Acorn Vegetarian Kitchen- Bath

In May a friend and I were lucky enough to visit the renowned Acorn kitchen in Bath. Proudly holding Viva’s Best Vegetarian and Vegan Restaurant award, Acorn are known for creating inspired plates of veggie and vegan food that show they care not only about animals, but about good food, wine and a cozy atmosphere.

Set just aside from the beautiful Bath Abbey, we were tucked away in a corner to discover the delights of vegetarian fine dining. Each course was paired with wine, and the relaxed service and cuby-hole feel of the seating made for a dreamy evening that exceeded expectations.

To start we had the Wye Valley Asparagus with a mushroom parfait, dill, hazelnut and a light pickle. Decedent and indulgent, especially considering it was both vegan and gluten free, this plate balanced flavours perfectly- the mushroom parfait was rich and creamy, the asparagus perfectly cooked, and the pickle gave a light-ness to the otherwise heavy elements of the dish that could become overpowering.

I chose the Calabrese Broccoli seared and dressed with truffle, with cauliflower panna cotta and pickled kohlrabi (pictured above). Broccoli is one of my favourite ingredients- and it was not let down in this equally indulgent dish. Almost caramelised when seared, and served with a perfect cauliflower panna cotta, you could mistake this veggie dish for a pudding were it not for the tangy morsels of kohlrabi that brought the whole thing together and gave a zing to each mouthful.

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After an indulgent starter things only took a more decadent turn. Smoked Winchester Agnoletti, with king oyster mushrooms, in a rich mushroom emulsion with celeriac and monksbeard- no meat needed for this flavour-heavy dish. Perfectly cooked pasta in a creamy mushroom sauce, oozing with smoked cheese and layered with more mushrooms… This is truly special pasta, full of the kind of flavour that makes you groan in disbelief with every mouthful.

For a more delicate (ish) option, the carrot and cashew pate with roasted onion, and ‘seven seeds and grains’. This vegan option was stunning to look at- a plate full of colour and texture that was (almost) too good to eat. The pate was smooth and full of flavour, and the grains weren’t too heavy, perfectly matching the other delicate details of the dish.

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To finish we shared a chocolate and coffee parfait, with a pink peppercorn crumb. Dense, as vegan desserts often are, this was maybe not the best way to end such a heavy and decedent meal- perhaps a lighter option would have been wiser, but the espresso parfait and chocolate ganache bar were executed well, and the flavours were balanced, if a little heavy (despite, like most things on this menu, being gluten free).

Overall, this was a truly brilliant meal, that in no way needs to be prefixed with ‘vegetarian’. For a special evening, whether you’re vegetarian, vegan, carnivore, or if you just want to celebrate in-season produce, Acorn offer the best.

To find out more and to book a table, click here.

 

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Vegan in Falmouth- the best of

I’m so lucky to live in a town that’s so diverse in its foodie options, especially for alternative diets. Being vegan in Cornwall is not only easy, but it’s really fun too, and Falmouth is especially great. I thought I’d pick the best breakfast, lunch, dinner, takeout and street food options in case you’re visiting and wanna try something new, or if you live here and are looking for something a bit different (that’s great for your conscience, too!)

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Good Vibes Cafe

 

Breakfast- Good Vibes Café. The vegan breakfast at Good Vibes is probably the best breakfast in the world. ‘Home brew’ baked beans, smoky hummus, avocado, Da Bara Bakery toast, grilled tomatoes, mushrooms, basil oil: so yummy, and so good for you! Enjoy with a green smoothie for a real superfood boost. Or if you’re just popping in for coffee and cake, Bonsoy soya milk and Rude Health almond milk are available, and there’s normally a couple of vegan sweet options on offer, too (the gluten-free peanut butter brownie is a must). GV have a special Vegan Night on the 27th of November- for more information check them out on Facebook or Instagram.

Lunch- The Courtyard Deli. I recently stopped off at the deli with my family when they were visiting Falmouth, and we all left super happy (which is always tough when you’re trying to make the right lunch destination choice for these occasions). The range of salads on offer for the mezze is always changing, and they were more than happy to put together a little vegan selection for me when I asked. It was delicious, and definitely did not live up to the boring name that salads are usually given. You can also pick up some goodies to take home with you after you’ve eaten- especially great for local Christmas gifts.

Dinner- Wildebeest. The food at Wildebeest is really something special. The selective menu is carefully put together, using fresh & in-season ingredients, to create beautiful and memorable plates of food. The staff are lovely and the atmosphere is relaxed and cosy: with only a few seats available, getting there early or booking ahead is definitely advised. Closed on Tuesdays. Check out the review I wrote for Thoroughly Modern Milly to find out more: http://www.thoroughlymodernmilly.com/2016/10/thoroughly-modern-miss-wildebeest-falmouth/

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Wildebeest

 

Takeout- Brothers Pizza. Pizza is probably the only thing I miss when following a vegan diet. But, fortunately, Brothers are on hand to make sure you don’t miss out when giving the cheese a miss. The ‘Vegan Dreams’ is definitely not lacking- stacked with olives, spinach, artichoke, red peppers and more, on a crispy base with rich tomato sauce- you’ll almost forget why people ever put cheese on this in the first place…haha. If you visit on a Tuesday you get two for the price of one- but get there early, because their tiny stone oven gets full pretty quick!

Street food- Street food in Cornwall is pretty damn good, and in Falmouth we have some awesome vegan options to choose from (so much so that I couldn’t just pick one for this section). Falfalafel serve up fab Middle-Eastern inspired pittas and salad, with freshly made falafel and a bunch of tasty toppings (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Falfalafel/139830362756526?fref=ts). Terry at Salvador Thali is cooking up an Indian storm with his entirely vegan dosas- and he’s always up for good chat (https://www.facebook.com/salvadorthali/?fref=ts). Bango kitchen is out and about with his mouth-watering vegan options of sushi or dumplings- check his Facebook for local ‘banquet’ events.

 

I hope you enjoy getting out in our lovely little town and getting stuck in to some of the great local food on offer. It’s always best to support the small businesses that make Falmouth the cultural melting-pot that we all love, and it’s even better if you can do it without any animal-guilt.

 

SIDENOTE- If you wanna read more about experimenting with home-made vegan treats, check out veganasphuck.wordpress.com. Jesse makes amazing pasta (‘The Pasta Project’, as he calls it) and is really into using innovating combinations of ingredients to create the dishes we know and love, without the animal addition.