Review: Kat’s Kitchen, Keswick

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The front of Kat’s Kitchen

Before venturing up to the Lake District this summer I was convinced that there would be no vegan options on any pub, cafe or restaurant menu, let alone whole establishments catering to the lifestyle. This notion came about after visiting last summer and finding it incredibly difficult to dine out with non-vegan family in pubs and hotel restaurants, as most, if not all dishes contained meat and dairy so I resorted to eating the sides every vegan opts for in this kind of crisis – chips, side salads and garlic bread if you’re incredibly lucky to find that it’s vegan.

Before planning another trip there back in May, I had a look on Trip Advisor for places that served vegan food in a bid to prepare myself a bit better than last time. That was when I came across Kat’s Kitchen in Keswick, a market town in the North West of the Lake District.

The cafe serves an array of both homemade vegan and vegetarian food and Kat even runs a cake making service from the cafe itself, as well as selling vegan produce you may not necessarily find in supermarkets, such as Tofurkey mock meats.

The extensive menu includes a vegan full English breakfast, sandwiches, mac and cheese, shepherdless pie, cakes, smoothies, milkshakes and coffee, to name but a few items on their menu.

The cafe also gives diners access to both outdoor and indoor seating. Outside food can be enjoyed on picnic benches, each decorated with pansies in vintage style troughs, overlooking the River Greta. The inside of the cafe has an even homelier vibe with comfortable sofas, quaint tables and bookshelves made from up-cycled wooden crates.

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Vegan BLT and flowers in the sunshine

I’ve visited Kat’s Kitchen on five separate occasions now, each time tucking into a delicious Vegan BLT. This consists of Tofurky Smoky Maple Bacon Tempeh, tomatoes, leafy green salad, ketchup and vegan mayo on a white bread bap, served with a side salad.

Before trying this BLT I’d never eaten tempeh before. I always thought it looked a bit funny but after trying it a few months ago for the first time at Kat’s Kitchen I’ve been hooked since and I can’t stop returning to get my BLT fix.

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Vegan BLT

This particular tempeh is the perfect bacon substitute. Not only does it sit lightly on your stomach, it’s also filled with flavour and tastes like meat, without having an overly realistic texture to accompany it. The salad and sauces compliment the tempeh perfectly, making for a healthy yet delicious version of a traditional BLT containing animal products.

My boyfriend, Chris also highly recommends this BLT and thoroughly enjoys the strawberry milkshakes, served in glass jars and topped with whipped cream.

Whether you’re popping in for a quick brew and a slice of cake, or wanting to chow down on a plate full of plant based goodness, Kat’s Kitchen will have you feeling right at home and returning time and time again to indulge in the warmth and comfort of tasty, home cooked food.

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Why I’ve invested in a Keep Cup

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My reusable cup from Keep Cup.

Encouraging people to care about the environment can feel like a pretty futile task, especially when many hold the belief that their individual choices and actions have little to no impact. But our planet has reached breaking point and is in desperate need of some TLC.

10,000 coffee cups are thrown away every two minutes in the UK alone. This results in a staggering 2.5 billion being thrown away overall each year. The impact that disposable cups have on the environment and wildlife after being thrown away is devastating, and they worryingly could be affecting our health too.

What happens to disposable coffee cups when we throw them away?

Less than 1% of coffee cups are recycled in the UK due to the way they are manufactured. Disposable ones are made from cardboard but are lined with plastic polyethylene, which is fused to the cardboard, making them incredibly difficult to recycle; so much so that only three specialist plants are able to recycle them in the UK, meaning most end up in landfill and oceans. They can then take hundreds of years to break down due to their plastic lining.

Once broken down the problem doesn’t stop there. The plastic part of disposables cups break down into micro-plastics, which can be ingested by sea creatures. A study conducted by Plymouth University found that a third of fish caught in the English Channel had ingested micro-plastics. Upon entering their bodies the plastic causes blockages in their digestive systems as they are unable to break them down properly.

When these fish are caught to become food for humans, people then go on to indirectly inject what these fish have been eating in our oceans.

Why Keep Cup?

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I chose to go for Keep Cup’s Brew design in the Roast colours. Unlike disposable coffee cups this particular design is made from durable soda lime glass and non-toxic plastic. All parts of it are recyclable should anything break and the website even allows you to purchase spare parts so if something breaks you don’t have to buy a whole new cup.

When I initially took my Keep Cup out of the box I was surprised by how easy it was to wash, as all the parts are removable. I also thought it was fantastic how the cardboard packaging was recyclable as a lot of the time you may purchase a reusable product online and it’ll arrive at your door wrapped in layers of plastic packaging – defeating the purpose in a way of you buying a reusable product to help the environment.

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Although the glass isn’t completely shatterproof, it’s thick and kept my hot chocolate warm for over an hour whilst I went for a walk and slowly sipped at it.

The rubber band that fits around the cup ensures that you won’t burn your hands when holding your hot drink.

The lid is securely fitting and splash-proof so you don’t have to worry about any of the cup’s contents sloshing over the sides and burning your hands or getting on your shoes and clothing. One of main factors for me when deciding which reusable cup to choose, was knowing the plastic part of Keep Cups are completely safe for us to be drinking from. They are non-toxic and BPA/BPS free so I feel comfortable knowing I’m not consuming something that’s harming my body.

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If you haven’t already invested in a reusable cup I’d highly recommend checking out Keep Cup. They have an array of different designs and colours to suit your intended use, budget and colour preferences.