Did you know that National Vegetarian Week is celebrated each year to put a spotlight on the delicious vegetable-centred meals on offer in the UK. This year it’ll be held from the 15th – 21st May.
Plant-based and vegetarian food has a far lower carbon footprint so by opting for more veggie meals, you’re making a real impact to the planet. For some, the amount of carbon they save by swapping to veggie or plant-based meals is akin to reducing the number of miles you drive in your car. Crazy right?
We all know that we should be eating our five-a-day, plus consuming more vegetables and less processed meat, fish and dairy is not only kinder to the planet but also our bodies too. Compared to meat-eaters, vegetarians tend to consume far less saturated fat and cholesterol and more vitamins, fibre and potassium – all things that make us feel healthier and happier. Plus, with the added benefit of reducing harm to animals, it seems silly not to make the switch to a more inclusive diet.
You don’t need to have that ‘all of nothing’ mentality when it comes to food, simply by adopting a ‘flexitarian’ diet you can enjoy the wonderful selection of local meat and seafood on offer in Devon whilst also savouring the fantastic seasonal veg here. Below we’ve hand-picked ten of our favourite hotels which offer several great vegetarian and plant-based meals to help you enjoy a kinder and healthier holiday.
The Cary Arms, Babbacombe
Picturesquely perched on the beach in Babbacombe, Torquay, The Cary Arms not only offer luxurious stays but also have a tantalising vegetarian and vegan menu.
With such a fantastic range of produce available locally, The Cary Arms pride themselves on providing fresh and seasonal meals which ooze with flavour – you certainly won’t miss the meat!
Expect starters such as vegetable gyozas or mushroom and truffle crostini, mains include wild mushroom risotto and Mediterranean vegetable tart, plus sweet treats like apple crumble and a delectable chocolate tart – yum! Due to the nature of using seasonal produce, their menu changes often so you can return time and again and still try something new.
Hotel Du Vin, Exeter
Housed in a former Victorian hospital, Hotel Du Vin is a contemporary hotel situated in the heart of Exeter with historic walled gardens and striking architecture. Boasting a chic lounge bar and an upscale restaurant, Hotel du Vin really is the place to go for a lavish but relaxing stay.
At the heart of their restaurant, Bistro du Vin, French cuisine is an absolute must. They serve traditional and sophisticated dishes with a modern twist, providing heart-warming food using artisanal ingredients.
Hotel du Vin have a bespoke vegan menu which includes an eclectic range of dishes. Vegan black pudding and Waldorf salad, roasted heritage carrots with whipped vegan feta or grilled vegan halloumi are just some of the fantastic and tempting offerings. They also offer several vegetarian meals on their a la cart menu including homemade caramelised onion and garlic tart, baked ratatouille and salade maison. Doesn’t that sound amazing?!
Lympstone Manor, Lympstone
Set on a beautiful 28-acre estate overlooking the Exe Estuary, Lympstone Manor is a five-star hotel that simply radiates indulgence.
Enjoy fine dining at their Michelin star restaurant with a menu created by one of Britain’s most celebrated and influential chefs, Michael Caines MBE. Vegans and vegetarians will not go amiss with specially designed menus that utilise the very best local and seasonal produce in the South West.
With a menu so vast, it would take a while to list the entirety of it, but dishes that certainly catch our eye are barbequed hen of the woods with black garlic and roasted onion consommé, juniper glazed salsify with salted baked swede, red cabbage, celeriac and morels, and wild mushroom risotto with black truffle and tarragon. We’ll have one of each please!
Northcote Manor, Umberleigh
Situated near the quaint village of Umberleigh in North Devon near Barnstaple, Northcote Manor is a grand former 1716 manor house boasting 20 acres of land and an upscale restaurant.
All their menus have been created to showcase mouth-watering, local ingredients of the South West which complement their beautiful Devonshire countryside surroundings and the history of the manor house. This includes a specialist vegetarian menu.
Northcote Manor offer a three-course vegetarian menu which also includes a pre-starter and canapés. If we were dining here, we’d opt for the sun-blushed tomato and goats cheese risotto for starter, braised pearl barley with parsnip purée, baby carrots, oven baked fig and balsamic dressing for mains and vanilla crème brûlee with rhubarb compote for desert – doesn’t that sound heavenly? Take a look at their sample menu on their website to decide for yourself.
Royal Glen Hotel, Sidmouth
Relax and enjoy the beauty of Sidmouth at the Royal Glen Hotel. This family-run hotel is housed in an 18th century building just a short walk from the beach and the town centre. The hotel boasts a secluded garden to bask in the sunshine, well-appointed lounges to spend the afternoon relaxing and a quaint restaurant to enjoy a bite to eat.
Whilst the Royal Glen Hotel doesn’t have a separate vegetarian menu, their veggie options on their regular menu sound delectable. Beer battered Brie with Devon chutney, heritage tomato salad topped with a beetroot glaze, woodland mushroom and goats cheese penne, and spring green risotto are the regulars, but you may also spot a couple of veggie-friendly options on their daily special's menu too.
The Devon Hotel, Exeter
Conveniently situated a stone’s throw away from the Devon Expressway and the M5, The Devon Hotel is a first-class hotel for business and leisure. With executive rooms, a fitness studio and a sophisticated restaurant all compacted in a Georgian manor house, The Devon Hotel has it all.
If you wish to dine in their bar and brasserie, vegetarians and vegans have a wonderful selection of dishes to choose from. Katsu curries, Caesar salads, stir fried noodles, gourmet burgers and loaded nachos are just some of the options available here. It just goes to show that veggie food doesn’t need to be sparse or boring. If a carvery is more your thing, then do not fret as The Devon Hotel offer a tasty nut cutlet complete with all the trimmings of a traditional roast.
Hartnoll Hotel, Tiverton
The Hartnoll Hotel can be found sitting on Exmoor National Park. With stunning décor, a beautiful, landscaped garden, sumptuous meals and just a short distance from the M5, it’ll be hard to find a more perfect hotel.
The Hartnoll Hotel has become one of Devon’s premier gourmet restaurants with a head chef and team ensuring the menu is suitable for all tastes and preferences with honest, fresh and locally sourced ingredients.
On offer here is a specially made vegan menu. Whilst, like many of the others we have mentioned, their menu advertised is a sample menu, dishes similar to arancini, panch phoran curry, and five bean burritos can be expected. Plus, a wonderful selection of vegan desserts means that you enjoy a delicious, sweet treat whilst also feeling good about how it’s made.
The PIG at Combe, Honiton
If you’re looking for a stay submerged in stunning Devonshire countryside, look no further than The PIG at Combe. Nestled in the Otter Valley this hotel will provide you with a glorious and relaxing stay where you can rejuvenate and relax.
The PIG at Combe has put local and home grown produce at the forefront of their business with an emphasis on only using produce that they can grow themselves or source from within a 25-mile radius of the hotel so the carbon footprint of their ingredients and food is minimal.
This magnificent stately home in East Devon serves a wonderful selection of vegetarian and plant-based dishes containing the freshest produce which is picked daily each morning from their very own garden. The dishes here change daily depending on what the forager supplies and what the pickers deem to be in perfect eating condition.
Watersmeet Hotel, Woolacombe
Set on a cliff top overlooking Combesgate Beach in Woolacombe, the Watersmeet Hotel is a refined Victorian hotel offering elegant rooms with garden or sea views.
The Watersmeet Hotel has two restaurants to dine in. Their Rocks Restaurant is open daily for afternoon tea and dinner with a rotating menu offering a range of expertly curated dishes. Here you can choose from roasted garlic gnocchi, parsnip and mushroom wellington, or cheddar and caramelised onion tart, depending on what menu is on rotation.
Their second eatery is The Bistro, which is open for lunch and dinner and offers a more casual dining experience. With both a separate vegetarian and vegan menu, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Woodbury Park Hotel and Golf Club, Woodbury
Whether you’re looking for a vegetarian stay in Devon, or simply want to find somewhere to play golf and enjoy a plant-based meal, Woodbury Park Hotel and Golf Club should definitely be on your list.
A good selection of their menu is suitable for vegetarians and vegans, including their breakfast menu where you can choose from a cooked breakfast, American pancakes or a warm sourdough with sautéed mushrooms. Tasty, right?
If you’re travelling with little vegetarians, they also have plenty of options to choose from on their junior menu. Woodbury Park have a couple of menus to choose from; they have their Clubhouse menu, their Pulse Bar menu and evening menu, each with their own selection of tempting and tantalising vegetarian meals.
On their main Pulse Bar menu, you can choose between a vegan duck wrap with hoisin and crunchy cucumber, a falafel flatbread with hummus, veggies and pomegranate seeds, or a fragrant and creamy garlic and herb rigatoni pasta. In the evening you could savour their crispy tofu tacos or enjoy a juicy plant-based cheeseburger.
We hope we’ve shown you that you can still enjoy a relaxing and luxurious getaway to Devon whilst adopting a more flexible diet. Simply by swapping one or two meals a week can make a huge difference to ourselves and the planet.