Looking for your next meal out in London? Look no further than Clare from The Little London Vegan. Behind the vibrant photos, delicious-looking food and copious numbers of foodie jokes, what goes on in Clare’s life? We unveil each detail that goes into her posts as well as highlighting her mission in this instalment of our behind the content series. Catch up with other shortlisted bloggers in the series here.
The Little London Vegan is a food blogger reviewing London’s vegan options. You can find the full host of Clare’s reviews on her website thelittlelondonvegan.com and on her Instagram @thelittlelondonvegan. From vegan street food to Michelin starred restaurants, readers will find a little bit of everything and a few puns along the way.
If you could share with us who you are and what’s your mission, what would you say?
I’m Clare and I’m on a mission to show people that it’s easier than many people think to eat vegan in restaurants in London and around the world. Not only that, but the food now is varied, creative and most importantly, delicious. I’m also on a mission to encourage restaurants to introduce vegan options and make them as brilliant as possible. I want to help make veganism as easy and accessible as possible.
Would you consider yourself more of a blogger or an Instagrammer?
About three months ago, I would’ve said Instagrammer but now I think I’m both. I started out on Instagram and that’s where my content has always been hosted but recently I moved into the world of blogging as I realised that it gives me an opportunity to make my content more searchable. My blog now hosts all of my review categories by restaurant name, location, cuisine, eatery type, meal-type and requirements such as gluten-free. I’ve also created a map which is hosted on my website which also hosts all of my reviews and means that people can easily search for options near them.
How do you choose the content that goes into your accounts?
I try and pick a variety of different cuisines, areas and types of eateries for my page to appeal to as many people as possible. I also listen to what people want. If I receive lots of messages asking for bottomless brunch options, I’ll make an effort to research and collaborate with restaurants offering that option. Other than that, I’m pretty open to eating anywhere and everywhere!
What is the process behind each post you produce?
The first step is to get in contact with or be contacted by a restaurant, we then schedule a date for me to try and review the food. On the day (usually after work), I head to the restaurant with my friend or boyfriend with all of our equipment. We try as much of the menu as we can (we always take leftovers home and either give them to others or save them for the next day), capturing all of the content we need or all of my channels.
I take notes on everything I eat so that I remember when it comes time to post. We chat to the owner and the staff about the restaurant and ask any questions we might have. We then leave the restaurant and on the way home, I upload my photos to my phone, edit my photographs and start to prep and then upload my Instagram stories.
A few days later, I’ll write my full Instagram review of the restaurant for my feed which I’ll post before adding to my Instagram story highlights, to my blog, to my google map and also to my Facebook and Twitter pages. I have developed a specific format for my captions and blog posts which provides people with all the information they need. After I post, I’ll spend some time interacting with everyone who comments on the post. Then, we go again! (read this handy blog post checklist for more information).
What has been a career highlight so far?
I was very excited when I was invited to feature on both BBC News and ITV to discuss food blogging, being an “influencer” and also veganism in general. In terms of restaurants, I’m always very grateful to be invited anywhere but reviewing Michelin Star restaurants is always a very special experience.
Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Goodness, I don’t think I could narrow it down to one but I think I used to focus more on creating content and less on the quality of the content. I spent a lot of time improving my photography and focusing on what people wanted to see in order to make my page useful and appealing to others.
When it comes to health and wellness, how is the content you are creating helping to make a bigger impact in the world?
Lots of people are now aware of how important it is to cut down on their meat intake but I think people also feel a bit nervous about doing it. Perhaps they feel embarrassed or they’re a bit nervous about the ‘V’ word. I want to show that vegans are ‘normal’ people and that vegan food, or meatless food, is easy, fun and delicious! I hope that by showing people how many options are available to them, they’ll make more of a conscious effort to eat less meat.
What is the biggest misconception about social media? What was the practice that has helped you with your strategy?
I think one of the biggest misconceptions is that social media is that the more you post, the better your results will be and the quicker your account will grow. Quality trumps quantity any day. I would rather take a week off of posting until I have content I’m proud of than post content I’m not proud of every day just to keep my posts regular. I used to worry a lot about the algorithm and what would happen if I took time off but now I don’t let it bother me. I just do what makes me happy and proud.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
My boyfriend Chris is incredible. He comes along to most of my bookings with me and is the most supportive person in the world. He takes the photos of me for my page, helps me review the food, celebrates every little achievement that comes my way and is there for me whenever it all gets too much, to give me a reality check and a big hug. I wouldn’t be able to do it without him.
What do you think is the most important thing about working on collaborations with other influencers and brands?
Authenticity. I’m very firm in my belief that it doesn’t matter whether you’re posting because you want to, because you’ve been invited to or because you’ve been paid to, you have to be honest and true to yourself. I am never unkind but I always give honest and constructive reviews.
I have had many awkward conversations with clients and I have even had to abandon campaigns because the client didn’t like my honesty, but it’s a non-negotiable for me.
Who is your ideal collaboration with?
I would love to team up with Five Guys to introduce vegan burgers to their menu. They used to be my favourite!
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to start in the industry now?
Work hard and be unique. It’s essential that you’re passionate and dedicated. Creating your own style is so important in a saturated market, so let your personality shine through.