/' http-equiv='refresh'/> Vegan Outreach Lincoln and East Midlands: May 2012


Bransby Home of Rest for Horses Stall

We are having a stall at Bransby Home of Rest for Horses open day this Sunday 11am to 4pm. We'll be selling cupcakes,cookies etc to raise money to print recycled paper recipe pamphlets to give away to encourage people with easy and yummy vegan recipes. We will also have a load of educational information,cookbooks to flick through and of course we will be there to answer any questions. Hope to see some of you and if you have any requests let me know ASAP.


A Vegan Taste Of Cumbria

Typically when we visit an area we will fire up Happy Cow to check which places best cater to vegans. Sadly The Lake District doesn't have any exclusively vegan places to eat that we can in good faith fully promote on ethical grounds. However there are two stand out candidates for places that will at least deliver tasty, nutritious vegan meals should you wish to visit them. These are the vegetarian daytime cafe in Keswick The Lakeland Pedlar and the more traditional vegetarian restauant/hotel at Lancrigg (specifically The Green Valley restaurant) in Grasmere.

The Lakeland Pedlar Shop Front
The Lakeland Pedlar Bike Shop & Wholefood Cafe

The Lakeland Pedlar combines a bicycle shop with a wholefood cafe. It is quite casual, laid back and dog friendly so your companions are free to join you at the dinner table.

The menu clearly states which options are either vegan or can be adapted into a vegan option. There are daily specials for soups and main meals. Marcus had the day's smoothie (Raspberry and banana), the day's special of Lentil Shepherd's Pie and salad, whilst Ruth had gluten-free Nachos and salsa. There were several vegan cake options including carrot cake and raspberry slices. Marcus picked the hefty chunk of chocolate cake, sadly there were no gluten-free vegan options for dessert so Ruth had to go without. All of our choices were satisfying and tasty.

The Lakeland Pedlar opens 9am every day and closes 4.30pm weekdays and 5pm weekends. Vegan Society members can claim 10% off.

Restaurant View L
Lancrigg's Green Valley Restaurant

The egg and dairy selling Lancrigg advertises in The Vegan Society magazine much to the chagrin of Professor Gary L. Francione. Whatever we make of the decision to promote their business in a vegan publication, the onsite Green Valley restaurant certainly can be said to be experienced in catering to vegans with high-end, delicious options available.

There are a selection of appertisers and starters, most of which are suitable for vegans. Marcus had the bruschetta and sage pate, Ruth the gluten-free chickpea and coriander falafels, both came with a salad garnish. For the main Marcus had pumpkin and cashew tart with ratatouille, potatoes etc, Ruth had roasted vegetable salad with smoked tofu and seeds. For dessert Ruth had chocolate mousse and coconut sorbet, whilst Marcus had chocolate, toffee and nut ice cream sundae. To drink we had organic pomegranate juice, a coffee and Egyptian Licorice tisane. All meals were decadent and made to a very high standard. Accordingly it is not cheap and for many it will be best saved for special occasions.

The Green Valley restaurant is available for outside bookings or to users of the hotel. Lancrigg have extensive, beautiful forested grounds (with a waterfall as a backdrop) which are well worth exploring whilst there.


Travelling as a Vegan

Apologies for the delay in posting new blog entries but we have been busy planning lots of new and exciting things for VOLE, joining up with likeminded groups and looking into lots of outreach opportunities.

A lot of people we talk to seem to have a belief that veganism outside of the home is difficult and that it means giving up enjoyable parts of life such as eating out and travelling, which begs the question why aren't they at least vegan at home? Regardless in the following blog post we hope to counteract this misapprehension by showing in reality just how easy it is.

We have just returned from the Yorkshire Dales, staying very near the Lake District. It's absolutely stunning and if you like nature and the outdoors we cannot recommend it highly enough (just bring a raincoat!). The UK truly is a beautiful country and so many people forget what diverse places we can visit on our doorstep. Back to the point, travelling as a vegan. Ruth has been vegan for almost five years now and in that time she has lived in Hong Kong, travelled to South Africa, Zambia, Namibia and all over the UK. She has never considered eating animal products and has found being vegan to be achievable no matter where she's been.

If you live in the UK there is NO reason to complain about veganism being hard. All the major supermarkets sell a selection of "milks" made from soya, almond, coconut, hemp etc. Sainsburys and Co-Op label their products vegan. You can get vegan toothpaste, washing up liquid, washing powder, cleaning products etc from the co-op that are labled as free from animal products and not tested on animals. It's the Co-Op own brand and well priced. We happened to forget our toothpaste (whoops!) and were staying in a small town with no Co-Op or health food shop so chose to use the old vegan version, bicarbonate of soda until we found one. We have to admit it tasted very strange and but it was a cruelty free method of cleaning our teeth and that's all that matters.

When on the road, do as the vegans do...

When travelling first start by doing some research. What is the local diet like? Do they have dishes that are vegan by default? What is the word for vegan in the language they speak? We also carry The Vegan Passport, a very handy little booket, it's only £2.50 from The Vegan Society and explains in many languages what a vegan is, very useful when there isn't a direct definition available.

Happy Cow is a fantasic reasource for finding restaurants that offer vegan food, it lists whether they serve animal products so you can choose the vegan one over a vegetarian one where possible. It also lists health food shops for getting specialist ingredients. It is international so you can find shops and restaurants all over the world and they are graded by price and user reviews which is handy.

Colleen Patrick Goudreau puts out a fantastic free vegan podcast called Vegetarian Food for Thought which is the first podcast Ruth ever listened to. Colleen's very compassionate and has an amazing way of putting across ideas and lots of useful tips. She has created many podcasts on travelling as a vegan that are well worth a listen.

The best advice we can give for travelling is to always plan ahead. Have suitable containers available for packed lunches and snacks. Even look out for nature's own bounty, we found some wild garlic, which makes a delicious pesto. Contact places you will be staying and let them know you are vegan and exactly what that means, so many places bizarrely think that fish bodies, cow's milk, chicken bodies etc are acceptable.

Even when you've covered these bases it's always best to have some back up food handy. One time in Namibia when Ruth was a vegetarian, staying at a lodge who had been informed that she was vegetarian. When she arrived however there was nothing available, in fact she was told (quite seriously) "you can eat the carrots". This could have been a serious issue but she had planned ahead and had a can of baked beans in the car and they had potatoes so the good old standard baked potato and baked beans made for a quick, nutritious meal. Easy when you want it to be!

Please email us if you have any questions or comments on travelling as a vegan.