It’s good to see new vegetarian ventures opening up in our district…we need the variety and choice of vegan and vegetarian food. This year, Sustainable St Albans Week 19-26 November, (winner of both Community Project of the Year and Environmental Champion in the Mayors Pride Awards 2016) is having a special focus on Sustainable Food, alongside the other themes of environmental sustainability, and its clear that locally we now have an amazing choice of sustainable, vegetarian food options in our district’s cafes and restaurants!
Perhaps you saw ‘Cowspiracy’ at its screening at The Odyssey during Sustainable St Albans Week? The film is less a gruesome account of meat practices, and more of a slow burn – a compelling and convincing account of why we should hang up the meat hooks, and eat more carbon friendly vegetables. If you missed it, you can catch it on Netflix – and watch it with all the family! Or, if you fancy a trip to Welwyn Garden City Cinema you can catch the ‘Just Eat It‘ film screening as part of the UK Green Film Festival 1-8th May– and this film deals with the unpalatable message that we throw away nearly 50% of food that is grown.
This week there’s an opportunity for Late Night Dining (vegetarian) for one night only on Thursday 7th April 5-8pm at the Cafe on the Corner, which is run by the Camphill Village Trust. Sourcing vegetables grown locally by trust members in Aldenham, they have produced a special vegetarian menu for this one-off evening – and you can take in your own bottle of wine to enjoy with the meal. It looks like a great venture to support, with a good variety of dishes, including sweet potato, chickpea and spinach curry, vegetable lasagne, and spinach, feta and pine nut salad. See more info on poster below. To book please contact Leigh at Café on the Corner: 01727 855514. Cafe on the Corner, 39 Catherine St, St Albans Al3 5BJ
The Green Kitchen opened last year on Hatfield Road, run by a committed eco-cook, Heather, whose ethos is not only to offer great plant based food, but to live and work as ‘green’ as possible. Heather, who took part in Sustainable St Albans Week was also a runner-up in this year’s Mayors Pride Awards for Environmental Champion. The cafe is a great place to stop for coffee and cake, with freshly ground coffee beans from a small independent company and Rainforest Certified, and a range of plant milks available. Or perhaps a weekday lunch, with a choice of soup, salads, meditteranean platter, or all day breakfast. The Green Kitchen 419 Hatfield Rd, St Albans, AL4 0XP el: 01727 753 661
The Courtyard Cafe, near St Albans High Street, is also an excellent, and stylish place to enjoy vegetarian and other good food. You’ll find a range of dishes, including meat/fish, but with a strong focus on vegetable dishes, and some of the best cakes in town. And the cafe is also brimming with original art, gifts and homeware. They too, took part in Sustainable St Albans Week, and have been a good friend to Transition St Albans, hosting our display food garden in the courtyard. The Courtyard Cafe, 11 Hatfield Road,AL1 3RR 01727 868877
Lussmanns, in St Albans, Harpenden and Hertford, is a multi-award winning local eaterie with a prestigious record for its sustainable practice. This year they have just won the People’s Favourite category in the Food Made Good Awards, the Sustainable Restaurant Association’s annual celebration of the UK’s ethical eateries. They have a good variety of vegetarian, and sustainably sourced fish and meat on the menu and Andrei Lussman says he wants to feature more vegetarian dishes on his menu but he needs people to order them! Lussmanns St Albans: Waxhouse Gate, St Albans, Herts, AL3 4EW01727 851941 ; Lussmanns Harpenden: 20a Leyton Road, Harpenden, Herts, AL5 2HU 01582 965393
Chef Raymond Blanc, who is the President of the Sustainable Restaurant Association owns Brasserie Blanc which is ‘proud of its relationships with suppliers who share their belief that food should be grown and raised in ways that don’t cost the earth‘. You can be confident that fish and meat are sourced sustainably, and that you will be eating the best in French cooking! Look out for their more afffordable weekday set menu. Brasserie Blanc 1-3, Verulam Road, St Albans, AL3 4DA 01727 890410
And, Redbournbury Mill flour – grown organically at Hammonds End Farm next door, then milled on site- Food Miles don’t get better than this – it makes the tastiest bread – just mix up the flours to your own taste; add water and salt; a dose of olive oil if you will – and bake! Or, if you are not up to this, go to one of their amazing bakery classes and make all these different breads in one day! Redbournbury Mill, Redbournbury Lane, Redbourn Road, St Albans AL3 6RS 01582 792874
And more…The Waffle House boast of using many organic and locally sourced produce including locally grown organic flour..’wholewheat, white and spelt flours used in our waffles are organically grown, produced and stoneground at the local Redbournbury Mill‘ Kingsbury Watermill St Michael’s Street St Albans Hertfordshire AL3 4SJ. 01727 853502
Last, but not least, in this long list of delicous local sustainable food is FoodSmiles St Albans. This incredible local food project began life in 2014 when volunteers took over the patch of organic land at Hammonds End Farm, and began to turn it into their very own vegetable and fruit mini-farm! They currently have a few vacancies for people wanting to join in; email their secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more, or look on their website here. A fabulous opportunity to learn more about growing your own, on a beautiful site, on the edge of Harpenden, working with a community of food growers, and you get to take the produce home! FoodSmiles St Albans web page: http://foodsmilesstalbans.blogspot.co.uk/p/about-us.html
Growing Your Own …if the thought of all this delicousness is making you crave fresh, locally grown fruit and veg you should put some dates in your diary to visit our unique and inspiring OpenFood Gardens this year – we have seven different local gardens opening from early summer where you can get tips and advice on growing your own, and designing your garden space, while satisfying your curiosity on how others do it! See dates and info for Open Food Gardens 2016.