Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Vegan Holidaying in the UK

By Asa, Vegan Pledge Buddy 2012

I have stayed in many veggie B&Bs in the UK, often to go walking. It is always a treat to stay in veggie B&Bs and get a full breakfast so you hardly have to eat until dinner time! The Vegetarian Guides cover all or most veggie, and even veggie friendly B&Bs so I use that as a starting point. Further ones can be found googling, there are local guides in some areas (e.g. www.vegetariancornwall.co.uk,  www.vegetariandevon.com.)

Unfortunately there are not veggie places everywhere. In a way it is good to stay in non-veggie ones too, to spread the word that there is such a thing as a vegan, and to make people aware that it is actually not that difficult to cater for vegans.

It can be difficult to find places that know what vegan food means. Generally I've found small B&Bs better at catering for vegans than hotel - maybe they're more interested in getting the business!

I try to read their web sites to see if they list "happy to cater for vegans", "caters for vegetarians" or at least "we cater for special diets". But if staying in small places, there may not even be that option. It is good to give them a ring to ask, in most cases I find that they are friendly and open to help, with some guidance of what to arrange for the cooked part of the meal – soya/rice/oat milk for cereal is normally easy for them to find and toast and jam are vegan items anyway (I've never encountered non-vegan bread in a B&B but I guess it is a possibility). 

For the cooked breakfast, Linda McCartney sausages are often a good thing to suggest for breakfast since it is a known brand; Frys and Redwood are quite widely available too, although less common. If they find even that difficult, I suggest alternative things for breakfast, such as porridge, avocado and hummus or a fruit salad. They should be able to manage one of them! 

It can be worth pointing out that most margarines are not vegan, but Pure seems to available even in obscure places. Sometimes I do not worry about that though – I can eat toast without margarine and I can understand if they’d be reluctant to buy a big packet for a one night stay only.

I have a few vegetarian B&B favourites, the Barn in the New Forest being one of them:
www.veggiebarn.net. It’s a two hour train journey from London and is great for a weekend away.
I just came back from Cornwall where I spent a couple of nights at Michael House near Tintagel – also a treat!
The pictures are from another great veggie B&B in Dorset:
So why not treat yourself to a veggie B&B weekend this summer to celebrate your new vegan status...?

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