The Isle of Wight can occasionally be a little, ahem, behind the curve. Not long ago you would see signs outside some guest houses proclaiming with great pride that they now offer "colour television and hot water in every room!".
Despite that, the choice of 100% vegan restaurants and cafes is actually pretty decent on the Isle of Wight. They certainly aren't on every street but the ones which are available are very highly rated. Rather usefully, they are spread out so you won't have to trek miles if you're visiting the Island for a holiday.
There are also a significant number of pubs, restaurants and cafes which do a good job of offering a mix of meat dishes and vegan dishes. Gone are the days of just offering tomato soup and a Caesar salad to vegans.
Some of the Isle of Wight's vegan restaurants and cafes recreate the meat-eating experience with similar tasting alternatives. You can still have a fish and chips by the seaside, but it will be made from part of a plant instead. Others use loads of avocado, mushrooms, tomatoes and so on to make a tasty salad.
Here are five of the best vegan cafes, restaurants and pubs on the Isle of Wight:
1. Tansy's Pantry, Godshill
Godshill is a curious choice for a 100% vegan restaurant, so I commend Tansy's Pantry for making a success of it.
I associate the village with old dears arriving by coach, buying a new handbag and then tucking into a cream tea.
Perhaps they all flock to plant-based cafes and I need to update my image of what a vegan diner looks like.
The menu at Tansy's Pantry is quite small and takes the approach of offering vegan versions of eating-out indulgences rather than a bowl of green stuff. There's a battered fish and chips made from banana blossom. Apparently, banana blossom is a 'purple-skinned flower that grows at the end of a bunch of bananas' which happens to have a similar texture to fish. There's also a version of chicken wings made from 'seitan' which is a form of gluten.
âThey open on some evenings, whereas most 100% vegan places on the Isle of Wight are daytime places.
Reviews are near perfect, apart from the occasional oddball who feels obliged to complain that they don't sell bacon. I wonder if such people also write bad reviews about Apple shops because they don't sell Android phones?
2. Peach Zero Waste and Vegan Kitchen, Newport
Peach is the go-to destination if you're after a 100% vegan place to eat in Newport. However, you will also find plenty of vegan choices at the Quay Arts cafÃ© by the River Medina and at the Correo Lounge in Newport High Street. The latter does evening meals.
Peach only do breakfast and lunch and do things like banana and buckwheat pancakes as well as bigger dishes.
It's also a zero waste shop, so you can pick up a pot of Pit Putty for your armpits whilst ordering your vegan breakfast.
3. Freshwater Coffee House, West Wight
The Freshwater Coffee House isn't 100% vegan, but the menu has clearly been crafted with vegans in mind. The owners are vegans, so that's no great surprise.
You get the feeling that some other cafes and pubs add on a vegan option as an afterthought (e.g. offering a vegan breakfast by just removing the bacon, eggs and sausages and not replacing them with something else).
They do vegan brunches, vegan burgers, vegan cakes and vegan afternoon tea as well as offering alternatives to cows milk for their coffees.
4. Craft Vegan, Ryde
I've only ever eaten one doner kebab. It was 1am after a night out in Cardiff and it wasn't a great experience.
I queried whether there was much meat in it, or whether it was just the contents of the dustpan and brush after a busy day at the dog food factory.
For a guaranteed meat-free and more wholesome doner kebab experience, head for Craft Vegan in Ryde. They use 'seitan lam' and 'seitan chckn' in their highly rated doner kebabs.
They also sell vegan-cheesy fries, burgers and a pizza called the Chuck Norris. I assume this refers to the spicy peppers rather than the pizza having right wing opinions.
Other good options for vegans in Ryde include No.64 cafe. It's not just for vegans, but they have vegan options.
5. The Bay Vegan Deli and Coffee House, Sandown
If you're in theSandown or Shanklin area then I would try out The Bay Vegan Deli and Coffee House. It's another 100% vegan cafÃ© with outstanding reviews.
It is mostly a daytime place with duckless duck croissants and the like, but they also do some theme nights with a whole menu of vegan food from a different part of the world.
Isle of Wight Vegan Ice cream
What would a seaside holiday be without ice cream? A lot healthier and a little cheaper I guess but let's not get bogged down in detail.
TheIsle of Wight Ice Cream Company does a range of vegan flavours of ice cream including banana and honeycomb, salted caramel and wild berries. In case you're wondering what vegan ice cream is made from, the answer is 'âWater, Sugar, Coconut Oil, Dextrose, Vegetable Fiber, soya Protein, Fructose, Glucose, Caldo Antonelli, Pea Protein' plus the flavouring of course.
You'll find them sold quite widely, though I haven't got round to figuring out which outlets sell which flavours.
I like an ice cream shop called Crave at The Ventnorian in Ventnor. Their range of homemade flavours changes regularly but they usually have a couple of vegan options. Check the Crave Facebook page for current flavours.
Isle of Wight Guru's Blog