We’ve been working hard at the Horse and Plough for the last six months to develop a strong vegan offering. This was aided by my wife being a vegan, and bringing to my attention the lack of options for vegans in the local market, as well as nagging. We started by offering a menu specifically offering vegan options; not alterations to our standard menu but meals designed specifically for the vegan community.
We found out there was a real demand for a vegan only menu and, as things developed, we decided we could be more adventurous with our vegan dishes, as well as bringing them more in line with the style of cuisine we offer on our regular menus.
While getting to know the local vegan community on Facebook, I discovered that there were few opportunities for these like-minded individuals to get together and enjoy a fancy meal. This lead us to consider holding a vegan night, where we could try out some new, fancier dishes and bring everyone together. We confirmed some live music, and created a menu which included a couple of gluten free options also, to be all-encompassing.
The spaces filled up quickly. Plus, many more people wanted to come along to the vegan mixer but were unable to make the date. It gave us confidence in the concept.
The day came, Matty Haynes set up his gear for the chilled live music to be played throughout, and people started to arrive. The meals seemed to go down very well, with the Mango Gazpacho starter being a real hit to kick things off. The favoured main dish appeared to be the Thai Pineapple fried rice, which we served with Tempeh in a half pineapple shell. The star of the desserts had to be the indulgent strawberry shake, which was topped with Oreo biscuits and doughnuts.
The reviews we had from all were fantastic and many want another night soon, which we’ll certainly be doing. Mark, the head chef, found the whole event an eye-opening experience. He learned that he could certainly do high-end, restaurant quality vegan meals and make them look fantastic!
We have incorporated some of the meals onto our standard vegan menu, including the pineapple fried rice, sweet and sour aubergines and the beetroot hummus. Our chocolate brownie is also 100% vegan, for all customers.
The next vegan mixer night is just around the corner. Watch this space for more info!
Join the ‘Horse and Plough Nottingham Vegans’ Facebook group to keep up to date with all things vegan at the Plough.