No V stands for vendetta against us veg­e­tar­i­ans

Harefield Gazette - - OPINION -

IWAS very dis­ap­pointed at an up­mar­ket restau­rant in Cookham where Mr F and I found our­selves re­cently find­ing noth­ing, yes, noth­ing, with a ‘V for veg­e­tar­ian’ sign next to it. This is startling in the 21st cen­tury where many di­verse tastes are catered for – there were even gluten free dishes on the menu.

I haven’t eaten meat for 27 years and in the bad old days when there was lit­tle or no imag­i­na­tion about dishes – and ‘food­ies’, celebrity chefs and com­pet­i­tive cook­ing on TV did not ex­ist – it was very dif­fi­cult to get veg­e­tar­ian choices in restau­rants.

How­ever, in most places over time this had im­proved dra­mat­i­cally.

Now it seems we are go­ing back­wards, with for­mer pos­si­ble op­tions for veg­e­tar­i­ans and pis­catar­i­ans now con­tain­ing ba­con (this is hap­pen­ing in many places and I men­tioned it be­fore in a col­umn about sand­wiches. Many of you wrote to agree with me).

On this menu there was poached egg and av­o­cado with ba­con chut­ney and hol­landaise; mus­sels served in ba­con broth; savoy cab­bage, crème fraiche and ba­con. There was even streaky ba­con stuck in the cau­li­flower cheese.

On a menu al­ready awash with choices for car­ni­vores I was re­duced to a pal­try (sorry) sin­gle op­tion.

Our waiter said he would ask the chef. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when he came back with the an­swer ‘there’s the risotto’ - which was the only suit­able choice on the menu.

I had ob­vi­ously spot­ted this but clearly not cho­sen it, so did not need it pointed out to me.

The restau­rant (at lunchtime) was far from full – but not even an omelette was sug­gested by the chef. A choice of ONE dish is quite ridicu­lous.

In the bad old days the only dish avail­able was al­ways veg­etable lasagne but I thought we’d moved on from that, par­tic­u­larly in restau­rants which ob­vi­ously pride them­selves on a high stan­dard of cui­sine.

I was fi­nally of­fered a beet­root starter in a main-size por­tion which I ac­cepted, not wish­ing to spoil a pleas­ant din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for my party by tak­ing it fur­ther.

The restau­rant pro­vided ex­cel­lent food and ta­ble ser­vice. The three other mem­bers of my party en­joyed their meals: two had suck­ling pig and one chose steak (Mr F).

Would they have put up with a choice of one?

Why are we veg­gies be­ing made to feel like poor re­la­tions again?

Email me at bmail­bar­bara@gmail. com.

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