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August 16, 2022

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An award-winning restaurant has hit out at ‘holier-than-thou’ vegan customers after it received backlash over its new menu, which does not include any main courses suitable for them. 

The Kitchen at London House on the Isle of Wight took to social media to defend itself against ‘nasty’ and ‘bullying’ vegans who were outraged at their decision to refuse to cater to their diets.

Addressing its critics, it said: ‘If you want vegan food, go to a vegan restaurant’.

The popular high street restaurant in Ventnor said that while it used to serve some vegan food they decided to stop due to a ‘militant minority’.

Vegans do not eat any food derived from animals and typically do not use any animal products at all.

The backlash from the island’s vegan community came after the restaurant and bistro recently announced the evening menu for Fridays and Saturdays on their Facebook page for their new London House Bistro restaurant. 

Backlash: The Kitchen @ London House on the Isle of Wight faced criticism after unveiling a new menu that does not include any mains dishes for customers who follow a vegan diet 

The menu boasts mains including short rib of beef, confit duck leg cassoulet, sea bass – and a sole vegetarian option of goats cheese fig tart.

However, some criticised the restaurant for not including a main dish for vegans.

One user commented, ‘No vegan mains!!’ to which the restaurant responded, ‘No!’, while another wrote, ‘sad menu’.

After defending their new menu choices, another user replied saying they were ‘trying your best to play the victim here’.

The restaurant took to social media to defend its decision over not including vegan dishes

The restaurant is well-known for its range of homemade pastries, quiches, cakes and scones

But others supported the restaurant’s decision, with one user telling disgruntled vegans, ‘Nice to see vegetarian[s] catered for rather than being lumped in with the tasteless vegan nonsense that some slop up’ and another writing, ‘Can’t wait to come visit’.

Just three days after their post announcing the menu, The Kitchen at London house wrote a second post lamenting the ‘bullying’ comments they received and explaining why they had stopped catering for ‘holier-than-thou’ vegans.

The post read: ‘I apologised politely and professionally that sadly we do not cater for vegans.

‘Had that of been a food intolerance we couldn’t cater for, ordinarily that would have sufficed.

‘However, some nasty people have felt it’s their place and right to criticise this fact.

‘Do you think that bullying someone is going to endear them to you? Is it going to make them rethink their decision*maybe I should? NO it does not!

‘We have in the past catered for vegans. Everything from Vegan cream teas, even had special Vegan bacon made so they could enjoy BLT’s amongst other things.

‘We stopped. Why? Because we got fed up with the arrogant, ‘holier-than-thou’ attitude.

‘Please, vegans, it is not a given that we should adapt our menu to suit your preference.

‘If you want vegan food, go to a vegan restaurant – which incidentally if I went to one and asked for a steak I wouldn’t get one, nor would I expect to.

‘You have chosen your lifestyle, it’s not a medical condition that you’ve been forced to endure through no fault of your own.

‘Your choice does not fit with our style of cooking. We respect your choice, and expect that you respect ours.

‘We know, it’s unfair to tar everyone with the same brush. Our decision to stop [catering] for vegans several years ago was sadly brought about by the militant minority which has subsequently spoil it for the majority..’

Owner Sally Cooper, pictured with former footballer Glen Hoddle, said she stopped catering to vegan customers after a ‘militant minority’ levelled abuse at her staff

Bistro owner Sally Cooper – who wrote the Facebook post – today said that she made the decision to stop catering to vegans after staff started to get abused.

Pre-pandemic the cafe served vegan cream teas and vegan bacon, she said. But customers started to complain that vegan products were being stored in the same chiller cabinets as meat.

‘I would say ‘Hang on a second,’ ‘ she said. ‘They’d look down their noses at us. We’d tell them what vegan options we could offer them and they’d said it was disgusting.’

Ms Cooper, 60, said her growing irritation with the ‘militant minority’ led to her decision not to provide a vegan option on the bistro menu.

‘It’s a small kitchen,’ she said. ‘We produce tasty, home cooked food. We don’t want to cook plant burgers, pulses and beans. It’s not our food.’

She said that since her post she had received a call to the shop from a man who had called her a ‘disgusting, dreadful woman.’ However, the overwhelming reaction had been supportive, she said.

The London House Bistro’s evening menu, served from 6pm on Fridays and Saturdays, launched on Friday.

The restaurant is well-known for homemade pastries, quiches, cakes and scones and has won awards in the past for its artisan breads, and is also famed for its homemade giant sausage rolls.

According to a YouGov poll commissioned in January, around two per cent of the population consider themselves vegan, with five to seven per cent as vegetarian, reports LBC.

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