On with the journey. Oh yes! The next day we woke up bright and early and waited one hour for the tube to take us four stops thanks to a signal failure at Canary Wharf (all the way at the other end of the Jubilee Line). A real London train delay - woot! We picked up out car, a Holden/Vauxhall (depending on where you live) Astra. Much to my dismay - I was given one of these cars last time I picked up a rental in Sydney and I hate them! But Jen was to be the driver on our journey (I don't drive manual and autos are twice as much!). We promptly named her Miss Fanny Price (after Jen knocked back my suggestion of Mrs Bennet) and began the slow journey to get to the other side of London (avoiding the congestion zone) and on to our first stop of Canterbury.
I forgot to mention that the previous day Jen had continued my education in the UK supermarket hierarchy by taking me to Sainsbury to stock up on munchies for the trip. Our favoured food for driving and snacking was hummus and pita bread. So imagine our delight when I opened Fanny's glove box and found she had a special hummus holder! Don't believe me??
We arrived in Canterbury and oohed and aahed at the Cathedral. Then Jen told me that the last time she was here, there was a fudge shop that had vegan fudge. And indeed there was!
Jim Garrahy's Fudge Kitchen stocks a vegan toffee fudge. They also had a box of four vegan flavours for easter. Not being one for loads of sugar, I took the slice of toffee fudge - you can see it is pretty substantial! They also have shops in Bath, Edinburgh and Cambridge - and I stumbled across all of them! Though that one slice lasted me for the entire road trip. They also have mail order - including to overseas. Yay! And I will say, it was delicious! I still only ate small amounts at a time, but it was nothing like that horrid icing sugar laced fudge that gives me a headache as soon as I see it. It was rich and creamy and just melted in your mouth. If you haven't had some of this - get some at all costs!
After Canterbury we visited castles and cliffs in Dover, before driving along the coast into BRIGHTON! We picked up Cath, our third for the weekend, and then set about the business of finding some dinner. It was an epic struggle, as the place we had planned on going (Wai Kika Moo Cow) was closed. Woe! We walked for about an hour and a bit with no luck. Then we stumbled across Food For Friends, but woe they had no tables until 9.30pm. They pointed us down the street to Terre a Terre. It took us a while to finally find it, and they too told us no tables until 9.45pm! But, upon hearing my tale of vegan food woes, the lovely lady there found us a table. Hurrah! And I am so glad she did, because this is what I ate...
Smokey Scrunch Chips (£5.00) - Big fat hand cut chips seasoned with our bang bang spice dust served with poky guacamole. Best. Chips. Ever. Nothing before or after top these. Crunchy on the outside but juicy on the inside with the perfect amount of seasoning. And hot as hot can be. Oh... potato heaven!
Porcini Pudding and Cranberry Kraut (£14.60) - Little steamer crammed with port and porcini mushroom ragout served with mashed potato truffle cream, mulled red carmel cabbage and cranberry kraut, finished with chestnut milk and parsnip crisps. Holy smokes! Hello fancy pants. And hello yummy! The mushroomy mushroomness was intense and amazing. All the flavours just came together. It was divine. The best vegan restaurant meal I have ever had.
Rain Vodka Cherry Chocolate Churros (£7.70) - Sugar spice dusted doughnut straws served with sticky dipping chocolate and Rain Vodka sozzled cherries. Again, all I can say it... wowsers.
This place was seriously amazing. When I went to the bathroom I could see into the kitchen. There was a row of chefs in their aprons and hats putting on little garnishes - just like in TV shows. Oh, it made me giggly and happy. I wish there were places like this where I lived!
Then we went back to our hostel - my first ever. YHA at Alfriston. And no, not impressed. There was hair in the basin in our room. They didn't have a key for us to lock our room. And it was just generally grotty. The showers were hot at least, but water went everywhere. Avoid if you can.
So, I was going to post all of Brighton in one post, but the next day was the Vegan Fayre and I have lots of photos and so much to write about that I think I shall just finish it up here and resume tomorrow. I hope everyone is enjoying the public holidays!