THE world’s hospitality industry is celebrating vegetarianism today (Friday October 1) and proving there is more to the lifestyle choice and diet than the humble carrot or stuffed mushroom.

The Cotswolds is an area that is known for its great farms and produce, with chefs across the region showing exactly what they can do with vegetables and creating outstanding dishes without including meat. 

Relish Group, which runs a host of café and restaurant businesses across the region, is actually run by a vegetarian, Phillipa Sawyer.

One of the Relish venues is Jacks Tearoom and Kitchen on Black Jack Street in Cirencester.

“We like to think our menus are balanced and there is something for all diets, carnivores, pescatarians, vegans and vegetarians,” she said.

“Jacks has a brunch feel to the menu and vegetarians can enjoy marinated heritage tomatoes, wild garlic and burrata on toast or a sweet potato cake, yoghurt, harissa and poached eggs.

“Our chefs are passionate about catering for all our customers whilst delivering great quality dishes, sourcing ingredients locally where possible. They design the menus with many dietary needs in mind and often a core dish is adapted and listed on the menu as also being available as a veggie option.”

World Vegetarian Day was established in 1977 by the North American Vegetarian Society and then endorsed by International Vegetarian Union in 1978.

One of the world cuisines you can have here in the Cotswolds is pizza, and Pizzeria 720, situated at the Gateway site on the Cotswold Lakes has some great examples of how the pizza can be one of the best vegetarian meals out there.

Allotment Hot, has a topping of red onion, jalapeno and mixed peppers, while Kidd Rock’s topping is goats cheese, caramelised onion and rocket.

The Allotment Hot can also be adapted to be vegan as vegan cheese available.

The Bathurst Arms in North Cerney, between Cirencester and Cheltenham has hit the headlines recently for its Soil Association Award, with nearly 97per cent of the menu being organic.

One of the things the pub is most proud of is having its own allotment and close relationships with nearby farms for its fruit and vegetables.

“We are very proud of our award, our suppliers, Purton Organics, Close Farm and Langridge Organic as well as of our little allotment.

"We have some great squashes and fruit growing there that is going to look great on our autumn menus. One of our most popular dishes at the moment, for all diets is our wild mushrooms on Lynwood sourdough toast.

"The mushrooms are foraged and sourced by The Wild Rooms of London and are full of flavour.”

Out near Burford is The Upton Firehouse, run by chefs Sam Edwards and Jak Doggett. The chefs have recently announced they are opening a Cirencester restaurant and wine bar in Cirencester.

They offer a wood fired barbeque style of cooking that Sam says is an underrated way of cooking vegetables.

He said: “Our flatbread is fired in the oven, the one on the menu at the moment features baba ghanoush, pomegranate and pickled chillies is a great veggie option.

"Our panko mushroom burgers, hispi cabbage and peppers all lend themselves to this style of wood fired cooking.”  

Téatro Restaurant and Bar at Ingleside, Cirencester’s newest boutique hotel, is open to the public for breakfast and Tuesday to Saturday evenings from 5pm.

Ryan Walters is the Ingleside manager and working with head chef Pierre Needham has made him look at vegetarian cuisine in a different way.

“We try all of our dishes and I have to say the baked aubergine is one of my favourites," he said.

“It is served on crushed purple potatoes with a red pepper coulis, salsa verde and black garlic puree.

“As a hotel we have guests staying from all over the world so it is important to have a balanced menu, a lot of our vegetarian dishes are also enjoyed by meat eaters, the worlds attitudes

have changed when it comes to dining and what we want from it – there is no more meat and two veg.”

Asha Indian Kitchen is a popular take away and dining venue, situated in Cirencester in the bar, Somewhere Else.

It is run by Foyez Rahman who says that a lot of cooking from India and Bangladesh is predominately vegetarian.

He said: “If you look at Asian food, from Thailand to India to China vegetables and vegetarianism is a common diet and attitude.

"Samosas and our popular dal are all vegetarian and we have introduced smokey vegetable paneer to our sizzler menu and this has gone down really well with all customers.”