Freelance travel writer and Policy Adviser for the UK government living in Brixton. View my blog www.my-big-fat-carbon-footprint.blogspot.com for ethical and budget travel inspiration
Easter Sunday lunch evokes a nostalgic memory: thick sweet gravy poured lovingly over fillets of tender meat, crunchy fresh greens and soft, doughy Yorkshire Puddings. Hang on a second. That doesn't evoke my Sunday lunch of yesteryear. I grew up vegetarian, and since moving to the capital have been keen to recreate the nut roasts, veggie gravy and wonderful rosemary olive oil roasties of my youth.
So for the herbivores among us, where's best to go for a veggie friendly Sunday lunch in London, or indeed, someplace to get good food for Easter sunday?
With three out of their four starters offering up vegetarian choices, all unusual, all incredibly tasty sounding (Okra, turmeric, feta fritters anyone?) the Modern Pantry's extensive group Sunday Lunch menu starts well. Luckily for the veggies, it just gets better and better.
There's no nut roast to be seen. Instead, almond crusted chickpea and red pepper labneh cakes are the order of the day, served with gazpacho and spinach, radish and red amaranth. Any accompanying omnivores are well catered for too: the Roast South Coast Cod served with squid ink linguine sounds divine, and anything that serves pork belly with cocoa chilli gets my Mexican, tummy rumbling vote.
The old world charm in this chintzy pub also happens to offer up an exceptional vegetarian roast dinner option. Yes, yes it's a nut roast, but not just any nut roast. Where else in N8 could boast a homemade chickpea loaf which includes carrot and dill, served with Yorkshires, great crispy tatties and vegetarian gravy. Not only is there a superb selection of fine wines, but there is also a super heated area right out back. Great choice for veggies, great choice of meat for carnivores. All in all, a great pub.
Private Eye hosts editorial meetings upstairs, their offices are just down the road, and the non-vegetarian owner has just turned the pub meat-free. If this is shocking, and it feels that that the concept of a vegetarian pub is a bit out there, then just remember that meat-centric pubs are no-go ones for the herbivores among us.
The Coach and Horses has been slated by several: why the no-meat? Will this turn people off? But we want to bring our meat eating friends here too! Yes, it has been advised that we eat less meat (and I'm a veggie so I'm all for that) but why does veggie food have to equal microwaved jacket potatoes and beans? But anyway, wonderful that there's a vegetarian pub in London.