My Personal Review of Southampton's First Gluten-free Vegan Haven
May I begin with a huge thank you. A huge thank you to the universe for finally answering my prayers and bringing gluten-free dairy-free vegan cuisine to Southampton!
Anyone who knows me (and my personal training clients for that matter) knows how long we've been waiting for a place like this to open, and show people exactly what can be done with plant proteins, veggies and natural whole ingredients that aren't processed. As well as demonstrating that vegan food isn't all about lentils, leaf-loving and tree-hugging (a few of the terms I've heard it described as over the years...)
And yes while my beloved Wild Food Cafe is certainly worth the journey to London, it isn't always practical for every Southampton resident to take a few hours off to travel up there (although I do highly recommend everyone does at some point, just saying...)
ANYWAY, I digress - back to our very own Cafe Meon 🙂 My gorgeous husband and I met and made friends with the lovely Trish (front of house) and her son Pete (chef) and the Taste of Wickham Food Festival. Let's just say we were pretty grateful we'd booked a table when we strolled over and saw how busy it was! (Must've been the awesome food demos...)
Located in the quirky and quaint Chesapeake Mill, and tucked away among the scores of antiques (walk right through to the back and you'll see the cafe) this place really is a goldmine for gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan awesomeness. And now you know it exists, you MUST take advantage!
Anyone who wonders in is greeted with a genuinely warm welcome from the team; all of whom are PASSIONATE and knowledgeable about plant-based food and the great quality local coffee they proudly serve (from WInchester Coffee Roasters - can't get more local than that!)
It's not a huge place, so along with the incredible food and personal homely vibe, it's impossible not to feel at home there...unless there's something wrong with you (in which case I invite you to stop reading at this point, as this review and blog will not apply to you. But thanks anyway for visiting!)
Very rarely do I walk into a place where I can choose to eat anything on the menu. Without having to make adjustments. So on this occasion, having such a choice meant it took me ages to decide!!! I (eventually) went for the smashed avocado on their homemade chia, sunflower and pumpkin seed bread and I'm so glad I did as I think it was one of the best breads I've ever had. I urge you to try it and if you ask nicely, they might even make you a loaf to take home and freeze...
My husband chose the chickpea and broad bean falafels, that come with hummus and a load of other pretty bits and bobs that make the dish look like it belongs in a Michelin starred fancy-pants gaff. And it was absolutely divine.
Earlier in the day, we'd already sampled their blueberry/lemon and chocolate orange muffins, purely for research purposes and to check they tasted as good as they looked (affirmative.) There's a great little selection of freshly baked cakes, cookies and other baked goods like scones to choose from. All perfect sweet treats for cheat meals and special occasions, but get in there quick as when they're gone they're gone!
My overall verdict? You may well have got the subtle impression that this is my new favourite place to eat in Southampton so chances are we'll run into each other when you visit. Which I urge you to do, like now.
Oh and a nice bonus feature is they also offer free wifi, so students, aspiring novelists, bloggers and anyone who fancies somewhere cosy other than home or the library to get their work done can do so. Three guesses for where I am right now as I type this???) Here's proof in the form of another demolished avocado on super-food bread toast, in case you don't believe me: 😉