Ideas for a Festive Vegan Christmas in Bristol

Ideas for a Festive Vegan Christmas in Bristol

Posted on: 26 Nov 2018

Christmas – the most wonderful time of the year. It’s the time for giving, sharing, and indulging all of your favourite savoury and sweet treats. But for those eating a plant based diet, it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. There are plenty of places around Bristol to enjoy Christmas food, as well as delicious and nutritious recipes to spice up your home-cooked Christmas dinner.

Christmas Buffet

A Christmas Buffet, a plant-based feast of delectable flavour at Space 238


The café at Space 238 are creating a fabulous Christmas feast of plant-based food along with music and dancing. The buffet (cooked by vegan chefs) will draw on dishes from around the world, reflecting and celebrating the diversity of ethnic cultures within Easton. The types of food that will be served include:


Beetroot hummus


Tumaca canape


Rice spring rolls


Roasted vegetables


Cucumber salad


Pintxos of fruit


Chocolate cake


Punch bowl (alcohol-free)


Some recipes include nuts, and the menu is not suitable for celiac. You are able to bring your own wine, as alcohol will not be served.


The buffet will take place on Tuesday 11th December from 7:30pm to 11:30pm.


Tickets cost £32, with early birds costing £30, and you are able to book either by emailing or clicking here.


Space 238 is located at Stapleton Road, Bristol BS5 0NT.

Vegan Festival

Bristol Viva! Vegan Christmas Festival at Bristol Student’s Union


On Saturday 8th December the Bristol Viva! Vegan Christmas Festival will celebrate delicious festive plant-based foods. Hosted by local animal welfare charity Viva!, visitors are to expect over 90 stalls offering seasonal goodies, and throughout the day you will have the opportunity to sample vegan food, browse cruelty-free clothing cosmetics as well as attending talks and workshops.


Entry is just £3 on the door, £2 for students, and under 16s go free, with all proceeds going to Viva!#


Bristol Viva! Vegan Christmas Festival will take place on Saturday 8th December from 10:30am to 5pm at Bristol Student’s Union.


To find out more about the festival, click here.


Bristol Student's Union is located at Richmond Building, 105 Queens Road, Bristol BS8 1LN.


Vegan Christmas dinner recipes


Spice up your dinner table this Christmas with these festive vegan treats!


Vegan Gravy




2 onions


2 carrots


2 sticks of celery


25 g dried porcini mushrooma


Olive oil


2 fresh bay leaves


2 sprigs of fresh thyme


2 tablespoons port


2 tablespoons quality blackcurrant jam


2 tablespoons plain flour


2 teaspoons Marmite


1 tablespoon tomato purée


2 tablespoons red wine vinegar


1.5 litres organic vegetable stock




Peel the onions, then roughly chop along with the carrots, celery and porcini.


Place in a large pan over a medium heat with a splash of oil and the herbs. Fry for around 25 minutes, or until turning golden, stirring occasionally.


Add the port and jam, and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes, or until sticky and caramelised.


Stir in the flour, then add the Marmite, tomato purée and vinegar.


Pour in the stock, then bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer for around 10 minutes, or until thickened and reduced.


Pass it through a sieve into another large pan, using a spoon to squeeze out all those lovely flavours.

Roasted sprouts

Roasted Balsamic Sprouts




200g Brussel sprouts, cleaned and halved


½ red onion, chopped


2tbsp balsamic vinegar


1tbsp olive oil


Salt/pepper to taste


1 sprig fresh thyme (optional)




Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4/350F.


Add the Brussels sprouts and onion to an oven-proof dish. Pour over the olive oil and balsamic vinegar and toss to cover the vegetables evenly. Season to taste and sprinkle over the thyme, if using.


Place in the oven and roast for around thirty minutes, stirring halfway, until the sprouts are tender but not mushy.


Ginger Cinnamon Cranberry Sauce with Orange Juice




4 cups fresh cranberries (or frozen defrosted)


1 cup filtered water


1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice


1/2 cup raisins


1/2 cup dried cherries


1/3 cup pure maple syrup, plus more to taste


1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest


2 teaspoons  minced fresh ginger, plus more to taste 


2 teaspoons  ground cinnamon, plus more to taste


Pinch of Celtic sea salt




In a medium saucepan, combine all of the ingredients, and on a high heat, bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-high, and simmer, uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes until some of the cranberries have burst open, and the mixture reduces and thickens. Smash the remaining cranberries with a wooden spoon or use a stick blender to reach your desired consistency. 


In a medium saucepan, combine all of the ingredients, and on a high heat, bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-high, and simmer, uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes until some of the cranberries have burst open, and the mixture reduces and thickens. Smash the remaining cranberries with a wooden spoon or use a stick blender to reach your desired consistency. 


Remove from the heat, and allow to cool. 


Remove from the heat, and allow to cool. 


Chill in the fridge for a few hours or overnight to allow the sauce to thicken and the flavors to infuse. This tastes even better the next day.


Yorkshire Puddings




4 oz (115g) plain flour


1 tsp chickpea flour




Vegetable oil


1/2 pint (285ml) soy milk




Sift 4 oz plain flour, 1 teaspoon of chickpea flour with a pinch of salt into a bowl. Make a well in the centre. Add 1/2 pint of soy milk a bit at a time, stirring well until the mix is smooth.


Get a yorkshire tin, fill each basin 1/3 full with vegetable oil. Put in the hot oven for 5 mins. Carefully remove the tin from the oven and put the batter mix into the hot oiled basins. They will bubble a bit.


Put back in the oven and cook for 20-30 mins depending on the whims of your oven.


You can use the same batter mix for pancakes, and if you add less milk, thick US style pancakes!

vegan christmas pie

Vegan Christmas Pie




For the filling:


2 onions, peeled, finely chopped


130g (4½oz) leeks, finely chopped


1 tbsp olive oil


2 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed


225g (8oz) mushrooms, sliced


25g (1oz) dried cranberries


340g (11½oz) tinned butter beans, chopped


250g (9oz) tinned cooked chestnuts, sliced


50g (1¾oz) hazelnuts, chopped


2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped


1 tsp English mustard


Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


1 tbsp cranberry sauce


For the hot water crust pastry:


150ml (5½oz) water


115g (4oz) vegetable suet


330g (11oz) plain white flour


½ tsp salt




Gently fry the onions and leeks in the oil for 5 minutes.


Add the garlic, 150g (5½oz) mushrooms, the cranberries, butter beans, chestnuts, hazelnuts, thyme and mustard. Continue to cook for 10 minutes – the mixture should be fairly dry. Season with salt and pepper, then add the remaining mushrooms and remove from the heat.


Preheat the oven to 180ºC/Gas Mark 4.


Heat the water in a saucepan. When boiled, add the suet and stir vigorously. Remove from the heat.


Place the flour into a large bowl and stir in the salt. Add the water and suet mixture.


Carefully gather the mixture into a ball, turn onto a work surface and knead the pastry for 5 minutes.


Lightly grease a 20cm (8in) loose-bottomed deep pie dish.


Take three-quarters of the pastry and roll it out. You should not need to dust your work surface with flour. Carefully line your pie dish.


Spread the cranberry sauce over the pastry base and add your pie filling. Fold excess pastry over towards the centre of the pie. Trim excess pastry, leaving a lip of 3cm.


Roll out the remaining pastry to make a lid. Place it on the top of your pie, trim the excess pastry, then pinch the two layers of pastry together to seal in the filling. Brush the top with a little soya milk and place in the oven for 1 hour, or until the pastry is golden brown.


Carefully release the catch on the pie dish and lift onto a serving dish.


Vegan Wensleydale & Cranberry Filo Parcels




2 tbsp olive oil


1 onion, peeled, sliced


150g (5½oz) mushrooms, sliced


1 yellow pepper, chopped


2 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed


50ml (1¾fl oz) vegan port or red wine (Check Barnviore to make sure yours is vegan-friendly)


25g (10oz) mixture of pumpkin and sunflower seeds, toasted


50g (1¾oz) walnuts, broken


A handful of fresh parsley, rosemary and thyme, chopped


Salt and cracked black pepper, to taste


1 packet of vegan filo pastry (you will need to use 2 sheets for this recipe)


50g (1¾oz) vegan margarine, melted


200g (7oz) vegan Wensleydale cheese with cranberries




Preheat the oven to 180ºC/Gas Mark 4.


Gently fry the onion until it softens, then add the mushrooms and pepper. Continue to fry for another
5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.


Add the port and cook until evaporated.


Mix in the seeds, walnuts and herbs, then season to taste.


Transfer to a bowl, cover with kitchen roll and allow to cool down.


Fold out one filo pastry sheet onto a work surface and keep the rest under a damp tea towel to avoid drying out. Brush with margarine and layer with another sheet.


Put the cool filling onto the pastry so it covers the middle third of the pastry, leaving a 6cm (2¼in) gap at the top and bottom. Crumble the cheese over the filling.


Fold the top over the filling, followed by the bottom and sides. This should leave you with a nicely packed parcel shape. Bake in oven for 30-35 minutes, until cooked.

gingerbread men

Vegan, Gluten-Free Gingerbread Men




1 batch flax egg


1/2 cup brown sugar


1/4 cup almond butter


3 Tbsp molasses


1/4 cup vegan butter (softened)


3/4 tsp ginger


1/2 tsp cinnamon


1/4 tsp nutmeg (optional)


1/4 tsp salt


1/2 tsp baking soda


1 1/4 - 1 3/4 cups gluten-free baking / pancake mix




In a large mixing bowl, prepare flax egg by mixing flax and water and letting rest for 5 minutes.


Add softened butter, molasses, almond butter, brown sugar, salt, spices, baking soda and beat on low with a mixer, or vigorously whisk.


Add gluten free flour to the wet ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon. Stir until well combined. Your dough should hold its shape when pressed, but not feel dry. I found that 1.5 cups (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size) was about the perfect amount, but this will depend on your blend.


Cover and chill dough for at least one hour (preferably overnight).


Once chilled, preheat oven to 350 degrees (176 C). Carefully roll out dough to a little thicker than 1/8 inch between two sheets of plastic wrap or parchment/wax paper, generously sprinkling the bottom layer and the top of the dough with white or brown rice flour before rolling. You don't want it too thin or they'll be too crisp.


Remove top sheet and, working quickly, dip your cookie cutters in rice flour and cut out shapes. Next, lift the plastic wrap (with all of the dough) and place it on a baking sheet or large plate and freeze for 5 minutes to let them firm up. This will make them easier to transfer to your baking sheet for baking.


Next, use a lightly floured spatula to carefully transfer the cookies to a baking sheet, working quickly. Leave 2 inches for spreading.


Bake for 8-10 minutes or until they appear only slightly browned on the edges. They'll continue firming up as they sit on the pan. Let rest on the pan for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.


Once cooled, decorate with frosting or sprinkle with powdered sugar. I think a perfect, simple frosting option is piping on a mix of 2 cups icing sugar, 1 Tbsp melted butter, and 1-2 Tbsp almond milk (amounts as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size). Just make sure it's on the thicker side so it doesn't run.


Store covered at room temperature for several days. Freeze for longer term storage. The batch should make between 25-35 cookies, depending on the size of your cookie cutter / or if you decide not to cut them and roll them into balls.


Vegan Jelly Dessert




1 cup + ¼ cup pomegranate juice, divided {or any other clear juice of your choice}


1 tbsp agar agar flakes


1 tsp tapioca starch


1 cup vegan whipped cream of your choice {see notes section for recipe}


A few pomegranate arils {or bits of a fruit of your choice} for garnish (optional)




Place 1 cup of juice and the agar agar flakes in a saucepan and bring to a light simmer on medium heat. Stir occasionally to help the agar agar dissolve faster. Once simmering, lower temperature to low heat and simmer for 1 more minute. Remove from heat.


Place the remaining ¼ cup of juice in a cup. Add in tapioca starch and stir really well to dissolve all the starch. Pour this mixture into the saucepan. Stir everything to combine.


Carefully pour the jello mixture into serving cups {taking extra care not to spill the mixture on the sides or rims of the cups}. Place cups in the fridge and refrigerate overnight {or at least for 4-5 hours} to allow the jello to set.


Prior to serving, remove from fridge, top each cup with about ¼ cup whipped cream, and garnish with pomegranate arils {or fruit of your choice}. Serve and enjoy!

sticky toffee pudding

Vegan “Eggnog” Sticky Toffee Pudding




8oz chopped pitted dates (about 1 1/2 cups)


1 1/2 cups vegan “eggnog” beverage (here we used So Delicious Nog Coconut Milk Beverage )


1 tsp baking soda


2 tbsp ground flax seeds


1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour


1 tsp baking powder


1/8 tsp salt


1/4 cup coconut oil, at room temperature


1/2 cup sugar


1 tsp natural vanilla extract


For the sauce (makes 1 cup) :


1/2 cup vegan “eggnog”


1 cup brown sugar


1/4 cup coconut oil


1/2 tsp natural vanilla extract


1/2 tsp cinnamon


1/4 to 1/2 tsp nutmeg (to taste)


2 tsp bourbon (optional)




Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly coat a non stick 9×9 square baking pan with cooking spray


To prepare the cake, combine chopped dates and nog in a medium size saucepan. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Add baking soda (the mixture with become foamy), stir well and add ground flax seeds. Set aside


Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl and set aside


Using an electric mixer, cream coconut oil and sugar at medium speed for about 2 minutes. Add vanilla extract and continue beating for another minute


Reduce speed and slowly add about 1/3 of the nog/date mixture. Add about 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Repeat 2 more times alternating nog and flour mixtures


Transfer batter to baking pan and bake at 350F for about 30 minutes


In the meantime, prepare the sauce. Combine nog, sugar and coconut oil in a sauce pan. Cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes, whisking constantly.


Reduce heat, whisk in vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg and continue cooking for another minute. Remove from heat and add bourbon, if using. Set aside until ready to use (the sauce will thicken as it cools)


Let the cake cool slightly. Using a thick skewer, poke holes on the cake. Slowly pour about half the sauce all over. Serve with a dollop of vegan whipped topping and drizzle with more sauce


All of these recipes and more can be found here.

Article by:

Louise Knight

Louise Knight - a third-year English with Writing student at UWE Bristol with my own personal blog. Currently undertaking a temporary work placement at 365 Bristol, and an avid reader and writer.