Isn’t it surprising how many vegetarians are fat? It’s probably all those flapjacks and carob-brownies masquerading as health foods in Holland & Barrett.
Over the past four years increasing numbers of my B&B guests let me know beforehand that they’re veggie, or even vegan, prompting me to buy Linda McCartney’s revolting cardboard cylindrical Cumberland quorn sausages, and one of the myriad choices of dairy-free milk substitutes – almond, soya, oat? How can you tell which one they’ll prefer? I also offer Bertolli spread, oat creme fraiche and dairy-free fruit yogurt, and actually all of this is almost no trouble at all. But, at the end of the day – let them eat eggs (oops, not the vegans – can’t even put butter on their toast!)
I always expect non-meat-eaters to be weak, white and wan. I also worry about them clocking the hunting pictures which surround them in my dining room – their place-mats, coasters, and Lionel Edwards prints on the wall. Well I am now having to eat humble pie (a dish originally made from the innards of deer).
Last week a French mother-and-daughter couple proved our fittest couple yet. The Mum was celebrating her 65th birthday, walking in some borrowed Dunlop wellies; and the daughter is the most beautiful creature I have ever seen. Six foot tall, willowy gazelle-like slender, like the Russian girls gathered in the loos at Annabel’s – a different breed of human. Only this one is no dolly-bird – she’s developing a new kind of un-launderable money for the city. She’s the best advertisement for veganism that you could possibly dream up. Being French, highly intelligent and successful she doesn’t really do smiling, and knows exactly what she wants and likes, so she’s bloody scary, but over her stay, she thawed.
Anyhow – she has an app on her phone which proved that, crossing Dartmoor hills, bogs, rocks and gorse, this remarkable pair averaged 23km a day over four days. Phew.