Living in Brighton, it’s easy to stay local and enjoy all the vegan food and local events. However, I just love to explore, even if that’s just hopping on the train for a short day trip. There are so many lovely towns in East Sussex, especially the ones that are part of the South Downs National Park. We’ve cycled to Lewes countless of times, and with it being only a 15 minute train ride away, it’s really nice to explore it by foot. We’ve cycled to Eastbourne a couple of times, but again, it’s much easier to explore the town when you’re in ‘normal’ clothes and can walk around
Lewes is just so lovely- full of Medieval history and the cutest thatched houses and narrow cobbled lanes surrounded by greenery and chalk cliffs. It’s full of independent stores, artists and local markets which really adds to the character of the town!
In our most recent visit, we got to visit Bun + Bean which specialises in homemade veggie burgers and speciality coffee.
Now, they don’t serve chips (shocker I know!), but their burgers certainly make up for it. Plus, they have a decent selection of raw and cooked baked treats (most of which are vegan). As it’s only a small place, they only offer one standard burger and one special, which changes every month. We tried their standard sweet potato one and the special mushroom and black bean, with extra avocado filling. Both were so delicious- I slightly prefered the mushroom one, whilst Chris prefered the sweet potato one.
I believe their veggie patties are always vegan (but please check before ordering), yet they serve vegan and non vegan bread buns- so please inform the staff when ordering!
In quite a few of the bakeries in Lewes, you’ll find vegan cake, but a personal favourite is Lansdown Health Store. This veggie & vegan health food store can be found at the bottom of the high street. They usually have about 3 or 4 vegan cakes, priced at £1.80, which is the cheapest I’ve ever come across! Taste isn’t compromised either. Their carrot cake and coffee and walnut are particularly great, especially as most vegan cake is generally chocolate cake!
Whilst there are things like Lewes Castle and visiting the National Trust houses, we tend to do the free things like:
- Needle Markers (an old building with indipendent cafes, craft and home made businesses, antique and second hand book stores and beautiful homeware stores) – The main cafe has vegan cake and lunch options too!
- Southover Grange Gardens
- Walking various routes from Lewes Golf Course
We recently had the pleasure of trying Oh My Goodness Vegan, which is in the Enterprise Centre, right behind the train station. This sweet little building is filled with independent stores and businesses. Including a vegan deli and shop! Veganism is growing, I’m telling you!
They had a big salad counter and you can pick hot mains to go with it. They had fresh sarnies, soup of the day and a few different cakes on the counter too. We both went for the cheesy falafel filled baked sweet potato with a very very large salad (we got to try a bit of everything).
We were left feeling STUFFED, next time, I would definitely order a small salad rather than a large as the baked sweet potato was so filling on its own. I still managed to eat all of mine though (bar the cake which we took home!)
Not that I bought anything, but it’s definitely worth mentioning, that opposite the cafe, was an independent cosmetics store called VLA Cosmetics which stocked vegan make up from Madusa and Concrete Minerals.
Our whole intention when planning to go to Eastbourne was to visit Towner Gallery. However, on the way, we found a modern bike store and health food shop called Sunny Foods which had loads of vegan treats and options which were both a pleasant surprise. If it wasn’t for the fact we were pretty soaked from the rain, I would have definitely have liked to look at all the charity shops and record store that was on the way!
We eventually got to the gallery and it was amazing! By far one of the top galleries I’ve been too. The exterior and interior of the actual building itself was so impressive as it really struck out and contrasted against the other houses and buildings of the seaside town. We got to see:
- A Green and Unpleasant Land ( pieces based on urban and rural British land)
- Jessica Warboys EchoGap (a local artist who had taken inspiration from Birling Gap- this exhibition was really really good)
- Ravilious Room (another local artist, with incredibly beautiful wood and metal engravings)
- The 2017 Jarman Award Touring Programme ( a selection of film based pieces)
If you like exploring galleries, I couldn’t recommend this enough. I’m so keen to keep an eye open for future events and exhibitions at this gallery.
It’s so easy to have a relatively cheap day out without travelling too far! You don’t have to buy food out. Make the most of what there is on your doorstep (or few stops away on the train!)