Small Town Vegan Living
It is now easier than ever to be vegan in the UK. A recent poll suggested that 1 in 5 Brits are now considering a vegan diet and our vegan population is growing year by year. In cities, there is usually at least one vegan option on every high street and you are never more than a quick bus ride away from a vegan restaurant. But how are things for people living away from cities? Can you be vegan in the countryside? Thankfully, we discovered that yes you can!
After 6 years living abroad in Asia, the US and Canada, we found ourselves back in our home country of England. As we both work from home, we were free to choose anywhere in the UK to settle back. Our only requirements were of course animal-related – we needed a bedroom for our elderly cat and lots of land for our two rescue dogs Arta and Bindi. Being fearful of other dogs, unfortunately they’re unable to go to dog parks so we needed to make sure they had lots of space to run around and play together. We drove around most of the country looking for a home and after two weeks, found the perfect 19th century house in Suffolk which was full of character and lay on an acre of land. All of this for the same price as a tiny apartment in our home town of London!
We took to the country life straight away and loved the idea of living in the middle of nowhere with our closest neighbours being 300 meters away. It is so peaceful. But we knew that this way of life was going to require some compromise. We thought we couldn’t just quickly go to the shops for a carton of soya milk or go for meals out without driving into a big city. Oh how wrong we were!
As luck would have it, our small town of Sudbury with its population of 160,000, has 2 amazing vegan restaurants!
Kind Cuisine is a small cafe run by a lovely vegan couple, Linda and Mark. The menu is always changing at Kind Cuisine and their daily specials board is always full of exciting new dishes. They make everything from typical English comfort food like ‘Bacon’ and ‘Sausage’ sandwiches, Cheese Toasties and Gardener’s Pies to more world cuisine inspired dishes like curries, enchiladas and Mediterranean platters. We have been to Kind Cuisine a lot and have not been disappointed by a single dish. Did we mention their cakes? They are heavenly!
Linda is a wonderful woman who knows everything that’s going on in our little town. She is heavily involved in cat rescue and is the founder of Kitty Connections which rescues and re-homes cats from around the UK. Mark is not only the vegan chef at Kind Cuisine, he is also in the rock band Tresspass who have a new album out this year and which toured in Japan in the 90s! He loves Japan and especially Japanese food!
Just around the corner from Kind Cuisine is the wonderful Cradle – a ‘Michelin Quality’ vegan bakery and restaurant, run by another vegan couple Holly and Cristophe. They originally had a bakery in the Loire Florez region in France. They developed close relationships with the farmers who supplied their ingredients and this led them to see first hand how these ingredients were produced. They saw calves separated from their mothers so that humans could take their milk and the hens sent to slaughter every year when they could no longer produce eggs. With this playing on their conscience, they decided to relocate to the UK and open Sudbury’s very first vegan bakery and we are so happy for that decision!
Cradle focuses on fresh and organic local ingredients. Everything is made from scratch, even their flour is milled next to the counter! In front of the mill there is a small area for seating and their French-inspired meal options are constantly changing according to what ingredients are in season. Expect to see the likes of mushroom terrines, gourmet quiches and even ‘faux gras’ on their menu. At the back of the shop you’ll find the bakery section filled with freshly baked bread, perfectly flakey pastries and delicious ‘buttery’ croissants. We would challenge anyone to find fault in Cradle’s baked goods. We have been to Paris, we’ve tried their vegan bakeries and these are better!
It turns out we found the perfect place to live in England. We love Sudbury and we can’t wait to bring guests to our little town on a future Super Vegan Travel Tour!
Last but not least, we did find soya milk, just 6 minutes away from our house in our local village along with a good selection of vegan biscuits! In fact, in almost every small shop now, you can find soya milk, almond milk, oat milk and others. Lots of non-vegans now are turning away from cows’ milk. Things are certainly changing here in the Suffolk countryside as well as throughout the UK as a whole and around the world. It’s an exciting time to be vegan!