Tuesday 17 May 2016

Dickens Vegan Night

A little while ago I heard on the grapevine that a restaurant local to me in Halstead Essex, Dickens, was hosting a couple of vegan nights. This was a total shock and surprise to me as I have always felt that Halstead, and the surrounding areas, are pretty un-vegan friendly. 

On hearing this news I immediately picked up my phone to call Dickens and enquire about the event and everything I heard was true - they were holding 2 special vegan evenings at the beginning of May. So of course I booked us a table and I was very intrigued to find out what was on offer.

Dickens is about a 2 minute walk from my house so on the evening of our table reservation it felt like such a novelty to be able to just walk around the corner and go for dinner. This is not something we're very used to in our area and we normally find ourselves driving all over the place in order to get a decent vegan meal out. 

Dickens has been known to hold a number of buffet evenings in the past and my initial guess was that this was going to be another buffet evening. I was surprised when we were shown to our table that it was instead a 5 course set menu.

All of our food came out very swiftly and was presented very nicely. It was clear from the start and from looking at the menu that a lot of thought had gone into the planning of these dishes and they were in fact quite innovative. 

Taste wise everything was delicious and there were absolutely no complaints from our table. I loved the fact that everything was vegetable based and there were no imitation meat style ingredients included. It all felt very appetising and had the quality of good home cooked food. 

Overall we had a great evening at Dickens eating vegan which i'm surprised to be saying as this has always been a very meat orientated restaurant in my mind prior to this meal. It's amazing to see somewhere like this is recognising the changes in demand and is trying to include vegans and anyone who leads a dairy free lifestyle into their customer base. 

If I had any suggestions it would be for Dickens to perhaps promote this evening more on social media. I just so happened to hear about the night after a fellow Essex Vegan commented about it in the 'Essex Vegans' Facebook group but I was sad to find that there was little, if any, promotion from the restaurant themselves on this platform. Maybe if they had spread the word a little bit better beforehand we may have found more fellow vegans dining beside us on the night.

It would also be great to see a lower costing vegan night available here. The meal itself was £25 a head which I do feel was good value for what we were served, up but it wouldn't make this a regular occurrence for us and, instead, more of a one off treat. Maybe if Dickens decided to hold a lower costing vegetarian & vegan buffet night it would be more of a regular option for us, and it would probably draw in more plant based eaters from around the local area. Just an idea!

The next vegan evenings at Dickens are planned for June 24th & 25th so be sure to give them a call if you would like to try out their vegan menu for yourself. You can also keep up to date with all of their events through their Facebook page  

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