exciting for many reasons: vacation, first trip off the continent, first stamp in my passport, and, well...LONDON!

I approached the impending travel with the same research techniques I'd employed in preparation for Portland, Oregon- namely, blogs.  Who needs guidebooks?  My vegan peers did not steer me wrong; special thanks to QuarryGirl, Fat Gay Vegan, and Vegan in Brighton.

I came down with the flu almost immediately upon return and could do nothing but watch Downton Abbey and snuggle with 89.  So, it's going to take some time, but I'll soon be organizing my trip photos and blog-worthy stuff and off we'll go.  I assume that the easiest and fairest way to blog will be as close to the order that everything occurred.  In that vein, let's start with the special "vegan" meal on our British Airways flight out of America.

Upon delivery, it looked relatively impressive: fruit, salad, questionably vegan (no ingredient list) dinner roll...

Upon further inspection it became clear that the reality would be a significant downturn from my first impression.  I'll get to the main course- which was just plain icky, but it was the inclusion of blatantly dairy creamer and non-vegan butter that really got my blood boiling.  If you offer a vegan option, people assume you know what that means, dig?

I'm not much for bad language, but, if I had to guess, this is the point of the trip when I began cursing heavily- if only in my mind.  Limp eggplant is bad enough, but half-covered in awful tomato sauce and half-covered in gravy; what the eff is that about?  And don't get me started on what I can only assume were once nutrient-dense broccoli florets.  As if the flight itself weren't enough to make me gag.

A little later on, a snack appeared.  It felt cool and substantial; we were excited.

We needn't have been.  Another questionably vegan roll, more dairy creamer & non-vegan butter, orange juice, and apple sauce. What vegan wouldn't want this random mess assortment?  Total gagfest (Although I did drink the OJ).

Bigtime fail, British Airways.  I'd joked that the vegan meal would wind up consisting of all vegan things I happen not to like: apples, cilantro...but I'd given you much too much credit.  Those things are actually vegan and would have gone together better than this hot mess.

Fear not, though; the eats vastly improved upon arrival; stay tuned!


  1. Haha, oh no! Sorry for this..."meal." Did you bring any snacks on the plane with you? I'd be really pissed and sad.
    Surprisingly, I had a really delicious vegan meal on AirFrance a few years ago, I can't remember what it was though. The complimentary wine helped too :)
    I look forward to the more edible part of yr trip.
    P.S. Downton Abbey!!! (How far into it are you??)

  2. Yeah flying vegan can be hit or miss. I had great luck on a Delta International flight (to Israel)...maybe b/c that flight route is used to accommodating lots of people with special dietary stuff.

  3. foodfeud- I'm not a good flyer, so I really didn't feel much like eating until "meal"-time. It's all part of my don't-plan-for-it/don't-think-about-it/it-can't-hurt-you-approach. The vodka was my salvation coming back ;-) And yes, DOWNTON ABBEY! I'm all caught up through the end of the current season (3). I don't know why I'm so hooked, but I am. You?

    Ali- There were a ton of special meals on our flight; wonder if they were as precise as the vegan meal?

  4. Sometimes the airplane meals are really great (i.e. not bad) and sometimes they are like yours. But they always seem to include the cream and butter. Makes you wonder. We're going to Thailand on Saturday, and we'll be in the air a l o n g time. maybe we better bring a lot of snacks.

  5. Andrea, that's wonderful! Erm, the impending trip, not the airplane food. A few friends have visited the elephant sanctuary there and have said it is not to be missed. I've also heard there are some pretty great, vegan, cooking classes available. Have so much fun!

  6. Andrea-I can't remember what I had on the plane from NY to Thailand but I remember liking it..well the first flight. my connecting flight from Japan to Thailand, the food was grosses! but the flight from NY to Japan was really good haha can't remember any details though! and yes if you can take a May Kaydee cooking class! and of course the elephant sanctuary :)

  7. So excited for the coming posts!!!

    Also when B and I flew to Nepal, Fly Dubai knew what was up! They offered some serious tasty vegan food, and also gave us non-dairy butter for rolls.

  8. BYOL- British Airways was not nearly as fly.

  9. Thanks for the shout out Abby! I can't believe it's taken me this long to discover your London posts. I've had some very similar airline meals so I always, always pack snacks now. I do also always contact the airline when it happens, whilst they obviously don't really care as this stuff (the creamer & margarine) never changes they do usually give you Avios points to apologise which can be put towards your next flight.

  10. VEGAN LONDON Great blog, I really love your writing style that you are using for your posts and stuff,


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