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Vegan eating in the Cotswolds

Posted: Mon, 15th Nov 2021
Tetbury Cafe, Bolthole Retreats

The Cotswolds is jam-packed with fabulous eating out options, with everything from traditional tea rooms to Michelin-starred restaurants, and funky pop-up kitchens to enticing pubs with menus full of locally sourced ingredients. However, if you happen to be vegan, or even flexitarian, what’s dining out like for you in the Cotswolds? Will you have to bring a car full of vegan food to prepare your meals yourself or will you be able to relax, eat out and not worry?

We’ve asked our resident Bolthole Retreats vegan to share her ‘vegan eating in the Cotswolds’ insider knowledge. The results are far-reaching, from cafés to restaurants of every type spread all over the Cotswolds.

Vegan cafés in the Cotswolds

The top three choices for a slap-up vegan meal in a relaxed, café atmosphere are:

  1. Lilith’s on Winchcombe Street, Cheltenham. It is a funky, independent vegan café, serving the best vegan food in Cheltenham. You must try their Pumpkin spice latte, with whipped cream, golden syrup and ginger biscuit, covered in cinnamon and gold dust.
  2. Front Community Hub, Charlton Kings, Cheltenham. It is a plant-based café within a gallery and shop.
  3. The Canteen, Nailsworth. It isn’t all-vegan but you’ll have a wide choice of delicious breakfast, brunch and lunch dishes. The vegan breakfast is delicious and includes spicy scrambled tofu, nutmeg spinach, mushrooms, tomato, beans, and toast.

Other recommendations:

  1. Coach House Coffee, Stow-on-the-Wold
  2. Abbey Home Farm Café, near Cirencester, based at Abbey Home Organic Farm
  3. Thistledown Café, Nympsfield
  4. Temple Guiting Pantry, Temple Guiting
  5. Burford Café at Burford Garden Centre

Vegan pubs in the Cotswolds

As far as we are aware, there aren’t any fully vegan pubs in the Cotswolds, but there are lots of pubs that have menus with vegan options. A pub with just one or two choices doesn’t make the cut, but if it has three or more, that’s enough in our view. Our insider’s top three choices are:

  1. Royal Oak, Tetbury. Just down the hill from the town centre and next to the Tetbury Goods Shed, this cosy, local pub has a great vegan menu made from locally sourced produce that’s served in the pub or restaurant room. Try Peanut & Lime Plant-Based Satay and Mediterranean Style Tempeh Fillet with Romesco Sauce, Crispy Kale & Roasted Caraway Sweet Potato.
  2. Bathampton Mill, near Bath. A beautiful pub on the River Avon which has a full vegan menu with some mouth-watering dishes such as Candied Root Vegetable Bake – root vegetables and beetroot topped with pumpkin seeds and pine nuts, served with a red cabbage and beetroot purée, tenderstem broccoli, cavolo nero and vegan pesto.
  3. The Black Horse, Cirencester. This town centre pub has a full vegan menu with starters, mains, desserts, and sides.

Other recommendations:

  1. The Swan, Broadway
  2. The Ebrington Arms, Ebrington
  3. The Bull Hotel, Fairford
  4. The Five Alls, Filkins
  5. The Old Lodge, Minchinhampton Common
  6. The Ragged Cot, near Minchinhampton
  7. The Butcombe brewery pubs in Dyrham, Burford, Prestbury, Corsham, Cheltenham, Cirencester (and more). They aren’t vegan but they all have vegan options on their menu, and they serve vegan-friendly Butcome beer

Vegan restaurants in the Cotswolds

If you’re celebrating a special occasion with a non-vegan, here are two restaurants that cater to both diets, one formal and one more relaxed:

  1. Wesley House, Winchcombe. A town-centre stalwart in a beautiful Anglo-Saxon building, with an elegant restaurant serving a wide range of haute cuisine dishes using locally sourced produce with a full vegan menu.
  2. The Coconut Tree, Cheltenham. This serves Sri Lankan cuisine with a really good vegan menu (the Roots Menu). What’s not to like about Cashew nuts and green peas cooked in coconut cream?

As far as our vegan insider knows, there’s only one fully vegan restaurant in the Cotswolds and it is Karibu Vegan Bar & Kitchen in Stroud. They serve truly delicious plant-based food with a Southern African influence and have a good vegan wine, beer and gin menu, too. The mushroom risotto is highly recommended as is the layered cake – a vanilla sponge with ‘butter cream’ and biscoff ganache served with ice cream.

Vegan ice cream in the Cotswolds

The Cotswolds is lucky enough to have two national ice cream makers who produce vegan varieties.

  1. Winstones have an ice cream parlour on Rodborough Common near Stroud.
  2. Marshfield Farm, based in Marshfield near Bath, make four plant-based ice creams (mint chocolate, strawberry, salted caramel and vanilla) and six vegan sorbets.

Vegan fudge in the Cotswolds

Fudge seems to be all the rage and there’s no reason why vegans should miss out on this delicious treat, especially in the Cotswolds where we have our very own Cotswold Fudge Co.

  1. If you can’t make it to a shop to buy some vegan fudge, order it direct from the Cotswold Fudge Co which sells individual packets of vegan fudge (sea salt, mocha, vanilla and chocolate, caramel and butterscotch) as well as hampers.
  2. If you’re in or near Nailsworth, pop into Coco Confectionery. They sell Cotswold Fudge Co’s vegan sea salt fudge and mocha fudge, and lots of vegan chocolate too.
  3. Roly’s Fudge Pantry is a national brand with a branch in Stow-on-the-Wold. They make a wide variety of fudge flavours including vegan options.
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