I tried not to have too many expectations about Vegan Restaurant Week. As the first of its kind in the UK, you don’t know how many people will support it or how much interest there’ll be. Hearing that The Bohemian in Newcastle have been fully booked and serving over 60 pizzas a night so far is incredible news for something that me and Mr. Canny have set up from our spare room with no marketing budget. Many of the ticketed events have sold out or are close to being fully subscribed, while restaurants who usually don’t have many vegan options on their menus (although accommodate) are now saying they will expand what’s on offer due to the demand they’ve experienced. Knowing that Head of Steam Quayside have had large group bookings for VRW from folk who aren’t even vegan to try out their exciting menu has surprised us even, although we were always vocal on the fact it was all-inclusive!
We’ve tried to get round as many venues participating as possible to sample what’s on offer, but with over 40 participating its not possible.
We didn’t want to seem like we were playing favourites, especially when the majority are establishments we’ve visited with Canny Food over the years.
With so many independent foodies taking part, we felt it was important to raise awareness of what they do on a daily basis for the vegan community in the North East.
We wanted to highlight that many non-vegetarian and vegan eateries in the area also had dairy and meat-free menu items available all the time, like MOD Pizza. We popped in to try out their dairy-free cheese ahead of Vegan Restaurant Week. If you’re shopping in the Metrocentre or off to the cinema make sure you pop in for 20% off.
With The Central Bar in Gateshead and Roots Cafe in South Shields running offers that included vegan Haggis – Mr. Canny went along to try Central’s and gave it the thumbs up – to ensure Burns Night was covered, as well as Redragon’s bargain special menu running during Chinese New Year, there is no need for anyone to feel like they are ‘missing out’ by trying out the plant-based options instead.
Sale Pepe are one local eatery who have worked hard to devise a menu that offers something different for those wanting to try vegan food.
With Polpette made from chickpeas and a Calzone stuffed with vegan cheese they’ve sourced from an independent – rather than nipping to Tesco – there’s not a Pasta Pomodoro in sight!
When Tea Sutra contacted me about being involved in the event I was excited to know what the vegan cafe would dream up. An afternoon tea sounded right up my street and, judging by its popularity, has piqued the interest of those supporting Vegan Restaurant Week.
Visiting is an instantly calming experience, and we just love the meditation space. We took our tea in the regular seating section as Dinky accompanied us and I was concerned about the hot liquids and grabby hands.
The sandwiches were unlike any I’d ever had in all the afternoon teas I’ve sampled in the North East, and I’ve eaten a few! Tomato Bruschetta and Tapenade were the highlights, and were bursting with flavour. No limp loaves here, with chunky bread forming the basis of the tasty savoury selection.With handmade truffles, dairy-free Panna Cotta and cupcakes adding the sweet element, it was exceptional value at just £10 per person – which includes a pot of tea. I know they have experienced high demand, so booking is essential to not miss out. I’m hoping Tea Sutra run this more frequently based on its success during the week.
The buzz around Vegan Restaurant Week and plant-based food has been incredible so far. I will be writing more at the end of the week as we have more delicious food photos to share with you. People are already talking about the next event too, so stay tuned!
Thanks for reading,
You can find out more about all the menus and offers here.