Sunday, 15 March 2015

Painted Elephant Artisan Showcase & lunch at Tea Sutra

Tyne Cheese at the Painted Elephant Artisan Showcase

Today we payed a visit to the brilliant Painted Elephant (which I have reviewed before here) as the restaurant played host to an artisan showcase featuring a handful of local vegan businesses.

Tyne Cheese at the Painted Elephant Artisan Showcase

First up was Tyne Cheese which we tried at last year's North East Vegan Festival and instantly fell in love with. Unfortunately, we were too late to the party last year and they'd sold out by the time we arrived, but today we were lucky enough to pick up the second last wheel - score!

Tyne Cheese

This is by far the most delicious vegan cheese we have tried - and we've tried a lot. And what's even more amazing is that its creator is a lifelong vegan so has never tasted dairy cheese. How she has managed to make something so delicious is nothing short of a miracle.

Tyne Cheese

There are loads of different varieties to choose from but we got the 'classic' cheese which is a bit like a good cheddar. We enjoyed it (a lot) with some Angelic Sea Salt biscuits from this month's Vegan Kind box and it took a lot of restraint not to eat the whole thing in one go.

Tyne Cheese

Next up was Essy & Bella; artisan free-from chocolate. This was another brand I'd been wanting to try for ages after spotting them at last year's Vegan Festival but by the time we got to their stall I had already purchased enough chocolate to last a thousand Easters.

Essy & Bella chocolate

There were loads of flavours to choose from, but we opted for this salted hazelnut bar after Andrew's logic led us to the conclusion that all hazelnut chocolate is nice (see: Vego.)

Luckily he was right and this is delicious. Rich, smooth, dark chocolate with crunchy hazelnut pieces and just a hint of salt. Someone remove the bar.

Washed Out Soap Company

Next was the Washed Out Soap Company, which, as the name might suggest, sells handmade, cold-pressed soap. Since the soap is made in small batches it sells out really quickly, so we'd never been able to get our hands on a bar until today.

Washed Out Soap Company

Again there are a couple of different kinds to choose from, we went for The Barista which is made with coffee grounds.

Washed Out Soap Company The Barista

A shot of espresso is added to the soap with Arabica grounds to help even the skin tone and gently exfoliate. It smells incredible, I love that each bar is hand-cut and hand-stamped and you can tell some love and care has gone in to making a really good product. Can't wait to use this (shhh though, I'm pretending it's for Andrew.)

Washed Out Soap Company The Barista

There was also a stallholder selling the most beautiful art but I didn't get pics for copyright reasons - it was beautiful though.

Then there was Jess & the Argonauts - a stall selling upcycled accessories and handmade homewares.

Jess & the Argonauts

Jess & the Argonauts

I love that carrot cushion and I'm kind of kicking myself now that I didn't bring it home with me.

Jess & the Argonauts

These handmade flowers are so colourful and pretty.

Tea Sutra

We rounded off the day with a late lunch at Tea Sutra - I have the same tea every time I go (which is far too often) and it's to die for - Sencha Cherry Rose. Yum,

Sencha cherry rose at Tea Sutra

I'm pretty sure all of the cakes at Tea Sutra are suitable for vegans, and there is always an incredible selection. I have never had a bad slice there. Andrew went for the chocolate and mint cake and he didn't share, not even one bite. That's why I get to use his soap.

Vegan chocolate mint cake at Tea Sutra

I was in the mood for falafel which I am at all times, so I went for the falafel, hummus and spinach wrap which came with the most incredible side salad. If you haven't been to Tea Sutra yet, pop along. It's definitely the best place in Newcastle for a good cuppa.

Falafel wrap at Tea Sutra



  1. I'm gutted i didn't make it along to this Artisan market, i'm desperate to try out all the things!!
    Luckily my bf got me some white choccies from Essy & Bella :)

    E xo

    1. Ahh we really wished we'd picked up some white chocolate! Is it nice? Hopefully they'll do another market, it was like a mini vegan fest! X


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