ARU Vegan Society -Society Showcase

By Kya Johnson – A safe place for all (not just vegans!) who want to learn and engage about Veganism and its related subjects ie. Sustainability, Global Impacts and Animal…

By Kya Johnson – ARU Vegan Society

A safe place for all (not just vegans!) who want to learn and engage about Veganism and its related subjects ie. Sustainability, Global Impacts and Animal Welfare.

We set up this society with the aim of cultivating a space for all who want to learn more about Veganism. It can be scary to try something new but we strive to be there for anyone who needs support. Whether that support is to learn about nutrition, environmental impacts or for more individual and tailored assistance, feel free to get in touch with us and our resources. 

Starting a society during COVID-19 has been difficult, and unfortunately certain events we would have loved to put on face-to-face are currently impossible. However, we are making up for it with plenty of online events. Already within our first couple of months, we have hosted game nights, discussions and Netflix parties. For the future we are hoping to run cooking classes, book clubs, competitions and more! Suggestions are more than welcome as we try to tailor our events to our members.

We are proud to say that when you purchase a membership to the ARU Vegan Society, 50% of your membership fee is donated to a charity which is decided on by members. This was something that Sarah (our treasurer) and I were very determined to put into place. 

As some of you may know, January is an exciting time for Vegans as Veganuary takes place. In honour of Veganuary we will be opening all of our January events to everyone (whether you have a membership with us or not) so for those who are unsure about whether to purchase a membership, you can drop into these events and see if they are something that you would like to continue with. 

So whether you are looking for a place to share recipes, meet people with similar interests or to simply have fun, we look forward to meeting you!

Image: Jo Sonn on Unsplash


Pint Shop Cambridge: Interview & Food Review

By Ciéra Cree and Lorenzo Barba – We were recently given the opportunity by Pint Shop (Cambridge) to try their food and learn more about what they have to offer to students. To follow you will find…

By Ciéra Cree and Lorenzo Barba

We were recently given the opportunity by Pint Shop (Cambridge) to try their cuisine and learn more about what they have to offer to students. To follow you will find an interview that we conducted as well as a selection of reviews discussing some food and drinks that they kindly delivered to us.

Due to the current national lockdown caused by COVID-19, Pint Shop have had to close their restaurant doors. However, you can still order food via click and collect!

Lorenzo collecting our delivery from FoodStuff!
How long has the Pint Shop been open for? How did it all start?

Pint Shop opened on the 4th of November 2013, so we’re just coming up to its 7th Birthday. It all started when me and Benny met whilst in London. We wanted to open the sort of pub we’d drink in. We spent nearly two years looking for the perfect building, but knew the first time we walked into this building it was perfect.’

If you had to describe your establishment in 5 words, what would they be?

Simple, Seasonal, British, Fun, Boozy.’

Why do you feel that this is the best place for students? What do you offer them and how are you unique?

‘I think that we have the perfect blend of modern beer and cozy old pub. There are not many places which offer that around this area. We run a number of deals for students including Kebab Monday which is any Kebab and any beer for just £10. On a Tuesday it’s all about burgers, with a burger and a beer for £10. The best way to stay informed about our deals is to follow our special student Instagram account.’

What are your personal favourite items on the menu? Why?

‘Personally I love the kebabs; they have been one of our top selling dishes for years. However, probably the thing that most people know us for is our scotch eggs. We sell hundreds of them every week and they are always the recipe that people ask me for.’

Food Reviews
‘The Greatest Hits’ (£25): Ciéra’s Review
A snapshot of ‘The Greatest Hits’ including chips, sausage rolls, scotch eggs and a variety of sides.

As soon as I saw that ‘The Greatest Hits’ box included both chips as well as sausage rolls, I instantly knew that it was something that I wanted to try. I had actually been looking around stores in Cambridge for quite a while, trying to find a good sausage roll, but they are surprisingly hard to come by. The sausage rolls in this meal had lovely, flakey pastry. However, the chips were still the highlight for me.

Anyone that knows me is aware that I love a good portion of chips. The ones from Pint Shop reminded me of chip shop style servings that I used to get when visiting the sea when I was younger. The portions are a generous size as well (even as I’m typing this review up now I’m munching on some because I can’t help myself!).

This meal additionally came with two large scotch eggs, a variety of sides and a packet of pork scratchings. For two people buying this option from the menu would provide an incredible feast!

Fried Chicken and Chips (£10): Lorenzo’s Review
(Top right) A snapshot of the Pint Shop’s Fried Chicken and Chips

Upon opening the box, I immediately noted that the fried chicken and chips were beautifully presented. I could tell straight away that this was a place that takes genuine pride in what they do before even taking a bite. The chicken was succulent and crispy, falling clean off the bone, perfectly accompanied by a wide selection of condiments and dippings to further compliment the dish. 

The chips were deliciously crunchy and absorbed the flavour of the condiments perfectly. Despite being more than 50 miles away from the sea, these chips very much reminded me of the kind you would expect to receive when going to the seaside. All available at your front door or within the confines of a cozy pub in the heart of Cambridge!

Drink Reviews

Since neither myself or Lorenzo drink alcohol, we passed them on as a gift to his family. They shared the following thoughts with us:

A bottle of beer and Gin + Tonic delivered along with our meals

‘The gin and tonic was the best that I have ever had! It was so lemony and fresh, containing a perfect balance of the two flavours. I felt relaxed after having it; a very pleasurable experience!’

Kelly Barba

‘The first thing that I noticed as I opened the beer was the great smell. It tasted very nice and it’s a drink which I would recommend!’

Emanuele Barba
Overall Experience

Ciéra: From talking to the staff at the Pint Shop to the experience of receiving and trying the food itself, everything was pleasant. Doing this was my first time reviewing food for an establishment and I can say with certainty that it was something that was made memorable in the best of ways. If you’re reading this Elizabeth, thank you so much!

Lorenzo: I highly enjoyed my experience dining with the Pint Shop, and cannot recommend this lovely establishment enough. The staff were exceptionally friendly and welcoming. I truly felt like a valued customer, and despite only finishing my meal a short while ago I already cannot wait to dine there again! 

Images: Taken by Ciéra Cree

Culture Focus: Budapest

This gem of a city in the small country of Hungary in the heart of Europe is a popular getaway destination for young adults, partly due its eye candy…

Your non-tourist guide to a great Budapest weekend

By Rebeka Kancsar

This gem of a city in the small country of Hungary in the heart of Europe is a popular getaway destination for young adults, partly due its eye candy architecture and affordable flights and hotels. Now, you could google ‘things to do in Budapest’ and figure that catching the hop-on hop-off and going from Fisherman’s Bastion to Heroes’ Square might be your best, or you could focus slightly less on the tourist hot-spots and explore some of these not-so-hidden treasures of Budapest.

Road to Ruins

Take a city known for its history, add craft beer, and you get ruin pubs—filled with antiques, flacking lights and art. Notoriously in District VII, buildings—or rather, their remains—can look like what you’d expect to see on urbex blogs, graffiti and fallen pieces of concrete, where you can easily walk past a ruin pub without realising. Considerate to neighbours nearby, it’s an unofficial rule that you have to be quiet on the streets and near the entrance, but once you walk through the gates of Szimpla Kert and into the courtyard, you’ll find yourself in another world, consisting of chill music, laidback atmosphere, projected silent movies, multicolour lights and wall art, filled with thrift-shop gadgets that serve no purpose but are fun to twiddle. Bikes wrapped in fairy lights hanging from the ceiling as chandeliers, old square TV’s mounted onto the wall, disco balls, broken road signs and an old Trabant car covered with graffiti with a table in it—a perfect playground for young adults. Speaking of adult playgrounds, it’s also close to the Pinball Museum, where you can play with over 130 vintage and new machines.


If you ever came across a photo of Budapest, chances are you’ve seen Buda Castle on it. You could take the £40+ walk inside the castle, or you could opt for a walk in the Castle Gardens for free and see historical architecture and a panoramic view of the Chain Bridge and Parliament Building over the Danube.

Another skyline spot on the Buda side of the city is right next to Gellért Thermal Baths—which is worth spending a day in if you’re one for spas, soaking in warm waters that are believed to be healing, although it’s crowded with tourists during holiday season, but Ryan Gosling apparently enjoyed it too. Climbing up above the Cave church, you can sit on a bench surrounded by trees in the middle of the city, overlooking its skyline AND Buda Castle.

Fiumei Road Cemetery & Memento Park

Cemeteries are generally not included in holiday plans, but here I give you Fiumei Road. Being the largest and one of the oldest cemeteries of Hungary, it houses the mausoleums of national heroes, politicians, poets, artists and the famous Anonymous’ Statue in a green, tree-filled park. Creepy, sure, but its architecture and statues are something worth seeing if you’d rather avoid the tourists. If you’re into statues but you’d rather opt from creepiness to a longer drive, Memento Park is right outside city with 42 pieces of art from the Communist era of Hungary, meaning you could have a picnic next to the massive statues of Lenin and Marx—which is, you know, less creepy.

Food & Sustenance

One wonderful thing about Budapest is that wherever you go, there will be a kebab/gyros/pizza place around the corner, where you can get a slice for as cheap as 300 forint, which is around 80p (yes, you read that right). But if you feel fancy, you could visit the New York Café and its Italian Renaissance glamour for a champagne breakfast. You could also try Gozsdu Courtyard for a variety of bars and restaurants, where you can enjoy a huge range of traditional and international foods outdoors.


You want to avoid the hop-on hop-off—not only because it takes away the genuine excitement of exploring a city, but because Budapest has pretty good public transport, especially the tram network. Tram 2, 4 and 6 serve not only get you from one place to another, but you’ll have the best views of the city’s buildings. There’s always a stop within a short walking distance and you’ll avoid the crowds and stairs of the tube.

Vintage Souvenirs

Most tourist leave with an I love Budapest t-shirt, and while you’re free to do that, why not leave with something better, if you really insist on souvenirs? Budapest has a number of amazing vintage shops, such as Szputnyik D20 and Anfifactory, where if you’re lucky, you can find brands such as Vivienne Westwood and Versace for ridiculously low prices.

So, booked your plane ticket yet?

Image: Rebeka Kancsar

Local Highlight: Bubble Tap

Recently in Cambridge a new phenomenon has occurred, the creative genius that is bubble waffles. So what are they? Bubble waffles are an Asian…

Recently in Cambridge a new phenomenon has occurred, the creative genius that is bubble waffles. So what are they? Bubble waffles are an Asian version of Belgian waffles that are cooked to show a bubble appearance. They are they shaped into a cone and then you can have various toppings inside. They have different combinations named after scientists who come from Cambridge including Stephen Hawking, Charles Darwin and Benjamin Franklin. You can also make up your own combinations!

Firstly, you get an ice cream, then a couple of toppings and a sauce. I had a ‘Hawking’ which included strawberry ice cream, Oreos, chocolate sauce and strawberry’s and it was outstanding.  A friend of mine had a ‘Franklin’ which was vanilla ice cream, banana, caramel and pecans which looked incredible, think I would definitely have to try that one next time. The café in which Bubble Tap has a delicate interoir with mini tables decorated with plants and lamps and a range of books free for people to read whilst enjoying their waffles. This is perfect for a study break or an afternoon treat yourself, personally I went for a friend’s birthday which was a great way to celebrate!

Bubble Tap is located where ‘Cinnabon’ used to be which is just outside the Lion Yard and so only a short walk from university. It may hit a tiny bit expensive at £6.50 for a standard combination but worth it for a treat! It is a great way to celebrate the sweet treats from another culture just down the road. Plus, we all need a break from studying every now and again! During student life, it is important to have a break from your studies, socialise with friends and try food from new cultures – which also helps to support local businesses! Why not consider it a new location for a society social?!

waffle Just a little idea of what to expect!

By Bethany Mattocks

27th February 2018

Image Credit: Bethany Mattocks

The Other Eating Disorder

By Robyn Robles – Anna* walks almost silently into the pub where I’m sitting having a drink. She sits opposite me and looks studiously at the table, fiddling with the sleeves of her sweater…

By Robyn Robles


This article deals with some sensitive topics, including eating disorders and suicidal thoughts. As per request from the interviewees, names have been changed to prevent identification of those who have shared their story. If you have been affected by any of the issues in this piece, there are advice contacts at the bottom of the page. 

Anna* walks almost silently into the pub where I’m sitting having a drink. She sits opposite me and looks studiously at the table, fiddling with the sleeves of her sweater.

“Are you ready to talk about this?” I ask. She avoids my eyes and takes a few deep breaths before answering, “I don’t know. I guess I am. I have to tell someone eventually I suppose.”

She isn’t overweight but I can see that she has some generous curves, despite being swamped in baggy clothes, and her face is round. At first glance, Anna doesn’t look like a girl who is killing herself slowly with a deadly eating disorder. But she is. She is 21 years old, a performing arts student at Anglia Ruskin University. Green-eyed and tall, with a steady boyfriend and friends that she describes as ‘fierce and loyal’ and yet, the picture Anna paints of herself is bleak. Words that she uses continually during our interview are ‘gross’, ‘fat’ and ‘stupid’. Although I originally set up my interview with her to talk about mental health problems more generally, I quickly come to see Anna’s eating disorder is her focal point. “It doesn’t matter if I get bad grades, or if my Dad refuses to see me, or anything,” Anna says, “None of that can hurt me, because the person who’s hurting me the most is myself.”

Anna is one of an ever-growing number of university students who have turned to self-destructive methods to deal with the stresses in their lives.

“It’s definitely become worse since starting uni. I’m a performer,” she says, “There’s pressure there from my professors to lose weight to get the roles I want. I know you don’t see girls like me on stage.”

Anna describes daily binging and purging behaviours to me, fuelled by her anxiety. “It’s ruining my life,” she admits. And yet she questions, “Does bulimia count?” when I ask her if she has an eating disorder. And Anna is not alone in this question. When typing the words ‘is bulimia…’ into Google, one of the most-searched results is sinister: ‘is bulimia really that bad?’

In the public conversation about eating disorders, the image of the anorexic teenage girl wasting away to look like the models in magazines has long held centre stage. And a report commissioned by leading eating disorder charity BEAT in February 2015 found that females account for around 89 percent of eating disorder cases in the UK. However, the medical journal Diagnostic Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders estimates that only ten percent of eating disorder sufferers are anorexic. It finds that bulimia, on the other hand, accounts for about 40 percent of known cases of eating disorders in the UK. A multitude of other disorders such as binge eating disorder and orthorexia make up the remaining 50 percent.

Bulimia can cause a host of scary or fatal complications. These include eroding teeth, irregular periods, kidney damage, fits, and damage to the heart. Boerhaave syndrome, where vomiting regularly with excessive force leads to the rupture of the oesophagus, is also a risk.

And Anna is experiencing many of these side effects already. “I’m always cold,” she tells me, “and so tired. My face and neck are all swollen from my glands. And I’ve thrown up blood more times than I can count.” It isn’t only the public that dismisses the severity of this eating disorder. Sufferers also detect bias among members of the medical community.

Anna said, “I went to a psychiatrist for a while. But every time I would try to talk about food he would ask if I was still having periods. I was, so he didn’t want to waste time on the problem after that.”

Dismissing eating disorder sufferers due to their weight not being low, despite all the other dangerous complications that can come from their continued disordered behaviours, is a trend that is both frightening and downright negligent.

The term epidemic does not seem to be far-fetched; The Joint Commissioning Panel for Mental Health estimates that over 1.6 million people in the UK are living with an eating disorder and millions of more cases are falling through the cracks. This is especially a problem in those who may not ever become dangerously underweight, as is the case with many people suffering from bulimia.

StudentMinds is a student mental health charity that holds peer support groups for people with eating difficulties. They denied my request for an interview due to confidentiality issues understandably, but I spoke to students that have attended their group. One of them is Olivia, 20, a Literature student at Anglia Ruskin; she has often encountered a similar attitude to Anna.

I’m not skinny,” she said, although with her tiny legs and petite wrists I would certainly disagree with her. I wonder to myself during our interview if this distorted image of herself is a side effect of her eating disorder.

“My mum was so worried though,” Olivia tells me, “She took me to the doctor. But he just said to come back if I lost weight […] and that throwing up was normal teenage behaviour.”

When I asked about the causes of anxiety in her life, Olivia also cited the university as a key factor. “I’m an international student and we don’t get loans. It’s so hard to juggle uni work and the job I need to have to help pay my tuition fees.”

Being away from loved ones has also taken away an avenue of support for Olivia. “My boyfriend has always helped a lot but I never see him because he’s back home. It makes it so much harder that I have to go through it all alone now,” she says.

This absence of support is a worry for prospective university students as well. Amy, 18, is from Gibraltar and has accepted a place to study philosophy at Durham University in September. “I’m supposed to be ‘recovered’,” Amy uses exaggerated air quotes, “But I’m scared, to be honest. I won’t have my psychologist, or my friends, or my mum. The bad parts of the brain are excited. No one’s going to be watching what I’m eating. I’m going to lose so much weight.”

One avenue of support that is often available for university students is in-house counselling facilities. Both Anna and Olivia have used the Anglia Ruskin Health and Wellbeing services. This service offers drop-in sessions for emergencies and six-week courses with a counsellor for those with situational difficulties that they wish to work through. Those with long-term mental health conditions, however, are often given a mental health advisor to see more regularly.

Although Anna describes the services as ‘okay’, she characterises them as “not the best. Especially the amount [of time] you have to wait.”

“I had to wait nearly two months to get an appointment,” Olivia tells me, “and I came so close to killing myself while I was waiting. And when I finally did get an appointment they only gave me six sessions to work with the counsellor. I guess I wasn’t sick enough.”

Despite our growing understanding of eating disorders, they remain shrouded in stigma. Both Anna and Olivia asked if I could change their names for my article. Olivia tells me, “I don’t want everyone knowing [about her bulimia]. They’ll definitely judge me. It’s disgusting, I know it is.”

Image Credit: Adobe Stock License


The information in this article is from personal experience and does not constitute professional, medical or psychological advice. Always seek the advice of a qualified health provider with any questions, or if any of the issues in this article affect you. Anglia Ruskin University has its own counselling and wellbeing service, you can find out more information here. The ARU Student Union are also running their Let’s Be Honest Campaign, to help reduce the stigma surrounding mental health. Statistics from this article.

We take the issues of mental health very seriously and use this platform to bring about a discussion and let others know it’s okay to be open and honest. Mental and Physical health is equally important and should be treated as such. There are various charities and organisations that can help with recovery.

The Trendiest Bike Cafe in Town

By Rebeka Kancsár – You’d have to walk with your eyes closed if you were to miss the floor to ceiling windows of Espresso Library on East Road…

By Rebeka Kancsár

You’d have to walk with your eyes closed if you were to miss the floor to ceiling windows of Espresso Library on East Road. Its contemporary interior design with neutral colours and pops of yellow, ongoing art exhibitions (of often ARU graduates) and bikes hanging from the ceiling; is as pleasing to the eyes as to the taste buds of coffee lovers, and a perfect place for a study break and essay writing session alike.

The masterminds behind the place, John Gull and Malgo Dzierugo created this “fusion of a cycling cafe, art gallery, speciality coffee shop, restaurant and a bar” just 2 years ago, and has been attracting students from Cambridge University and ARU equally ever since – but luckily for us, it’s only a few minutes walk from the main campus.

Known for its first-class café experience, you’ll find freshly roasted speciality coffee and organic food made of wholesome ingredients to treat yourself to. The true coffee lovers can even try their guest coffees, which you can read all about on their website – including origin, history and process. Even their machines are special – Espresso Library owns a rare, top-range Slayer Espresso machine, which been custom made for them in Seattle, USA.

Whether you’re a healthy eater, a vegan or chronic sweet tooth, EL’s menu won’t let you down. With the breakfast menu dominated by avocado toast and the lunch menu with a variety of ciabattas, salad, frittata and more, the only problem you’ll find is what to try first. As for the price, it leans toward the expensive side of the scale as expected of quality service, the average price for coffee and a meal still being around £10. You could opt for a delicious, freshly squeezed smoothie or cake though.

If the stress of student life gets too much, the Espresso Library has your back. On Friday and Saturday nights, the relaxing soft lights turn on, the coffee gets put away and a selection of tasty wine, craft beer and cocktails comes out. The occasional pop-up events with the best of the city’s food scene are also something worth checking out, including their coveted yoga sessions.

Cycling culture is an important part of Espresso Library, as is of Cambridge. With races and social and training rides, it aims to bring together cyclist city-wide, building a community of riders who share their passion. It’s a bonus that they have a one-of-a-kind wall indoor bike storage to hoard their precious two-wheelers while their owners enjoy a cup of coffee.

So, if you’re a coffee fan, take a walk to the other side of the street and try it for yourself if you haven’t already: you’ll thank me.

Image Credit: Rebeka Kancsar