Updated: Apr 17, 2019
Going on #holiday is amazing- a time to #relax, #reset, #explore. Also if you are anything like me a chance to use the "I'm on my holidays" line in order to justify eating a few more treats than usual, and having that glass of #wine or a beer in the #sunshine at midday! However, for anyone (like myself) who has specific dietary requirements- whether that is medical, ethical, or just quite simply a like/dislike of certain foods, going on holidays can prove a bit of a challenge when it comes to eating out.
I'm #vegan, as is my partner, whereas my family members who I often holiday with are not. And while being very respectful of my personal choices (admittedly it took a bit of time), I am conscious of not being that person (stereotype annoying vegan), who makes others travel from place to place in an effort to try and find something I can/will eat. Generally speaking, its all OK if they visit me in #Birmingham as I know some places that are suitable for everyone, so its pretty stress free. However visiting a new place can be a real challenge, as I've found so far on a holiday to Dunster, Somerset.
Despite trying my best to plan ahead a little and avoid the can't eat/won't eat situation, having done some research online I really didn't find too much. Some areas of the country I am aware don't necessarily cater for none meat eaters as this isn't really their thing, and whilst they do cater for #vegetarians, this doesn't work for vegans as all options usually contain dairy. Admittedly in the past when there has literally been no other option I have gone for what I have seen as the "best available option"- which to me has basically constituted the meal with the very least use of animal products available and definitely no meat. Yes that's not ideal, its not what I have wanted to do, and I'm sure would be heavily frowned upon by die hard vegans, but I'm talking literally a handful of occasions in years here, and avoiding a group of hungry people losing their s*$t with me!
That being said, the longer I have followed a certain #lifestyle for, the more I am not happy to go against what I feel are my strong #beliefs, and the way I choose to live my life. However with that does come the risk of hunger rage, more commonly known as being hangry, as I experienced yesterday. Not only for me, but for others who have trawled past place after place where they could have eaten something, but didn't as they kindly and as patiently as possible waited, wanting me to also have something to eat.
"When you are so hungry that your lack of food causes you to become angry, frustrated or both."
Before I came I posted on a vegan #Facebook group to gauge an idea of what may be available in and around Dunster, Somerset for both vegan and none vegans to eat out. Although some lovely people did respond there were really only 2 options- Wetherspoons and a whole food cafe and shop called Toucan- both just a few miles drive away. OK I thought, not ideal but 2 at least. New challenge- we also have a dog, and although for the most part he is more than welcome by eateries to accompany us to eat out, he isn't allowed in Wetherspoons- so that kinda put that option out. (For us the dog is part of the holiday so we don't like to leave him at home unless we have to). The second option was sadly closed when we visited on Sunday, though we may try again this week.
Moving on to Monday (yesterday), we decided it was the best option to eat breakfast at home as at least then we had some food for the day. After visiting some lovely #picturesque local villages we decided to head to Ilfracombe for a bite to eat late afternoon. The thought process was it was a town, so larger than the smaller villages we had been in, and therefore would surely have somewhere suitable for us all to eat. Sadly, no. We walked up and down the high street and yes there were places to eat, but nothing available for vegans. Time went on, and hanger started to take over me I have to admit. On glancing at the menu of yet another sandwich shop that didn't have any vegan options at all I said out loud "what are you supposed to do if you don't eat meat in this place?!"
A very kind lady who obviously heard, and sensed my dismay and serious levels of hanger very kindly suggested if we walked up the street a little further there was a place that would cater for us. Hurrah! I walked ahead really quickly to what I seem to remember was a brown and yellow cafe called Grass Roots. I quickly scanned the menu and yes there was a (very small and potentially "can I have that but without this bit") selection available that was suitable. We went to go in and--- CLOSED!! I gave up. We walked back down the high street where we stopped at a sandwich shop (who were 5 seconds away from closing) and my dad at least had something and my partner opted for a vegetarian spicy bean burger- I am not a fan of said burgers so decided I would rather just not bother. Sigh. We travelled home and on arrival I had a crisp sandwich. To be honest I was so hungry it tasted way better than it actually was. Kinda.
This blog post was actually to tell you about an AMAZING place that there is in Dunster where I had a lovely vegan 3 bean chilli today. However, in typical Karine style I have rambled on (and on) for long enough, and now think maybe its better to break down my Somerset holiday food adventures/ reviews into a smaller series of blog posts. Sincere apologies if you read this far thinking there was something more insightful coming, but stay tuned for the next part, including pics of our yummy lunch from today!
Until next time...