After the gluttony of Christmas and New Year (seriously, how many cheese and crackers or green triangle Quality Street can one person eat!?) the new year presents an opportunity to implement some healthier eating habits and one that seems to be gaining momentum year on year, is Veganuary.
Unless you have been living under a rock, you cannot have missed the rise of veganism into the mainstream eating trends. Gone are the days when vegan eating was restricted to in the middle of a field at a slightly off the wall festival. These days, your local pub is as likely to serve a few vegan choices as having roasted peanuts behind the bar. Veganuary has packaged this eating trend up in a way that allows any vegan-curious to give it a good go for the whole of January. Those who sign up (and a whopping 50,000 of us did last year in the UK alone) receive a starter pack with meal plans, shopping guides, nutrition advice and much more. As well as animal rights and environmental grounds, organisers suggest health benefits to be one of the biggest draws – such as lowering cholesterol, reducing high blood pressure and losing weight (generally what we want after the festive season).
So if you have pledged to go vegan for the month, you will find many places can easily accommodate you, either having lots of choice on the menu or the ability to ‘veganise’ a dish to suit. One that normally tops the Trip Advisor list is Ada Mediterranean Kitchen. Based in Ryde and Carisbrooke, it offers mezze style dishes with plenty of vegan options, so tasty that meat-eaters can’t resist either.
Tapnell Farm Park walks the line between something that pleases carnivores (the main restaurant is called ‘The Cow’ so pretty obvious what you can get there, beef at its best) but the Farm Park Cafe offers a whole host of vegan items, including cakes, light bites and loads of treats for the kids too. Dairy free yoghurts, hot chocolate and lattes are served alongside vegan burgers.
For pub grub, places such as The Sun in Calbourne, The White Hart in Havenstreet and The Steamer Inn Shanklin all offer a wide range ofmeat and dairy free homemade dishes, plus puddings too. Quay Arts has a new chef and guess what, he’s vegan. Their usual veggie friendly menu has been even further uplifted with all sorts of savoury delights and the hot chocolate even includes dairy free whipped cream!
Vegan nights are popping up all over the show too, whether at the local, or restaurants such as edulis at Ventnor Botanic Garden, themed nights at Freshwater Coffee House. For posh nosh, places such Three Buoys in Appley and Burr’s in Newport serve spectacular dishes free of meat.
The Vegan Boys run popular Supper Club Nights at different points of the year as well as bringing their popular street food fair to many local events. Tansy’s Pantry serve up some of the tastiest vegan food from their double decker bus café.