Full to bursting with mouthwatering produce and culinary delights, it’s no wonder the Forest of Dean is becoming a bit of a foodie destination.
There’s one type of menu that is often particularly good at highlighting the wonderful seasonal fruits and vegetables that grow locally, and that’s a vegan one.
Whether you’re a vegan yourself, keen to sink your teeth into some farm-fresh deliciousness, or just want to try something new, then you need to check out these five Forest of Dean restaurants which offer some sublime vegan options.
Tucked away in Blaisdon, you might not suspect that the unassuming Red Hart Inn boasted such an array of vegan fare!
The warm atmosphere welcomes you in whilst the 16th-century beams whisk you back in time. Awarded the title of Forest of Dean Pub of the Year in 2020, the inn is dedicated to showcasing only the best of the area’s crops.
It’s probably not what you expect when you think of English veg, but the roast cauliflower and butternut squash curry, coupled with veggie spring rolls? Vegan heaven. Top it off with a vegan chocolate brownie and you have some serious comfort food.
The Red Hart also ensures that there are vegan specials on offer, to make the most of seasonal selections.
Awarded an AA Rosette, The Speech House Hotel Restaurant and Orangery reflects the history of the Forest around it with ease. Their à la carte restaurant Verderers’ is named to honour the building’s continuing use as a courthouse for the Forest Verderers – those who protect and regulate the Forest of Dean’s unique agricultural landscape.
As such, the menu promises to be seasonal and, wherever possible, locally-grown. On the sample menu, you’ll find some delicious vegan options: avocado parfait, BBQ jackfruit with Hasselback potatoes, and rum–poached kiwi with coconut sorbet all feature.
Do bear in mind that, as the restaurant works with what is locally available year-round, the menu is liable to change – you might not be able to count on that parfait! However, they do try to ensure a range of vegan options is available.
Another historical entry, The Fountain Inn has been offering nourishment and accommodation to weary travellers for 250 years.
Nowadays, its walls are replete with photographs and artefacts dating back through the centuries and documenting the village as it has changed. Its cosy aura makes it a great place to unwind after a day rambling in the area, soaking up the ambience as you try to pick what to try!
The main menu boasts options like mushroom and beetroot burgers and Moroccan tagine, or sweetcorn fritters if you fancy a lighter bite.
Meanwhile, there’s an entire menu dedicated to gluten- dairy-free, and vegan desserts. If you have a sweet tooth, this place might be for you! The apple and berry crumble showcases local flavours, while the vanilla bean sponge with red berry compote melts in your mouth. Oh, and there’s dairy-free ice cream available both alone or as a side.
Just 100m from the River Wye, The Forge Hammer brings a little relish to the local fare with their Indian restaurant, River Spice.
Playing with the combination of English produce and Indian flavours, River Spice offers a dedicated vegan menu. On it, you’ll find classic takeaway dishes like the spicy Madras and tempting Saag Aloo, plus the juicy, bell pepper-flavoured Korai.
After a day out in the brisk English weather, this might be just the ticket to get your taste buds tingling!
The family-run King’s Head Hotel sits in the picturesque market town of Ross-on-Wye. Host to an award-winning chef, the hotel has two dining areas: a cosy library filled with oak beams and open fireplaces – and an airy conservatory.
The menu is crafted with fresh local produce, so be prepared for things to change seasonally. A sample menu suggests treats like Mediterannean vegetable gnocchi with black olives and charred courgettes. Plus, the chef is hugely obliging and happy to substitute ingredients if you just can’t resist that particular one!
Are you surprised there are so many vegan options in the Forest of Dean, or just disappointed you haven’t been able to visit them yet? If you want to find out more about visiting the beautiful area, explore our site further.