The Olive Branch

  • Veg-options Veg-options
    ( 4 reviews )

2/4 Old St (at St John's Rd ), Ludlow, England, SY8 1NP

Serves meat, vegan options available. Opened in the 1960s, this wholefood cafe/restaurant, with fast counter service, serves mainly vegetarian hot and cold meals, including vegan and gluten-free options. There is a varied selection of dishes, salads, and cakes prepared using the freshest local ingredients. This restaurant achieved fame of a literary sort when in 1992 Bill Bryson described it as a pleasant little salad bar in his book, Notes from a Small Island.

Categories: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Ovo, Beer/Wine, Take-out, Non-veg

4 Reviews

First Review by SplashWellyKid

excellent vegan choices - Edit

Good vegan cake always available and lunch items too

Pros: good priced coffee .soya too.

Cons: none

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Our saviour! - Edit

We took a (non-vegetarian) friend to Ludlow because of its reputation for fine dining. Unfortunately we found that fine dining is a byword for snobbish anti-vegetarian values and we really struggled to find somewhere where we could all eat. Thank goodness for The Olive Branch! Pretentious it is not. They served more vegetarian options than all the other restaurants put together and the food was delicious. I would strongly recommend the Olive Branch for vegetarians and anyone looking for great value, healthy food.

Pros: A great number of veggie options, Nice atmosphere, Friendly staff

Cons: Could be difficult to find a table at peak times, There's only one Olive Branch

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Nothing to write home about - Edit

Unlike the other reviewer I didn't have any problems with getting served non-vegan food (at least not that I noticed!!). The food, in my opinion, while not completely inedible is very uninspiring and not the kind of food I would even choose to make at home.

I also found it pretty expensive - I ordered a bowl of strawberries costing £2.50 and after refusing the non vegan ice cream and custard options, they were served completely unprepared without even taking the stalks out (not the worst thing in the world I know lol, but I would have expected fruit to be at least prepared if I'm paying £2+ for a small bowl in a cafe/restaurant).

Pros: only place in Ludlow offering vegan options

Cons: expensive, boring food

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Great Menu; Beware As Staff Clueless Re Veganism - Edit

PROS: A pleasant restaurant in picturesque Ludlow with attentive staff boasts menu options for most dietary requirements using fresh & often local produce, including separate sections for both vegetarian & vegan dishes. Evening menu for our visit - starters of homemade houmous & pitta bread or pea-&-bean soup of the day. Mains: Jamaican Sweet Potato Casserole; Red Lentil and Cashew Nut Bake; Red Pepper stuffed with Quinoa, Mint, Apricots & Courgettes served with a Butternut & Red Pepper Sauce; or a salad - all served with stir fried veg & potatoes. Three vegan cakes were available: spiced apple, apricot flapjack & chocolate cake; no soya cream/ice-cream/custard or soya milk on offer. The vegan food itself was tasty & beautifully presented, although small portions & medium to expensive price range.

CONS: We had high expectations after such care for catering for different dietary needs was mentioned on their website, outside board & menu. However, none of the three staff on duty had any clue about veganism & delivered non-vegan food to us for every course! Distressing enough for ethical vegans, this is extremely dangerous for those with allergies, so if you wish to risk eating here please double-check at every stage of your meal, as we did.

After checking the soup of the day was vegan & ordering from the vegan menu:
- Complimentary covers of bread & olives arrived with obvious butter. On asking if the bread was vegan, we were told no & apologised to for giving us food we couldn't eat.
- The kitchen had confirmed soup was fine; it was served without the advertised crusty roll (replacement pitta would have been nice).
- Main course looked lovely, with Dauphinoise potatoes served in a separate dish. Initial bite tasted cheesy - we checked & were told it was dairy cheese. Replacement wild rice was delivered promptly but my comment on how dangerous/upsetting this was met with no comprehension.
- A neighbouring diner came over to apologise for poor service; we thought she might have been the owner but she didn't assist the staff & the mistakes continued.
- Dessert; we asked which were vegan & were told three interesting cakes. Upon asking if there was anything to accompany them, we were offered cream, custard or ice cream. To double-check, we asked they confirm these were all vegan: they were all dairy.
- At the end of the meal, our bill came with two wrapped chocolates. These were non vegan too.

Nice food but uncomfortable experience, so cannot recommend.

Pros: Wide Menu Choice, Fresh Ingredients, Pleasant Atmosphere

Cons: Staff Do Not Understand Veganism, Repeatedly Delivered Non-Vegan Items, Try But Check Every Food Item Delivered

1 Response
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oliveoil 25 Feb 2013 - Although we have one or two vegan options on the menu we are not a vegan restaurant and we are not an ethical vegan restaurantas we know what high demannds are placed by such diners. The owner did assist the staff and you were offered complimentary puddings. good luck in your quest to find what you are looking for  

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