A Vegan day out in St Ives
St Ives’s narrow windy lanes and picturesque buildings bring to mind tales of smuggling in bygone days. Tourists are drawn to this south Cornwall costal town for the historic streets crammed with independent shops and for its miles of golden beaches.
I would advise using the park and ride service for your visit from Lelant Saltings railway station or Trenwith car park in St Ives, especially at busy times. There are other Council run car parks in St Ives but it can be tricky negotiating the narrow, hilly streets.
St Ives has been a mecca for artists for many years, partly due to the dramatic coast, atmospheric light and quirky buildings. The area has also provided inspiration for writers such as Virginia Wolfe and DH Lawrence. There are plenty of good quality small galleries, and the Tate St Ives modern art gallery hosts exhibitions by renowned artists. A visit to the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden will make for a special day.
A day out for vegans in St Ives wouldn’t be complete without quality dining, so here’s my food recommendations:
A soya latte and sweet pasty at the Yellow Canary is an enjoyable way to start the day. You can also buy vegetable pasties from here or from Pengenna Pasties. Pengenna sell scones and a range of sweet pastries suitable for vegans, such as Eccles cakes and apple turnovers.
You can stock up for a picnic or on staple supplies from the Good Health shop near the Tate St Ives. Their salad bar can veganise the falafel salad box, many sandwiches and more.
St Ives is home to the The Raw Chocolate Pie Company, who now sell their range of superfood chocolate goodies nationwide. You can pick up these treats from Hazelphron Herb farm shop in the lanes, just off the harbour front. They stock many flavours including chocolate & chilli or raw chocolate goji. My current favourite is the green tea and coconut. Most are vegan and are delicious.
On the harbour front, opposite the St Ives Arts Club is Blas Burgerworks, a burger restaurant, open in the summer from noon until 9.30pm. They do a great vegan tofu burger, made with tofu, ginger, coriander & chilli and served with tahini sauce, roast peppers & fresh salad sprouts. Vegan passion fruit sorbet is on offer for dessert and they stock soya milk for drinks.
A short drive (6 miles) or bus ride away is Johnnys Café and Health Food shop in the picturesque coastal town of Hayle. They serve vegan breakfast, scones, pancakes and specials in cosy surroundings.
If you want to enjoy the evening hustle and bustle of the St Ives, you can eat at Spinacio’s vegetarian café and restaurant. Located on the harbour front the views are superb and the restaurant setting enticing. Many dishes are vegan or can be made vegan and may include vegan chocolate & date bonbons with ice-cream or vegan tofu cheesecake with ice-cream. Vegans in recent years have described the food as amazing, imaginative and delectable. Note: due to the entrance being up a flight of stairs this restaurant is not suitable for those with disabled access requirements.
To escape the crowds of town for an evening meal, head up to The Bean Inn vegetarian café & restaurant (as recommended in The Guardian, Channel 4 etc) at the peaceful Carbis Bay. This place has grown hugely in popularity since its creation in 2003, and the chef has appeared on television alongside fancy chef types. You can relax and enjoy a meal and the art on the walls in their intimate, candlelit restaurant, accompanied by a glass of organic or local wine or beer. Most of the menu is gluten free and vegan. I find the staff warm and welcoming and I can personally testify to how good the food is here. The clear highlight for me is the Dark chocolate & raspberry mud pie, a must for chocoholics.
Wander down to one of the beaches after your meal for a peaceful end to the day watching one of Cornwall’s beautiful sunsets.
Cafe and restaurant details – Correct as of August 2015
The Coast vegetarian B&B & The Bean Inn vegetarian cafe & restaurant, Carbis Bay, St Ives, TR26 2RT. Tel: 01736 795918 www.coastcornwall.co.uk – Open for evening meals 5.30pm-10.30pm, last orders 8.30pm, (Fri & Sat in Oct)
Spinacio’s Vegetarian Cafe & Restaurant, Old Custom House, Wharf Road, St Ives, TR26 1LF. Tel: 01736 798818 W spinacios.co.uk
E email@example.com – 5pm-9.30pm Mid Mar-Oct
Pengenna Pasties Ltd, 9 High Street, St Ives, TR26 1RR. Tel: 01736 794100 www.pengennapasties.co.uk – 9am-5.30pm, 7 days a week
Good Health, 10A Tregenna Place, St Ives, TR26 1SB. Tel: 01736 794726 – Mon-Sat 8.30am-5.30pm
Blas Burgerworks, The Warren, St Ives, TR26 2EA. Tel: 01736 797272 www.blasburgerworks.co.uk – 12 noon-9.30pm throughout the summer
Yellow Canary, 12 Fore Street, St Ives, TR26 1AB. Tel: 01736 797118 – 7 days a week March – November. Summer 7am-10pm. Winter 9am-5pm
Hazelphron Herb Farm Shop, 62 Fore Street, St Ives, TR26 1HW. Tel: 01736 791891 – Mon-Sat 10am-5pm