Tag Archives: gloucestershire vegan

Festive Banquet at the Royal Oak

1 Dec

EIMG_20141129_194952~2arlier in the year I wrote about our cycle to The Royal Oak in Tetbury, we had such a good time, that I’ve been longing for a trip back there with my fellow Glos Vegans.

The Royal Oak has a vegan proprietor, Kate Lewis, who is also involved in organising dynamic vegan fine-dining events. She’s brought her enthusiasm for decent vegan cuisine to the Royal Oak, and as a result the vegan Christmas Menu was more than enough to tempt plenty of Glos Vegans to book in for our annual festive meal.

Twenty of us came together to celebrate the beginning of the festive season in style, with a mini-bus load rocking-up from Cheltenham, and the rest of us descending from around the county on a foggy winter evening. It was lovely that a few that were new to the group were also able to come along.

We were given the dining-room which is a above the bustling bar, and the Royal Oak team had transformed it into a enchanting space, with glimmering candle lanterns, divine table-centrepieces, and luxurious winter foliage adorning the old wooden beams. It was a lovely atmosphere and we admired the surrounds as we chatted pre-dinner.

The meal itself was an absolute feast. We ate some fantastic food, starting with a spiced cauliflower and almond soup, with polenta and spinich croquettes. The soup was warming and well-seasoned, with a lovely crunch from the toasted almonds. We adored the polenta, which was so crispy and golden. Others had a warm tofu salad which looked great. The main was a classic roast dinner with some toothsome tempeh and plenty of veg on the side. The tempeh had a great texture and taste, and the sprouts were just perfect, but we all went mad over the garlic mashed potato which had a sweet tang of roast garlic.

a festive feast

a festive feast

Just when we thought the meal couldn’t get any better out came the puddings: mulled pear in puff pastry with booja chocolate ice cream and chase marmalade bread pudding with hot chocolate sauce. Unsurprisingly we devoured every last drop of that hot chocolate sauce, there was certainly some most-unsociable plate-licking and some of us even drank the last of it from shot-glasses!

artisan vegan cheese

artisan vegan cheese

Then one last lovely surprise from Kate, an artisan vegan cheeseboard, with smoked-cheddar, cranberry brie, feta and a black pepper & herb cheese, all served on gorgeous heart-shaped crackers. It was tasty, crafted nut-cheese, with punchy flavours. It provided a perfect end to our evening.

I must also mention the great selection of vegan alcohol available at the Royal Oak. Their own collaboration with Stroud Brewery, Asparagasm, is available on tap and is unfined. It’s a tasty, refreshing ale and is wheat-free. They also have Moor Ales, and a selection of vegan wines from Vintage Roots.

Thanks to the wonderful Royal Oak staff for making our evening such a special occasion.

Gloucestershire Vegan Group will be taking a small break from events until early 2015. Events for 2015 will be planned during December/January and as usual will be publicised via our email list. If you’d like to suggest an event then please get in touch. Our events aim to support and help build vegan community in Gloucestershire. We promote veganism principally because animals have a right to life and freedom. If you’d like to sign-up and get updates about events such as this one visit this page.

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Reasons to be Vegan

19 Jan

This is just a few of the many reasons to be vegan, there are many more, please add your own below in the comments section if you feel inspired.

To explain why to be vegan I must first answer the question- what is a vegan? This is the Vegan Society’s definition:

A vegan is someone who tries to live without exploiting animals, for the benefit of animals, people and the planet. Vegans eat a plant-based diet, with nothing coming from animals – no meat, milk, eggs or honey, for example. A vegan lifestyle also avoids leather, wool, silk and other animal products for clothing or any other purpose.

 A short explanation of this is that vegans, neither use or eat products of animal origin.

 

Three reasons to be vegan:

 1. Not wanting bad stuff to happen to fluffy things

One of the principal reasons for a person to adopt veganism is to avoid causing any animal suffering. Meat, leather, dairy and eggs, to name but a few, are products made from animals. Animals endure pain, are abused and killed, merely because people enjoy the products they provide. Vegans find this unacceptable and choose not to support these practices through avoiding the consumption of any product of animal origin. Some vegans term the way animals are treated in our society as “speciesism”-  where animals are treated as a commodity; existing to serve us, clothe us and provide us with food. Vegans are aware that people do not need to use or eat any animal products to live a happy, healthy and fulfilled life – veganism is an alternative to causing suffering.

To find out more about how animals are farmed visit the vegan society’s webpage on animal farming

factory farm run-off

2. Wanting to make less of an impact on our planet

Vegan diets can be better for the environment because they are more energy efficient. Animals consume much more energy than they produce, therefore it’s more efficient for humans to eat plant-based foods directly, than to consume them indirectly – further up the food chain – by eating animals. Because of this increased efficiency, vegan diets have the potential to feed more people on less land than diets that require conventional livestock farming.

Animal farming can also directly harm the environment; fishing destroys ocean ecosystems, and over-grazing of marginal lands can lead to desertification. Another example is factory farming which causes local pollution problems such as slurry run-off contaminating watercourses, as well as global pollution problems: the greenhouse gas methane, a by-product intensively farmed animal waste which contributes to global warming.

To find out more on this topic visit these sites:

www.vegansociety.com/resources/environment.aspx

www.veganoutreach.org/whyvegan/environment.html

3.Wanting to eat better

Although this is not usually the main motivation for people becoming vegan, and vegans enjoy plenty of yummy and indulgent food, a nice perk of a vegan diet is that it can be easier to eat healthily. Many people find that as a result of becoming vegan they eat more home-prepared food, fresh fruit and vegetables and think more carefully about meeting their nutritional needs in their diet.

For more info on vegan nutrition visit:

www.theveganrd.com/food-guide-for-vegans

www.vegansociety.com/lifestyle/nutrition/

Vegan About Gloucester

9 Dec

A list of shops, market stalls and places to eat in the Gloucester Area of interest to vegans

PLACES TO EAT & DRINK

screen-shot-2017-02-19-at-17-18-27Bangkok Canteen

72 Westgate Street, Gloucester, GL1 2NZ
T: (0)1452 306 288

E: eat@bangkokcanteen.co.uk

Bangkok Canteen serves Thai dishes with locally sourced ingredients. The menu lists several vegan items all marked with a “VE” symbol, including Veg Tempura, Pad Thai with tofu and Vegan Kang Dang. They also have soya milk for tea/coffee.

 

Gloucester Quays Outlet Centre, GL1 5SH

Monday – Sunday 11.30am-10pm

T: 01452 529066

Zizzi has a vegan menu which includes garlic bread, bruschetta, 3 types of vegan pizza, pasta dishes and desserts including gelato. They also have vegan wines.

120713PortivoLounge_042-690x470-1Portivo Lounge

Unit 106-107, Gloucester Quays Designer Outlet, Gloucester, GL1 5SH
T: 01452 300881

E:portivo@thelounges.co.uk

Portivo Lounge has a separate menu for vegans! Available to view online here. Vegan options include a range of sandwiches, salads, tapas, falafel, curry. There is even vegan breakfast options. Based on the quayside in Gloucester, you can dine outside and enjoy views of the historic docks, or inside Portivo Lounge has a shabby-chic, vintage vibe.

African Experience

Park House, Montpellier, Gloucester, GL1 1LF
T: 07470 001200

info@african-restaurant-gloucester.co.uk

Authentic african cuisine served in Gloucester. The African Experience have the following vegan items on their menu: 5 Beans cooked in peanut and tomato sauce, Ndengu (Moong Beans) in curry sauce, Lentils/Chick Peas in Ethiopian Sauce, Tofu Meals (either in Ethiopian sauce, curry sauce or a peanut and tomato sauce, Chick pea and butternut squash curry. As well as vegan sides such as plantains, cassava chips, vegetable samosas, Bhajia (deep fried potato slices coated in gram flour and coriander) and Chips Masala (chips in a sauce of spices).

Hill Top

Hilltops Masala Dosa19 Worcester St, Gloucester GL1 3AJ
T: 01452 308377

Opening times:
12.30 – 2.00pm Lunchtimes
6.00-11.30pm Dinner
7 days a week
This small, South-Indian and Nepalese restuarant serves a small selection of vegetarian items, many of which are also vegan. One of the most delicious items on the Hilltop menu is a masala dosa, or south indian pancake, made from fermented lentils and rice and filled with a mild lentil dal. They are crisp, delicious and dairy-free. They come with a spicy vegetable sauce and coconut chutney. Another one of Hilltop’s specialties are the uttapams, which are like indian cheeseless pizzas topped with yummy onion and pepper. All the food is packed with flavour and really good value,  it is just worth checking thoroughly about which items are vegan before you order.

Guru Coffee House

29 Brunswick Road, Gloucester

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Plenty of vegan options including soups, sandwiches, salads and breakfasts.

Cafe Rene

31 Southgate Street, Gloucester, GL1 1TP
T: 01452 309340

Opening times:
11.00am -9.30/10pm – Later on Fridays and Saturdays
Details:
Cafe Rene call themselves “Gloucester’s best known secret”! It’s a relaxed, friendly cafe/bar, with live music on the weekends, and food served during the day and evening. Vegan options available include:
• Trio of Roasted peppers stuffed with savoury rice, mushrooms and mixed vegetables served with salad
• Hummus, Olives, Sun-dried tomatoes and pitta Bread
• 3 bean salad and peppers with a mint vinaigrette with hummus and pitta bread

Robert Raikes’ House

Robert Raikes’s House, 38 Southgate Street, Gloucester, GL1 2DR
T: 029 2039 1910

Opening times:
Monday to Saturday: 12.00pm -23.00pm
Sundays and Bank Holidays: 12.00pm – 22.30pm
Details:
A Samuel Smith’s brewery-owned pub in a recently refurbished timber-framed building. Samuel Smith’s brewery produces a wide range of beers and all of these, with the exception of Old Brewery Bitter, are vegan. This is really unusual as most brewerys add Isinglass (from fish) to keg conditioned beers in order to make it look less cloudy. In addition to almost all the beers being vegan, the prices at Samuel Smith’s pubs are kept to the minimum, as they are only increased in line with alcohol duty and inflation increases. This means you can get a pint of vegan stout in Robert Raikes’ House for just a little over £2! The building dates from 1560. Robert Raikes, founder of the Sunday School movement published the Gloucester Journal newspaper there from 1758 and by 1772 all of his family had moved in. It has been restored with solid oak staircases and timber walls and beams. There are a series of rooms, ranging from small to large, with comfy chairs and fires. The pub often seems quite quiet and you can easily have a room to yourselves.
There are also a few vegan items on the food menu including Thai Green Curry.

Tang Tastic – Chinese Takeaway

122 Stroud Road, Gloucester GL1 5JN, England
Details:
A 100% vegetarian/vegan Chinese takeaway place. Has plenty of vegan options on the menu and will also make other dishes vegan upon request.

This is the old Pepper’s Shop – new one just around the corner in Bull Lane

Peppers Sandwich Bar

Bull Lane, Gloucester
T: 01452 384343

Details:

An organic sandwich shop and salad bar with some vegan options. They do not label the vegan options, but ask at the counter and they are very helpful. Newly moved from Westgate Street to Bull Lane, Peppers now has seating upstairs as well as outside.

SHOPS

Motala & Sons

95-99, Victoria St, Gloucester, Gloucestershire GL1 4EP
Tel: 01452 525915

Details:
Firstly, a disclaimer, there is a halal butchers section in this shop. That aside, this is an amazing grocery shop particularly for it’s wide selection of bulk-bags of spices, grains and pulses – it can be a really cost effective way of buying vegan whole foods. Motala stocks lots of Asian foodstuffs including mock duck, silken tofu, and vegetable-based ghee. There is also a fresh produce section and you can get big bunches of coriander very cheaply. I particularly like the “chikki” they sell – it’s nuts set in a hardened sugar syrup with saffron. They sometimes stock vegan naan breads, but as with most shops, it is worth checking the labels as nothing is labelled as “vegan” specifically.

Gloucester Farmers Market

Where: At the crossroads between Eastgate, Westgate, Northgate and Southgate streets
When: Every Friday 9am-3pm
There are some vegan-friendly stalls at Gloucester Farmers Market, and it is a good place to shop for organic vegetables.
Vegan friendly stalls include:
Kuskus Foods – Beautifully fresh and flavourful Middle Eastern inspired food. They make an amazing aubergine caviar, and some pretty good falafel.
Gloucester Brewery – All bottled beer is suitable for vegans (although the bottles are not labelled, the brewery confirmed that no fish finings are used on the bottled beer.)

Vegan About Stroud

5 Dec

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