I think it’s probably becoming very apparent very quickly that I am somewhat of a glutton.
I do really love food, in every sense. I think that much like music and travel, food is just something that connects to the truest spirit of a person. Food is so inextricably linked to emotion and feeling, it has such power in forming a huge element of our sense of self – both in a positive and negative way.
Over recent years I’ve tried to become more aware of the impact that food and diet has on our culture and our planet, and I’m trying hard to make positive changes in that respect, albeit I will admit, somewhat slowly.
Last year I resolved to cut down on meat during week nights. By autumn I was completely meat free, though we still eat fish – but we are trying to cut down on that too!
So this year, after doing various bits of research (some of which has shocked me!) I am trying to cut down on my dairy intake. Not completely, but I am resolving to have at least one vegan day a week and see how I fare. With meat, after a few months I found I hardly missed it at all – and it’s odd to think of our fridge having any meat in it now, so I wonder if dairy might be the same?
This is why I was thrilled to see Veganuary taking off in such a big way this year – 52,000 people signed up in the UK alone!
I think campaigns like this are brilliant to encourage us to give positive change a go, just for a short while to see how it makes us feel & whether it is something we could potentially take on as a long term lifestyle change.
Luckily for me, it just so happens that somewhere very local, and very special to me has also decided to take part in Veganuary.
Cobbles Kitchen and Deli is a gorgeous 17th Century, Grade II listed barn in Ogmore By Sea in the Vale of Glamorgan. I can’t underestimate how much I love this area, my cousins own a horse riding school there, and my aunty Ann used to run a tea room there for many years. When Ann retired it was so sad to see Ogmore without a tea room, I had spent so many happy times down at the famous ‘stepping stones’ as a child, always finishing off my visit with some tea and cake with Ann. So I was thrilled a couple of years back when I heard a tenacious young business woman called Chloe Francis was taking on a project to renovate a derelict barn and turn it into a restaurant.
Since opening, Cobbles has gone from strength to strength with numerous renovations and expansions, but more importantly it’s done so much for the community. I took part in a wreath making class at Christmas which was truly magical, there’s often live music, quiz nights & seasonal events which seem to bring everyone together – hygge indeed.
However, the main attraction is, of course, the food – from the Welsh produce on sale in the deli to the hearty freshly made meals in the restaurant.
Cobbles always caters so well to dietary requirements, so I was desperate to have a look at the new vegan options on offer!
I took my mum for brunch mid-week and while she decided not to join me on my vegan adventure, her breakfast hash stack followed by coffee and walnut cake looked super yummy – and she said they were very nice!
I meanwhile, went for a full vegan breakfast, and I say this with hand on heart, it was nicer than any breakfast I’ve had there before! The vegan scramble was delish, as was the potato rosti and the vegan sausages – I was seriously impressed. What’s more, I didn’t even notice a difference having soy milk in my tea and vegan spread on my toast – which has certainly given me food for thought.
Naturally I wasn’t going to go without cake so I indulged in a vegan Victoria sponge which was so light I wondered if I had been given the wrong cake by mistake!
We finished our little trip with a quick wander around the deli, which is full of local produce – and I bit the bullet and bought a Vegan pie for my tea that evening!
Are you taking part in Veganuary? Maybe you’re like me, just trying to be more aware of the things you eat? How are you finding it? Get in touch.
Also, a big thanks to everyone who has read the blog this week. After only 5 days ‘live’ I’ve been overwhelmed at the response. It’s really got my year off to a brilliant start, so many, many thanks.
Lots more to come!