Planning a Vegan Wedding: Issue 1

So for those of you who follow my blog more closely, you’ll know that Tom and I are planning our wedding! With it only being 18 months away now, I thought I’d start the Wedding Planning blog issues.

Issue 1, we’ll start with our venue hunt!

Tom has always had his heart set on getting married in the Gower, or at least close to the water. We find the water so calming and it’s the perfect back drop for us.

Ocean View Gower

In October 2019, the first venue we went to see was Ocean View Gower. The views here were absolutely breathtaking and it was a lovely venue. It was Emma who showed us around the venue and she was really nice and so helpful. You could do so much with the venue and it gives that lovely rustic feel.

They took us on a golf cart round the corner to their little camping village where they had a few pods where wedding guests could stay. The Bridal Suite was a gorgeous, larger version of the other pods.

The only thing that really deterred me from this venue (besides the dates available) was that it was on a working farm. As a vegan, I can’t support the industry and knowing that’s where my money would be going.

Oldwalls Gower

We went on a tour of Oldwalls directly after our visit to Ocean View and we fell in love with it. We put a deposit down there and then and we haven’t looked back since. Oldwalls was a little more polished that Ocean View and as a dedicated wedding venue, the services they provide were exactly what we were looking for.

It was a more polished version of Ocean View, but the price does reflect that. They have a lot of onsite accommodation which is really helpful for us as we’ll have a lot of guests who’ll want to stay. In addition to this, they have a gorgeous glamping village with lots of glamping pods for even more guests to stay in! All the guests that stay will also have breakfast included so it’ll be nice the following morning to have breakfast with our overnight guests.

Tom’s sister got married at Fairyhill last month which is the sister venue of Oldwalls. You can read my blog post about it here. The most important thing to us was having a vegan wedding. Oldwalls were more than happy to accommodate that with no problems. This included all the food, as well as the drinks.

Oldwalls hold showcases throughout the year so I recommend following them on social media to keep an eye out for them. Fairyhill will usually hold showcases on the same day so as you’re in the area, you may as well go and see both!

We’re really excited to keep moving with the planning. We should be invited for a food tasting this year, approximately a year before the wedding. Keep an eye out for that blog post in the future!

Being a Vegan Wedding Guest: Issue 3

We had the absolute honour and luxury of attending Tom’s sister’s wedding at Fairyhill in the heart of the Gower of Swansea. Fairyhill is an absolutely stunning venue surrounded by so much natural greenery.

Hannah, Tom’s sister, and her new husband, Jonnie, are both vegan too so it was a fully vegan wedding which was great! When they were planning their wedding, it was important to them that the wedding be fully vegan and the team at Fairyhill were more than happy to help make that happen.

Getting Ready

As you’re all very aware, I love my beauty products so I’ll throw in a quick section here of what I used on my face to get myself wedding ready…

My dress is a Chi Chi London dress I bought on ASOS and the floral hair clips are from Accessorize.

The Venue

Fairyhill is absolutely beautiful. The night before, we stayed in a lovely modern cottage only a short drive from the venue. Fairyhill is tucked away in a little corner of the Gower so is very private and hidden.

Jonnie and Hannah

The ceremony and the wedding breakfast is held in the Kaleidoscope room (Garden Room) which stuns with gorgeous panoramic views of the forestry around it.

At night, the building is lit up beautifully in colour and is gorgeous and incredibly atmospheric.

There are also rooms available to stay in at Fairyhill if you are a guest of the Bride and Groom. We had the pleasure of staying in one of their rooms. The bed was incredibly comfortable and the convenience of being able to stay on site was a luxury. They put on breakfast in the morning which was lovely and we got to wake up to this gorgeous view…

The Food

I sadly came down with a migraine during the wedding breakfast so I wasn’t able to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the festivities with all the guests.

Tom, being the gem that he is, brought up my food for me to our room. The staff offered to take it up for me themselves but Tom declined the offer as he was keen to check up on me.

Even though my head was pounding, I was still able to enjoy the food. I thoroughly enjoyed all of the food. The polenta chips were delicious and the pesto pizza had a vegan parmesan which had plenty of flavour. There was a stuffed mushroom to start but I forgot to photograph it and I didn’t particularly enjoy. The sticky toffee pudding was sooooo good and baked to perfection. I personally would have preferred custard to ice-cream but still great either way.

Tom had a cauliflower dish to start which he said was banging. He had a miso ramen as his main which was flavourful, but the ribbon noodles had disintegrated a little which made it a little more difficult to eat.

In the morning, a breakfast buffet was laid out and there were vegan sausages, hash browns, mushrooms and beans. They also have various fruit and cereals, and also soy milk for the teas and coffees.

Tom and I

Everything was amazing. Hannah and Jonnie planned an absolutely beautiful day for the gorgeous floral arrangements to the music played through the evening. It was such a pleasure to be a guest and the fact that all the food and drink there was completely vegan was so great.

It’s helped me and Tom decide to plan our wedding, so we’ve booked Oldwalls in the Gower which is the sister venue to Fairyhill! We’re very excited and I’m sure over the next year and a half, I’ll be posting a few wedding planning posts!

Castellamare Cafe in Mumbles, Swansea

Castellamare is located right on Bracelet Bay in the Mumbles in Swansea. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the beautiful area of Swansea, South Wales, you’re truly missing out.

Swansea is a truly beautiful part of Britain and the world. There are stunning views across the bay and to the ocean, and the Welsh are well known for their hospitality. Wales is a gem and I highly recommend every visit.

View from Castellamare

Anyway, moving back onto Castellamare. Even though I don’t live in Swansea, I’m a member of the Swansea Vegans Facebook page due to my proximity to the city. I found on the group the the cafe started offering vegan cheese for their pizzas!

Castellamare is made up of a restaurant and a cafe, but on this occasion we went to the cafe. I wasn’t 100% confident that the restaurant offered the same menu.

We perused the menu and there were lots of vegetables on offer. Tom ordered a vegan version of their vegetarian pizza which had lots of roasted vegetables. I ordered a vegan pizza and added mushrooms, spinach and olives. We also added a side of chips. I did ask what vegan cheese was used but the staff member wasn’t sure but she could confirm it was vegan which was good enough for me!

The pizza was lovely! For the 2 pizzas, 2 sides of chips and 2 drinks, it came to around £38 which is fairly reasonable. The pizza was a great size and the chips were lovely too. The cheese was lovely and creamy but you could tell it was different to the normal cheese they used.

There are many other vegan options in Swansea if you’re out and about. HappyCow will give you plenty of ideas! I would say, if you’re in the area then I recommend a visit, but I actually recommend you come and visit Swansea and then come here and also Boo’s Kitchen (which I’ve written about here) for your vegan food!

Boo’s Kitchen in Mumbles, Swansea

Tucked away, on a quiet street corner in the Mumbles of Swansea is the beautiful Boo’s Kitchen.

Tom and I go to Boo’s every now and then when we’re feeling like a nice brunch/lunch or if we’ve been down to the Marina Market in Swansea. This isn’t a vegan event but is hosted once a month at the National Waterfront Museum and has various vegan options available.

Boo’s is a completely vegetarian establishment, with many dishes that can be made vegan. We love the atmosphere there. It’s a lovely quiet cafe with great food and friendly staff.

The breakfast menu is served between 9 – 11:30, and lunch I believe is served between 12 – 4. We’ve never had breakfast before, even though we’ve probably been early enough. We usually have a coffee and wait till lunch!

There are various plant based milks available here, so make sure you ask to see what’s available. They also make fresh juices in store in various different flavours. The menu is up on the wall and occasionally they’ll do a one-off special so keep a look out for them!

My usual order is the Reuben toastie (pulled jackfruit and gherkins) with chips. Tom will usually order the Soup of the Day but the last time we went, it wasn’t available and he was heartily disappointed. My brother came with us on our last trip and he ordered the Mexican Bowl and a side of chips.

I love the Reuben toastie. It tastes delicious and is really filling. The chips are always light and crispy too so I would highly recommend a side of chips too.

To finish off, we usually buy a vegan cake or brownie to go so that we have a nice dessert to snack on when we get home. The cakes are lovely and there’s always vegan offerings available.

If you’re ever in the Swansea area, I recommend a visit to Boo’s Kitchen. The food is simple but delicious and the service is always great. The staff are friendly and very helpful.

Swansea Vegan Mini Market (May 2019)

Last Saturday (4th May 2019), the Brontosaurus Vegan Lifestyle Store held the Swansea Vegan Mini Market in Swansea Indoor Market.

Tom, myself and my lovely friend Emily made the trip to Swansea to stock up on some wares.

The mini market was held right in the centre of the indoor market so it was easily located. It ran from 10am – 3pm and there were various stalls there, which this time round included:

  • Babitas Spice Deli
  • Sustainibbles Ltd
  • Ahh Lovely
  • Bohemian Chic Minerals Vegan Cosmetics
  • Mr Nice Pie
  • Dark Matters
  • The Brontosaurus Tuck Shop
  • The Vegan Box Limited

I picked up a beautiful, and funny, hand-stitched tote bag from Ahh Lovely. Really, I only picked this up because I forgot to bring a reusable bag but it was only £5 and I really love it! Ahh Lovely sell beautiful ceramics and frames that you can also by on Etsy. I recommend looking at their online shop!

Next, I reached The Vegan Box Limited, a hot food company normally based in Caerphilly Market. They actually featured on an episode of BBC’s Dirty Vegan, showing Matt Pritchard how to make seitan! They have an extensive menu in Caerphilly Market, and they brought with them a reduced menu to Swansea. I treated myself with a Doner Kebap with garlic mayo and it really hit the spot. The perfect junk food!

This was followed immediately by Babita’s Spice Deli. We love these guys. As Tom works up and down the country doing vegan events himself, he sees these guys a lot and has built a good rapport with them. They’re lovely people but more importantly, the food is outstanding! The food is fresh and non-greasy and filled with so much flavour. We took some home with us which we had for dinner and it was delicious!

My final mention is for Dark Matters and their indulgent brownies! I wish I took a photo of the entire table because I struggled so much to decide which flavours of brownies I wanted. I personally decided on ‘Maple, Hazelnut and Pecan‘ and ‘Peanut Butter Swirl‘. Tom chose ‘Raspberry Double Chocolate‘.

Keep an eye out on future vegan mini market events. I believe they happen once a month. It’s a good opportunity to load up on treats and snacks and possibly try something you’ve never tried before!