To think that vegans were once stereotypically thought of as hippies eating ‘weird’ food is extraordinary and thankfully, by 2019, times really have changed. Vegan and flexitarian diets are becoming more and more popular - not only due to innovation in the plant-based industry but thanks to a rising awareness of climate change and animal agriculture.
Online vegan restaurant guide, Happy Cow, has even named London the most vegan-friendly city in the world for the second year running and with 125 vegan restaurants – including eateries serving plant-based versions of fried chicken, sushi and pizza – London’s meat-free scene has gone truly mainstream.
So, with the Christmas countdown now officially on, vegans will be keen to find meat-free centrepieces for the Christmas table. So when it comes to event planning for vegans - or anyone wanting a meat-free alternative for the festive season, here’s what we love to cook:
- For a delicious and light starter: Frisée endive salad with peppered cashew goat curd
- A warming main course of a nutroast with sage and squash puree together with all the trimmings
- Dessert is a spiced baked apple stuffed with dates and served with a vegan vanilla bean ice cream.
Before, with or after lunch, a specially mixed festive drink is a lovely accompaniment: here are three mouthwatering concoctions that we love to serve at our events:
- For a non-alcoholic option, try pressed Wobblegate Apple juice (made from Sussex fruit) mixed with rosehip and blackthorn syrup and topped with sparkling soda.
- ‘Hot Apple Pie’ is a warming (and rather decadent!) blend of Amaretto, cider infused with cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, all spice, bay, peppercorn and star anise - topped with cinnamon Chantilly cream and crushed amaretti biscuits. Almost a dessert in itself.
- ‘Rosy Cheeks’ is one of our Christmas favourites – a gorgeous cocktail made with Chilgrove Vodka, distilled using natural mineral water from the South Downs. We add Cointreau, angostura bitters, lychee, cranberry and serve it with an orange and clove foam. Served in our coppered tanker, it is also a perfect punch for large events and gatherings.