A restaurant has risked enraging meat lovers after launching what is believed to be Britain's first completely plant-based vegan CARVERY.
The owners of The Barn in the village of Willey, Warks., say visitors are flocking from across the country to try their meatless Sunday lunch.
Landlords Sarah Goodchild and Ben Stead-Davis, both 34, have been serving the 13-item roast dinner at their establishment throughout January.
And it has proved such a hit with hungry vegans that people have been travelling hundreds of miles from as far as Wales and Stoke to sample the unique carvery.
The £14.95 meal features a choice of ‘Tofurky’(Tofu turkey), Seitan, nut roast and plant-based Lincolnshire sausages with all the usual trimmings.
Sides include vegan Yorkshire puddings, roast potatoes, maple glazed parsnips, carrots, mash, roast cabbage, creamy leeks, stuffing and a red wine gravy.
The vegan couple believe the plant-based carvery at their quaint village pub and restaurant is the only one of its kind in Britain - and possibly the world.
But their decision to go completely meat-free has received a mixed response from some customers who enjoy the more traditional beef, lamb and turkey combo.
Dad-of-one Ben, who is co-owner and also head chef, said: "We are proud to say we are the only restaurant in the UK and even maybe the world doing what we are.
"There are places who will offer vegan alternatives on their Sunday lunch menu - but we don't believe anywhere else is serving a vegan carvery like ours - including vegan restaurants.
“The support we have received has been incredible and for the next few Sundays, our carvery is fully booked.
“On Sunday we had people say they had travelled hours to come and have one of our roasts.
“Now that the whole restaurant is going vegan, I hope we can keep this support.
“We will do lots of things to keep the menu ever-changing and interesting.
“As a chef, I find being vegan easy as I can use my brain to think of something delicious to make.
“You just have to be open-minded, and you can make some great vegan dishes.
“I think people worry about where they are going to get their protein from but what people forget is that beans are very high in protein and tofu actually has more protein in it than steak.”
Ben and Sarah took over the pub in September last year after they began working at the establishment in 2017.
They wanted to expand the plant-based options on the menu which was predominantly meat dishes and trialled a vegan roast in November.
After the initial success, the pair, of Brinklow, Warks., decided to launch a completely vegan Sunday carvery throughout ‘Veganuary’.
The couple have now decided to ditch all meat and dairy products in their restaurant and from tomorrow (Wed) The Barn will be branded a vegan pub.
Sarah, co-owner and general manager of The Barn, said she had been 'overwhelmed' with the support their vegan carvery had received so far.
The mum-of-one said: “My partner and I took this restaurant on in September and have since been slowly introducing more and more vegan items on to what has always been a very meat-based menu.
“We are finding our little restaurant is becoming increasingly popular among the vegan community and we would like to ask for a little more support to help us succeed as the UK’s first fully-vegan carvery.
“Every week we serve up homemade, plant-based roasts along with Yorkshires, cauliflower cheese and all of the trimmings - all vegan.
"Up until now though we’ve still had to offer meat as well, but this has been served up in the kitchen, out of sight of the customers.
"We have decided that now is the time to try and ditch the meat entirely."
The vegan carvery is served in buffet form every Sunday from 10am to 4pm and everything is made freshly in-house by Ben.
For the next three weeks the pub is fully booked for their vegan Sunday roast and is expecting to serve over 130 guests next Sunday.
Melanie Kidd-White, 70, of Rugby, Warks., visited The Barn for a vegan roast on Sunday (29/1).
The former probation officer said: “I was really excited as I had never been to a fully vegan carvery.
“I have been to other carveries like Toby Carvery where they offer vegan options but you still have to look at all the meat joints when you go up.
“I absolutely loved the Seitan. I’ve had Seitan before and not particularly liked it but the one here today is excellent and a nice alternative to meat.
“I’ve been vegan for 18 years and vegetarian a lot longer.
“I think the Toby Carvery is a bit cheaper but vegan food is not mass produced so I think you would expect it to be more expensive.
“Being a vegan has got a lot better. When I first became a vegan, it was hard to eat out and food was never an enjoyment but now it is.”
Another customer Adam Smith, 25, a software engineer, added: “It’s good to have places available that accommodate us.
“My family has always been vegetarian, and I just transitioned into veganism over the years.
“Most places you’ll go will have one or two vegan options on the menu, but at The Barn there are so many options which is why we have decided to come and support this place.”
However, one would-be local customer said he was put off by the lack of the meat on the menu and would not return.
Daniel Lawley, 37, of Rugby, said: "You can't have a carvery without any meat. It's not a proper carvery then.
"This just puts me off going there again. I'm all for vegans having options but enforcing their lifestyle on others discriminates against us meat lovers."
Others took to social media, where Rich Davidson commented: "Carvery is meat...stop this ridiculous charade.
"Don't eat meat fine, stop calling veg after animal parts, and trying to make veg taste like meat."
And Ben Taylor added: "A village called Willey going meat free, you've got to laugh.
"The Sunday carvery is a staple of British cuisine, and now the vegans are taking that away too? Is nothing sacred anymore!?"