Suffolk: Unique village pub named one of top ten veggie pubs in UK
SUFFOLK: Staff at a unique Suffolk village pub are celebrating after the venue scooped a prestigious accolade.
The Veggie Red Lion in Greenstreet Green, near Needham Market, was named one of the ten most vegetarian-friendly pubs in the country by animal rights group PETA last week.
The pub, which was set up by Jan Wise just over three years ago, offers a variety of meat-free options including curries, stews and pasta dishes.
Ms Wise said: “We’re really amazed to be named in the top ten vegetarian pubs. I’m delighted and extremely honoured.
“We’re the only vegetarian pub in East Anglia and 75 to 80 per cent of our customers are not vegetarian. But by the end of their meal they’re converted.
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“People are coming round to the idea and being more open-minded. Quite often husbands come here after being persuaded by their wives and then keep coming back.
“It was always a dream of mine to run a vegetarian pub. After we opened it took a little while for word of mouth to get round but lately it’s taken off.
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“We get people coming from the local area and as far a field as Colchester and Chelmsford. The award tops off a great year for us.”
Head chef Billy Rayment added: “The biggest challenge has been changing people’s perception of vegetarian food.
“People assume it will be bland and insubstantial but that’s really not the case. Our dishes prove vegetarian food is exciting, tasty and filling.
“Jan and I are both very passionate about it and we hope our customers are enjoying the benefits. To get this award is a fantastic achievement.”
The pub will shortly receive a framed certificate and letter of congratulations from PETA.
The group judged vegetarian-friendly pubs on a number of criteria, including reputation and the selection and quality of vegetarian menu items.
Abi Izzard, special projects co-ordinator for PETA, said: “We’re raising our glasses to The Veggie Red Lion for offering its patrons wonderful, healthy and humane foods to nosh on while they wet their whistles.
“Suffolk’s taverns are taking heed: more and more people are recognising that the best way to avoid health problems and help animals and the environment is to go Vegan.”
For more information about the Veggie Red Lion visit the pub’s website www.theveggeredlion.co.uk.