ZOE SUGG JANUARY 31, 2020

January Letter From The Editor

It’s currently day 498 of January! By now you’ve probably broken the goals and resolutions you’ve set yourself, ditched the “dry” in dry January and already started tucking into the mini eggs, as we come to the end of the longest month ever!

It’s currently day 498 of January! By now you’ve probably broken the goals and resolutions you’ve set yourself, ditched the “dry” in dry January and already started tucking into the mini eggs, as we come to the end of the longest month ever!

it’s nice to feel like you’ve got your shit together if only for a couple of months

I’m not going to lie, this post was meant to go up A LOT sooner than the last day, but January has officially swamped me (in a good way). It usually takes me a good few weeks to ease myself back in after the Christmas lull, but this year I found myself springing back and getting stuck straight in on January 2nd.

This month has largely been a month of getting organised (I even went as far as to put when the car was due for it’s MOT in my diary..woah there), setting yearly goals and lining everything up (doesn’t it always feel so good when you do that, even if its not kept up for the rest of the year, it’s nice to feel like you’ve got your shit together if only for a couple of months). I’ve also been knuckling down on a big project I’m working on this year which I can share in a few days (eek). 

Here on Zoella this month, we’ve been focusing on some incredible men as part of a feature we liked to call “Man-uary”, from mental health, fitness, campaigning and body positivity, they were an absolute joy to have around on both here, and the Tuesday Takeovers on the Zoella Instagram. We also wanted to help those of you deciding to do Veganuary with some recipes and easy to make snacks too (I’m still drooling over this biscoff tiffin recipe) On top of that, we shared our favourite vegan spots in both Brighton and London

We talked about ways in which you can make yourself a priority and offered up some advice for navigating new friendships which so many of you could relate to. On the subject of offering advice, we also shared our new feature “Between You and Me”, where as a team, we’ll be replying to your queries, worries and woes with our individual advice. I can’t wait for the first post on this next month, a problem shared is a problem halved after all! Fun fact – I actually did a post on my blog WAY back, where I basically just offered myself up to give advice to anyone who needed it in emails (lol), so I feel like it’s come full circle. I do love to listen and offer advice, in another life I think I was an Agony Aunt.

So what’s in store for February you ask? Well, it’s the month of pancakes and partners (or at least forcing your partner into celebrating a day of the year that neither of you REALLY want to celebrate…). We’ve got more recipes, more incredible takeovers and a task so big that I decided would be the most resourceful bit of information for anyone visiting Brighton – The Best Pancakes! My love of pancakes runs very deep, it’s my go-to order when we’re out for breakfast thanks to my pesky sweet tooth, and I’ve tried and tested pretty much every pancake there is to offer around these parts, so in aid of pancake day, we’ll be sharing those with you too! And if that’s not enough pancake content for you, we’ll also be sharing our favourite and go-to pancake toppings. 

It feels good going into a new decade with this new chapter of “Zoella” and your feedback so far has been incredible

Hope you’ve all had an incredible start to the year and you’ve enjoyed the first bit of 2020 content. It feels good going into a new decade with this new chapter of “Zoella” and your feedback so far has been incredible and so very valuable, so thank you for that!

As always, please let us know here in the comments or over on our Instagram account what your favourite thing to read has been this month, we love hearing from you! 

TEAM ZOELLA JANUARY 31, 2020

The Ultimate List of Valentine’s Day Ideas For Your Beloved & Your BFFs

Valentine's Day is just around the corner but if the pressure of pulling out all the stops in the name of L-O-V-E has left you in a tizzy, we've got a load of date ideas in our locker for ya.

It doesn’t matter if you’re single, loved up or just looking for something to do with the girls, these date ideas will ensure your V-Day / G-Day goes off with a bang.

For Valentine’s Day

1 Take a trip down memory lane

Relive some of your favourite moments together by going back to a significant place or recreating your first date night together.

2 Go for a beach walk

If you’re lucky enough to live near a beach, go for a romantic stroll hand in hand. Bonus points if you make it for sunset, you romantic rascal you! No beach, no problem – wrap up warm and take a picnic to the countryside instead.

3 Have an at-home cinema night

Dim the lights, grab the popcorn, make frozen slushies and save the rest of the action for the back row. Wahey!

Whether you want to watch When Harry Met Sally or Dirty Dancing, reclining with your favourite human and a movie marathon is a great way to celebrate V-Day.

4 Recreate an old photo

If you’ve been coupled-up for a while, you could recreate an old photo. Grab the outfits, (if you don’t have the exact same ones, match as closely as you can with the same colours etc) and get posing! Who doesn’t love a good ‘then and now’ throwback snap?

5 Go clay-throwing (Ghost style)

Because what could be sexier than stroking wet clay together? Alexa, play Unchained Melody.

6 Book a spa day

Sure, it’s a classic Valentine’s Day move but if it ain’t broke! Whisk yourselves away for a bit of solid pamper time.

7 Have breakfast in bed

Indulge in a lazy morning in bed with crumpets, coffee and let’s face it, probably a bit of Call Of Duty if he has his way.

8 Tuck into a cheese and wine night

If you’re going to lay it on thick with the cheese this V-Day, this is the way to do it. Hunker down for the night with a fine vino and a vintage cheddar for company or host a wine tasting night with all your coupled-up mates. Need some cheeseboard inspo? Check out our blog post on how to perfect the ultimate cheese board right here.

9 Read a spot of poetry

Ever thine, ever mine, ever ours! Make like Carrie Bradshaw and Big by working your way around your local library reciting the best poems and love letters ever written.

10 Go on a mini-break/staycation

Pick a destination and get away from the everyday grind for the weekend. Switch off, reconnect with one another and make some new memories!

For Galentine’s Day

1 Blow dry & cocktails

A good bouncy blow out followed by a few tipples with the girls. Day made. Get me out of this wet suit and into a dry martini, already!

2 Write it in a letter, babe

Pen all your friends a little note of appreciation and post it to them. Who receives Valentine’s Day cards in the post anymore? Bring back a good thing.

You could also write a self-love letter to yourself to open in a year’s time. A gift from you, to you!

3 Organise a Secret Cupid

The same premise as Secret Santa only this time it’s for Galentine’s. Cute, right?

4 Go for a fancy brunch

Make a toast to friendship and unforgettable mems with bubbles, eggs Benedict and of course, your favourite gal pals.

Sketch does a great spread! We challenge you not wanna whip out your phone to get photo-proof that the squad is back together in this millennial pink parlour.

5 Have a movie marathon night

Pull an all-nighter, order takeaway food and watch movies with strong female leads. Ovaries before brovaries!

Leslie Knope blessed us with Galentine’s Day back in 2010 during Season 2 of Parks and Recreation, so it’s only right we honour this fake holiday with a series marathon. Here’s to ladies celebrating ladies!

6 Do a yoga class together

Make time to hang out and look after your wellbeing at the same time. Gals that downward dog together, stay together.

7 Go axe throwing

Ensure your Galentine’s Day is cliché free by… launching axes in the air and thinking of your ex. Naturally. Axe throwing, ex throwing – same, same.

8 Host a pot luck

The best kinda team building activity always involves food! If you’re organising a pot luck for the first time, you can get loads of helpful titbits right here.

9 Make your own bouquets

Spend a day picking wildflowers with your bezzie mates. Turn your dining table into a pop-up florist and have loads of fun making rustic and undone floral bouquets. Let that friendship bloom on!

10 Hit the road!

Put some spontaneity into your friendship and head off on a road trip somewhere new. Nothing says sisterhood like 3 hours in a car with a throwback playlist.

And because it’s always good to have a backup plan, here are a few more!

For your S.O.

Make a DIY ‘100 reasons why I love you’ jar | Visit a museum | Watch your favourite band play | Go on a double date | Go for a bike ride somewhere scenic | Do a chocolate making course | Pull off a surprise visit (for the long-distance lovers) | Plan an adventurous activity – Go Ape, rock climbing or a challenge if you’re both the competitive type | Go on a Gavin & Stacey tour
Visit a theme park

For your squad:

Go to Everyman Cinema and watch an iconic chick flick | Do an escape room together | Go plate smashing | See a musical | Book an afternoon tea See a drag show | Go bowling | Watch an anti-Valentine’s Day slasher
Play crazy golf | Turn a girly get-together into wine & words with a boozy book club night | Hold a crafts afternoon at yours | Go bouldering | Play prosecco pong | Do karaoke | Go for facials | Go wine tasting

Have you got any Valentine’s / Galentine’s Day plans this year?

TEAM ZOELLA JANUARY 30, 2020

Library love: An Ode To Book Borrowing Joy

As the old adage goes, the best things in life are free and libraries are certainly one such proof of that.

Not many things come without an admission fee these days but the public library remains one of the few places you can visit to read, work, discover new passions and expand your mind, all without cost.

Amongst shelves stacked with the likes of Shakespeare, Eliot, Austen, Bronte and Dickens, you’re welcome to pull up a pew next to all of them and be part of it. Anyone and everyone has the permission to experience what it’s like to belong to a community, isn’t that great?

In an age where we’re addicted to refreshing our news feeds every 30 seconds and simultaneously craving the opportunity to switch off, having a place that doesn’t just recommend peace and quiet but demands it, is increasingly important. Quiet is cool and it’s needed now more than ever.

Sure, the digital distractions are still there; they’re not laptop / mobile-free zones after all but they still have a remarkable way of focusing our minds compared to a coffee shop, where most of us struggle to hear ourselves think.

Beyond the books, they have a unique capacity for bringing people together; they don’t ask for much but they lend a lot.

We’re sharing the library love by talking about our experiences, old and new. We hope it inspires you to visit and continue to use your local library!

Some days it smelt like Snakebite and sleepless nights. Other times, it smelt like home.Lareese

“I’ve always been a book worm. If I wasn’t buying Jacqueline Wilson books with my £5 pocket money when I was a kid, I was quite literally sniffing them out and borrowing them from our local library.

Then there was my primary school library – a place where we’d sit around tiny tables with tiny hands, reading Goodnight Mister Tom and David Almond’s Skellig. If I close my eyes, I can still smell it now – an earthy mix of coffee, Berol handwriting pens and the pages of Animal Ark. That’s a testament to the power of physical books and something that, despite its convenience, the eBook simply can’t match IMO.

Some days it smelt like Snakebite and sleepless nights. Other times, it smelt like home.Lareese

At 18, I’d sit in the local library revising for my A-levels. My nan’s old bungalow was next door, which made it a particularly fond place to hang out. I’d quite often day-dream out the window about summers spent in the garden making perfume from rose petals while working my way through the next deck of flashcards. I’d look up from fluorescent pink highlighted passages to see the same old white-haired man sharing my table, chat for a while and drive him home when his legs were giving him jip.

Then there was the library at uni; a microcosm of students trying to navigate their way through this new-found independence. Some days it smelt like Snakebite and sleepless nights. Other times, it smelt like home to me. I’d stay in there until 11pm – writing 2,000 word essays on Wide Sargasso Sea, Ulysses and Paradise Lost.” – Lareese

when I was younger, every so often my mum would let my sister and I rent a VHS – god that’s an old sentence.Danielle

One of my favourite mems from the library is from when I was younger, every so often my mum would let my sister and I rent a VHS – god that’s an old sentence – and we would ALWAYS pick clueless. What is it about kids being able to re-watch the same movies over and over again? TBF Clueless is iconic and I’m not mad at myself at all.

I also used to get these books about a girl called Tilly Beanie, she was a bit of a character and a bit weird and I was a bit weird. I think reading them made me “own my weirdness” and not care about what other people thought of me which is definitely something I’ve carried through life!” – Danielle

“The library always reminds me back to my days of being at university, although I was stressed most of the time and tackling deadlines, being in the library with friends was always fun. Doing our “late shifts” at the library, staying there all day until about 2-3am. We’d put YouTube videos or Netflix on in the background in private rooms which you could hire out (sometimes getting quite distracted) and just help each other through our work. I really used to enjoy these library sessions a lot and I miss them sometimes, less the work and more spending time with my uni friends. I think the library is seen as a place you can’t really socialise at, but actually it’s a great place to see your friends and get on with any practical stuff you are working on too.” – Darcey

My friends and I more or less became residents on the campus LibraryMaddie

“To tell you the truth it’s been years since I stepped foot in a library for the intentions they are useful for. The last time would most likely have been in my third year at university. My friends and I more or less became residents on the campus Library cramming hard for our final exams all the while drinking too much bad coffee and eating as much sugar we could afford to keep us going.

Nowadays I appreciate them much more when I’m visiting new cities, whether it’s the Trinity in Dublin (picture the beauty and the beast library) or the Bodleian in Oxford which always feels like the heart of the city whenever I visit.” – Maddie

“I recently re-joined the library because of the Book Club, and it’s been FANTASTIC! I’m not a massive reader so buying books to me didn’t feel sustainable, but with the library, I can borrow our latest reads (and only have to pay £1 if I need to reserve something already checked out) and explore so many other options too – over Christmas, I found some great vegan cookbooks which were so helpful with baking, and I’ve been able to discover new novels and explore old reads at the same time. Even if you’re a big book buyer, the fact you can take out FORTY books at one time is definitely a huge plus – go get yourself to the library now and find something new to read!” – Lauren

“My relationship with the library is a funny one! During university I was holed up in there for 9+ hours a day, hunched over a laptop and subtly trying to eat my vegan flapjack without being told off by the uni library police …

It gave me a sense of independence in having something that felt like mine.Charlotte

Having said that, the library isn’t somewhere I’ve always associated with work. As a child I was a self confessed book worm, working my way through the Jacqueline Wilson, Louise Rennison and Karen McCombie archives multiple times. The local library felt like safe space, filled with mothers and babies and the older generation meeting for book clubs and coffee mornings.

My mum would let me walk down on my own as it was only down the corner from our house, and it gave me a sense of independence in having something that felt like ‘mine’. Similarly to the smell and feeling you get when entering a book store, I still feel a sense of calm when in such a quiet and tranquil environment.” – Charlotte

Will you be joining your local library?

TEAM ZOELLA JANUARY 29, 2020

Popular Gym Classes 101: A No BS Guide To Working Out

Trying out a group gym class is a great way to stay motivated and to ease yourself into the routine of working out, that's if you manage to demystify exactly what it is you've signed up for in the first place.

Body Combat, Body Pump? Yeah, we’re gonna need instructions with that lingo. We’ve decoded some of the most popular gym classes and what they entail so you can have all the gear AND the idea. Whether you want a stress-reliever or a quick burst of cardio, here’s your workout 101.

Body Combat:

If you’ve had a bad day, this is the ideal way to burn off some steam!

An empowering group cardio workout that combines a mix of martial arts and draws on a wide array of disciplines including Karate, Taekwondo, Tai Chi, Muay Thai and Boxing. Great for endurance training, conditioning, coordination, muscle toning and agility, it’s a good all-rounder for working the whole bod.

The first class is always confusing but give it a chance, it takes a couple of goes to get your head around some of the moves and repetitions but once you’ve got it, you’ll love how strong it makes your body feel. Get ready to strike, punch, kick and kata your way through calories, around 740 to be precise. Up yours cheesecake bloat!

Why we love it: you’ll feel like an absolute warrior when you’re giving it some on that studio floor!

Need to know: there’s a lot of hand-eye coordination but have faith, you’ve got this.

Vibe Cycle:

Like spin but with MOVES like Jagger. Vibe is an energetic indoor cycling class that blends high-intensity cardio with muscular strength training and choreography. Bopping along on a bicycle for gains? We’re obviously down for that.

Why we love it: it’s just you and a bike, no faffing around with equipment necessary.

Need to know: The playlist makes it or breaks it. Oh, and we can’t put this any other way but it might take a few times for your vajeen to get on board with that saddle. Persevere dear friends, she’ll build up a resilience in no time.

Body Pump:

Cardio-phobes, this is for you! This barbell-lead class sculpts, tones and strengthens your whole bod with squats, presses, lunges, lifts and curls all to the rhythm of a killer playlist.

Fear not girls, you won’t be Hulking out of your top anytime soon – this class is all about low weight loads and high repetitions to shape and tone your muscles rather than building you a set of bulging biceps.

Why we love it: it’s a fun and energetic total body workout.

Need to know: you have to change your barbell weights between exercises so there’s a bit of admin involved. Grab a few different weights before you start and place them to the side of your workout station to make life easier.

HIIT:

High-Intensity Interval Training is nothing new but when it’s abbreviated like that, it sounds like something we’d need to show our GP.

Designed to fire up your metabolism, HIIT combines quick bursts of intense activity lasting for 30-60 seconds at peak ability (90% of a person’s maximum heart rate), followed by low-intensity recovery periods. A typical HIIT session lasts for around 30 minutes, making it the perfect workout to squeeze into your lunch hour.

Why we love it: you get your workout done and dusted in less than an hour. Bish, bash, bosh!

Need to know: you can’t coast your way through it comfortably. It’s a pretty gruelling, balls-to-the-wall workout since you only get short bursts of rest before you’re onto the next interval but your endorphins will be pumped when you reach that finish line. Power on, fam.

Bodybalance / Bodyflow

Blending elements of Yoga, Tai Chi and Pilates, Body Balance leaves your mind and body feeling centred and calm. The class incorporates a series of holistic stretches, flowing moves and controlled breathing techniques all set to some plinky-plonky zen tunes.

Why we love it: it’s particularly good for relieving stress. Add it to your self-care list asap!

Need to know: you / your neighbour might get a bit farty up in there. It happens to the best of us.

Hatha Yoga:

Hatha translates as sun (ha) and moon (tha) and is designed to balance and calm your body, mind and spirit in preparation for meditation. If you’re new to Yoga, Hatha is a great place to start as it’s the gentle, slower-paced practice.

Why we love it: it’s great for winding down before bed and relaxing a busy mind.

Need to know: you probably won’t break a sweat but you’ll certainly leave the class feeling taller and looser.

Vinyasa Yoga:

Not as hot as ‘Hot Yoga’ but sweatier than Hatha since it’s a continuous sequence of movement. Still with us? Vinyasa Yoga concentrates on the flow of movement, connecting one posture to the next using breath.

Why we love it: its dance-like, uninterrupted flow of poses keeps things fun even though you’re still getting a solid sweaty workout.

Need to know: if you find your mind wandering in Hatha yoga, Vinyasa could be for you. The continuous movements focus your mind, helping you to stay present in the session. The only ‘rest’ you’ll get is during downward dog.

We headed to Fitnesshub Plus to shoot these images, check them out here.

What’s your favourite way to work out?

TEAM ZOELLA JANUARY 28, 2020

13 Questions With Matt Campion

Matt is a pioneer for mental health, he founded both Spirit Media a TV & digital studio and Whole which is a brilliant mental health organisation. Find out how he's getting on this year and why you should be following his journey.

How have you survived January this year?

I actually really like January and think it’s odd that people find it depressing.  I love that renewed energy so I tend to bounce into January excited about the year ahead. December’s the month I find hard to survive!

What made you start #IAMWHOLE?

In 2016 I was approached by the NHS to create a campaign to battle the stigma surrounding mental health in young people. I had no idea of the size of the epidemic occurring in the UK, but having seen so many people close to me suffer with issues in the past, I wanted to help destigmatise it, so future generations would see mental health as a very normal thing we all have.

How did you start #IAMWHOLE?

Previous mental health campaigns from the NHS amounted to little more than a few leaflets in a doctor’s surgery. I knew immediately that this was not the way to communicate with a young audience, and that we had to do something different. Around the same time that I had been approached by the NHS, I directed a music video for Rizzle Kicks, and when we wrapped, Jordan Stephens sent me some solo material he’d been working on. There was this one track called ‘WHOLE’ that really struck a chord with me. Jordan later described it as ‘narrating his own spiral into depression’. I asked the NHS if they’d let us make a music video for the campaign, something they’d never done before. Amazingly, the said yes! And so, #IAMWHOLE was born. 

The music video concept was based on an idea I’d had about a circle on the palm of the hand, the ‘WHOLE’ circle. We shot the music video and launched it on World Mental Health Day 2016. To our complete amazement, the campaign immediately went viral. By the end of the day, we’d been endorsed by a number of global superstars including Ed Sheeran, Liam Gallagher and James Corden, reached an audience of over 120 million, and were even mentioned in Parliament! Find WHOLE here.

What’s been the highlight of your career so far?

Definitely ‘Music 4 Mental Health’, a fundraising concert we put on at The Roundhouse in London, starring Ed Sheeran, Anne Marie, James Arthur, Professor Green, Ella Eyre, Olly Murs, Nothing But Thieves, Louis Berry and the brilliant Hussain Manawer.  I have honestly never felt so much love, honesty and vulnerability in a room. These incredible artists were sharing their stories and some were opening up about their mental health for the very first time – you could have heard a pin drop! It was a very special evening.

How do you stay motivated both in work and your personal life?

I’m lucky that I have a natural fire in my belly that keeps me motivated on a daily basis. The thing I am trying to do more of is balance, as I probably work too much and don’t take enough time for self-care. I’ve set myself the challenge of doing a whole year sober which I think will definitely help – watch this space!

What are you currently working on? 

My day job is running a TV and digital production company, mainly making comedy.  I’m currently finishing the second series of ‘The Stand Up Sketch Show’ for ITV2, as well as being mid-production on ‘Comedy Against Living Miserably’, a brand new mental health TV series raising money for the charity CALM and starring some of Britain’s biggest comedians. It airs Dave from March onwards.

What advice would you give to somebody who wants to help people with their mental health?

Life is busy, so make sure you check in with your friends and family from time to time to see how they are. You don’t know when someone might need you. And my biggest bit of advice for anyone struggling is – talk to someone. Whether it’s a friend, family member or a professional, telling someone how you feel is the first step to sorting things. I can’t tell you how much of a difference that has made for me in the past.

What is your biggest accomplishment in life?

Apart from my amazing wife and kids, I’ve been very lucky to have had a great career to date, but the thing I am most proud of is #IAMWHOLE. It has touched so many people, creating a community that wants to fight stigma and help change the future of mental health.  #IAMWHOLE has also led me through my own mental health journey, helping me understand myself more, as well as making me a better human.

What will you be reading, watching or listening to in 2020?

‘Comedy Against Living Miserably’ on Dave, you should too!

What advice would you give your younger self?

Self-care isn’t boring… you don’t need to drink all of the drinks.  And when smartphones come out, don’t get addicted to them.

If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life what would it be?

I’m a pescatarian that is trying to be more vegan – for all the reasons.  I love food, so maybe some sort of all-encompassing buffet if that’s okay?  If not, a king prawn curry and garlic naan, or most Italian food, Southeast Asian food and Spanish Tapas – ALL on one plate.  Thanks!

What do you always carry with you?

I hate to say this, but my phone charger.  My job is very varied which means I spend a lot of time on my phone as I am constantly on the go… so have to make sure I have power on tap.  I am really bad at switching off from my phone – that’s something I have to work on.

What are you most looking forward to in 2020? 

There are a lot of things happening this year, including a VERY exciting secret #IAMWHOLE project we are launching with Zoe and the brand Lush.  We are also planning the next ‘Music 4 Mental Health’ and are in talks with some major artists. Find Matt on Instagram and Twitter.

TEAM ZOELLA JANUARY 27, 2020

10 Recipes You Won’t Believe Are Vegan

When veganism first exploded onto the foodie scene, it was simply dubbed the next here today, gone tomorrow health fad. Now all the major supermarkets and fast food giants are catching on, proving that a plant-based trend really does have staying power.

Just one search of #vegan on Instagram and you’ll see the hashtag flooded with over 88.5 million posts. Needless to say, it’s going nowhere!

Market research by Mintel has revealed one in four new food products added to the supermarket shelves last year was vegan. Sales of meat alternatives also grew 40% last year with two-thirds of Britons now choosing to eat the products.

Whether you’re cutting out meat all-together or living that flexitarian lifestyle, one thing you won’t want to compromise on is taste, which is why we’re rounded up some of the best vegan recipes the internet has to offer. They’ve got flavour, they’ve got texture and they’ve got good game.

Breakfast, lunch, dinner – it’s all being served up right here with sweet snacks and desserts to boot.

Got any go-to vegan recipes? Sharing is caring! Let us know your favourites in the comments below!

TEAM ZOELLA JANUARY 26, 2020

Weekly Wants: Styling Faux Leather

Faux leather for Spring? Ground-breaking. Ok, maybe we're getting ahead of ourselves with the Spring thing but glass half full and all that.

In the meantime, faux leather makes for a great transeasonal fabric to have in your wardrobe all-year-round. From versatile straight-leg pants (no you’re obsessed with Ross Geller) to high-rise leggings and jumpsuits, here’s how we’re styling faux leather.

Shop The Post

*This post contains ad – affiliate links.

TEAM ZOELLA JANUARY 25, 2020

5 Vegan Spots In London You Must Visit

PSA: sticking to veganuary doesn't have to be a chore! Eating out has never been easier with these scrumptious plant-based joints giving you plenty of options to chow down and enjoy some nosh whatever the occasion.

London’s got an impressive number of meat-free, dairy-free restaurants on its roster so if ever you needed an excuse to eat your way around the city and up your vegan ante, there it is. Forget the meticulous planning or whipping out your backup lunchbox tableside, these vegan spots have got it covered.

By Chloe

All vegan everything! Yep, there’s no need to go off-menu here. Originally exploding onto the foodie scene in NYC, the US chain has now joined us across the pond in London. From hearty roasts loaded with glazed carrots and hot thyme tatties to crispy tofu fish and chips, By Chloe doesn’t do thing by halves.

We ate: Mac and cheese | Pesto meatball sub | Mandarin lemonade

Find it: Drury House, 34-43 Russell St, Holborn, WC2B 5HA

Mildreds

Gone are the days when being vegan meant you ate carrots and air or you didn’t eat at all. Serving vegan and vegetarian dishes from around the world since 1988, Mildreds has celebrated meat-free dining for over thirty years. With levant ‘Chick’n Kebabs’ and gingerbread sticky toffee pudding gracing the menu, there’s barely a non-meat eater in the capital that hasn’t queued to take a seat at this iconic joint.

We ate: Pumpkin gnocchi | Tomato bravas | Seasonal greens | Tender stem broccoli with lemon miso

Find it: Various locations including Soho, Camden, King’s Cross and Dalston

Farmacy

This Notting Hill-based cafe makes even the most nutritious of dishes taste like they should be bad for us (in the best way). Hello truffle mac n cheese!

Serving local and seasonal plant-based produce free from dairy, additives and chemicals – it’s the place to be if you’re going green and eating clean.

We ate: Seasonal vegetable pizzetta | Loaded mushroom tacos

Find it: 74-76 Westbourne Grove, W2 5SH

Unity Diner

One look at their Instagram and you’ll be foodgasming all over the place: case in point, the vegan fish and chips. Phwoar!

Made with love and powered by plants, Unity Diner is on a mission to make a more compassionate future for animals. All profits go directly towards animal rights campaign work (Surge), including the development of a new sanctuary for animals here in the UK.

We ate: Dirty loaded fries | Halva sundae | Raspberry kombucha | Elderflower lemonade

Find it: 60 Wentworth St, Spitalfields, London E1 7AL

Wicked Vegan

Wraps, baps, lip-smacking burgers and shakes – this is vegan fast food heaven. Dishes include deep-fried jack fruit wings, drunken beer marinated aubergine and mac and cheese. Expect big ol’ naughty portions perfect for those days when only junk food will do.

We ate: Sunshine smoothie | Teriyaki burger | Skin on fries

Find it: 14 Hildreth Street, Balham, SW12 9RQ

Got any vegan restaurant recommendations? We’d love to hear your favourites!

TEAM ZOELLA JANUARY 24, 2020

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

It’s not all lingerie and lube fellas, there’s more to Valentine’s Day than stroking your libido’s ego, though let it be said, we’ve got time for those kinds of gifts too. Wink wink, nudge, nudge.

In the name of romance, we’ve created a gift guide popping with present ideas for him & her. There’s homeware, skincare, experience days and not a dodgy thong insight. Praise be – no lovers’ tiff necessary.  

Whether you’re shopping for you, your significant other or your Palentine-Galentine, we’ve shopped around for the stylish, sentimental and the downright delectable gifts to make this Valentine’s Day one to remember.  Get ready to start dropping those hints!

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What will you be buying your SO this Valentine’s Day?

TEAM ZOELLA JANUARY 23, 2020

How To Get The Most Out Of Template App!

It’s been a month since we launched our app Template, and we want to show you why it’s our highest rated app yet!

If you don’t know much about Template it is an app we spent last year creating with Elsie & Emma of A Beautiful Mess – the same team we work with on our app Filmm! It’s a new way to style your Instagram feed with galleries and posts as well as your stories.

Download Template App Here!

We hand-selected over 500 layouts to choose from and the app also comes with 70 fonts, custom brushes and customisable illustrations. Template is FREE to download and some of our favourite design packs are free but to get unlimited access to everything you can upgrade to Template+ which costs £4.99 a month or £24.49 a year. You can also buy packs separately, take a look at each one below.

Classic

Simple but effective the classic pack comes free and is perfect for putting a few images together, made up of designs from Minima, Layout, Zine and Meta. The pack is comprised of 13 story templates, 13 feed templates, and 6 galleries.

Analog

Another pack of ‘the best of the best’, Analog features a couple of options from Craft, Film, and Instant to give you a diverse range, it also comes free with the app. The pack is comprised of 11 story templates, 11 feed templates, and 7 galleries.

Craft

Inspired by scrapbooking, photo collages, paint splashes and imperfections, find pretty polaroids ripped paper and more. It’s easy to see why Craft is one of our most popular packs. The pack is comprised of 13 story templates, 11 feed templates, and 8 galleries.

Editorial

Bold and beautiful this pack was inspired by some of our favourite publications, the perfect selection for a bit of text to your creations. The pack is comprised of 15 story templates, 11 feed templates, and 5 galleries.

Essay

The best pack for text-heavy creations and thoughtful statements. Use this to create your own bite-size blogs. The pack is comprised of 11 story templates, 11 feed templates, and 6 galleries.

Film

Inspired by old school 35mm film photographs, negatives and polaroids, this is the perfect pack for vintage camera lovers and photobooth frequenters. The pack is comprised of 17 story templates, 21 feed templates, and 10 galleries.

Fresh

Bright and graphic this pack was inspired by design bloggers. Find stars, grids, waves and sharp lines in this uber-cool selection. The pack is comprised of 14 story templates, 14 feed templates, and 9 galleries.

Instant

Inspired by polaroids both black and white, this is one of our biggest packs for different layouts so you’re sure to find an image selection that suits you. The pack is comprised of 22 story templates, 16 feed templates, and 11 galleries.

Layout

Inspired by magazine layouts and bold statements, Layout is like nothing you’ve seen before. The pack is comprised of 13 story templates, 11 feed templates, and 5 galleries.

Meta

Super cool templates inspired by digital format and nostalgic media. The pack is comprised of 14 story templates, 14 feed templates, and 6 galleries.

Minimal

Simple and modern, the Minimal pack has a range of templates in classic and abstract layouts. The pack is comprised of 18 story templates, 20 feed templates, and 12 galleries.

Oui

The content creators pack, containing clean and muted colourful template designs, it’s definitely an office favourite! The pack is comprised of 15 story templates, 15 feed templates, and 6 galleries.

Story

Text driven templates for the ultimate storyteller! The pack is comprised of 11 story templates, 11 feed templates, and 6 galleries.

Zine

Graphic grids and forward-thinking layouts comprise this pack inspired by DIY publishing, this one is packed full of goodies. The pack is comprised of 23 story templates, 24 feed templates, and 13 galleries.

We’ve been loving seeing you use Template, there are so many fantastic posts on the Template Instagram account, follow it here. Here’s a few favourites to get you inspired…

@aclotheshorse

@charlottenoblecourt

@dhykaesthetics

@rachelstatler_

@lanadel_tay

@rspell5

What’s your favourite pack from Template?

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