COLUMN: Tracy’s Tips: The Bucks restaurant that is a must visit for all vegans and meat eaters

The Hawkyns restaurant in Old Amersham
The Hawkyns restaurant in Old Amersham

Veganism is fast becoming a lifestyle choice for health conscious individuals and animal lovers worldwide.

Phenomenally taking over the beginning of each year, the iconic Veganuary event sees non-vegans spend 30 days ditching meat and dairy in favour of plant-based protein and a more healthy natural lifestyle.

Some of the dishes on offer at the restaurant

Some of the dishes on offer at the restaurant

Having being vegetarian since the age of five and vegan for the past half a decade, I adore experimenting with recipes, sampling menus and discovering vegan-friendly restaurants.

My love of good food goes hand-in-hand with daily fitness and has assisted me in placing second in my first natural bodybuilding contest with Pure Elite last summer – proof that eating all of your vegetables does make you grow big and strong!

Eating out as a vegan can be a bit of a challenge though as, sadly, not all restaurants cater for a non-dairy diet and many still struggle to find anything more exciting than salad, fish or eggs for vegetarian options.

Twice Michelin Starred chef Atul Kochhar of Hawkyns Restaurant in Old Amersham has created the most exquisite vegan tasting menu by fusing English and Indian cuisine to enlighten and inspire even the most fussy of meat eaters – and there’s a pretty impressive drinks menu, too.

Ranging from traditional Sunday roasts to à la carte, meat, vegetarian and vegan tasting menus, children’s menus and bar snacks his creative flair for marrying flavours and sourcing high quality local ingredients shines through in each delectable dish.

I stopped by with my other half for a late lunch and ooh’d and ahh’d my way through the vegan menu of Heritage Beetroot with an avocado and pomegranate chaat followed by the Mushroom Galettes of saffron bread, pickled mushroom and truffle cones.

For my main I had the Jerusalem Artichoke Risotto with spiced broccoli, truffle and shallots finishing with a mixed berry sorbet for dessert.

I’m drooling again already at the memory of such wonderful flavours, taste and textures; vibrant, fresh, uplifting and feel-good hearty food with a stunning contemporary twist.

I have it on good authority from my meat-eating companion that the duck salad, chicken roast and fruit crumble is pretty scrumptious, too – an absolute must for foodies in Buckinghamshire!

Chef Atul Kochhar will also be joined at Hawkyns by guest chefs Paul Ainsworth on 28th February, Nigel Haworth on 28th March and Paul Foster - culinary 
collaborations not to be missed.