Party like it's your (vegan) birthday!
Last week I turned 25 (WHY GOD, WHY?!) and even though I was totally dreading the fact that I was about to turn a quarter of a Century old, I actually had a blast! My friends and family are so supportive of my lifestyle (urgh hate calling it that when it’s really just normal life, you know?) and they made sure that I had everything a vegan could wish for on her special day * insert heart emoji *
It got me thinking though, a lot of people wouldn’t know where to start when planning a birthday celebration for a vegan, I mean if you’ve never done it before how would you know? So I’ve put together a few ideas that I’ve not only enjoyed myself but have seen other vegans do for their birthday…
1. The cake
This is a big freakin deal guys. I repeat, a big freakin deal! Do not mess this up! Giving someone a cake for their birthday is one of the best parts of the day as you not only get to see their face light up with the glow of sugar and frosting, but you will most likely get a slice for yourself too! Don’t just get one of the Tesco ‘Free From’ cakes, seriously they are not that good and this is someone’s birthday we’re talking about!
My amazing friends at work got me cake from Harvest in Bristol, a vegetarian food store on Gloucester Road. In fact they got me a range of cakes including brownies and flapjacks – I was in vegan heaven! Other great companies I’ve heard of and sampled before are Earth Cake and 280 Bakes – great for a really special occasion!
2. The gift
Often one of the toughest things to think of is what to buy your vegan friend for their birthday! It can be tricky so my advice is to go simple, buy them something that is undoubtedly vegan and you know they’ll love. Don’t over-complicate it.
For a cheap gift, go for vegan chocolate, either Vego bars or Booja – Booja depending on their taste – it’s something they probably don’t buy for themselves a lot so would really appreciate it. For a middling gift try a mug or kitchen accessory, or something with a vegan connotations attached to it. For my birthday last year, my friends got me a mug with beautiful illustrations of about 5 different species of British bees on it as they knew I loved bees and our company is kind of obsessed with bee culture (is that a thing? Bee culture? Well it is now)
And if you are really pushing the boat out and wanting to make their day that extra bit special, go for some vegan jewellery – always a winner! Votch Watch is my current accessory favourite as they make beautiful vegan leather strapped watches in a range of styles with modern designs and minimalist looks. They are pretty pricey though so bear that in mind – do you really like this person enough? Just kidding! Or am I…….
3. The day
We all want to do something special on the day of our birthday, something we don’t usually get to do! For your vegan friend or family member, why not think of something a bit different? You could visit an animal sanctuary and help out for the day or volunteer at your local pet shelter. If you’re feeling a bit brave you could hand out leaflets and help at a vegan campaign near you?
If you’re in the mood for something a bit more TLC-based, there are now loads of options for that too! A vegan afternoon tea is something I’ve always wanted to try; Earth Cake on North Street, Bedminster, offer a delicious afternoon tea offer of £15.99 during the week!
4. The meal
Going out for a birthday meal is always a perfect way to gather the people you love and share an amazing meal together. There are so many great vegan restaurants now; the tough choice is picking which one is right for the birthday girl/boy!
For amazing vegan junk food I would recommend VX, perfect for that unhealthy vegan we all know and love! And for something a bit more upscale I would go with 1847, a truly special dining experience for your vegan friend. There are also great vegan options at the Thali and Las Iguanas!
5. The alcohol
Now I realise that not everyone drinks but to be fair this is an essential part of most people’s birthday celebrations… And one you don’t want to get wrong! Whether you’re gifting it as their present or bringing it along to a party, you want to make sure that the alcohol you’ve brought is vegan and will get your friend sufficiently schlozzled.
To the best of my knowledge, most red and white wines are made using a filtration process that causes it to not be vegan, and the same goes for ‘real ales’. Apart from those I think most alcohol is vegan. Use Barnivore to check if the alcohol you’re planning on buying is 100% vegan, it takes out all the label reading and worry for you!
OK so now you have all the right ingredients for an absolutely fabulous birthday for your friend, family member or even yoself! Hope this helps :D xoxo