Twenty, even ten years ago, finding restaurants to cater to a vegetarian was often tricky, and for a vegan, even harder. Nowadays, cities are brimming with new, exotic and exciting places to eat for the non-animal-product palette, with entire restaurants devoted to the lifestyle, and others at least with much more sizeable parts of the menus becoming ubiquitous. So, in the spirit of finding more than just a night out for our plant-based friends, here’s a selection of our best vegetarian experiences that can take up a whole stay:
The Mill House in the middle of the estate is the home of The Centre for New Economy, where a dedicated team holds interesting courses and events dedicated to social change, democratic economy and the climate emergency. Just by staying, you’re helping to keep their great work going. A stream surrounds the whole of the amazing Selgars Mill estate, turning it into a small island of calm. In a quiet part of the grounds you’ll find your waggon home, purpose-built to allow you to unwind and enjoy the peace. You can stroll over to the pond and take the boat out on the water, or head into the veg garden and see what’s ready for picking. A BBQ is available if you need it, but Selgars Mill is a strictly vegetarian site and the team ask you not to cook any meat or fish.
There’s really only one thing better than going veggie or vegan, and that’s also going out to grab your own food – and eschewing the whole commercialised food chain. While it’s not practical to get everything from the wild (and likely not sustainable), Beck Bell Tent is a place you can enjoy the freshest of ingredients and learn a little of the how. Order a BBQ kit beforehand and you can find ingredients farmed and foraged ready for you to toss on the grill or take Katy’s Foraging Experience during your stay to learn more about plant identification, wild edibles and how to use them. Beck sits in a peaceful valley in the western side of the North York Moors National Park. Along with a healthy dose of nature, it also comes with a touch of style. You reach the tent by passing through a wildflower meadow and crossing a small bridge to the raised deck where Katy’s fashion design background and Skot’s craftsmanship have combined to create a cool and colourful space.
Yeah, sure. We’re really going to have to twist your arm here, huh? Aside from being earth-shatteringly stunning, Camomila is a rather impressively eco-credentialed space. Once woken from your presumably finest-slumber-of-your-life, you’re served breakfast with fruit and veg from their organic garden on site – selected by local producers, and watered, of course, by captured rainfall. If you grow weary of walking the hilltop forest, for some bizarre reason, there’s always the spa, pool or perhaps you could start the day off with morning yoga to the sunrise over the valley. Though there’s no facilities to cook for yourself on site, lunch and dinner are also available with some warning, and all meals are vegetable or plant based – either making the perfect stay for vegetarians finding Portugal a little tricky to be fed in, or for those looking for a carnivore detox, in a stunning setting.
Are we born vegetarian? Perhaps so, it’s hard to tell. Regardless, many of us come to it later in life and those that do often suffer from a little longing for some old tastes on the palette. One particularly hard to emulate taste is that of seafood, and certainly with the same ingenious use of flavour. With a borderline obscene number of beaches in the locale, Locke’s cottage is not just better connected than Sinatra, it’s a particularly beautiful and unique stay in the rolling Devon hills. The double-ended bath sits on a cradle hand-made from reclaimed wood,big windows along the front look down over the valley and double doors lead from the upstairs living area onto an open balcony. You’re so close to the sea that you can hear waves breaking at the bottom of the valley when the wind is right. Nearby, there’s The Beach Hut at Llangrannog, a takeaway, café and bar with imaginative vegetarian options and beach views.