Looking for a countryside escape, but worried that venturing too far outside of London will mean you are forced to choose between having another bowl of risotto (if you’re lucky) or spending the entire weekend hungry? Of course you are, and with good reason. It can be difficult to find a hotel outside of London that caters to our plant-based food requirements. But hotels outside London are upping their game and luring plant-led customers outside the M25 and even further afield to enjoy their plant-based fare. We’ve had a scout about and have come up with a list of 12 great UK hotels catering for veggie and vegan guests. And we’ve listed them in order of their proximity from Central London (by train) for those of you still a reticent about venturing too far from The Big Smoke.
1- Gravetye Manor, East Grinstead Sussex
Chef George Blogg earned his Michelin star for his potager-to-plate cooking at this Elizabethan manor house in East Grinstead, once home to ‘wild gardener’ William Robinson. Stroll through the orchard and kitchen gardens, which supply ingredients for the restaurant’s vegetarian tasting menu. From May 2018, dine in the new garden-facing restaurant, overlooking an ever-changing riot of colour. B&B doubles from £260.
2- Tuddenham Mill, Suffolk
A recent and modern makeover has turned this 240-year-old mill into a ‘it spot’ for ethically-minded bright young things. Vegan and vegetarian menus are plentiful with the the likes of ‘Bertha’ yellow courgette, pomegranate and white radish to start (£7); a main of Worlington duck egg, Clem’s carrot and oyster mushrooms, or white onion risotto (£18-19.50) on the menu. Retreat to a bed overlooking the mill-stream or a stylish meadow ‘nook’ (glamping-style pods), with French toast for breakfast. B&B from £99.
3- The Whitebrook, Monmouthshire
The idyllic Welsh countryside makes perfect foraging grounds for Michelin-starred chef/patron Chris Harrod, who trained under Raymond Blanc. Harrod serves a new style of cuisine at his acclaimed restaurant-with-rooms, a former 17th-century drovers’ inn in Monmouth. The modern vegetarian menu marries the likes of local Wye Valley asparagus and Tintern mead with foraged hogweed, maritime pine and hedgerow pickings, with exceptional results (set menus from £39 for three courses). Expect superbly comfy beds and amazing views from the bedrooms too. B&B from £223.
4- Thyme, Southrop, Cotswolds
Nestled in the Cotswolds, Thyme is an ultimate countryside destination for food and beautiful views. Whether you’re dining in one of the barn restaurants, the pub, bar expect to find beautiful seasonal produce featured and beautifully prepared. The hotel also has a cookery school so plan your stay to match up with one of their great courses, such as Bread Making or Seasonal Suppers. B&B double room rates from £300.
5- Fischer’s at Baslow Hall, Derbyshire
Find landscaped gardens and Michelin-starred modern cuisine at this Edwardian manor house. At the buzzy tasting bench in the kitchen, chef Rupert Rowley uses garden produce for seasonal vegetarian menus. Marinated tofu with curried granola, or pumpkin tortellini might follow a ‘surprise savoury’ (two courses from £62). Sleep in one of the Garden House bedrooms, grouped around the walled courtyard. B&B doubles from £230.
6- Hipping Hall, Lancashire
A foodie enclave occupying a rambling 17th-century manor house in Cowan Bridge, Hipping Hall bursts with local flavour, in and out of the kitchen. The Scandi-style bedrooms brim with local furnishings and county produce feeds chef Oli Martin’s nightly six- or nine-course tasting menus. Vegetarians are not left wanting: book the veggie three-course tasting menu (£60), or five-course house menu (£80), which might include the standout herby gnocchi; coal-roasted celeriac; and Cumbrian damsons with frozen meringue. B&B doubles from £169.
7- Northcote, Lancashire
This Ribble Valley manor house has twenty years of Michelin stardom. Chef/patron Nigel Haworth and Lisa Goodwin-Allen’s well-crafted menus, including a vegetarian option, teem with organic produce from the kitchen garden. Beetroot salad with fermented elderberry and wasabi buttermilk (£15), might precede roasted gerlot and Lythe Valley damsons on toasted brioche (£22). Sleep in cosy bedrooms and attend the cookery school to take the experience home. B&B doubles from £280
8- The Gilpin, Windermere, Cumbria
The Gilpin, Cumbria Uncomplicated fine-dining awaits at this romantic country house getaway on Lake Windermere, surrounded by acres of tranquil woodland. Choose between Gilpin Spice and the Michelin-starred restaurant, Hrishi, where chef Hrishikesh Desai uses local organic produce for British-with-a-twist cuisine. His separate vegetarian tasting menu (three courses for £70), might include celeriac-and-apple velouté and crispy quail eggs; peanut butter semifreddo. Stay in the main house or book a modern spa lodge, with outdoor hot tub and vistas across the water. B&B doubles from £265.
9- Lancrigg Inn, Grasmere, Cumbria
Lancrigg lies in the Cumbrian village of Grasmere, popular with walkers owing to its Lake District location – and proof that it’s not just meaty protein that’ll get you up those mountains. Its restaurant is open all day to the general public as well as guests, and a takeover by a dynamic young chef has seen the menu take a turn for the rather inspired.
10- Trigony House Hotel,Dumfries and Galloway
Between acres of peaceful woodland and a comprehensive spa, this country hotel in the Nith Valley provides fuss-free respite for all. Chef Adam Moore’s rustic cooking uses home-grown and local produce, keeping food miles low and sustainability high. The separate vegetarian menu delivers seasonal British dishes such as as asparagus with walnut baked goat cheese plus more international flavours such as Sri Lankan coconut vegetable curry. Animal lovers will love the pooch-friendly welcome too. Two-courses, £25, three-courses, £35; B&B from £120.
11- Tremeifion Vegetarian & Vegan Hotel, North Wales
For vegetarianism (or veganism) with a view, try Tremeifion in North Wales. Owner Barbara aims to provide an innovative meat-free menu tailored to individual tastes. The hotel also holds special events such as a raw food weekend, and does everything it can to minimise waste – so you can sleep with a clear ethical conscience.