English cuisine has undergone a revolution in the last few decades that has changed the landscape for British foodies. Traditional meals of meats, cheese, pies and boiled vegetables has given way to culinary adventures that involve a variety of tastes and textures.
One of the biggest changes within the British restaurant scene has been the appearance of new vegan restaurants. Vegan eateries are popping up around the country, bringing a new way of eating to the English palate.
Veganism is a type of food consciousness that excludes meat, chicken, dairy products, eggs and other products that are derived from animals. Many vegans also refrain from eating anything with honey, or products that are processed using animal products such as some wines.
There are many types of foods that are acceptable to vegans, leading people who follow a vegan diet to decry the notion that “vegans don’t have anything to eat.” In addition, vegans note that since they limit themselves to non-animal products, they tend to be more creative in preparing the foods that they do eat. These include all vegetables and fruits, legumes, nuts, grains, soy products, pastas, bread, nut butters and spices and herbs.
Vegans also enjoy many substitute foods. Some examples of food substitutes may include coconut, rice and almond milk and milk products, soy products and egg substitutes.
Health and Environment Benefits of Veganism
While some people adopt a plant-based diet for ethical reasons, others promote it for the health benefits that are associated with a non-animal product way of living. Advocates of plant-based eating point out that vegans typically have lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol levels. They also tend to be slimmer and suffer less cancer and heart disease than people who eat animal products. In additional, environmentalists note that a vegan diet reduces man’s footprint on the planet.
Jasmijn de Boo, chief executive officer of The Vegan Society says “to have over half a million vegans in Britain is fantastic. More people than ever are now acting upon the health and environmental benefits of veganism, and finding out what really goes on in the meat and dairy industries and deciding they do not want to contribute to the pain and suffering of animals.”
A recent survey by England’s Vegan Society indicates that the number of vegans in Great Britain is rising. The survey shows that over the last 10 years the number of British vegans has risen 360 percent to over half a million people. This indicates, the Society says, that veganism is one of the “fastest growing lifestyle movements” in great Britain.
Celebrity vegans give visibility to the vegan lifestyle. Celebrities including Ellie Goulding, Mayim Bialik, Jennifer Lopez and Liam Hemsworth speak out about their veganism. This influences many people, including young people, who want to be like them.
Some other vegans who have been influential proponents of a vegan diet include Kate and Rooney Mara, Jay-Z and Beyonce, Tobey Maguire, Olivia Wilde, Jared Leto, Casey Affleck, Joaquin Phoenix, Brian Adams, Woody Harrelson, Ellen DeGeneres and Alicia Silverstone.
Restaurants with Vegan-Friendly Dining in Great Britain
As the vegan population rises and even non-vegans are curious about non-plant based meals, the number of vegan establishments has grown in Great Britain. Some of the top English vegan-friendly eateries include:
The Acorn Kitchen
The Acorn Kitchen, located in Bath, serves a vegetarian menu with vegan options. The restaurant is located in one of bath’s oldest buildings focuses on giving diners a fine-dining experience with seasonal produce without the inclusion of meat, poultry or fish products.
The Acorn Kitchen serves lunches and dinners from Sundays through Fridays every week. Some of their most popular dishes include pea soup with sourdough bread, pine nut risotto with garden leaf pesto, hand-made fennel seed pappardelle with smoked tomato coulis chickpeas and courgettes.
The restaurant requires advance reservations for seating.
Jim’s Acoustic Café and Vegetarian Restaurant
Jim’s Acoustic Café and Vegetarian Restaurant is located in Colne in Lancashire. The mixed vegetarian/vegan menu is served in a bohemian atmosphere with open mic nights, musical performances by local talent and other entertainment. Some of the most popular dishes at Jims include samosas with mint and cucumber raita, coconut with fried rice, spicy cheese pittas, a spicy veg dhal laced with chili and salads with many different types of dressings. The eatery is as a good vegan-friendly venue where the meals don’t break the bank.
Jims is located on Newmarket street. It’s open Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings from 7:00p.m. The live music performances are featured on Thursday nights.
Idyka of Brighton is the recipient of the Vegetarian Society’s National Best Eating Out Award. The food is made from natural raw ingredients and served in environmentally friendly packaging. Diners are invited to select any of the featured main dishes and then order salads, hot vegetable dishes, sauces and toppings to fill the plate. This allows each patron to create the combinations that fit his or her tastes.
Main dish options include Couscous with aubergines and (vegetarian) sausages, mushroom stroganoffs, lasagnes, curries, quiches, couscous and more. The diner can then choose two side dishes from a choice of different types of vegetables and salads and two toppings such as hummos, tomato salsa, roasted mixed seeds, chilli and ginger sauce and tzatziki.
Idyka is open 7 days a week but only until late afternoon.
Whether you’re watching the kids at home or relaxing over an evening slots online tournament you’ll appreciate a break at the Sampire Brasserie in Plymouth. This is a thoroughly vegan restaurant with no dairy or eggs involved. The eatery aims to bring modern, innovative vegan cuisine to the Devon and Cornwall regions.
Among other offerings the Sampire Brasserie offers eggless cakes, gluten-free items and a deli with homemade vegan cheeses, sandwiches, cakes, pies whoopies & drinks.In addition to the take-away menu, sit-down guests can enjoy a variety of tasty treats including crepes, fries with jalapeno, vegan cheddar cheese and hot buffalo sauce, TLTs sandwiches with tempeh, spinach, red onion and tomato, vegan chili con carne, crispy-fried seitan and more
The Sampire Brasserie opens daily for lunch, then closes at 3:00p.m and reopens t 5:00p.m. for dinner.
Being vegan in Britain doesn’t limit you to bland food anymore. Try one of the great vegan options in the UK.