The Queen Inn, a country pub in Upper Cwmbran, South Wales, will keep the menu 100% vegan after a successful Veganuary.
In December 2021, the owners of The Queen Inn pub announced they were celebrating Veganuary by launching a fully vegan menu for a month. They swapped many of their traditional ‘pub grub’ dishes with plant-based alternatives such as “chicken” madras, “beef” lasagna and “shrimp” noodles.
To their surprise, the menu was a phenomenal success and the pub was fully booked for the entire month, making it their busiest period in 17 years. Following the positive response to their meat-free menu, the Queen Inn will stay vegan after January, which makes them the first country pub in Wales to do so.
The Queen Inn’s vegan journey
Gareth and Jane Edwards have been running The Queen Inn for over a decade with Ryan, their son. Jane and Ryan went vegan after taking part in Veganuary 2021, and as a result, they’ve been expanding the pub’s vegan offerings ever since. With the demand for plant-based options bigger than ever, they decided now was the time to experiment with a fully vegan menu.
However, they weren’t prepared for the boom in bookings that would follow. “Taking the pub vegan for Veganuary 2022 was mainly only planned to see what vegan options sell the best, with the plan to keep the best sellers on the menu alongside animal products,” Ryan told us.
To create the menu, Ryan imagined his ‘dream pub menu’ and ways it could be made vegan. He said, “I’ve tried to include as many different cuisines you could expect at a pub so we cover all bases. I’ve tried to ensure we offer a vegetable option as well as a “meat” option to most dishes.” He consulted Jane, Gareth and the pub chefs for their feedback to create the menu that has seen unprecedented popularity this January.
Ryan added: “We’re confident that our menu next month will be even better as we’re using the knowledge and experience from this month, knowing what people enjoy the most, and capitalising on that. We’re getting rid of anything that didn’t sell too well and prioritising more options to the big sellers.”
The Queen Inn joins other businesses committing to plant-based foods, including Pizza Express’ 100% vegan pizzeria and Honest Burgers’ vegan restaurant in London. Let’s hope more pubs and restaurants follow in their footsteps!
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