Creamy Coconut Coffee


Recently, coconut oil seems to be getting a lot of stick. A number of my friends have questioned my use of it, with more and more articles being written about the danger of people consuming more than their recommended daily allowance of fat. Of course, I’m by no means a qualified expert, but I thought I would add my two cents for what it is worth, whilst at the same time sharing with you one of my favourite uses (being the coffee lover that I am!).

There are a plethora of books and websites that tout the benefits of consuming coconut oil, from boosting brain function to lowering cholesterol, and while there is no reason to dispute those, I prefer to focus on the benefits that I have experienced, which is where my coffee recipe comes in… One of the apparent benefits of coconut oil is that it can boost energy, because (and this is where I try to sound articulate, seductively intelligent, and well-informed) it is made up of medium-chain fatty acids, which are distinct from our more well-known friends, the long-chain fatty acids of butter, etc. These medium-chain fatty acids are metabolised differently, meaning they go straight from the digestive tract into the liver, where they can be used as energy (woo!) So my little cup of coffee with a teaspoonful of coconut oil is really going to get me going in the morning (and is so much more appealing than it’s weird cousin, butter coffee, am I right?).

That being said, I wouldn’t necessarily advocate making this every day. Coconut oil is, after all, a fat, and with all of the avocados that sneak onto our toast in the morning, we don’t want to go overboard. For me it really comes down to eating things in moderation and responding to what your body is telling you – I’ve seen lots of videos on Youtube of people saying they don’t eat more than X% of fat per day (some as low as 5%, whaaat), and prefer to follow a ‘HCLF’ vegan diet. And that’s great if that works for you, but for me, I find sometimes I need the fat as a kind of ‘protective barrier’. I know, it sounds pretty out there, but I feel the fat kind of helps me to stay levelled, avoiding any unexpected changes in temperament. Since transitioning to a plant-based diet, I have to some extent struggled with my blood sugar (my mood swings can be like PMS on speed, ain’t nobody got time for that!), and I feel the fats really help with that. So whilst I won’t be adding fats to my porridge ‘willy-nilly’, I also won’t be fretting about my coconut coffee (on that note, please never fret about what you’re eating! Nourishing your body is a form of self-love, it’s not meant to make you feel guilty!)

On that note (and bravo to those who have endured my spiel!) I should probably finish up with the ACTUAL recipe for my delicious coconut coffee… Let me know how you get on, and if it keeps you feeling perky throughout that 3pm slump!

3/4 cup black coffee

1/4 cup coconut milk

1 tsp coconut oil

Brew your coffee as usual, using hot water, before transferring it to a blender (I use the NutriBullet, simply because it’s easier than the Vitamix for something this quick!). Add your coconut milk and teaspoon of coconut oil (I find it sweet enough with the coconut flavour, but each to their own!), and blend for about 15 seconds, just long enough to emulsify the coconut oil and create a beautifully frothy top. Pour into your favourite mug and enjoy (and then come back here to tell me what you think!)

PS. I usually also use coconut oil to remove my makeup in the evening (different pot, don’t worry!), so let me know if you’d like to see a post on coconut oil skincare!

Lunch in 10: Pea and asparagus quinoa salad


I recently realised that whilst I have an extensive array of breakfast recipes in my repertoire, when it comes to lunch I come unstuck. Although I always try to make an effort with dinner, I often find myself resorting to the same few things for lunch – avocado on toast, soup, copious amounts of hummus.. When I was still at university I was so much better about prepping delicious lunches, largely because meal times were literally the highlight of my day during finals. I always had at least one ‘base’ box – roasted sweet potatoes, quinoa, roasted  vegetables – that I could use to create a meal. Since coming home, however, and often cooking for my parents, I’ve let the habit slip and I’ve resorted to a lunch of energy balls more often than I’m willing to say.

So for all intents and purposes (or ‘intensive purposes’, as some prefer to say… please don’t), this blog post marks the return to food prep, and I’ve kicked things off with my favourite quinoa recipe. By preparing a batch of quinoa that’s already full of flavour, I can simply add whatever vegetables I have in the fridge to make a great salad.

For approximately 2-3 lunches, I use 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water, and I add the following:

1 vegetable stock cubes (the Kallo ones are lovely and low in salt)

1 tbsp tamari (or soya sauce if you don’t have tamari)

Juice of half a lemon

I don’t usually feel the need to season with salt or pepper, but that’s an option too. Once I’ve gently toasted the dry quinoa (it brings out the nutty flavour of the grain), I add the stock and the spices and cook as normal. I usually let it cool in the pan before transferring to a tupperware where it should keep for a few days.

To make this delicious pea and asparagus salad, however, read on…


1 portion cooked quinoa

5 stems asparagus

Handful almonds

Handful frozen peas

1 tbsp tahini

Fresh rocket

  • Place 5 asparagus stems in a dry griddle pan and push down until they start to char
  • Turn them after a few minutes to cook on the other side
  • Once they are nearly done, pour about a handful of frozen peas into the same griddle pan (two pans at lunch is excessive, am I right?) and add some chopped garlic and olive oil
  • As the peas start to thaw, add your quinoa to the pan and stir the ingredients together, leaving the asparagus to one side
  • With the ingredients warmed up, feel free to stir through some fresh rocket before transferring to your dish
  • In the empty pan, briefly roast off some almonds
  • Assemble the salad – lay the asparagus on top of the salad, toss with toasted almonds and drizzle with tahini, to enhance the beautifully nutty flavour

It’s so easy to rustle up, looks pretty impressive, and packs a hefty amount of protein. As you can see from the photo, I also topped mine with sprouted mung beans, which add even more protein, even more flavour, and even more nutritional benefits! (Loaded with vitamins A and K, and believed to lower inflammation. Yes please!) They seem to be easily available in most Sainsbury’s, so definitely check them out! I’ve also been adding sprouting alfalfa from the same range to my salads and aforementioned avocado on toast…variation is the spice of life, as they say!

Let me know what you think!




Lunch in 10: Courgetti


If you’re after a recipe that you can prepare in 10 minutes, then you’ve come to the right place. May I introduce, courgetti with blistered vine tomatoes, chickpeas, chilis, and plenty of garlic. Perhaps not one if you have an afternoon meeting, but nevertheless seriously quick and delicious…

Serves 1:

2 courgettes, spiralized

1 handful spinach/kale (optional)

10 vine tomatoes

1tbsp olive oil

1 tsp crushed garlic

1/2 tin chickpeas, thoroughly washed to remove the suds

Chili flakes, salt and pepper to taste

Basil, to garnish

Heat up a pan with the olive oil, and add the garlic. Once that starts to heat, add the tomatoes (halved), and cook on a medium heat until they start to soften. At this stage, feel free to add in chili flakes, salt and pepper. While the tomatoes cook, spiralize the courgettes. Add the chickpeas and spinach/kale to the pan and combine the rest of the ingredients as they cook. With the courgettes prepared, add them to the pan for a couple of minutes to warm them through (long enough to let the flavours come together, short enough to retain all the goodness of raw food!) Serve with a generous handful of basil and some fresh crusty bread.

NB. For me, and the reason why I suggest serving with bread, is that this meal will not necessarily keep you full until dinner. Although the chickpeas add some much-needed protein, courgettes are mostly water and so will be rapidly digested. Although it’s a perfect light lunch, bear this in mind when planning your mid-afternoon snack, or consider adding extra carbs on the side.

Immune-boosting green goodness


Having spent an action-packed weekend in Budapest (blog post to come!), I woke up on Monday morning feeling a LOT less perky than usual. A combination of little sleep, few fresh juices (although there was a wonderful cold-pressed juicery just round the corner from our apartment!), and the two-and-a-half hour plane journey, had left me with a stuffy head and a scratchy throat. As much as I love wallowing in self-pity and waiting for someone to look after me when I’m ill, I knew I had to rectify the situation with something  green and potent (tasty is a given).

Having downed a shot of echinacea (a habit my mother instilled in me from a young age), I got to work creating this delicious and oh so good for you immune-boosting smoothie:

1 cup coconut/almond milk

1 banana

1cm fresh ginger

2 handfuls spinach

1 handful frozen pineapple

1 handful frozen mango

15ml aloe vera juice

2 tsp wheatgrass

1tsp chia seeds

1 serving protein (optional)

As I’ve said before, it doesn’t really matter which fruits are frozen, just as long as there are some to keep it cool and creamy. There is also no need to peel the ginger – ain’t nobody got time for that. The only pre-requisite of this smoothie is that you escape somewhere to enjoy the flavours! I wrapped up and sloped into the garden with mine to enjoy a very rare sunny morning.

All in all, this smoothie is definitely a new favourite – it’s not too sweet, achieving the perfect balance between the fruit and the greens, and packs a serious punch with the ginger. As well as helping to fight flu, the ginger and aloe vera in this smoothie also make it great for digestion, while the wheatgrass adds protein and minerals (it contains all minerals known to man – including that all important B-complex!)

Let me know if you want me to write in more detail about the benefits of the ingredients in this smoothie, and, as always, let me know how you get on if you give it a go!


Ruth x

Vegan Bites in Budapest

About Me

As some of you may know, I’m recently back from a weekend in Budapest. Although sleep wasn’t much of a priority, tasting the gastronomic delights of the city definitely was! Luckily for me, the five girls I went with are just as mad about food as I am, and despite the typical dishes of Hungary being very much based on red meat, they helped me scout out the best places for plant-based eaters. Although there are a few exclusively vegan restaurants dotted around the city, I really didn’t want to force everyone else into eating the way I do, so I settled with making sure that I was well topped-up with almond milk lattes and cold-pressed juices. Since I’m barely human (or at least a lot more contrary) without my morning coffee, finding cute cafes that serve dairy-free milks and the odd vegan cake is kind of essential, and really perks up my experience of the trip.

Listed below are just a few places that we came across serving soya/almond milk coffees (I sometimes forget how lucky I am that it has become so engrained in everyday British life!)

JUICY: serving a wide selection of fresh cold-pressed juices as well as vegan smoothies bowels and raw vegan energy balls, this is a definite favourite. The only way to start the day when the traditional breakfast offering is poppy-seed or jam-filled pastries (delicious as they are). You’d also be hard ‘pressed’ (get it?) to find a better juice for this price – around £2.50, such a change from the £7 standard in London!

Dob u. 22. Budapest Hungary.

GOAMAMA COFFEE: with an adjoining homeware store that left the whole group desperate to set up home (a slightly worrying level of domestication for a group of 23 year olds), GOAMAMA serves excellent soya lattes and flat whites. Although the cakes are not vegan-friendly, I was assured by my friends that they are worth it.

Kira’ly Utca 21, 1075 Budapest Hungary

FEKETE COFFEE: not only is the interior of Fekete sleek and stylish, but they also have an array of coffee-related products on offer, not to mention the availability of both rice and soya milk. In a very central location, this is the perfect place to stop for a flat-white, particularly if your friends are partial to pancakes.

Muzeum krt 5, Budapest Hungary

Although not ‘vegan friendly’ per se, it’s definitely worth mentioning the restaurant we went to on our first night – Monk’s Bistrot, located in the historic centre of Budapest. With a more varied menu than some other restaurants, the food was fresh, beautifully presented, and accompanied with some stunning wines, all very reasonably priced. Post-dinner, I would also recommend (in addition to the ruin bars, a must-see in Buda), a little cocktail bar called WARMUP, located in the Jewish District of the city. While not as aesthetically stimulating as some of the other bars in the city, the cocktails were without a doubt some of the best I have EVER tried. Having sat down in the bar, we were immediately greeted by the mixologist, Robert, who promptly asked us all individually what flavours we liked, and what ‘base’ we would prefer. Since ingredients like milk and egg whites can sometimes slip into cocktails (goodbye my old friend, the White Russian!), I told Robert that I wanted something free from nasties and maybe coconut flavoured. What came next was honestly beyond all expectations – using the popular local ingredient of poppy seed, he created a masterpiece based on vodka and coconut puree. Needless to say one round turned into two, and if I ever go back to Budapest, I will definitely be making a return visit.

These were just a few of the places that perked up my experience of the trip. I might add, however, that the old saying, ‘the customer is always right’, doesn’t quite seem to have reached Budapest, so don’t feel disheartened if the customer service doesn’t live up to expectations.

Let me know if you want me to do a post on some of the must-do activities in the city, and of course, let me know if you visit any of these places/have anything to add to the list for next time!

Ruth x

Beauty essentials that happen to be cruelty-free


It’s no secret among my friends and family that I’m something of a makeup and skincare junkie. My mother always brought me and my sister up to take good care of our skin and invest in high quality products. Make-up remover wipes were almost a dirty word in our household, and the thought of going to bed with make-up still on was abhorrent!

Since I’m not #blessed with perfect skin, finding products that really work for me has always been a priority, and whilst I have gone through stages of trying anything and everything (I think it’s partly a compulsion to shop!), I have finally settled on the resolution that less is often more. Nowadays I try to keep it simple, educating myself about the product and how best to use it, and allowing enough time to see how my skin reacts. Although as a family we have always loved natural products, since adopting a plant-based lifestyle I have been more acutely aware of the issue of animal testing, and whilst my bathroom cabinets still probably contain a few dubious products, I’m always on the look out for cruelty-free beauty essentials. Luckily, for the main part of my skincare routine (i.e. the cleanse and moisturise), that need has been fulfilled by the wonderful Emma Hardie, and the probiotic skincare brand, Aurelia, both of which are available from Space N.K. In this post I’ll talk you through why I love these products and how to use them.

Emma Hardie: for those of you who don’t know (and if so, you really should ask yourself why not), Emma is a facialist and skincare expert who has developed her own range of natural, paraben-free products that feature many botanical ingredients (hence why they smell so divine, think neroli and mandarin extracts!) Her Moringa Balm has become a favourite among beauty bloggers, and for good reason. It is essentially a cleansing balm, but can also be used as a face mask, leaving your skin both wonderfully clean and radiant. Whilst there are dozens of blogs touting the benefits of the balm, namely the way it leaves you looking plumped and radiant (yep, and yep), what I find particularly interesting is the way Emma recommends using it. I’ve been lucky enough to have a couple of facials with Emma, experiences which left me glowing both on the inside and on the outside. As well as using healing techniques such as Reiki, she also talks you through how best to use your skincare, often highlighting two key processes. Firstly, the importance of facial massage – whatever balm you are using to take off your makeup, really work it into the skin, kneading the sinews in your face with both your fingertips and your knuckles – the weirder you look, the better! This is because beneath the skin are a number of channels, and these can become congested (leading to spots, for example). The second, which is linked to the first, is the process of ‘polishing’ the skin using (her) microfibre cloths. Having applied the moringa balm all over the face, you hold one section of the skin (the forehead, for example), and pull the cloth over the face in little strokes. Together, these processes stimulate the lymphnodes and help clear and tone the face (in terms of spots, this is because the actions stimulate a kind of detox for the skin).

The best thing about this product for me, in addition to the fact that it leaves my skin soft and glowing, is the fact that it provides a kind of at-home spa treatment. Every week during my university finals I would spend about half an hour doing this facial massage, almost working out my stress on my own face! Not only is the action itself soothing, but the scent of her products is exquisite. After my last facial I also learnt that a great combination is to use the Foaming Wash (pictured above) together with the balm, since the balm softens the skin whilst ingredients in the face wash kind of ‘nibble away’ at the dirt, lifting away the dehydrated, dull skin.


Aurelia: With my skin wonderfully cleansed, I always follow with the Cell Revitalise Moisturiser from British brand Aurelia. Although I have only tried the moisturiser so far, the ethos of the brand is brilliant, using organic formulations with probiotic technology to manage inflammation (again, a key concern for those of us with spots!) Whilst it is unlikely on its own to transform your skin, it is a great simple step in your routine that will leave your skin looking plump and dewy. Having briefly read the reviews on other websites, I’ve noticed that many people complain of it sitting on top of the skin. Although I am perhaps biased, since I believe in really massaging your moisturiser in order to boost circulation, this is not a problem I have noticed. I would say, in fact, that the product is rich without being heavy, and is again beautifully scented (naturally, I might add). The brand has won several awards since it’s launch in 2013, and I’d definitely recommend checking out some of their other products (I have my eye on the serum!)

Together with my plant-based diet, I really feel like these products have helped me achieve quite a consistent glow, both with and without makeup (it’s always worth remembering that using good skincare helps your makeup to apply smoothly!)

Let me know what you think if you have tried these brands, and look out for more cruelty-free product reviews in the near future!

Ruth x

Raw Vegan Brownie Bites!


So I feel like this is a place where I can share my true thoughts, and I have to be honest and admit that in the last few weeks I’ve been struggling. The addiction to dark chocolate is real. The problem is that when I adopted a plant-based lifestyle I was still at university, where I spent a lot of time in the library (finals, woo!), away from temptation. I would have a square (okay, two) of dark chocolate, or even the occasional Booja Booja truffle, after dinner and I would feel quite satisfied. Now that I’m living at home, however, my life is somewhat more sedentary. I mean I know that I sat in the library all day, but I was absorbed in other things, and spent less time thinking about food. (It was still a lot of time, but marginally less). So when I moved home, what used to be a 2-square treat started to become a whole bar of vegan chocolate…not ideal. I was thus motivated to come up with a recipe for after-dinner indulgences that would both satiate my cravings and keep me full. Enter the raw vegan brownie. The easiest and most satisfying treat to date (hah! To DATE, get it?! That was unintentional. Sorry). Anyway, these can be whipped up in under 10 minutes, and last for about 10 days in the fridge, so have been perfect for post-gym and pre-bed. The texture is fudgey, and the taste is rich without being bitter. So here goes…


To make 20-24 brownie bites, you will need the following:


1 cup almonds, ground

1 cup pecans, ground

1.5 cups dates, soaked (if you are using medjool dates then there is no need to soak them; the soaking process is simply a step to make the dates softer so that they break down more easily to form a kind of caramel. This should not take more than 20 minutes)

2 tbsp agave syrup (or other natural sweetener of choice)

1/4 tsp coarsely ground sea salt (using coarsely ground salt means that you get the occasional chunk, which you’ll love if you’re a dark chocolate and sea salt fiend like me!)

3/4 cup raw cacao


  • Put the nuts into a high-speed blender/food processor and blend until they form a coarse powder, retaining some chunks to give the brownies a more interesting texture. Once pulverised, transfer to a mixing bowl.
  • If soaking the dates, drain and transfer to the blender, adding the agave syrup. Blend on high speed until they break down to form a thick syrup/paste. Add the dates to the ground nuts.
  • Mix both the dates and nuts together, slowly adding the raw cacao and sea salt, until fully combined.
  • Once all of the ingredients are mixed together, place the mixture onto a lined baking tray and press down with your fingers.
  • Refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour before taking out to cut into squares.

As I said, these brownies last really well in the fridge (if they survive that long), and are perfect for evening snacks or even when you’re on the go as they are super easy to transport. Not only that but cacao is high in magnesium, which naturally combats fatigue and maintains energy levels, as well as anandamide, a natural mood enhancer. With the many other benefits of cacao (think reduced blood pressure, anti-aging properties and improved digestion), there really is no downside to these brownies! The thickness/size of the brownies is totally your choice, but my advice would be to keep them relatively small, since they are quite dense.

I’d love to hear from you if you give them a go!

Ruth x

*Inspired by the goddess that is the Minimalist Baker!

Vegan Eats in Oxford: Eden Cafe (Witney)

Restaurant Reviews

Having gone to the University in the same city as where I live, the vacations can get a touch boring, especially when meeting up with friends who are also both ‘Town and Gown’ (Oxford residents – ‘Town’, Oxford students – ‘Gown’). Fortunately my friends are also pretty adventurous, so when I suggested to one of them that we venture to Witney to try out Eden Café, they happily agreed. Whilst my friend does not follow a plant-based diet, she’s a total foodie and very health conscious, and my no.1 partner in crime for visiting the latest restaurant or trying out new recipes. So one rainy lunch time we jumped in the car and made the (very worthwhile!) trip to Witney. As teenagers there was not really much for us to do in Witney, but it looks like it’s definitely up and coming – there’s a fabulous health food shop, a Lakeland (we are, at times, total grannies who enjoy perusing cookery shops), and a couple of tea rooms which, though not catering to our tastes, do look very cute. Eden Café, however, is definitely the shining star of the town – nestled on Wesley Walk, it is a relatively small café that serves breakfast, lunch, coffee and cake. It is totally vegetarian with many vegan and gluten-free options.

The first thing that struck me when I walked through the door, a long-awaited shelter from the rain, was how welcoming the staff were (I’m a stickler for service!), but also how busy it was! Arriving at about 1pm, we thought we would be in good time for lunch, but unfortunately all of the tables were already occupied with satisfied looking customers, both young and old. Having briefly read the menu, however, we knew that we could not let the opportunity pass – we would probably have eaten on the floor it looked so good (!), so we squeezed ourselves on the bar stools. Not only was there was a plethora of coffee options (and a good variety of dairy-free milks: soya, almond, and coconut), but there were also plenty of lunch dishes – toasties (which could be made GF), savoury muffins, salads and soups. Both my friend and I opted for the savoury muffin with a choice of salads, which included spiralized vegetables, Greek salad, and a Pad Thai-style noodle salad, which was utterly divine. We even managed to try the last remaining chickpea fritter, which was served with a spicy peanut sauce – definitely one for next time! NB. Although the portion was perfect for me (and left just enough room for the cake, which I was determined to try!), it would probably be on the smaller side for someone like my brother/father.


Savoury muffin with spiralized vegetables and nutty noodle salad – simple yet very satisfying.

With lunch finished, I just had to try one of the many vegan cakes on display in the counter (I also really appreciate the hygiene of Eden Café, at times I can be a little dubious of cakes being on display in the open air all day!) So we decided to share two different ones – the carrot cake cupcake and the mocha loaf cake (the pistachio cake also looked incredible, but unfortunately they were just icing another loaf – it obviously flies out the door!), both of which were sumptuously moist without being too heavy. It’s so rare to find vegan treats like these in Oxford so I really savoured every mouthful! Carrot cake is one of my favourite things in the world, and this really hit the spot – it was subtly spicy and topped with wonderfully creamy icing. I also indulged in a Matcha latte with almond milk, which was another winner – in the few places that serve Matcha lattes around Oxford I have found they don’t really deliver; they are often just foamed milk with a hint of green at the bottom. Almost like green sludge. Um, no thank you.


It is safe to say that Eden Café satiated all my cravings for vegan treats, even if we did have to walk around Witney a couple of times to burn it off! Having stalked their Facebook page it also looks like the cake selection changes regularly, which means I will definitely be back! (I wouldn’t want to mislead you, after all!) I have also been assured that their coffee is quite something – vital information for a caffeine addict like myself. All in all I would wholeheartedly recommend Eden Café – the food is amazing and the staff are authentic.

Comment below if you pay them a visit, which you really should! x

Vegan Eats in Oxford: The Anchor

Restaurant Reviews

Since transitioning to a plant-based diet, one of the more difficult things has been eating out, particularly with friends or family who don’t follow a similar lifestyle. Having recently graduated from University, going for dinner seems to be one of the main ways to keep in touch, so finding restaurants that cater for both tastes has been pretty important. That said, I’m really not a fan of chain restaurants, so when my mother googled ‘Vegan restaurants in Oxford’, and found only the likes of Prezzo and Ask Italian, I wasn’t too thrilled. (I have nothing against those restaurants per se, but I love supporting local and independent eateries!)

One day, however, when hunting for a little deli in North Oxford (The Hayfield Deli, blog post coming soon!), I stumbled across a gastropub called the Anchor. Unbeknownst to me, it has a great regular crowd, but for those us from South Oxford, I can definitely say that it is a hidden gem. What first appealed to me about the pub was the decor (think wooden tables and chairs, but elegant, not scruffy – it has a kind of art nouveau feel) and the menu of about a dozen dishes, all comprising locally-sourced ingredients. Taking advantage of the rare appearance of the sun, and the pub’s quaint outside seating area, I sat down for a coffee (it transpired that this had to be green tea as the pub did not have any soya milk – quite a big deal for me as I am a total coffee addict, but I’ll let it slide since I’m such a fan of the food!) and chatted about the menu with the waitress. Having explained to her that I followed a plant-based diet, she told me that the chefs would be able to prepare a cruelty-free dish no bother – I wouldn’t even have to tell them in advance. One of the most versatile dishes on the menu at the time (which changes based on the availability of local produce) was a farrow salad with green vegetables and feta, so I was told it would probably be a variation on that. Enthused by the friendliness of the staff, fabulous interior, and first-class wine list, I booked a table for seven people in their little private conservatory (perfect for any group of up to ten, at no extra cost! The restaurant also boasts two private dining rooms upstairs for larger groups – definitely recommended for any big birthdays!)

On the day of the graduation I asked for the farrow salad with lots of roasted vegetables (the menu was littered with roasted aubergines, roasted peppers, courgettes, fennel, and in typical me-style, I wanted it all!), and the chefs did not let me down. They gave me a very generous portion loaded with perfectly cooked and seasoned vegetables, while my family enjoyed everything from swordfish to steak.

Since my graduation meal (which was a hit with the whole family!), I have returned several times, for both the farrow dish and their scrumptious sides (chargrilled courgettes and spring onions with a tahini dressing; roasted beetroots and carrots). They have a nice selection of salads which they are happy to modify (e.g. taking out the cheese), as well as a vegan-friendly desert of roasted peaches. The cocktails are also really well-priced and totally delicious, as is the olive oil (deep green colour, the sign of a good restaurant). What I also love about this restaurant is that you can see the chefs – they smile through the kitchen window and give you the impression that they genuinely care about both the food and your experience.

On a slightly less interesting note, the pub also has parking, and is situated near Port Meadow, so ideal if you fancy taking a long pre-supper walk along the canal. Overall, I would definitely recommend the Anchor – the service is nearly always wonderful, and the food is delicious. I can’t wait for the menu to change so I can see what else they can do!

Let me know if you visit, or if you have any other restaurant recommendations in the Oxford area!

Ruth x

Beetroot Hummus


Whilst part of me feels that this recipe needs an introduction, the other part of me wants to get straight to it. This is a matter of urgency. I cannot convey to you how good this hummus is – it’s sweet, yet tangy, and the colour is incredible. I actually risked my fingers for this. I’m not kidding, I stuck my bare fingers into a Vitamix in order to devour every last morsel. I could have legitimately lost my hand.

The best thing is, it’s so easy. It differs only slightly from my authentic, original recipe (‘A Homage to Hummus’). The only time-consuming part of this is peeling the chickpeas, but hey, I’m job hunting and currently finding any excuse to avert my gaze from the computer screen. Simply throw the following ingredients into a food processor/high-powdered blender (like the holy Vitamix), and pulse until you achieve the creamy consistency:

1 400g chickpeas, peeled

1 tsp crushed garlic

2 tbsp olive oil

150g cooked beetroot

2 tbsp tahini

Salt and pepper to taste

If you fancy making it that little bit more refreshing, throw in a handful of mint – the combination really is wonderful.

I love to serve this with avocado on toast, with my courgette fritters, or simply straight out of the dish…with a spoon…on my own. Yolo?

Anyway, I hope you love this like I do!

Ruth x