Cooking classes, wellness retreats and foraging: 10 of the best holidays in the UK for vegetarians and vegans | Food and drink


Mayu Retreats, Norfolk

Luxury and vegetarian are two words you rarely savor in the same sentence. This is why Mayu is something of a rarity: beautifully presented, delicious meatless menus in a sumptuous setting. Mayu’s philosophy is rooted in nutrition, increasing your intake of as many different plant-based ingredients as possible – expect at least 30 in a two-day stay. Husband and wife team Pamela and Kieron offer expert nutritional advice along with delicious cuisine. Their next retreat (September 3-6) will be at Great Barn Farm, a luxury barn with swimming pool, steam room and jacuzzi, as well as daily yoga and Pilates, and nature trails in the heart of the Norfolk countryside.
From £550 for
three nights, including accommodation, meals, drinks and activities; mayuretreats.co.uk

Our Lizzy, Worcestershire

Lizzy’s offers dishes ranging from plant-based Greek and Thai dishes to tofu, vegan baking, street food and dairy-free desserts. Private lessons can also be arranged, including a cooking class for children and gluten-free cooking. There are two guest rooms, with a vegan breakfast to start the day and evening meals on request.
Day courses from £90, doubles from £72 B&B; ourlizzy.com

Saorsa 1875, Perthshire

Bright ideas: Saorsa 1875, Scotland's first vegan hotel.

Scotland’s first vegan hotel, Saorsa aims to prove that boutique style doesn’t need to involve animal products. The 11 bedrooms all feature Egyptian cotton on the beds and vegan toiletries in the luxury bathrooms. Set in a grand 19th century stately home, it has a nice dose of old-fashioned glamor alongside sustainable ethics. The food is plant-based, with an emphasis on local ingredients. Doubles from £160 B&B; saorsahotel.com

Avenue Cookery School, London

rolling sushi

For those who really want to expand their vegan repertoire, the Avenue offers a one- or two-week vegan cooking class, covering the basics, as well as pastries and dinner dishes. The first week is more for beginners, with the second week suitable for intermediate level people. The two weeks can be booked separately and the course is an informal and fun affair. Accommodation can be booked directly with the Avenue (£305 pp for four nights).
The five-day course costs £895; theavenuecookeryschool.com

Demuths Cooking School, Bath

Demuths Cooking School, Bath

The original plant-based cooking school, Demuths, offers full-day, half-day and evening courses, including courses in South Indian thali, Lebanese meze and Asian street food, as well as classes focusing on quick and easy meals, 30-minute dinners and Sunday brunch. For serious cooks, the Vegan Diploma is a five-day course, covering everything from knife skills to using ingredients like aquafaba. Combine a course with a stay at the Queensberry Hotel, which offers vegan/vegetarian tasting menus and a vegan breakfast.
Doubles from £148.50 room only; thequeensberry.co.uk. Day courses £185/vegan diploma £1,050; demuths.co.uk

The Detox Barn, Suffolk

Country casual: the Detox Barn offers cozy and cheerful rooms.

Run by two sisters, the Detox Barn is a stylish conversion surrounded by the Suffolk countryside, offering weekend getaways with yoga, guided walks, beauty treatments and plant-based meals. With a healthy dose of refreshing good humor (the class includes a demonstration on how to make smoothies “that don’t taste like pond water”), accommodation is in the cozy rooms of the barn or offsite.
Two-night Gentle Detox Break £495 per person, with meals, drinks and courses; gavinsisters.co.uk

Over the Rainbow, Cardigan Bay

Over the Rainbow, Cardigan Bay

This restored Georgian mansion, set in acres of woodland and gardens near the Welsh coast, is ideal for those seeking a sense of escape. Run on ethical and environmental principles, the house uses renewable sources for heating and electricity, and many of the ingredients for the delicious vegan/vegetarian breakfasts come from the surrounding gardens. Rooms celebrate female history, myths and legends, with B&B stays Thursday through Sunday.
Doubles from £100 B&B (two night minimum); overtherainbowwales.co.uk

Hotel Stonecroft Bed and Breakfast

Hotel Stonecroft Bed and Breakfast

Surrounded by the spectacular scenery of the Peak District National Park, Stonecroft is the passion project of chef Julia Reid, who produces sumptuous vegan and gluten-free breakfasts and hearty packed lunches for those planning a day of walking in the hills. . The bedrooms have wonderful views of the Edale Valley or Kinder Scout, while on cooler days the communal lounge is a great place to relax by the fire.
Doubles from £130 B&B; stonecroftguesthouse.co.uk

Live Wild, Yorkshire

Live Wild, Yorkshire

Foraging classes focus on edible plants and seeds that grow wild in the countryside, making them ideal for vegans and veggies. Live Wild offers four-hour foraging classes, or a longer option including lunch, covering all aspects of wild foraging, including plant history and folklore. Stay at Vegan Home, a cozy, pet-friendly B&B in the Calder Valley, a short walk along the canal from the town center (from £175; veganhome.co.uk).
Lessons from £50 per person; livewild.org.uk

Ambleside, Cumbria

Ambleside, Cumbria

A classic Lakes house near Windermere, Ambleside Manor has 15 comfortable bedrooms, many with wonderful views over the grounds. Ideal for a break with the kids, there are family rooms and dog-friendly rooms, and hearty vegan or vegetarian breakfasts. The house is within walking distance of two vegetarian restaurants, Zefirellis and Fellinisoffering pizza, pasta and Mediterranean dishes.
Doubles from £130 B&B (two night minimum); ambleside-manor.co.uk.

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