Just 2 hours from Essex and an hour out of London, Stockbridge in Hampshire is a stunning hidden gem of rolling hills, rivers and downs and cheery friendly people.
When The Upham Pub Company told us about expanding their vegan options we were of course excited to try them out – and as “pubs with rooms” the distance wasn’t so much of a worry.
We do love finding out new places in the UK for a day out or a mini weekend however even though veganism is expanding out of towns and cities there may not be as much choice….. so it is great to know where ever there is a pub/ restaurant in The Upham Pub Company we will be catered for well.
We stayed at The Peat Spade Inn – located in a perfect countryside setting. Run by the lovely Shelly Dias who is excited about expanding their vegan options. They recently had a vegan chef in to teach the other chefs some vegan tricks! This gave their menu an edge over other restaurants and pubs.
Our room was gorgeous and enough space for the camp bed for Callum.
Our starters are delicious;
Walnut, Tomato, Avocado and Rocket Pesto Bruschetta….. this is so tasty with an abundant topping, fresh and rich flavours that puts a regular bruschetta to shame!
The Pea & Spinach Panna Cotta, Sour Cream, Pickled Radish & Smoked Almonds is a delight to look at and subtle delicious flavours that each complemented the other.
The Thai Green Curry is mouth-watering and the Vegan Burger and Carrot and Coriander Falafel Burger were absolute vegan whoppers!
We chatted with Charlie the chef who is delighted to be trying out different ingredients to create their own home made sorbets, dairy free crème Brulee’s and being able to offer vegan options anybody would love.
We didn’t want a packed out weekend with loads of activities planned. We just wanted to explore a little, enjoy some country walks and have a mini break away from the usual chores that homelife brings. And this is exactly what we did. We discovered the picturesque Stockbridge High Street just a 5 minute drive away from The Peat Spade Inn. The River Test flows under the high street and there are several waterway walks you can enjoy too. There are lots of independent shops and restaurants in the high street and I was happy to see vegan options offered in nearly all of them.
We also enjoyed the walk at the nearby Danebury Iron Age Hill Fort one of the most extensively studied hill forts in Europe.
We loved seeing the grazing horses and the incredible bulls – and the views from the top are stunning.
Near to The Peat Spade we found a little park and we enjoyed checking out the little rivers and streams along “The Bunny” the road next door.
The next morning we opted for the Full English Vegan Breakfast with warm avocado, vegan sausages, mushrooms, beans and roast cherry tomatoes. With a toaster on the side you can help yourself to toast and juice and they have almond and soya milk as well as dairy free butter.
Although the area is well known for fishing us vegans can still enjoy the beauty of the countryside and perhaps out of the fishing season too.
The Peat Spade Inn is in a stunning location and the vegan options are freshly made with a lot of thought and attention.
We got to ask Shelly the manager a few questions too;
We are having a lovely break here Shelly – Can you tell us what has prompted you to extend your vegan options?
We had a temporary chef who was a vegan and he showed us lots of new ideas, products and we found them tasty and interesting.
That’s great to hear so how have the regulars found them?
We have had great feedback from our new Vegan dishes, some people didn’t realise that the mousse or creme brulee were actually vegan.
It is wonderful now that chefs are realising creamy dishes do not need cows milk – and that vegan really don’t just want a fruit salad!
So do guests have to say in advance of they are vegan or can people just drop by?
No not at all we always have vegan options on our menu.
Perfect! Do all of the Upham Pub Company restaurants have rooms/ have vegan options?
Yes I believe they do.
That’s great! We are looking forward to coming back another time.
Finally, what 1 thing can you say to our VeggieVision TV viewers to tempt them to come along/stay?
A beautiful area, lovely inn with fantastic service and delicious vegan offers.
That sums it up nicely! Thanks again for a super stay.