The Royal Oak (Tetbury, Gloucestershire)

The Royal Oak's a newly renovated pub in the Cotswolds, randomly co-owned by the organiser of London's Asparagasm (monthly vegan dining club).

Whilst not fully vegetarian their menu includes several vegan options - they've even vegan beers and Booja Booja icecream with vegan marshmallows! I expect that given the location they'd have difficulty staying in business if all vegetarian - it's useful however to have places where you can dine with omnis occasionally, without them whinging and moaning the entire time :)

The interior's large with an upstairs dining room as well as bar area on the ground floor. It's been renovated tastefully and looks as good as any premium pub/restaurant - there isn't even a hint of crusty hippy cafe about it. When we visited on Sunday lunchtime with vegan friends it was over half full with diners - they've obviously a good local following.

My starter (Artichoke Salad with Sunblush Tomatoes, Olives and Tofu) was really nice. It wasn't anything adventurous, but all the ingredients tasted fresh, flavoursome, well seasoned and exactly how they should (i.e. it didn't taste like a pot of Sainsburys antipasti had been dumped on a plate). I'd eat it again, and again, and again.

The main (Nut Roast with Pistachio Gravy) didn't quite hit the spot. I like pistachios, but they'd have worked better in the roast rather than floating around my plate. The potatoes weren't fantastic and there was an overall unvegan taste to the dish. It was like it'd been made by a completely different person to the starter (which is entirely possible) - next time I'll try something else.

Dessert was Chocolate Crème Brûlée with a generous side portion of Booja Booja icecream:

I really enjoyed the dessert - almost as much as the starter. I've only ever had vanilla custard based crème brûlée in the past - whilst I prefer vanilla on reflection it's good to try new things. The icecream portion (not pictured) was HUGE. I don't actually know how they're turning a profit on it.

Staff were friendly throughout our visit and prices reasonable. We spent several hours there in the end and would definitely return. It's good to see an omni place doing vegan food well - as well as catering for the likes of you and I they'll inevitably introduce more people to vegan food without them consciously thinking about it, which is as good an advertisement as any.

I've said this before, but every village should have a v*gan pub.

Looking at their website they've impressively decent looking B&B rooms for £95 a night - we may have to try one out sometime when in the area :)


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