Introducing The Vegan Rainbow Blog 

A new chapter of my life has begun. The 31st August 2017 has marked my last day at work at an incoming tour operator in Cape Town, South Africa.

After 9 years of being a tour consultant to German speaking tourists, it was time to say goodbye to office life and hello to freedom. My passion for travel and food writing should become my profession.

Was that the right decision? Well, it might be a bit too early to answer that, but I honestly don’t think that there’s a right or wrong here. Sometimes you just have to do what FEELS right and not what other people THINK is right for you. In general the response from family and friends has been amazing throughout, but of course some were doubtful. Whilst it’s good to know that people worry about you, it’s also important to keep following your path.

From the very beginning, I didn’t enter the digital nomad world with high expectations and still think it’s important to remain realistic. It’s not always easy when some family members have over the top expectations and think you are now travelling the world for free, earn lots of money and get invites for all cool events. Luckily I’ve already got many professional blogger friends and know how hard one has to work to actually live from blogging. In order to connect with other bloggers and learn more about the business, I’m attending my very first blogger conference next month, Tbex Europe in Killarney / Ireland.

As you can see, this is still a very small VEGAN TRAVEL BLOG, but I’ll make sure to grow it bigger and make it more professional  in due course. We all have to start somewhere along the lines, don’t we.?

For me it’s all about quality content and I hope you’ll find it interesting enough to keep following me around the world eating my way through vegan paradise.

If you have any topic suggestions or want to get in touch for collaborations, you are very welcome to email me on theveganrainbowblog@gmail.com 

Greetings from Munich and thanks a million for being here😊

Antonia from The Vegan Rainbow Blog 

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Say Cheeeeze! 

If you’d ask me what I miss the most since following a plant-based lifestyle, my answer would most probably be ‘cheese’. But like most vegans I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything, rather embracing all the plant-based goodness. Luckily one can still have a cheeseboard with a glass of wine as a vegan! A good variety of vegan cheeses can be found around the globe these days.Most often plant based cheeses are nut-based but some are ‘allergy free” as well. Have you tried vegan cheese before?

I’m very happy to see that more and more vegan cheeses are becoming available in Cape Town / South Africa and I have recently been testing the Balgowan Country Cheeses for you. My verdict? Yum!

     

They come in different flavors for the amazing price of 45 RAND a round and I honestly enjoyed all of them but if I had to pick a favorite, than it would be the cumin one. Have you ever tried cheese with cumin? I can tell you that combination is divine!

The wonderful taste of the Balgowan Cheese is not the only thing that I like about the product.The cheese is handmade by lovely people and I prefer supporting local traders to the big companies producing artificial cheese.Those definitely serve their purpose but I try to shop local whenever I can. “Local is Lekker” as we say here in South Africa.

Balgowan Country cheese is an allergy free product so if you are allergic to nuts / soy / wheat then this will definitely be your new favourite.The product has also been approved by the Vegan Society South Africa.

Hungry? If you are living in Cape Town or just visiting the Mother City you can get your favorite Balgowan Cheese here:

Disclaimer: Balgowan Country Trading has kindly supplied some samples. All opinions are my own. 

10 things you should know, when you visit Cape Town as a vegan 🌱

South Africa is a meat loving nation so VEGANISM is only slowly but surely making it’s way to society. Here are some tips while you visit / eat out in Cape Town as a vegan. I hope you find them helpful. Let me know in the comment section down below.

1.)  The word “vegan” isn’t that known yet in South Africa and often gets confused with “vegetarian” by waiters / restaurant staff.Rather give examples of what you can eat and the restaurant will usually make a plan for you.

2.)  It can happen that the term “vegan” sort of gets allocated to the “gluten free” family. At some restaurant in Cape Town I was served something like fried fish balls. It obviously freaked me out and as I complained about it with the manager I was told  “but they are gluten-free”??  Arrrrrrg……

3.)  Beware when you order pizza or pasta. For some odd reason “feta cheese” is somehow not regarded as cheese by some waiters. So if you spot it on the menu always state that you DON’T want any feta with your meal. 

4.)  The good news is that the chefs in Cape Town are generally quite flexible. You can always throw vegan items from the menu together and make a nice meal of out of it. Just ask for the price before you order.

5.)  Don’t panic when you are invited to a traditional “Braai” (BBQ). Plenty of meat alternatives from Fry’s family foods are available at most supermarkets  in the freezer section or at the  Wellness Warehouse. You can of course get vegetables etc. in every grocery store. There are many vegan wines that you can take to a braai. Stellar Organics has got fantastic vegan wines and I also love Delheim wines, which are vegan friendly.

6.)  Sushi is fairly cheap in Cape Town. There are plenty of sushi bars / eateries  with specials and vegan options. If you are a sushi fan like me, than you won’t starve in Cape Town.

7.)  Email your accommodation host in advance to notify them about your dietary requirement. You might just have to explain a bit what you can eat and most hosts /guest houses are very flexible. Supermarkets like Pick’nPay and Checkers offer a variety of plant milks etc.The Wellness Warehouse in the V&A Waterfront as well as on Kloof Street have got many vegan products.

8.)  Cape Town has got 4 vegan/vegetarian ‘only’ restaurants in the city center.  “Plant Café” and  “The Hungry Herbivore” are my favourites.

9.)  Why not take a vegan food tour to get to know all the cool vegan places? You find it on Facebook   “Veganfoodtourcapetown.”

10.) Visit the markets. The market culture in Cape Town is fairly big and you’ll find many vegan options. I like to hang out at the Oranjezicht City Farm Market, close to the Waterfront, Granger Bay. The market happens every Saturday from 09:00-14:00. Get there early! This is also a great way to mingle with the local community.


All  the tips are based on my personal experiences. You are most welcome to share yours in the comments or ask any questions you may have. 

Until then,

The Vegan Rainbow 🌱


My favourites 2016 / 2017

Today I want to take this opportunity and share my favourite things of 2016  / 2017 with you. There’s something for everyone: food, travel and so on. I’m  Looking forward to read your favourites in the comments!

Food:

Tian Restaurant /  Munich, Germany 

Who thought that there’s something like ‘vegan fine dining’ ?

http://www.taste-tian.com/en/restaurant/de/munich/

Madame Taitou  / Cape Town, South Africa 

77 Long Street, Cape Town 

If you’ve ever wanted to eat in a tree house..then this little Ethiopian place is for you !

Café Katzentempel Munich / Germany 

Vegan food and lovely cats hosting you.

http://katzentempel.de/

Beauty:

Ecologic Skin Care / South Africa 

Vegan products that make you feel and look beautiful.

http://ecologicskincare.co.za/

Travel:

Lisbon / Portugal 

I absolutely fell in love with the warm hospitality and culture in Lisbon. Can’t wait to be back! I highly recommend  a food tour or cooking class with Singular Trips.

https://www.singulartrips.com/

Lake Garda / Italy

Dubai Stop – Over 

Schoone Oordt Country House / Swellendam, South Africa 

If you are visiting South Africa then you have to stay at Schoone Oordt Country House in the historic town of Swellendam.  What a little gem 2 ½ hour’s drive from Cape Town.

http://www.schooneoordt.co.za/

Book: 

Have you ever travelled and been creative at the same time ? The Creative Traveler’s Handbook is the perfect guide for traveling off the beaten track and it offers valuable information and tips. This is a must read for all travel junkies. This book managed to put Nepal on my bucket list…..

The creative Traveler’s Handbook
http://www.creativelena.com/en/my-book/

Event:

Wine on the River / Robertson Wine Valley, South Africa

South Africans know how to enjoy wine and nature at the same time. The Wine on the River Festival is happening in October and worth a visit.

http://www.wineonriver.com/


Activity:

There’s no better way to enjoy a sunset in Cape Town. 

Sunset cruise at the V & A Waterfront Cape Town 

A taste of Lisbon 

When I received an invitation from Lisbon based tour company ‘Singular Trips’ for a food / tasting tour in Lisbon, I jumped at the opportunity and started organizing the trip immediately. Patricia, founder & owner of Singular Trips has a passion for introducing people to Portuguese food and culture.

I don’t know about you, but the more I travel, the more I want to experience the culture and the people of  the country I’m visiting. So I decided to opt for a homestay rather than a hotel stay. Patricia was very happy to assist with that as well and found the perfect ‘home’ in Lisbon for me. But more about that later.

Upon arrival at the airport (which is in the middle of the city) Patricia welcomed me and took me to her home, where she prepared a lovely vegan lunch. I had informed her about my special dietary requirement beforehand and she immediately warned me: “Portuguese people love meat. It’s a part of the  culture.” I had to put her at ease. Since there’s many people of Portuguese descent in South Africa, where I live, this wasn’t really news to me. The time at lunch gave us an opportunity to get to know our cultures and traditions better. I was a total stranger in Patricia’s home but felt like sitting with an old friend – so It goes without saying that the Portuguese are very warm people. 

It was time to meet my host family for the next two days. Cristina and Porfírio welcomed me into their beautiful home in the centre of Lisbon. There I was in a big and tastefully decorated flat with lovely people, that did everything to make me feel at home. I’m still blown away by the warm hospitality and everything they did for me. The family had planned to go out for sushi that evening and asked me if I wanted to join them.  How can I say no to sushi? Also it gave us the opportunity to get to know each other. I enjoyed the hot summer air as we walked the streets of Lisbon.

Latest at that stage I was so happy I chose a homestay over a hotel room and could see where and how the locals spend their evenings. We ended the day by sitting in the lounge together watching some TV (I’m definitely inspired to learn Portuguese now ) Only a few hours with the family, I felt like being a part of it.

The next day started with a lovely vegan breakfast my host family had prepared for me. Thank you ☺ 

Following this yummy breakfast,  I stepped out into beautiful summer Lisbon to meet Patricia of Singular Trips as well as another participant of  the tour. I was very excited about this experience. What all would we taste and see in one day? 

 At the first stop, a cute little coffee shop, I learned that the Portuguese are the real  masters of coffee. Sorry Italy, but you are now number  2 for me.

My longtime friend and fellow travel blogger Elena @Creativelena (www.creativelena.com) from Austria as well as her mom joined us here for the tour.

Is it ever to early for a craft beer tasting? Singular Trips is proud to support local manufacturers and it was a great experience to taste the different craft beers and see how they are being produced. 

(Photo credit: @Creativelena

The day was filled with tastings and sightseeing. Patricia knows all the places any food and wine lover could wish for. I absolutely fell in love with “Ginjinha” a Portuguese liqueur, made by infusing ginja berries in alcohol and adding sugar together with other ingredients. As an absolute wine lover I enjoyed visits to wine shops and tasting rooms. Have I mentioned the famous Portuguese bread yet? Lisbon is definitely a foodie heaven.

Even though there were no vegan options really, I enjoyed the tour to the fullest (and the wine of course). Patricia is so knowledgeable of the city and its surrounds,  that  I definitely recommend  any kind of tour with Singular Trips. Next time I want to visit a food market and get some fresh fruits and vegetables. Just ask Patricia and she’ll show you all the hidden gems of Lisbon. You’ll feel like being on tour with a friend and not a ‘guide ‘

Lisbon is worth a visit. Impressive architecture will await you.

With my head still full of memories and images of beautiful Lisbon I returned back to my host family late afternoon. As I thought my stay couldn’t get any better, I was welcomed with a vegan dinner. Sitting there with the family, exchanging more about our different cultures, I knew that a part of me will always stay in Lisbon and I can’t wait to be back.

Do you also want to experience Lisbon like a local?

Singular Trips offers different kinds of tours as well as traditional cooking classes / dining experiences with locals. This is an opportunity that you don’t want to miss. Check out their website for more details and info. http://www.singulartrips.com/

“Obrigada” (thank you) Patricia of Singular Trips, Cristina & Porfírio. Looking forward to come back to beautiful Lisbon some time again  soon.

 

 (Photo credit: @Creativelena)

Disclaimer: I was invited by Singular Trips for the tasting tour. All views in this article are my own.

Welcome to Munich’s Cat Café

Munich is a very vegan friendly city and you’ll find many “vegan only” eateries in and around the Bavarian ‘capital ‘.

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From cute coffee shops  to plant based fine dining, you can have it all. There’s one place though that definitely stands out from all the others. It’s called Café Katzentempel (can be  translated as  “kitty heaven” and is literally owned by cats. You will find this unique Café  in Schwabing, one of Munich’s trendiest districts. Adress: Türkenstr. 29 / Munich

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On opening the secured double doors you are entering cats territory. It’s clearly visible who’s the boss around here…

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This is any cat lovers dream.Six beautiful cats await your visit and whilst YOU  entertain THEM, you can indulge into vegan delights.The menu changes almost daily and breakfast, lunch and dinner is served. All vegan of course. If you just want to pop in for a coffee, make sure to try one of the amazing cakes!

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Check out their website which is now also available in English: http://katzentempel.de/cafe-katzentempel-first-catcafe-in-germany-vegetarian-vegan

As I mentioned already there’s plenty of vegan friendly restaurants in Munich. In fact, the whole of Germany is a vegan Mecca. I definitely recommend you check out an amazing app called  Vanilla Bean. It’s a vegan / vegetarian restaurant guide and so it will be super easy for you to find delicious vegan food  ☺ https://www.vanilla-bean.de/about/app

I hope you will enjoy your time at the Café Katzentempel as much as I have and look forward to your comments.

Until next time,
The Vegan Rainbow

Vegan getaway Swellendam

Swellendam is a charming historic town, just 2 ½ hour’s drive from Cape Town. It’s the perfect getaway for a weekend or a convenient stopover between the Garden Route and the Mother City.

Since my first visit I absolutely fell in love with the historic buildings, friendly people and of course the food. Another thing I fell in love with is the most beautiful country house, “Schoone Oordt Country House”.This Victorian beauty invites you to relax and enjoy the tranquil surroundings. Schoone Oordt is conveniently located in the heart of Swellendam, close to the museum, historic buildings and coffee shops. Go and explore – there’s so much to do and see.

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Charming rooms offer all the modern facilities you can dream of and thanks to the beautiful elements of the Victorian era you get a feeling of what life was like back then.

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Schoone Oordt also caters for your vegan taste buds and a vegan 3-course dinner can be enjoyed in the beautiful restaurant ‘The Conservatory’. Have I mentioned the freshly baked country bread yet?

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From the first to the last minute you are not only treated like royalty, but as a friend. The friendly staff is always happy to help and they will spoil you rotten too. Enjoy exotic cocktails by the pool. Schoone Oordt loves to surprise you!

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Whilst a vegan breakfast sometimes only consists of tinned fruit or baked beans, the Schoone Oordt team will go the extra mile to ensure you won’t leave on an empty stomach. I was treated to vegan French toast and an almond milk latte.The almond milk also goes really well with Alison’s famous granola. You definitely have to try it!

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Swellendam has even got a fully vegan café and you should definitely visit Moonshadow Coffee & Gift shop. They make their own nut cheeses and offer daily specials. On the way out you should take time and browse through their unique shop. Why not take a bracelet that says vegan home as a souvenir?www.moonshadow.co.za

My mom (pictured below) and I can’t wait to be back in  Swellendam. Have you been to Swellendam yet? Looking forward to hearing about it all in your comments.

 

Until next time

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