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insideKENT’s top spots for vegan dining

The Veg Box Café, Canterbury 

Sitting in the shadow of the spires of Canterbury Cathedral, The Veg Box café is a bright and airy bistro that has been long established and much loved in the city. Independently run, The Veg Box serves natural, organic and vibrant foods full of colour and utterly divine in taste. Each day The Veg Box cooks up a selection of fresh and inventive dishes serving them from a spotlessly clean counter and guaranteed to leave you feeling contentedly full and beautifully nourished. Happy chatter echoes across the walls of this cheerful canteen, which are decorated with unique artworks and hanging green plants. Covered outdoor seating means that on warmer days diners can sit outside in the shade of a colonnaded Georgian walkway and watch the hustle and bustle of the city go by. The Veg Box are also masters of good, strong coffee and hearty veggie breakfasts, so any visitors are sure to start their day the right way here.


The Wallflower Café, Herne Bay

The first vegan café in the archetypal seaside town of Herne Bay, The Wallflower Café serves delectable fresh dishes from a menu which is always evolving as they find new inspiration and new ingredients. The Wallflower searches near and far to find their ingredients, specifically sourcing each one so they can bring their customers the best in quality and flavour. Not only do The Wallflower use organic produce and only natural ingredients, they were the first eatery to serve Lost Sheep Coffee. As well as barista style service, they also sell Lost Sheep so you can buy the beans and enjoy them at home. Masters of breakfasts and sourdough topped with all things divine, The Wallflower are also experts when it comes to vegan cake – the perfect accompaniment to a Lost Sheep Coffee with creamy oat milk. 


The Ferry House Inn, Isle of Sheppey 

Head chef James Pilcher has created a new vegan menu for diners at the 16th-century Ferry House on the Isle of Sheppey. The vegan menu makes full use of The Ferry House’s large kitchen garden and enviable position on the edge of the water overlooking the Swale Estuary. Available during evening and Sunday lunch service, guests can choose from starters such as golden beetroot with Kentish apricot, walnut and garden mint, or roasted and pickled Kentish cauliflower with chilli and garlic aioli, before main courses of roasted crown prince squash with pumpkin mole, fried sage and golden raisins, or Jerusalem artichoke Tart Tatin and herb salad. For dessert there is foraged blackberry mousse with homegrown tarragon and shortbread, bay rice pudding with orchid apple compote and streusel crumb, or chocolate tart with meringue, Kentish cobnuts and lemon verbena.


The Plant Base, Tunbridge Wells

‘Simple, honest, goodness’ lies at the heart of The Plant Base in Tunbridge Wells, which was opened by Geff Stone in February 2017, bringing irresistible whole food and fresh cold-pressed juice to the Georgian spa town. Geff’s vision was to create an eco-friendly eatery with up-cycled furniture, biodegradable takeaway packaging and an all-vegan menu. “A massive part of why I went vegan was down to the environment and so everything we use here is recycled and our packaging is compostable,” he says. “There’s no plastic anywhere and we offer 20p off takeaway drinks in a reusable cup.” Serving a full brunch and lunch menu during the day and tapas-style dishes in the evenings, menu highlights include miso-glazed aubergine with whipped tofu, fried lentils and quick-pickled sprouted mung bean and an array of tapas dishes such as roasted cauliflower florets marinated in turmeric and chilli, served with coriander yoghurt and curried seeds.


Vegan Antics, Gravesend  

One of Kent’s first Vegan bakeries, Vegan Antics was established in 2015 in a small kitchen in Kent when vegan treats were still hard to come by. “It did not take long for the word to get around about our delicacies as we ship all over the UK; it was a dream coming true! Our loyal customers stuck by us and watched us grow so quickly that we finally had the means to open our first actual bakery in April of 2017,” says founder, Grace. Offering high quality products, available to order across the UK or for collection, Vegan Antics have a forever-expanding product range including a variety of cakes, cupcakes, rocky roads, flapjacks, biscuits, cookies, pastries, desserts and other exciting sweet treats. “Just because our products are vegan does not mean that we have compromised on taste,” says Grace. “In fact, many of our customers have preferred our products over conventional baked goods. Our products are deliciously flavoursome and always excellent in texture and taste.” Vegan Antics cater for those suffering from intolerances and allergies too and focus heavily on being ethical and eco friendly. 


Orchard Lane Coffee House, Sandgate

Speciality coffee house Orchard Lane has become a treasured gem in the picturesque seaside town of Sandgate. Not just serving cups of quality coffee from the calm sanctuary that is their premises only metres from the ocean, Orchard Coffee also brings a whole host of artisan vegan and coffee-based products to the customer – even a vegan friendly coffee skin scrub! Embracing different roasters, products and brands, Orchard Coffee stock an array of vegan baked treats to choose from. Swedish buns, brownies, tarts and one-off delights such as the peach and apricot sponge with brulee topping make it the ultimate seaside spot for vegan coffee and cake. As well as being experts in the coffee field, Orchard are such fans of quality and variety that they don’t print menus due to always alternating different cakes, snacks and roasters. 

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