As guest contributor for Ethical Hedonist – sustainable couturier Lucy Tammam jets off to the fabulously eco Amsterdam to peruse the plethora of ethical boutiques, stay in sustainable hotels and eat hearty vegan food. Follow her two part adventure on Ethical Hedonist to learn a little about the life of London’s top ethical fashion designer and how she works away from the atelier.
Last week I had a meeting in The Hague, so I thought I’d seize the opportunity to take in some of the eco conscious travel delights of the incredible neighbouring city, Amsterdam.
One of my first stops, actually in The Hague, was to an intriguing establishment I had happened upon via Twitter… The Vegetarian Butcher. I have been a Vegetarian for over 20 years and Vegan for much of that, yet as a natural carnivore with constant cravings for flesh (and a lover of meat substitute of all kinds), I was intrigued and couldn’t resist a trip to their concept store full of the finest fake meat around.
I was greeted by Paul, the chef , who isn’t even a vegetarian, but proclaimed that since he opened the Butcher 4 years ago and consequently cut down on meat consumption, he feels much healthier. Like me the Dutch are lovers of the taste of meat and The Vegetarian butcher caters to them, by creating very true tasting alternatives. Although only about 50% of the products are vegan (whey and egg are used in some), my favourite – which is vegan, was the chicken; it seemed so real I was amazed.
Paul admits the products are still a processed food, but they are much healthier than eating too much meat. They also add iron and B12 to the protein rich items, which are all frozen to cut out the need for preservatives and ensure they fulfil all your nutritional, as well as taste and texture needs.
Not yet available in the UK, but I do hope it arrives soon! (Let’s talk to Wholefoods?)
After my fake-meat feast I headed back on the wonderfully easy public transport (super-fast train with free wifi) to Amsterdam and my first hotel of the trip – The Conscious Hotel, Museum Square. When researching where to stay, you can only imagine how delighted I was to find 2 Eco Conscious hotels to chose from, both with a sustainable eco ethos and the perfect details to delight any eco traveller.
The room had a fabulous bijou terrace attached and THE MOST COMFORTABLE BEDS I have ever slept in. I also loved that the desks were made out of recycled materials, towels and sheets were organic and the bedside tables were the coolest chopped up lacquered logs. All in all I really liked this no fuss, simple hotel. I loved the concept of a totally eco guesthouse and best of all, it was 5 minutes walk to the Van Gogh museum so we could get up early and beat the queues in the morning.
Yours in eco traveller heaven – Eco Luxury Couturier – Ms Lucy Tammam