the years, we have constantly faced an uphill battle finding
hotels/restaurants that really understand vegetarian cuisine - even
today I can remember the offence caused in 1990 when we bought all
our French hoteliers a vegetarian recipe book as a Christmas
present! We thought we were being helpful; they thought we were
telling them they couldn't cook - fortunately we smoothed things
out, but it wasn't our finest of hours!
So, what's changed in 20
years? Well, there's little doubt that the UK is streets ahead of
most other European countries when it comes to catering for people
who don't eat meat: virtually every restaurant in the land offers
meat-free options with an increasing number of vegetarian-only
eateries popping up every week. In
by contrast, you'll often struggle to find anything other than a
cheese or herb omelette, or a plate of crudités, often with
hams/salamis on the side "just in case you change your mind"!
But, of course, places do exist where menus for vegetarian guests
are considered just as important as any others. In general, southern
countries fare pretty well, with the mezze style of cooking in
holding particular appeal.
Additionally, within the Headwater programme, we have a number of
holidays where the chefs are particularly in tune with vegetarian
cuisine. Here are 6 of our favourites:
of the Forest Walk, France
Host and chef Carolynn Grimaldi creates innovative and nutritional
vegetarian dishes, using locally grown vegetables combined with
dairy products, beans and pulses.
In-house chickens provide organic eggs for breakfast and seasonal
fruits - melons, blackberries, peaches - are used to produce fresh,
Secret Tuscany Walk, Italy
The romantic wooded hills of Italy's Alto Mugello are the perfect
setting for this off-the-beaten-track walking week, based in the
pretty mediaeval village of Palazzuolo sul Senio. Our hotel here is
renowned throughout the region for its prized restaurant: expect to
taste mulberries, cherries, sage, tarragon, rosemary and wild
mushrooms freshly picked from the gardens. We have also included
cookery demonstrations, wine and olive oil tasting as well as a gala
dinner on your final night.
Coastal & Country Tuscany, Italy
The Maremma is the beautifully undiscovered coastal corner of south
west Tuscany, and comprises tiny mediaeval villages, sun-kissed
beaches and ancient woodlands. Headwater guests stay at the
luxurious villa-hotel Agriturismo Acquaviva where meals are served
in the elegant candle-lit dining room or on the panoramic terrace.
Menus rely heavily on fresh, home-grown produce - you can even drink
wine from the villa's private vineyard.
Secrets of Andalucia, Spain
one of our most popular walking holidays with special appeal to
guests looking for real "home from home" comfort in a relaxed and characterful setting. All meals are included (wine too!) with
lunches being a mix of freshly prepared picnics and tapas bar
snacks, and evening meals taken in-house or at hand-picked local
restaurants. The cooking in this part of Spain very much reflects
the region's history and climate: seafood, salads and the
world-famous gazpacho made from vine-ripened tomatoes, peppers,
onions, garlic and olive oil.
Catalan Classic Walk, Spain
This is one of our most up-market Spanish walking holidays with high
quality accommodation and fine dining guaranteed throughout (evening
meals are included 4 nights out of 6). Local specialities include
saffron risotto with asparagus and tomato and lentil salad with soft
cheese and seaweed.
New for autumn 2010, this 10-day walking and sightseeing holiday is
crammed with cultural, historic and architectural delights. Syrian
cuisine is a subtle blend of Mediterranean and Arab flavours - very
much reflecting the country's rich cultural heritage - and convivial
mezze style dining makes mealtimes a shared, social and fun