Even just a few years ago the term ‘vegan’ was shrouded in mystery but the success of a bed and breakfast near Berwick proves some are daring to be different.
Loaf B&B near Horncliffe is a hidden gem, situated close to the A1 but far enough out to be immersed in the rural surroundings the area is blessed with.
Run by Karen Page and her partner Michael Shepherd, Northumberland’s only vegan bed and breakfast has been welcoming guests since June last year, but its popularity has surprised the enterprising couple.
“It had been a plan I’d held onto for ten years but I never dreamed it would have taken off the way it has,” explained Karen .
“I was still slightly worried about the response we’d get to running a completely vegan business, particularly in an area with so much farming but it seems we were worried about nothing.”
Loaf stands for Local Organic Animal Friendly, fitting perfectly with the popular definition of vegan– the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products.
That means that as well as serving up meals free from meat and dairy, Karen and Michael’s guests are provided with toiletries made from ingredients that haven’t been tested on animals.
And it seems their approach has struck a chord with fellow vegans the world over as Loaf’s guest book boasts signatures from visitors from all round the world, including Bolivia, America, Germany and Australia.
“From August to November nearly all of our bookings came via our Facebook page,” Karen continued.
“We’ve had people who’d never been to Berwick before but came to the area specifically because of the B&B.
“I love welcoming all the different characters and the stories they come with.
“We thought January would be a quiet month for us but we’re fully booked and many weekends are already booked up for the rest of the year.”