Christiana Richardson writes about trying Veganuary - Cornish style

This month there has been a word that, when uttered, has sparked off a plethora of media attention, marketing and discussion.

No, not Brexit. Veganuary.

Whether you love it or hate it, a bit like Marmite (which is animal-product free), you cannot deny people are becoming more aware of it.

Officials at Veganuary announced on their Facebook page earlier this month that more than 370,000 people have signed up to try living the Vegan lifestyle.

I too signed up. Who am I? No one in particular. Just a resident of Cornwall trying to do my bit to help climate change – but how easy is it being a vegan in West Cornwall?

Actually, so far, quite easy. In fact, there seems to be so much on offer I felt spoiled for choice.

Instead of dreading going out for meals and discovering I could only eat chips – again, I have enjoyed spending the month visiting different places seeing what alternatives they had on offer.

In Truro there is The Cornish Vegan and Redruth has The Organic Coffee House and let’s not forget the beautiful cakes made at The Little Green Bakery, in St Agnes.

But what about other, less specialised, places in the county?

My first outing as vegan was to The Red River café in Heartlands, Pool, with family for tea and cake.

Happily, I was able to order oat milk for my cup of tea, but when I looked at the cakes on display I could not find anything suitable for Vegans.

So bravely I asked if they had anything for a non-animal product eater like me and to my surprise they were most accommodating.

They knew exactly what a vegan was and offered to cook me up a special vegan cake – a warm, blackcurrant crumble cake.

I was happy to wait for this and was pleasantly surprised by how good it was too. Well done Heartlands for being so helpful and making me feel comfortable in asking for help with my dietary needs.

Another day, I was driving along the A30 and decided to drop off at Costa, near Hayle, for some refreshments. To my delight there was a vegan ham and cheese toastie and a chocolate rocky road for me.

In past years I had found nothing to my taste here, but this January I felt like doing a small victory dance when I saw the options (I didn’t dance though as I suspect flossing in public is only acceptable for youngsters).

Whilst there I popped into M&S to look around the food hall and unexpectedly came away with arms full of macaroni cheese balls, ravioli and other new vegan dishes.

I am now planning a trip to the Eden Project, where I have heard they have created a pop-up vegan café called the Vegan Kitchen.

The sweet chilli and chickpea pastry rolls sound particularly tempting.

Signing up for Veganuary this year has been quite exciting and a great excuse to eat out and try new foods. And I think this year I might stick with it for longer than just one month as there are so many tasty options out there.