Kicking off the trip we have the first meal of the holiday - airplane food! I absolutely could not stand this as a child, the smell made me sick and I used to ask not to be woken up when it came round so I could try and sleep through the whole ordeal! Although luckily times have changed and I’ve either got a better tolerance for the smell or the quality of food is a lot better
Most probably a mix of both. The meal I had was decent - a lentil stew with sliced potatoes, green beans, a side salad, crusty roll and a beautiful mango fruit bar for a little sweet kick at the end.
México is amazing for wildlife lovers, so many iguanas and little lizards, coatis (one of my new favourite animals), raccoons and agoutis to name but a few
The hotel complex was beautiful but as I’ve experienced with all inclusive resorts is that the food is good but not super amazing. However I do appreciate that they have to try and please many different nationalities and diets. The nacho bar was my favourite part of the buffet and guac was added to almost every meal 🙈 This breakfast was beautiful - minus the taco on the side which claimed to have vegetables in it but was actually duck or some sort of other dark meat 😧 luckily I broke it in half first to check so did not eat any
Coatis are absolutely bloody adorable and we were lucky enough to see a band of them almost every single day. They’re part of the raccoon family and have little paws like a bear and are amazing at climbing trees with the help of their striped ring tails.
Over the last year or so I’ve developed a very sore shoulder (that still has no medical conclusion) and my boyfriend has spondylitis so a massage is an amazing treat that we try to have as often as possible. The SOS massage we both experienced wasn’t as hard in pressure as we are both used to but the amazing neck pulling and head rubbing included was very appreciated. Really relaxing teamed with the sound of the ocean lapping up on the beach in front of us.
There were four hotels in the complex with around 6 restaurants in each. The reviews were definitely bigging up the meat the most, particularly at the Brazilian eatery, but with some help from the concierge service and the stickers ‘sin carne’ and ‘yo soy vegana’ stuck to the back of my phone, we booked ourselves in for Italian first.
It was a set menu and I couldn’t have any of the starters/appetisers or desserts but the waiter was very helpful and asked the chef to rustle me up a ‘simple’ salad and fruit salad. They were both beautifully presented and absolutely delishious. My belly looked pregnant after that risotto for about three days after.
Here are our very happy and very stuffed faces. I chose that jumpsuit as it was light and breezy but it was tight and clingy an hour later 🙈
The buffets in our hotel were quite similar most days so my plates usually resembled this random assortment of items below which feel very @uglyvegan -esk if I do say so myself.
And because at home I literally seem to be stuffing my face with crisps until the second I go to sleep, we must have spent about 2000 pesos on Pringles/Takis/and 7/11 crisps
The Mexican Cacao was bitter yet sweet at the same time with cinnamon jewels lightly placed through the centre. I’ve brought some back which I’m planning on melting and drizzling over something/everything.
Although it would have been amazing to visit Chichen Itza, with our flight taking over 9 hours then over an hour on a coach to the hotel we didn’t fancy spending another 10/12 hours doing the round trip there
Instead we were swayed by the Ruins de Maya of Tulum, which dates back to 564 A.D and remains of the walled city were still in sight
Tulum itself means ‘wall’ however the original name Zamá translates to ‘place of the dawning sun’ and I can see how it has that name as the sun shone down on us, the ruins and the beach during the duration of the tour
We always seem to crave Indian food when abroad, even when the heat is at its hottest. This vegetable curry I had in Playa del Carmen was lovely, not very spicy but still a delicious way to get more vegetables down.
Tulum was incredibly bohemian and if I had the money it would be somewhere I’d love to settle down and open up shop
Full of handmade hammocks, dream catchers, painted bowls and plates if my purse and luggage allowed me I would have brought home everything with me. Along with a family of Coatis!
We were lucky to see a couple of rituals performed, once by the ruins and one in Playa called the Danza de los Voladores (Dance of the Flyers) where five men climb a pole (originally a tree) then four of the men swing from the top whilst one remains in the centre playing music
It is said that the ritual was performed asking God to end a large drought that was upon them and they were successful bringing back the rain and the fertility of the earth.
My breakfast most mornings consisted of a fibre cereal, fruit and juice made up of celery (something I usually absolutely cannot stand), pineapple and cactus and it was absolutely delicious 🌵
I thought we saw a lot of coral during our last big trip to Australia but there was certainly a lot along the beaches here. Most of it had been repurposed for decoration along seawalls and other items
Bonus pic of me on the sea wall below 🙈
My favourite road in Tulum was Carretera Tulum-Boca Paila, full of treehouse style boutique hotels, food, handmade clothing and yoga retreats it was such a sanctuary within the jungle
When we booked the holiday around Christmas time the first thing I did was start scoping out where to eat. A few places around the area did catch my eye however nothing had the same allure to me as Charlys and I’m so glad that we were able to find this sweet spot
Using words taken from their own website ‘the restaurant sits beneath the jungle canopy and is alive with the sounds of birds, cicadas, and the fresh sea breeze flowing through the property and rustling the jungle foliage. Nearly all of the tables and seating were crafted from salvaged wood, and the restaurant has been designed using recycled materials and operates using environmentally sustainable practises.’
With my boyfriend being a very fussy eater who still (occasionally) eats meat I was worried about whether he would share the same optimism as me towards the food however I needn’t have been worried one bit.
The grilled corn on the cob starter was hailed by him as ‘the nicest thing I’ve eaten in years’ and it did look breathtaking. Being allergic to peanuts and pinenuts (omg yes I know how can I be allergic to peanuts, it’s shit) I decided not to have corn as it was finished with homemade peanut soil (no not peanut dust, Chabuddy G) and it seemed to crucial to the menu to ask for it sans soil
Although I’m glad I skipped the cob or else I wouldn’t have experienced the best nachos I’ve ever had in my life - the Nachos Machos. And Machos they certainly were. There were disbelieving smiles all round from the waiters when the nacho slab was hauled onto the table but with a little help from the bf it was demolished. To be honest though with ingredients like chipotle leek sauce, pickled jalapeños, salsa ‘adobada’, guacamole, mashed organic beans, grilled mushrooms and Charly’s signature cream how could I not?
Then for our main course, after a long time deliberating, I carefully selected Charly’s Signature Tacos and my other half went for the Tempura Chickenless Breast. His meal was fantastic (I stole some so I can vouch for it too) hiding underneath an elaborate array of avocado, pickled red onion and leek sauce was a faux chicken breast coated in a delicate crumb which had been stewed in morita adobo served with rice made using one of Charly’s granny’s recipes, grilled plantain and refried beans.
The tacos arrived beautifully presented with a side portion of tantalisingly tangy lemon and tomato cous cous. Each taco was unique, soft enough you wanted to keep it safe and put it in your pocket yet strong enough to handle the generous sized portions.
The first taco was grilled seitan steak with sauerkraut and the same chipotle leek cream used on the king of nachos. The seitan was chewy yet not like the fatty style of chewy that some vegan options mimic from meat it was very moreish and the sauerkraut was on POINT.
The second taco I ate was the award winning smokey slow roasted portabellos marinated in local peppers, garlic, pineapple and annatte seeds. Mushrooms have always been something on the list of things I am weird about. I like the taste but the texture kind of makes my skin on my back feel like it’s running over my shoulders. So usually it’s just soups, pâté and vol au vents that get consumed by me however these mushrooms were almost the opposite of slippy, the texture tasted similar to Quorn mince but was amazingly flavoured and so mouthwateringly juicy. Last but by no means least I had the porkless crackling taco, it consisted of puffed seitan - again amazing - which had been stewed in a decadently rich red chipotle sauce, served with salad and little mango chunks.
Until next time México, you were absolutely magnificent 👏🏽 One day it would be dreamy to stay in the treetop jungle doing daily yoga and eating more amazing vegan food xo