Vegan Travel

european vegetarian guide 1 reduced

The above guide, in German, English and French I purchased in 1998 (mail order through the Vegetarian Society I think).  It was published five years earlier and was the most up-to-date guide of its kind.  Whilst there are travel/review sites in the virtual veganosphere, I prefer having a book such as this which gives the basics in an easily accessible format, complete with a bookmark with a key on each side.  The binding isn’t very good however, as it has become ‘loose leaf’ from when I decided to photocopy certain pages rather than carry the book around.  It is a shame that it hasn’t been updated, though as with any such information, including that on the net, it is only as good as the time it was collated.  Refreshingly, it doesn’t have any representation of that awful sodding ‘European’ flag on it; it is European in a non-political sense and all the better for it.

Restaurants in it that I have visited and which I believe are still up and running are De Waaghals, in the Old South area of Amsterdam, where you could enjoy tippling a locally brewed strong beer from the Browerij ‘t IJ with your meal; Den Teepot (from the Teapot) in Brussels, above a shop of the same name; and Panda in Gent.  Also the branch of Country Life (an American chain, I think) in Marseilles, where I liked the self-service and all-you-can-eat for a certain price business model.  Centro Vegetariano Fiorentino had changed name to Il Vegetariano, by the time I visited it.

There are establishments in Britain listed which I had already visited prior to the guide being published, Demuth’s in Bath, which was sold a few years ago, has a display ad; and Henderson’s in Edinburgh which is still going.  The Red Herring, a vegetarian café, shop and bakery in Fenham, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, has long since ceased to exist as has the equally wonderfully named Out to Munch Café in Goosegate, Nottingham.  The Good Life Wholefood Restaurant in Shrewsbury is still going strong though, despite the owner having been subject to a vendetta waged against her on Trip Advisor, which is why you shouldn’t necessarily trust internet ‘reviews’.

european vegetarian guide 2

Back to Blighty and the best eating establishment that I have discovered in recent years is Toucan in Minehead, where I hadn’t expected to find a vegetarian café.  In the world beyond Britain and Europe, my favourite restaurant is Green Cuisine in Victoria, BC, Canada; it has an entirely vegan menu and when I visited it was self-service, which suits me as I’m uncomfortable being waited on and I’m never sure of the decorum with tipping.  My other favourite eating venue in my other favourite city was the now sadly closed Main Street Café in Christchurch, New Zealand, but I don’t really know what is left of that city any more.  One day, when I can afford to, I might visit again.

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