THE VURGER CO
IN CONVERSATION WITH.....
THE WONDER WOMAN AND AMAZINGLY SUPPORTIVE CREATOR OF @TheLittleLondonFoodie
Please tell us a little about you and what got you started in becoming a food blogger?
I've had a bit of an unusual upbringing! I was born in England but moved to Australia when I was 13 years old where I lived for 11 years, so I have a bit of a mixed accent! I've been back in London for 5 years but I try to get back to Sydney every couple of years to visit my parents, brother and family. I started my Instagram account when I first arrived back in London, originally as a way to keep track of what I was eating and to motivate myself to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It was a cooking blog until about a year ago when I discovered that my real passion was in visiting restaurants & street food markets and finding all of the best veggie options London has to offer! I guess my passion shows on my page and it's really taken off recently. I now have a Facebook page and a blog too!
We love your imagery, please would you be able to share your secrets to success to date?
Thank you! I've always had an interest in photography, whether it's snapping the streets of London, whipping my camera out on holiday or taking photos of food. I follow a lot of accounts on Instagram where I get inspiration for food arrangements, lighting and I naturally enjoy tapping into my creative side which certainly helps my imagery! I think a lot of people are surprised when I tell them that my photos are all taken on my iPhone 7+. However, a friend has kindly gifted me with a camera recently so a switch to a more traditional format may be on the cards...
How important is it for you to work with and support independent brands as much as large chains?
I work in the city so it's inevitable that every now and again, I'll grab my lunch from a large chain and I have nothing against them. Plus, the more we can drive up sales for veggie food and encourage chains to integrate it into their menus, the better.
However, I think when you live in the food capital of the world, where there is SO much choice, you'd be totally missing out if you didn't visit independent brands. The most incredible food I've tasted has undoubtedly come from independent restaurants and vendors and I think they have a passion and creativity for food, for taste and for cooking that is very difficult to replicate on a large scale.
Have you seen a huge shift in plant based / veggie eating in London since launching your Instagram account?
Oh my goodness, massively. I mean, as a prime example, I wasn't vegetarian when I started my account 5 years ago. If you had asked me then if I ever thought I would turn veggie, I would've said no.
I think now it's just so much easier. I remember thinking that it would be difficult when I first started and that perhaps I wouldn't be able to eat at as many restaurants or that I would be missing out, but my Instagram account now is testament to the fact that this is totally untrue. It's so great to see how many more plant based Instagram accounts are being created, the number of veggie restaurants scattered around town (and the fact that you need to queue for most of them) and the vegan options that are now readily available on almost any menu across town.
When you’re not eating out and reviewing all the awesome veggies places, what’s your go –to cook at home dinner?
Ooh tough question. I'm the worst vegetarian in the world because I'm not a huge salad fan. I'm all about comfort food and carbs so when I'm not out and about, you'll most likely find me cooking up a big veggie spag bol or a homemade pizza!
What are your main challenges when it comes to food blogging in London? And What have been your highlights during your 5 years of blogging?
Apart from time management, I suppose I still get a bit self-conscious with my camera. I've had people mocking me for taking pictures of my food before, which isn't ideal, but I think you just have to learn to shrug it off!
The highlight for me is getting to taste some of the most incredible food in the world and being given the chance to meet some of the loveliest, like-minded people in real life (like the Vurger crew) as well as on social media.
We realise that your blog isn’t your full time role, so I wondered if you could share how you manage your time between your projects?
I won't lie, It is difficult to always find the right balance between my job, my food blog and the rest of my life. Right now, for example, I'm typing these answers on my lunch break! I make the most of every opportunity to attend food events after work and at the weekend, to update my blog in the evenings, to reply to people on Instagram and to edit my photos but I do plan and schedule a lot of my time in my calendar to make it a bit easier to manage.
I think what it really comes down to is passion. If you're passionate about something, it doesn't feel like work. To me, this is my hobby and I love every single second of it. I also have extremely supportive friends, family, colleagues and an incredible boyfriend. When we go for brunch or dinner for example, they don't mind me taking photos and it makes them happy to see me doing what I love. However, I also believe in the importance of being in the moment and once I've taken a couple of snaps, I'll put my phone down and enjoy the quality time with my loved ones. That comes before everything, always.
What’s next for you, do you have any grand travel plans in 2018 or any must visit places?
In terms of my blog and my social media, I want to discover new veg options in London and let my fellow foodies know about them, but I also want to reach more non-veggies to let them know that vegetarian food can be incredible! My favourite feeling is when non-veggies approach me to tell me that my blog makes them want to go vegetarian! I also want to collaborate with more brands to encourage them to get creative with their plant-based options.
In terms of travel, my mind is always on my next trip. I've got Australia at the end of the year and then my boyfriend and I have some big plans for a 2018 South America trip... Watch this space!
Please share something about yourself that our readers wouldn’t know about you?
I'm a huge football fan and I've been brought up following it throughout my whole life. So, when I'm not out stuffing my face, I'm either at a Chelsea FC game, watching them on TV or I'm playing mixed five a side!
Lastly if you could change anything in the world, what would it be and why?
Not food related, but I would make Australia a little closer so that I could bring my two worlds together!
Clare, we are super grateful for your support and kind words! We adore your account and really urge everyone to take the time to see where @thelittlelondonfoodie is eating - trust us her account will make you drool day in day out!
THANK YOU SO MUCH