At the age of seventeen, my mum moved to the peak district area of Sheffield. A little out the way but a beautiful picturesque area. Whilst I did not live with my mother I visited often. This is when I discovered the wonderful city, Sheffield.
Now five years ago veganism was not as widespread as it is today, although vegetarianism was a very popular diet. As a vegetarian, I had not expected much from the small towns that surrounded the area, such as Castleton and Bakewell. Although to my surprise the pubs and restaurants offered great alternatives for vegetarians with a small local store even selling Linda McCartney sausages as hot dogs! Brilliant, a vegan option at a hot food stand!
I found being vegetarian to be an extremely easy diet living in Sheffield as many options were readily available in most places. I even began to find places that offered vegan options. I began to admire Sheffield for what seemed to be a very vegan outlook on life. Their city was very green, with a Green party dominant political standing. I even discovered that Sheffield was the first city of refuge in England, after finding a sign outside the city cathedral stating “ALL REFUGES WELCOME.”
I can honestly say I have Sheffield to thank for opening my eyes to caring for people and not just animals within my vegetarian lifestyle. As I began to explore the city I discovered from an employee (who was himself homeless) at my mothers’ restaurant that the cathedral offers a programme to help people who are homeless to find jobs. They offer their location as an address, therefore, people can find a job and they supply these people with a place to stay if they need one.
Entering such a big city I had not expected such kindness from its residents. I began to notice the people in Sheffield function differently from what you would usually expect of a big city. They were friendly and inviting and deeply involved with their community. The people of Sheffield make an effort to get to know you and be kind to everyone.
I spent my time split between cities and every time I visited Sheffield I could see it evolving and changing for the better. Every time a new restaurant popping up which supplied vegan options by the many. Local pubs creating vegan menus and people everywhere supporting the vegan community.
When I finally decided to become vegan Sheffield nurtured and supported my love of this lifestyle. Supplying me with an abundance of locally run shops, all ethical, all vegan. I was in my element.
when my time finally came to say goodbye to Sheffield I was saddened to leave this amazing community behind. The vegan lifestyle that had been made so easy for me was now disappearing. Sheffield offers so much opportunity for a vegan lifestyle with so many events to attend you can learn so much from this city. After being away from Sheffield I have heard so much about great restaurants that I am missing out on and to be honest I’m jealous!
I was extremely excited to visit Sheffield recently and I have to say it honestly lived up to its reputation. I had been rather busy and hadn’t specifically planned to go to most places, although ended up happening up on some great places which offered vegan and vegetarian options!
On the day of my best friends birthday she decided she wanted waffles for breakfast. So it was suggested we go to Lucky Fox on Ecclesall road. As we arrived we were greeted warmly and given a few moments to mull over the menu. The waiter then returned to ask us if we have eaten here before to which we stated we had not. He gave us a very friendly explanation of their restaurant stating that it was, in fact, a chicken house. To which the two vegetarians and vegan around the table all looked awkwardly at each other.
Okay, so we’ve picked the wrong restaurant but after a moment of looking through the menu, we noticed there were many great vegetarian options available. Although they did not offer a vegan option one of their meals was easily adjustable by removing the egg. I ordered the avocado on toast, which I admit, I did not expect much of it. Although to my surprise the meal was not lacking as it was a great portion and had been topped with giant tomatoes. I have to say, best avocado on toast I have ever had! And I was not left wanting as I discovered they stocked soy milk so I could have the Latte I had been seeking. And the birthday girl even got her waffles!
Later that evening we planned to go to Temple of Fun, a vegan restaurant with food supplied by Make No Bones in Sheffield. As we arrived we went to the bar to order drinks and I realised I did not know any of the brands they were selling. Being a cider drinking girl rather than spirits I stupidly decided it was easier to ask what drinks were vegan; forgetting I was in a vegan restaurant! To which the barman turned around and stated that everything is vegan. Yet I’m still not confident enough to ask which is cider so I go for the cutest looking can of alcohol, pink with hearts. Expecting that it might be some sort of cocktail, but no, it was a stout! Eugh. Next time I’ll know better.
The menu offered a wide range of food and all of it vegan! The food all looked so good I just couldn’t decide. After a long time of drooling over every item on the menu, my boyfriend and I decided to share. My boyfriend ordered the DD burger which as described on their menu was a ‘D12 burger, smoked cheese, DD black BBQ sauce, smoked tomato, onion rings and iceberg on a charcoal black bun’ and I ordered the Tinsley Tower Burger; ‘ a chicken burger with cheesy hash brown, salad, mayo and sweet chilli in a pretzel bun.’ BOTH amazing and the D12 burger was so realistic in look with a brown outer and pink meat like inside. We also ordered the Cajun shrimp as a side which again was so realistic in look and texture. The best vegan shrimp I have found so far!
We also managed to score ourselves some Dutch fries after our friend with a peanut allergy realised it contains peanuts when we told him what satay sauce actually is! I felt bad for him but I didn’t regret eating every last bit of those delicious fries.
Of course, we also had a cozy night in with our favourite takeaway from Chan’s Chinese. Salt and pepper tofu! And I finally tried the wicked velvet brownie too.
On my last day in England, I went for breakfast at The Waggon and Horses pub and ordered the vegan full English. I was surprised to find it came with bacon, sausage AND black pudding! For which I was yet to find a vegan alternative. The black pudding was amazing and the whole breakfast went down a treat!
I returned home to Spain with a belly full of awesome vegan food supplied by my very favourite city Sheffield. Thank you, everyone, who kept me fed during my time in England! I didn’t have to cook once, good on you Sheffield!
I'm just trying to share a little love and make the world a better place! <3