The Fir Tree has served pizzas from Monday to Saturday for some time now, but it has recently changed direction when it comes to Sunday lunches. It is now the venue for "Feast Without The Beast" - an entirely vegan Sunday lunch menu - and I have to say it is well worthy of the word "feast". Three of us tried it out yesterday and were extremely impressed. I had sausage and bean pie (my husband had the same) and our son went for the nut roast. All were served with roast potatoes, parsnips, broccoli, carrots, peas, Yorkshire pudding and gravy.
The pies were heavenly; chunks of vegan sausage and beans that had been casseroled then encased in a homemade pastry that tasted like a hybrid between shortcrust and hot-water crust. My son said the nut roast was delicious but I have to take his word for it as he didn't offer to let me try any of it. Vegetables were cooked to perfection (no sign of school dinner sogginess to be seen) and the Yorkshire puddings were a revelation. I've seen recipes for vegan Yorkshire puddings online and imagined them to be terribly stodgy, but they were well-risen, crisp on the outside with soft base, just how a Yorkshire pudding should be. The gravy was light and flavoursome without a hint of gravy browning.The third option on the menu was moussaka, which I will certainly try on another occasion. Portions were generous without being over-facing. We were left with just enough room for dessert.
I had seen the diners next to me sampling the Tiramisu and hoped to do the same, but sadly they had run out. We all tried something (I think it was called snix but cannot be sure), which was a coconut shortbread base, topped with caramel and a layer of chocolate and served with vanilla ice cream. A chocolate mint version was also on offer and my son opted for that. It was a huge success - I have never tasted vegan desserts as good as they were. Do visit the Facebook page for more information about it and to see some photos of the food on offer.
My only criticism is that The Fir Tree prides itself on showing sports fixtures on its many TVs. There was one in the front room (where we were eating) and kick off began before we finished our meal. A hoard of football fans descended whilst we were still eating. Some found seats but the rest were standing, jostling for position around where we were sat. They were also very loud and demanded that the bar staff turned the volume of the TV up. We finished our desserts as quickly as possible and left - although our original plan had been to stay for coffee. That could easily be remedied by not switching the TVs on in the rooms where people were eating - there are three rooms to choose from, plus a small beer garden so I'm sure they could arrange things so that neither diners not footie fans have to be compromised.