I was first introduced to Camden by one of my coworkers at my very first job out of university. I’d barely heard of Westbourne let alone this new far-reaching territory named Ashley Cross?!
Before long, Camden had pretty much become the centre of my social life. The most fun people I knew all made a habit of going there on a weekly basis and in the 5 years that followed, some of the best memories were made within their walls.
So now we’ve covered the drinking part, it’s time to talk food. I had previously indulged myself in the occasional breakfast treat at Camden as they offer a cracking stack of blueberry vegan pancakes (well worth the trip if you have a persistently nagging sweet tooth). But it genuinely wasn’t until last weekend that Camden landed on my vegan map as a “proper, grown-up restaurant option” for me, until Westbourne’s brilliant chef Rich invited us to take his menu for a test drive.
For a Tuesday night, it was surprisingly vibey in there – low-key, funky tunes set the tone followed by the smiliest welcome from our new favourite bar tender in Bournemouth, Justin. After being popped down in our booth and served with a couple of pineapple & lemonades to offset the (then) hot evening temperatures, I was practically hyperactive to see so many vegan and vegan option items on the new menu including their homemade burger, Moroccan spiced chickpea curry, spicy tomato and basil gnocchi and zaa’tar roasted aubergine steak.
So (we thought), let’s get started! On Justin’s recommendation, we started with a bowl of patron peppers to share – vegan pimped with melted cheese and tomato. Although perhaps not an indication of what was to follow, they were something I could imagine assembling at home, which is actually nice to have made for you sometimes.
In the break, we popped out back to check out their cosy-but-cool new outdoor seating area, a fab little spot to enjoy a few afterwork jars, if you should so feel like it.
Next up was the main event and having liked two items on the menu, Paul (occasional vegan) and I shared the gnocchi and aubergine steak between us…
The gnocchi was beautiful. It had a real nice kick to it (but not too hot for those with a sensitive tongue), plenty of fresh tomato flavour bursting through and gooey and satisfying gnocchi soaking it all up.
But I think it was the aubergine that stole the show for both of us, spiced and grilled perfectly, it was served with ‘mojo picon’ sauce which was a bread and red pepper base (for which I will be requesting the recipe) and citrus-infused cous cous. Super tasty, fresh and again really satisfying. One year on from starting out my vegan journey, the misconception that vegetables can’t be at the centre of a great meal has been smashed to pieces time and again, and Rich’s recipe is one of those times! We fought over the last mouthfuls which is always a good sign.
And then it was time for the grand finale… rosemary and cucumber cocktails and freshly-made salted caramel ice-cream! All of which was animal product and cruelty-free but TOTALLY DELICIOUS.
So. Let’s summarise… atmosphere – tick, timely service with a smile and plenty of knowledge of food & drink – tick, incredible menu with lots of choice for vegans – tick and SALTED CARAMEL ICE CREAM – TICK.
Camden Westbourne’s new menu has put it on my list.
Consider yourselves thoroughly recommended team and thank you for such a fab night out, we loved it!
46 Seamoor Road
|Invited by PR company?||No|
|Guest of chef/restaurant/owner?||Yes|
|Restaurant/outlet knew ahead we were bloggers?||Yes|
|Was the meal complimentary from the restaurant?||Yes|
|Any complimentary items provided by restaurant/outlet?||No|