Having travelled the world, and spent many a weekend pining for one, I know from experience that us Brits really do enjoy a traditional Sunday Roast. It’s the cornerstone of family gatherings, and it not only celebrates getting together with loved ones to essentially gorge until we feel sick, it celebrates our seasonal root veggies and greens in all their glory.
All hail the Sunday Roast, and every second of indigestion it gives us!
But what happens when you move away from the joint of meat to a hearty nut roast? Are Vegan Sunday Roasts as good? Sadly, they are simply quite hard to come by; and when they are, they can often be nothing short of uninspiring. I’ve sat solemnly many a time looking at a plate of roasties and a few blobs of saggy, overcooked veg while friends tuck into all the trimmings. It’s enough to make your weekend a whole disaster!
But, every now and then, you stumble across an establishment who take their vegan roast dinners seriously, and give them the love and attention they so deserve. And when you find these stars, oh how your world lights up!
Meet: Earth and Stars, an environmentally friendly pub in Brighton; powered by a solar panels, serving organic beers, spirits and wines, and boasting THE most epic vegan roasts (not one, but TWO options ladies and gents!) plus vegan desserts too. Heaven!
This isn’t a hidden gem though, and word has spread far and wide of these delights, so you need to book or get in super early. We managed to sneak in just as food was being served at 12:30pm, and grab a table reserved 2 hours later.
As there were two of us we got to order and try both of the vegan roast options available: A fennel, chestnut mushroom and hazelnut tart, and a leek spinach and lemon ricotta filo, all served with herb and garlic roasties, rosemary roasted squash, celeriac puree, maple roasted carrots and winter cabbage and greens. We also cheekily (for research purposes, obviously) ordered a side of the cauliflower (cashew) cheese.
And OMG. It was all divine. Having attempted, and often messed up, a roast dinner before, I know how hard it is to get every element cooked perfectly. It’s about as easy as rubbing your belly and patting your head: doable in theory but requires too much concentration and energy to actually be bothered trying. But both our dishes at Earth and Stars were cooked to perfection; with portion sizes which were both generous but not heart attack inducing.
The best Vegan Roast in England? I challenge you to find me something better! (no really, I do. Let me know if there are others you think I should know about)
I honestly feel satisfied in life knowing that a place like this exists. What’s most special, is that this is the kind of loveliness on a plate that non veggies would be impressed with, and come back for too. I often find myself fervently championing vegan food to a room full of sceptics, with mixed response. But in future I think I’ll just bring them to Earth and Stars, and let the food do the talking.