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Monday, 16 April 2012

Vegan travels - Cornwall



Just back from a wonderful family holiday in Cornwall,U.K.....so thought I would take the opportunity to post some comments from a traveling Vegans point of view.

If you are considering choosing Cornwall as a holiday destination, I recommend having a look at the blog - http://vegancornwall.wordpress.com/- before you go. It has a comprehensive list of restaurants catering for Vegans in all the major tourist areas and links to their respective websites.

Here are some of my own impressions.....

Eating In
I was somewhat surprised that the major supermarkets in Cornwall were not more clued up when it came to Vegan and Vegetarian diets...after all, most of us think of Cornwall as more of an alternative lifestyle place.

All the major supermarkets I went to - Asda,Sainsbury's, Marks and Spencers and Tesco's, had a small "organic" section mostly catering for those with gluten or lactose allergies but not specifically a Vegan diet. A case in point would be when I asked for Tofu at the Asda in Falmouth.....The very nice and helpful gentleman had absolutely no idea what Tofu was?! Having said that, the Vegan products supermarkets DO stock are labeled very clearly with the Vegan sunflower logo, so you don't have to spend hours reading the ingredients on the back of packets! One must have I found were a brand called "Munchy's Seeds" -http://www.munchyseeds.co.uk/- a selection of seeds perfect for adding to salads, soups or just nibbling on their own.

Most Vegans I know are use to finding the majority of our ingredients in Health food shops. Cornwall has a great chain of Health food shops called "The Natural Store" - http://www.naturalstorecornwall.co.uk/contact.htm. I visited the one in Falmouth and it was an absolute treasure trove! Vegan cheese, varieties of Tofu, plentiful supply of legumes, grains and nuts, organic drinks and lots, lots more. There was also an adjacent homeopathic/beauty supply shop selling amongst others, Faith in Nature products. The staff were super helpful, even digging out their natural remedy books to help me with my circulation problems:)

Although I didn't get a chance to visit, I'm told Archie Brown's in Penzance - http://www.archiebrowns.co.uk - is equally impressive and has a cafe to boot!


Eating Out
This was the first time I had holidayed with my Mum and Dad as a "complete" Vegan, so my Mum very thoughtfully did a lot of research before we arrived:) Like most restaurants, if you tell the kitchen in advance that their is a Vegan in your party when booking they will accommodate you with no problem.

The chef at the Ferry Boat Inn at Helford Passage gave me a choice of Vegan options and prepared me a chill and lime couscous with beetroot and new potato salad and "dairy free" garlic bread - http://thewrightbrothers.co.uk/restaurants/the_ferryboat_inn/

The restaurant at Trelisik also prepared me a special Vegan meal - Stuffed peppers with ratatouille and mushrooms served with butter free veg - http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/trelissick-garden/

But what about when we were eating on the hoof at didn't have time to call in advance...especially at lunch?

Well, there I had some mixed results........................

The Gylly Beach Cafe in Falmouth had an extremely limited lunchtime menu for Vegans.....In other-words the soup was about it.

The Orangery Cafe, Penzance also really struggled to find me something resulting in a Baked potato with Beetroot and salad. The waitress was really helpful though and pointed me in the direction of Archie Brown's (mentioned above.)

I wasn't expecting a dairy farm to cater for Vegan's but the Roskilly Croust House made me an absolutely fantastic salad with nuts and seeds!

Miss Peabody's Cafe in Falmouth is an absolute haven for Vegans! Fantastic menu, wonderful funky setting and local organic produce. I highly recommend the Ciabatta with Butternut squash puree and mushrooms - scrummy - http://www.misspeapod.co.uk/

Other places that were recommended but I didn't get a chance to try include:-

  • Pea Souk, Falmouth
  • Cafe Cinnamon
  • Potager Cafe and Greenhouse




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