Last Sunday I was invited to join the Southampton Bloggers gang at a cider tasting and food review event at The Stable in Southampton. Not only did I think this would be a fab chance to meet everyone and throw myself in at the deep end but the promise of pizza was just too much to pass up! I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about their vegan pizzas and as a recent convert to Violife slices (how the HELL does it smell and taste so much like cheese!?) and I wanted to use these vegan treats as an opportunity to practice Vlogging alongside this post.
I arrived at The Stable after a short stroll through the park in the Sun. After only having fifteen mins to get changed out of my gym gear and attempt to look somewhat presentable whilst also melting in the heat, I was worried I was going to be late but I was actually one of the first to arrive. Always a bit scary as I was already nervous to meet everyone but the staff were lovely and pointed out to me another from our group who had got there before me, Amy, so I went and sat with her where we briefly sweated in the sun until the others arrived.
Once we were all together, we headed upstairs – I’ve been to The Stable a lot for their pies and brownies but have never noticed this somehow and it’s super lovely. A little more tucked away but over looks the rest of the venue and you can see right through to outside which is nice. The lovely Ellie was looking after us for our cider tasting experience and sorted our pizza order in advance, some water for the table and explained to us the order of everything that was going to be happening throughout the tasting. We each had a review sheet for notes and to rate each cider out of ten for appearance, aroma and taste – we were about to try ten ciders, so we all made sure to stuff our faces with lots of bread and dipping goodies. Most of the table opted for a selection of charcuterie and cheese on their boards and I had the vegan option which included sourdough served with butternut blitz, beetroot hummus and mushroom & olive tapenade. If there’s one thing The Stable do really well, it’s catering for vegans without making you feel like you’re having ‘the vegan option’…It’s all just food and I fully believe they put as much effort and expertise into their vegan options as they do with the rest of the menu.
I’ve never been a cider drinker, I’m strictly a prosecco kinda gal so my knowledge and experience with cider barely scuttles past warm, pissy tasting Strongbow at Reading Festival ten years ago. However, I was pleasantly surprised by many of the ciders we tried – some even smelled and tasted like prosecco! There was one that, somehow, tasted quite nice but the aroma was just screaming ‘chickpea water’ at me (you know, when you drain the chickpeas and they have that farty stink on them?) but the manager has also made us a ‘home-brew’ to throw us off, making it purposefully bad and it was like shotting vinegar but it smelled lovely – so strange! We tasted sparking, still, local, traditional, fruity and all sorts of ciders with Rapscallion coming up amongst a lot of peoples favourites – we also just loved the name!
The afternoon cider tasting with Ellie was about much more than booze, though, it was also about PIZZA! I chose the vegan margarita and, I shit you not, the ‘cheese’ was cheesier than actual cheese. I have no idea how but I applaud the improvement vegan alternatives have been making recently! I also made sure to scoff a vegan brownie with some of the best vegan ice cream I’ve ever had, so delicious. To get the full vibe of our afternoon and see that ‘cheese’ in all it’s vegan glory make sure to check out the full Vlog below – it’s under five minutes and you’ll get a much better feel for how much fun we had than I can express here in words.
*The cider tasting sessions start from £15.00. We were treated to the Ultimate Cider Experience to review which would usually be £30.00 each but also includes all the food as well as the ten ciders, so it’s really great value for money.