For the past 24 years, November 1st has been celebrated around the globe as World Vegan Day (WVD).
According to a study by comparethemarket.com, more than 3.5 million British people now identify as vegan in the UK alone.* As these numbers continue to increase, it’s clear that veganism is a lifestyle choice that is more popular than ever before, and one that many are celebrating.
History of World Vegan Day
WVD first began back in 1994 when Louise Wallis, then Chair of The Vegan Society, wanted to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the society’s formation in the UK and the conception of the term ‘vegan’.
Fast forward to now and in this little corner of the world, I want to share my support for World Vegan Day and indeed, World Vegan Month!
With that said, here is my very own guide to some of the best vegan food in and around Warwickshire.
A guide to vegan food in Warwickshire
Boston Tea Party
Since starting out in Bristol in 1995, Boston Tea Party (BTP) now have over 20 cafes dotted around the UK. The ones to mention in and around Warwickshire and the West Midlands include:
- Birmingham Corporation Street
- Edgbaston, Birmingham
- Harborne, Birmingham
My local BTP (Stratford-Upon-Avon) is one of my favourite lunch spots so I couldn’t not shout about their great vegan food – it would just be greedy of me not to share.
What I love about their menu (apart from the fact that everything on there is served ALL day) is that nearly every dish can be adapted to be vegan or vegetarian. I’m not sure about anyone else but I think this a pretty wonderful rarity!
Vegan Breakfast & Brunch
Looking for a great vegan breakfast? Then why not give the aptly named ‘Vegan Boss’ a try? A plant-based feast of scrambled tofu, sweetcorn fritters, mushrooms, beans, tomatoes, spinach, hash browns and toast.
But they’ve not stopped there. For a lighter start to the day, they also have the Brown Rice Porridge. It’s a dreamy combo of coconut milk, vanilla, maple syrup, blueberries, mango, and cinnamon.
If it’s a hearty brunch you’re after then the Vietnamese Banh-Mi should catch your eye (and your stomach). A colourful bowl of goodness filled with BBQ pulled jackfruit, pickled vegetables, vegan mayo, coriander and Sriracha chilli sauce, all served with a toasted baguette and pickled coleslaw.
Tempted yet? Well… there’s more.
ALL of their coffees can be made vegan plus there’s a range of fresh smoothies to choose from. Trust me when I say you’ll be spoilt for choice!
I feel obligated to mention (for the sake of the animal lovers out there) that dogs are welcome in all BTP cafes. Just to clarify, that’s amazing food and drink + cute puppy dogs all in one place. Need I say more?
Voted #24 of 196 places to eat in Stratford-upon-Avon on TripAdvisor.
The Steamhouse, Stratford-Upon-Avon & Leamington Spa
If you’re as passionate about bagels as I am then I’m pretty sure what you’re about to read is going to change your life… (Dramatic much?)
Having recently launched new guest menus in both Stratford and Leamington, The Steamhouse is your one-stop shop for tasty vegan bagels in Warwickshire.
With four delicious vegan options to choose from, you can easily transport yourself into ‘bagel heaven’ with helpings of avocado, pickles and mustard, or heck, go all out with a grilled portabello mushroom!
Newest on the block is The Good Guy – vegan pulled pork, creamy vegan mozzarella, BBQ sauce, red onion and fresh, peppery rocket. That ought to solve a bad case of hangriness!
Or go classic with The Yogi, a perfect winter warmer featuring a hot falafel patty, hummus, grilled peppers and salad leaves, all topped with an extra sweet helping of mango chutney.
Need help deciding? You can view their online menus here.
These guys mean serious business when it comes to fresh ingredients. Every bagel is hand-rolled, boiled & baked fresh every morning using locally sourced stone ground flour.
And for those needing a vegan lunch on the go, The Steamhouse can make their bagels to take away so you won’t go hungry on a busy day. Genius!
The people have spoken – The Steamhouse is voted as #4 of 182 restaurants in Leamington Spa on TripAdvisor.
Vegan Afternoon Tea
RSC Rooftop Restaurant, Stratford-Upon-Avon
Hidden atop the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, the RSC’s Rooftop Restaurant offers much more than just panoramic views of Stratford-Upon-Avon.
Whether you’re going to a performance or just visiting for the day/weekend, the menus here are bound to impress as much as the poetry will.
In addition to the vegan high tea menu which incorporates a selection of sweet and savoury delicacies including sandwiches, cakes and scones served with soya cream and jam, there are also vegan pre-theatre and dinner menus. You can view them all here.
The a la carte vegan dinner menu is available from 7.45pm Monday to Saturday and has three tempting courses including a mushroom, spinach and chickpea masala curry accompanied by lime and coriander rice.
No matter what menu you order from, the kitchen at the Rooftop Restaurant will make your dish from scratch using ingredients from independent sources.
The Rooftop Restaurant also has gluten-free dinner and afternoon tea menus. Voted #40 of 168 restaurants in Stratford-upon-Avon on TripAdvisor.
The Stag, Redhill (Alcester)
Set in a charming 500-year-old coach house, the Stag at Redhill is a historic hotel, restaurant and bar just 3 minutes from Stratford-upon-Avon.
With traditional beamed ceilings, an open fireplace and stylish decor, the Stag’s restaurant is the place to be if you’re looking for a cosy atmosphere and some hearty vegan dishes to keep the chilly November days at bay.
To celebrate WVD, the team have been busy preparing some exclusive specials including the Beetroot Risotto and Red and Puy lentil Cottage pie (pictured below).
Many of their other dishes can also be made vegan on request. Voted #21 of 26 Restaurants in Alcester on TripAdvisor.
The Bell, Alderminster
One of Warwickshire’s hidden gems! The Bell is a former eighteenth century coaching inn turned country pub with a multi award-winning restaurant and boutique B&B on the historic Alscot Estate.
With 97% of their produce coming from the surrounding areas and vegetables grown in the Alscot Estate’s garden kitchen, you can rest assured knowing the team have got you covered when it comes to great tasting, locally sourced vegan food.
To celebrate World Vegan Day 2018, the team have pulled out all the stops to offer some irresistible WVD specials on both their a la carte and prix fixe menus. These include:
- The Nourish Bowl (pictured below). Quinoa Salad, Marinated Beetroot, Chickpeas, Carrots, Mouli, Avocado & Salsa Verde Dressing;
- A chickpea & courgette burger served with spicy indian vegetable chutney, salad and sweet potato fries.
The chefs here are happy to cater for other special dietary requirements and requests, including gluten free.
Last month, The Bell were runners up in The Observer Food Monthly Awards 2018 for ‘Best Place to Drink’ and ‘Best Sunday Lunch’.
Vegan Desserts & Ice Cream
Hooray’s British Gelato Kitchen, Stratford-Upon-Avon
There’s always room for dessert, right? When you can get sorbet and vegan ice cream that’s this good then there’s only one logical answer…
Hooray’s sell over 10 different vegan gelato/sorbet flavours including mango, kiwi, chocolate, coffee and pink grapefruit just to name a few!
With an ever changing menu and their new vegan recipes, who knows what dairy-free delights await your visit. What I can guarantee is that you won’t be disappointed.
They know their stuff about vegan desserts and it’s more than clear they go out of their way to experiment with unique flavours, textures and fresh ingredients.
Mother and daughter team, Sara and Sasha Young opened the Hooray’s shop in 2013 and have supplied Stratford-Upon-Avon and the surrounding areas with delectable delights ever since. And what a job they’ve done!
Proudly independent and now regarded as one of the best gelaterias in the UK, the Hooray’s team make over 38 flavours of artisan gelato and sorbets, all from their on-site kitchen at the back of the shop. Talk about impressive…
Gelato or sorbet? One flavour or two? I’ll be honest, it’s a tough decision but someone’s got to do it and I’ll gladly volunteer, especially on WVD!
Purity Brewing Company, Alcester
All this talk of vegan food and I haven’t mentioned something equally tasty to wash it down with…
Enter stage left, Purity’s vegan-friendly AND gluten-free beers.
Choose from five delicious beers, each with their own distinctive taste, character and brewing process.
- Lawless Lager – Brewed with Eldorado hops, unfiltered and unpasteurised then matured for 40 days for a smooth full flavour and citrus kick.
- Longhorn IPA – A full bodied Rye IPA with enticing hop aromas, sweet rye malt and decisive bitterness.
- Bunny Hop – This one truly lives up to its name! An extra pale, extra hoppy beer with pronounced bitterness.
- Saddle Black – A returning favourite from Purity, this Black IPA delivers roasty malt flavours and a bitter bite.
- Session IPA – This unfiltered IPA is infused with real grapefruit peel and brimming with tropical fruit notes and hop aromas.
At this rate, you can make World Vegan Month a very merry one indeed!
Established in 2005, Purity Brewing Company is an award-winning craft brewery based on a working farm just 20 minutes drive from Stratford-Upon-Avon.
They were recently named Brewery of the Year 2018 by The Good Pub Guide.
Want to know more? Join them on one of their award-winning brewery tours every Saturday at 11am and 2:30pm.
The FarGo Village Vegan Festival, Coventry
Last but certainly not least, an event that all Warwickshire based vegans should put in their diaries (it’s connected to food of course).
Later this month, FarGo Village are hosting a vegan festival with over 20 confirmed stallholders selling everything from artisan street food to Christmas gifts!
Friday 30th November 5pm – 10pm & Saturday 1st December 11am – 6pm.
This guide was written in collaboration with Shakespeare’s England, the official Destination Management Organisation for Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwick, Royal Leamington Spa, Kenilworth and the surrounding towns and villages.