Monday, 15 September 2014

Vegan Colchester Christmas Guide 2014

As ever  this information is to be used as a guide only.  Please do your own research to check suitability before buying/booking!

Supermarket shopping:

Chilled Buffet food: Vbites "Vegi Deli" range is available at Holland and Barrett, and includes things like mini sausages, pate, ham style slices, etc.
Most supermarkets also sell chilled spring rolls, samosas and bhajis, which can be cooked for buffets.
Vegan cheeses can be found at Natural Foods (Eld Lane), Sunflower Natural Food store (St Botolphs Street), Holland and Barrett (Priory Walk) and Tesco (Highwoods).

Frozen Buffet food:  Linda Mc Cartney sausage rolls are sold in most supermakets. Supermarkets such as Iceland and Tesco usually sell frozen buffet food such as vegetarian Indian snack selections, veggie spring rolls etc. 

For more party food ideas visit "The Vegan Woman" website:

Crisps and snacks: Many  crisps are vegan-just watch out for whey powder/lactose, and perhaps honey.  
See a list of some suitable crisps/snacks on the Vegan Womble website, here:

Biscuits: Biscuits include hobnobs, Oreos and most brands of bourbons, 
For a list of vegan biscuits see the Vegan Womble website, here:

Festive sweet treats! (Mince Pies/Stollen/ Christmas Pudding): Mince pies can be found at Iceland, as can stollen, and christmas puddings. Other supermarkets also seem to often have vegan-friendly stollen and Christmas puddings.

Ice cream
-Most supermarkets sell vanilla Swedish Glace. 
-Tollgate Sainsbury's also sell "Food Heaven" icecream, in mango and raspberry flavour.
-Waitrose sell 4 flavours of Almond Dream, 3 flavours of Swedish Glace, and also ice cream by "Coconut Collaborative".  
-Holland and Barrett and Natural Foods sell Booja Booja icecream, made using cashew nuts.

Chocolates: Natural Foods (on Eld Lane) and Holland and Barrett will have specialist brands of vegan chocolates, as will most supermarket's "free from" sections.  
Other mainstream dark chocolates may be vegan..just watch out for whey powder, lactose or butterfat on the ingredients list. 
Tesco sell these very delicious and creamy hazelnut "Gianduiotti" chocolates, which just so happen to be vegan!

Sweet Pastries/pies:

-Most supermarkets sell frozen fruit strudels which are usually vegan.
-At last check the following Mr Kipling products were vegan:
Mr Kipling Jam Tarts, Lyons Jam Tarts, Lyons Treacle tart, Mr Kipling Apple and Blackcurrant Pies, Mr Kipling Treacle Tart.
(Add some Alpro cream or custard, and you're good to go!)
-Jus rol sell a few read-to-bake pastries, including pain au chocolat, and croissants.

Co-op and Marks and Spencer label which of their wines are suitable for vegans. Vegan beers include Heineken, Stella Artois and Budweiser.
The Barnivore website is a handy place to check the suitability of beers, wines, spirits and mixers when shopping:

Recipe Resources:

Christmas Mains:

There are some great looking recipes for vegan roasts on the "Mouthwatering Vegan" website.  Ie:

More festive recipes from Mouthwatering Vegan can be found here:

More recipes can be found at:
Viva! Christmas recipe selection:


Eating Out Guide

The Minories, High Street Colchester

2 courses £19.50
3 courses £24.50
Group bookings for lunch/dinner available from Dec 1st. Contact, phone 01206 712432

Homemade vegetable soup. 
Mushroom and Tarregon pate, served with melba toast and a rocket and cherry tomato salad

Chestnut and cranberry nut loaf,  with seasonal vegetables, roast potatoes and homemade vegetarian gravy

Vegan cake, to be confirmed!


The Rose and Crown, East Hill.

Party nights £25-£35 depending on date. Christmas lunches £17-£19 depending on date.
Vegan options
-Mixed vegetable sausages with mash potato and caramelized onion gravy
-Garlic cream Mushrooms on a homemade onion Rosti
-Filo pastry pillow, with Tuscan style vegetables and tomato sauce, served with seasonal vegetables and potatoes.
No dessert option. Information on drinks not available.
Visit the Rose and Crown website here

The Lemon Tree, St Johns Street

3 courses advertised at £22.50, although only 2 vegan courses available.

Spiced parsnip soup with fresh bread

Apricot, leek and walnut vegetarian roast with vegetarian gravy and roast potatoes**


Grilled artichoke and chestnut risotto topped with rocket (request no parmesan)

No dessert option.
No vegan drinks available.

*Edit: Large parties may be able to negotiate a better menu, including dessert! (I heard the staff at Lush did!) 

Visit The Lemon Tree website at


Toby Carvery, London Road Stanway

Nut Roast Wellington £6.29
Sweet potatoes, grated carrots and parsnips 
spiced with paprika and sage, then mixed 
with crushed walnuts, cashew nuts and butter 
beans and wrapped in a pastry jacket

Visit Toby Carvery website at


Further afield....

The Veggie Red Lion, Great Bricett, Suffolk
2 course £14.90 
3 course £19.90 


Creamed pea, brie & tarragon pithivier Can be made vegan  [pithivier is a pie, for those not in the know!]
Cauliflower, caraway & almond soup Can be made vegan 
Chestnut & sweet potato cakes with caramelised pineapple & ginger salsa Vegan


Chestnut, wild rice, parsnip & pistachio roast with red wine gravy Can be made vegan
Mushroom, cashew & port hotpot pie Can be made vegan
Pumpkin & aubergine tagine with cranberry and sunflower seed cous-cous Vegan


Dark chocolate, cherry and amaretto torte Can be made vegan
Xmas pudding Can be made vegan

Booking essential.
Visit The Veggie Red Lion website here:


Drink Guide

Use the Barnivore website to check the suitability of beers, wines, spirits and mixers when drinking out:

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