Thoughts on veggie food, work, play and life in general


Family Dining

Monthly Loves – October

October was a busy month for me as I was concentrating on setting up a new business offering.  This has taken a lot of time and didn’t leave much time for going out and finding new things. Hopefully I will have more to report on next month!

  • I did attend The Ethical Consumer conference which was very good.  I came away with loads of ideas on how to make my company more ethical and sustainable.  Not sure I will be able to convince my directors to take any actions, but I’m working on it.   
Photo by Monika Grabkowska on Unsplash
  • Now the days are drawing in we are revisiting the roast dinner on a Sunday.  I’d forgotten how much I miss roasted beetroot!
  • Had a lovely family meal at The Wheatsheaf, Esher.  Good veggie options, including a roast.  A very popular pub so if you go do book in advance.  The low points are the lack of parking and it gets quite hot and stuffy so wear layers!  The food is definitely worth going for though!
  • A client meeting that didn’t last as long as I thought it would meant that I could visit Seasons, Forest row.  Probably my favourite organic supermarket, which I have been visiting since the late 1990s.
  • If you are looking for another great  place to eat out tryThe Horse Inn, Hurst.  This pub has recently been refurbished and offers a great selection of food, from tapas and bar  meals to lovely dinners. The Vegetarian and Vegan menus are well worth a look at. The christmas menu also looked really inviting.

Monthly Loves – September

Another busy September, however this year I managed a  week away and came across some lovely things:

  • Bel and the Dragon.  This is one of my favourite boutique hotel and restaurant chains.  On a recent visit to the Windsor branch I was pleasantly surprised by their veggie/vegan range of food.  In the past it has always been a bit lacking but now the choice is really good. Not the cheapest place to eat or stay, however for a treat it is definitely work seeking out.

  • Windsor Castle – we went here to do the tour.  I admit I baulked at the entry price, however once in it was well worth it.  A great look at the history of the monarchy. My only slight quibble is that there is not much on our current Royal family.
  • I love curry and whilst visiting the NEC we found this great Indian restaurant not far away.  Jilabi had the most amazing range of food.  The waiter asked us our likes and challenged us to try new things.  The food was fresh and tasty, and just kept coming. On top of this it is very reasonably priced.  Well worth a visit. Only thing to bear in mind is that when we went they didn’t have an alcohol licence.  Not to worry though – there is a Tesco in walking distance!
Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash
  • Sainsbury’s Avocado Sandwich – In our week off we inevitably ended up buying  a quick lunch from a petrol station. The one we went to had a Sainsburys supermarket at it, and I found the most wonderful avocado sandwich.  It was such a relief in the endless sea of cheese and egg mayonnaise offerings!  
  • Beefeater have got a new menu out and I was really impressed by the vegetarian chilli.  I am a bit of a purest with my chili and prefer it with kidney beans, however this offering with lentils and beans stood up well.

Flyer to Nowhere

A flyer for a new menu at a local pub dropped thought my door.  I have never had the opportunity to go to this place before, even though I drive past it quite frequently, so I was curious to see what they offered.

Flyer restaruant menu

The menu started off well with two starters marked as suitable for vegetarians and so my hopes were raised.  And that is where it ended.  I looked and looked again.  Burgers, Mains, Specials, Desserts – not a vegetarian offering in sight,

In the small print at the bottom were the words ”Please discuss any dietary requirements with us”.  So a glimmer of hope that they could muster up a vegetarian/vegan option if you rang them (and asked nicely).

I fail to understand why you would indicate vegetarian friendly starters and then provide no mains.  The onus is now on me to phone and have THAT conversation, and then feel easily identifiable an slightly awkward when I turn up to eat.

From a marketing perspective is this not a fail from the outset?  A flyer is meant to entice people to spend their money with you.  It is also an expensive form of marketing.  With more people turning to a meat free diet every day, by not advertising meat free options you are excluding 2% of the population.

As teenagers make up the highest proportion of vegetarians you are now excluding/making it difficult for the family trade, which is also a lucrative part of the market.

So a plea to menu planners: double check where your meatless offering starts and stops.  Are you happy with it? And who will you be stopping visiting your establishment?  Can you afford to do this?

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