Before venturing up to the Lake District this summer I was convinced that there would be no vegan options on any pub, cafe or restaurant menu, let alone whole establishments catering to the lifestyle. This notion came about after visiting last summer and finding it incredibly difficult to dine out with non-vegan family in pubs and hotel restaurants, as most, if not all dishes contained meat and dairy so I resorted to eating the sides every vegan opts for in this kind of crisis – chips, side salads and garlic bread if you’re incredibly lucky to find that it’s vegan.
Before planning another trip there back in May, I had a look on Trip Advisor for places that served vegan food in a bid to prepare myself a bit better than last time. That was when I came across Kat’s Kitchen in Keswick, a market town in the North West of the Lake District.
The cafe serves an array of both homemade vegan and vegetarian food and Kat even runs a cake making service from the cafe itself, as well as selling vegan produce you may not necessarily find in supermarkets, such as Tofurkey mock meats.
The extensive menu includes a vegan full English breakfast, sandwiches, mac and cheese, shepherdless pie, cakes, smoothies, milkshakes and coffee, to name but a few items on their menu.
The cafe also gives diners access to both outdoor and indoor seating. Outside food can be enjoyed on picnic benches, each decorated with pansies in vintage style troughs, overlooking the River Greta. The inside of the cafe has an even homelier vibe with comfortable sofas, quaint tables and bookshelves made from up-cycled wooden crates.
I’ve visited Kat’s Kitchen on five separate occasions now, each time tucking into a delicious Vegan BLT. This consists of Tofurky Smoky Maple Bacon Tempeh, tomatoes, leafy green salad, ketchup and vegan mayo on a white bread bap, served with a side salad.
Before trying this BLT I’d never eaten tempeh before. I always thought it looked a bit funny but after trying it a few months ago for the first time at Kat’s Kitchen I’ve been hooked since and I can’t stop returning to get my BLT fix.
This particular tempeh is the perfect bacon substitute. Not only does it sit lightly on your stomach, it’s also filled with flavour and tastes like meat, without having an overly realistic texture to accompany it. The salad and sauces compliment the tempeh perfectly, making for a healthy yet delicious version of a traditional BLT containing animal products.
My boyfriend, Chris also highly recommends this BLT and thoroughly enjoys the strawberry milkshakes, served in glass jars and topped with whipped cream.
Whether you’re popping in for a quick brew and a slice of cake, or wanting to chow down on a plate full of plant based goodness, Kat’s Kitchen will have you feeling right at home and returning time and time again to indulge in the warmth and comfort of tasty, home cooked food.