Our Vegan Tour de France
Our Vegan Tour de France Trip 17 January 2023 Lot et Garonne

It's now been more than 5 years that we started this "Vegan Tour de France". Our main reason to start this project was to share information with other vegans. But what happens as well is that because we really take our vegan trips seriously, we try to eat out in a restaurant as much as we can, we ask around, we talk to a lot of people, we promote this page, all this increases communication with non-vegans and our experience is that people are more and more open and perceptive to veganism than before even though the options for vegans are still poor in France.
They very often propose a vegetarian meal from which eggs and milk products have been removed. However the reception of most restaurants is very pleasant.
Just recently we had our 17th trip. We went to the Lot and Garonne department, where we were in a chalet for a week in a Center Parcs. The restaurants we visited were :
> the main restaurant and the Bistro in the center of Center Parcs;
> the pizzeria "Le Bar des Pizzas" in Casteljaloux https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100063263586965 ;
> a Chinese restaurant in Marmande https://lepalaisdemarmande.com/ ;
> and we ate at home a couple of times.
In the supermarket E Leclerc there seemed to be more vegan options and even vegan cheese which we didn't have 5 years ago. So there is progress.

Our Vegan Tour de France Trip 16 March 2022 to Deux-Sèvres departement

We spent another week in the Deux-Sèvres again with the plan to eat out every day. The choice of vegan restaurants remains limited in France. You have to phone and ask whether they have vegan options and you have to reserve before hand.  However we remain positive and we persist in looking for the right place to eat.  We had some very nice meals in a Libanese restaurant "La Beeka"  in Chinon, an Indian restaurant "Ô saveurs de l'Inde"  in Saumur and in a Chinese restaurant " WAFU " in Thouars. The last restaurant was a  bit disappointing. It didn't have much choice for vegans.  But is was a buffet type of restaurant so whatever there was for us to eat we could get seconds and even thirds.... The remaining days of the week, one day  we ordered a vegan pizza at Domino's in Thouars and the other days we ate in the chalet. Thouars has an organic shop BIOCOOP where you have a reasonable choice of vegan cheeses. 

Our Vegan Tour de France Trip 15 January 2022 to Loir et Cher department e Cher department

It's almost 5 years ago that we started this vegan tour de France. Our aim is to look for vegan friendly restaurants and shops on our holidays in France. Since 2017 we have definitely seen an improvement. Just recently we went to the Sologne region, a trip we also did a couple of years ago ( to be precise in 2019). Though last trip we mainly cooked and ate our meals in the cottage, this time we decided to leave our vegan food at home and eat out in restaurants every day and, we must say, we were quite successful.
Here's a list of the shops and restaurants we visited this trip:
ELeclerc in Romorantin-Lanthenay: the choice of meat replacements was as we had expected. However to our pleasant surprise we even found vegan camembert and other cheeses. This is really different from a couple of years ago.
Meshi Bistro Japonais Romorantin has one lovely vegan dish "Roll Veggie"
Domino's in Romorantin-Lanthenay vegan take-away pizza; a reliable and tasty option
Kimme· Korean restaurant in Orléans where we ate a lovely vegan meal. Several other vegan options
E Leclerc in Blois had several vegan meat replacement dishes and also vegan cheeses
"300 grammes" in Blois, bar and restaurant had several vegan and vegetarian dishes https://www.facebook.com/300-Grammes-1703385966551251
Le Madras, Indian restaurant in Blois had one of the best vegan vegetable dishes we ever had.
Brasserie La Belle Epoque https://www.facebook.com/labelleepoqueromorantin/ in Romorantin-Lanthenay could prepare vegan tapas or a vegan meal for us, but we had already planned to eat somewhere else.
L’estaminet De Natacha had two vegan possibilities (vegan sausage or vegan steak). Very nice ambiance, with a personal touch. 😉 We had an incredible, unforgettable evening.
and last but not least:
Komagene Romorantin, Fast food restaurant in Romorantin-Lanthenay where we discovered their meat-free cold minced "meat" and it was gorgeous. We even took a take-away for the next day when we travelled back home.
This trip was really a success!

Our Vegan Tour de France Trip 14 December 2021 to Normandy

Just before the rush of Christmas we decided to leave again for a week to a Center Parcs, this time in the department of Normandy.
We arrived in the early evening and had enough time to visit the center and its restaurants. After a drink in the Bowling Bar we decided to give the buffet restaurant a go, after having asked whether there was anything that we as vegans could eat. They were very helpful and said they could prepare a veggie burger, with chips and a salad for starters. The meal was OK. Nothing really special but it could ease our hunger although the price/quality ratio was very unfavourable.
The next day we went to the center of town of Verneuil-sur-Avre after having done our food shopping in the local "Intermarché", which had quite a good choice of vegan products.
Verneuil-sur-Avre is a very old town, with beautiful old buildings, roads and a very lively main square. We were agreeably surprised with the pleasant atmosphere and the kindness of the people. And there is cheap charging for electric cars and plenty of parking space. We went for a coffee in "QG Coffeeshop", a beer in the "Café de la Place" (huge from the outside, but quite small inside) and organised our meal out for that evening in the restaurant "La Patate Gourmande". They prepared especially for us a vegan pizza which was very tasty, with a nice side salad, and as desert apple tart with cider sorbet on top.
Because of the bad weather we stayed and had our meals in the cottage the following day.
Day 4 we visited the town center again. It was still raining so after a beer in the "Café de la Paix", we ended up in a bar "Le Baratin" serving local beers, where we had a interesting discussion with the locals about the pandemic and about hunting in France. They were mostly unfavourable towards hunting. Who would have thought it..... ? We finished the day with a meal in the chinese restaurant "Royal". They did not have much choice for vegans though. To our disappointment most dishes contained either egg, seafood or meat.
The following day again we visited town and again we went for a drink. It's becoming a habit ? . This time in the brasserie "Le Beauclerc" situated on the main square. It was around 3PM and they had just finished serving meals for the day but we asked them whether they were prepared to cook us a vegan meal for the next day and they were delighted to do so.
So we celebrated the last day of our holiday with a remarkable lunch in the restaurant "Le Beauclerc": vegetable samosas for starters and a lovely large Mediterranean salad....It was a very filling and healthy meal so we were impressed and very thankful that they were prepared to make an effort for us.
Conclusion: restaurants in France serve very little choice for vegans and vegetarians. However when you ask they are almost always prepared to make something special for you. ?

Our Vegan Tour de France Trip 13 October 2021 to the department of the Vienne

Once again it was time, we thought, to pack our bags (and our pets) to make a short trip for our Vegan Tour de France. This time we chose a center parcs called "Le bois aux daims" in the department of the Vienne . We chose this location because we could bring along Mister Barneby, one of our cats, who suffers from cat aids and we didn't want to leave him behind even though we have a very good carer who looks after our animals and our house when we are away. Mister Barneby needs special attention. He needed medication and eats little but often.
The car fully packed we headed towards Bressuire, a halfway point to our final destination, Morton. We stopped at a Super U for a pee-stop and we stocked up with some bread, salads and vegan sausages for the evening. Without too much trouble we arrived at the parc in the afternoon. We settled in, made everyone comfortable and then left for a drink in the bowling bar at the center. We had a peek on the menus of the restaurants in the center and discovered that there were very little vegan options (in the pizzeria you could have a vegetarian pizza, but not vegan, and in the hamburger place there were vegan hamburgers). The situation for vegetarians is improving compared to a couple of years ago. But for vegans it still stays difficult. So we finished eating a meal at the house: some vegan sausages on bread, a carrot salad plus tabouleh.
The following day, as Mister Barneby was not very well, he started to walk in little circles, we went to look for a vet in the area where we got him something to calm him a bit. The trip might have been a bit stressful for him. On the way back to the house we went shopping in a commercial center in Thouars. At the Biocoop https://biocoopthouars.biocoop.net/ we bought vegan cheeses. To our pleasant surprise also in the supermarket Super U they had vegan cheese. In our experience this is quite exceptional. Back at the house we opened a bottle of wine and had a cheese fest with bread and salads .....
Day 3 we did a search on the internet for vegan restaurants. There was nothing special. However there was a Domino's https://www.dominos.fr/magasin/thouars_79100 which serves vegan pizzas. We ordered one online for the evening. In the afternoon we visited the old center of Thouars. They were repairing the main shopping street. It was quiet and abandoned. However just out of the blue we found in an alley a lovely, very atmospheric little bar-café called "le Café des Arts" https://www.facebook.com/cafedesartsthouars/ where we were welcomed by an African Grey parrot. At around 7PM we picked up our pizza and went back to the parc.
Day 4 we visited another town in the area called Loudun. Beautiful town even though it was raining. We had a drink in a local bar. And finished the day with a magnificent vegan!!! meal at the restaurant La Taverne d'Epicure Loudun https://www.taverne-depicure.fr/ Their main meals were, of course, not vegan but they were prepared to serve us a complete vegan meal with a big salad with vegetables of the season, some french fries and a maroccan style fruit dessert. It was really marvelous and the service was very friendly.
A very nice way to end vegan trip 12 of our vegan tour de France....
France, 12 August 2021
Trip 12 Weekend in Les Sables d'Olonne (Vendée)

It's been a while since we were able to leave for a couple of days because of covid, because of the animals and because it is not always easy to find someone to be in the house while we are away. But finally this week we found the opportunity to go. We went to Les Sables d'Olonne on the coast of the Vendée for a couple of days. We stayed in the same friends' house as last year. So we visited the same bars and restaurants.
It was a bit of a disappointment to discover that "ALOHA BOWLS" is not vegan any more. This was a step backwards for us. We realise it is still not easy and we guess demand for vegan food even at the coast, a holiday destination, stays low. That's why it is so important to keep on going to vegan restaurants. Besides we arrived at the restaurant just after three PM. The cooks had stopped service. So no food at all. We had a smoothie. But we were still hungry and went to look for a fast food bar to get some french fries.
After that we decided to go for a pub crawl for old times take. It was still early. Around 4PM. Most terrases and bars were still closed. The only bar that was open was the Havana Café https://www.havanacafe.fr/ After that we went to Le Bronx. https://m.facebook.com/barlebronx/ They had vegan tappas like last year but different ones. We ordered humus and toast and tacos with guacamole. Both very nice. The third bar was Le Molly Malone an Irish pub, next to our final destination for that evening, the restaurant where we planned to eat vegan: SOAME, an african restaurant doing vegan dishes https://www.facebook.com/soame.restaurant/ Like last year it was very nice.
On the way back we popped into a DOMINO's https://www.dominos.fr/magasin/les-sables-d-olonne_85100 a couple of streets away from our house. To our surprise they do vegan pizzas, with vegan cheese and vegan cheese bread. So the food for the next day was organised.
Day 2 we took it easy in the morning. Late in the afternoon we went out for a walk on the beach front and had a couple of beers in some brasseries. On our way back home we ordered two large vegan pizza's, two salads and some vegan cheese bread as a take away. The pizzas were very nice. You really don't taste the difference between vegan or normal cheese.
It's important to say that the experiences we write about are "snap shots" from that moment. Things can change after a while as we have seen with Aloha bowls. So it is advisable to always phone a restaurant in advance to ask if they still do vegan food.
France, 20 September 2020
Trip 11 Weekend in Les Sables d'Olonne (Vendée)

After a long pause the Vegan Tour de France continues. A weekend visit to Les Sables d'Olonne in the Vendée. We stayed in a little house of friends in Château d'Olonne, a half hour walk to the main center. Our first evening was all planned in advance. We looked up vegan restaurants on google and one of the first options was the african restaurant Soame in the port area, where we reserved for 7 PM https://www.facebook.com/soame.restaurant/. After a couple of drinks and a bit of a disappointment during our appéritif in a neighbouring bar (where they served overcooked french fries with a cheese sauce and bacon on top ; their vege springrolls were nice though) we were warmly welcomed by the owner of Soame. We ordered a couple of starters and two main meals. They were both really very tasty and healthy. Very friendly staff. We really recommend this restaurant if you are looking for a vegetarian/vegan meal. There are 4 vegan main courses. The following day, we came back to the Ramblais for stroll and a lunch in Aloha Bowls https://www.facebook.com/AlohabowlsLS/. Again a very warm welcome. Everything is vegan. We had a vegan salad bowl plus smoothie for only 13.90 euros. A visit to the toilet is a must and a great surprise. ;-) Aloha Bowls is open all year long apart from December and January, and they are open until six. A visit to the local supermarket E Leclerc was a disappointment. There was not much vegan. Obviously the local demand for vegan food is low. The evening was the icing on the cake when the tide and waves were high and the surfers scattered offshore waiting for their best wave. See the little video published later on this page. What we learned from this trip: always ask before you order. In our case we wouldn't have ordered the french fries if we had known it had cheese and bacon on it. Another thing we noticed again is that tourist locations and beaches are further advanced and have more vegan restaurants or restaurants with vegan options. Last but not least a little hallo from Pindy our Conure and Henrietta, our Sebright chicken, always travelling with us! Until next time

25 January 2020
Meal out in La Roche sur Yon-Vendée at the restaurant Le Grind 

December 2019
An evening out in Niort (The Deux-Sèvres Department) 

Yesterday we visited Niort for just one evening to soak up the Christmas atmosphere. First we had a beer in an Irish bar "Le Temple Bar" http://www.templebar.fr/ where we investigated our options for a vegan meal. One of the possibilities when you do a search online, is the restaurant "Plaisir des sens" https://plaisirsdessens.fr/… We had a look on their menu and the first thing we noticed was foie gras as a starter. One would believe that because of the enormous suffering of ducks and geese for the productiuon of foie gras a reputed restaurant like theirs would ban this product. But no. So this made us decide not to honor them with a visit as we do with other restaurants who serve foie gras. We went to the Indian instead, the "Taj Mahal" http://www.tajmahal-restaurant.com/… An hour later we left Niort with a full stomach..... The food was tasty enough. The service was a bit slow however.

August 2019

Trip 10 Holland and Belgium

The Vegan Tour the France continues... The purpose of this trip was to attend a demonstration in Flevoland about the #Oostvaardersplassen. We only spent one night in France, in Amiens, in the camping Parc des Cygnes https://www.parcdescygnes.com/ , before heading on to Rotterdam in Holland the following day. Rotterdam seemed to be a good starting point for visits to The Hague, Voorburg, Leidschenhage, Delft and Lelystad.

The camping Parc des Cygnes in Amiens has a bar plus restaurant. Vegan options are very limited, so to still our hunger after a beer, we ordered some french fries and added our own sauses / vegan mayonaise.

The trip to Rotterdam was long and tiring, so after arrival and setting up camp we stayed in the campingsite http://www.stadscamping-rotterdam.nl/ and prepared our own pasta plus veggies. The following day we decided to stock up on our food reserves and went to our usual shopping mall Leidschenhage from the time we still lived in Voorburg. It had changed incredibly. Building works were being carried out to create the largest shopping mall of the Netherlands. In the supermarket Jumbo https://www.jumbo.com/ we found plenty of vegan food. It was a pleasure to see the immense variety of meat replacements, vegan cheeses, pizza's, icecreams, etc. There is no excuse anymore to not go vegan when you see the choice there is today. The evening we spent in the Old Harbour of Rotterdam enjoying a nice drink and a lovely meal in the vegan restaurant Dumbo: http://dumbo.restaurant/, with very friendly people, good service, good food and a very nice ambiance. If you are in Rotterdam please pay them a visit. They will be grateful.

The next day we met some old friends in Delft. They organised a tour for us through the "new" building of the department of Architecture of the Technical University of Delft. A couple of years ago the original building where Marit graduated her architecture degree, caught fire. Surprise, surprise, also in the University vegan/veggie food becomes normal. The evening we joined another friend and ate in a restaurant called Hummus https://www.facebook.com/hummusdelft/. Very good food. Definitely worth a visit. 

Day 5 we went to visit our old usual pub in the Hague. To get there we parked the car in Voorburg, took the tram into The Hague (which we used to do in the olden days) and walked through the shopping centre to the Fiddler http://www.fiddler.nl/ Again after a cold beer we became hungry and ordered vegan flammetjes (twice because they were so nice  ) chips, a sandwich and a vegan wrap. Lovely food! Lovely atmosphere.

The next day it was time to demonstrate once again against the horrors of the Oostvaardersplassen (you can read more about it on this page: http://forestsfromfarms.org/Boycott-the-Netherlands.php ) It was a succesfull gathering of people who won't stop to change the situation for the Konik horses, Heck Cattle and Red Deer in this so-called nature reserve. On the way back to the camping we quickly popped into the Albert Heijn in Leidschenhage. We were disappointed with the choice of vegan food they had.

The next couple of days we spent with family. Just before leaving for home we payed an evening visit to Brussels (the city where we once met  ) We had some beers on the Grand Place and in a pub called "Le cerceuil" (coffin in english) and ended the evening in the lovely vegan/organic café "The Sister" https://anti-speciesism.com/Our-Vegan-Tour-de-France.php   enjoying vegan tapas and for afters vegan waffles.

"If we could live happy and healthy lives without harming others... why wouldn't we?" A quote of Edgar's Mission.

Below you'll find the fotos published on facebook and the translation of this text into French : 

From 3 May until 10 May 2019
Trip 9 Wallonie Belgium

As we quite regularly go to Belgium for family visits we decided to include our vegan experiences from Belgium on this page. So here we are in Wallonie, a southern province of Belgium where we stayed in Landal l'Eau d'Heure Bungalow Park close to a large lake. On our way there, about an 8 hour drive, we enjoyed a take away vegan pizza, ordered the night before. 

The park is a lovely place to be, apart from the stray cats begging for food. Food options for humans are plenty though but the restaurants obviously don't offer real vegan meals. In the shop we did discover some vegan products, which is an improvement on other parks that we have visited. The first night we ordered some real belgian chips in the snackbar to take back to our cabin. Both Henrietta and Pindy settled in comfortably and we all made ourselves at home. 

The next day we visited a small town called Walcourt where we found an Aldi which as usual had a reasonable choice of vegan products. In the freezer section you can find interesting vegan things. The town has a small Italian restaurant called "Le Basilic" mentioning vegetarian options on their menu. A restaurant to keep in mind for the following days, we thought. 

The reception of the park had given us a list of potential restaurants that would have vegan or vegetarian options so our first choice was a buffet at the chinese restaurant "Dragon de Mandarin" Walcourt as is mentioned on their website. But when we arrived there at 7 PM it appeared that the buffet was not in service that evening (a lesson we learned once again: always call before to make sure ). The only choice was a vegetable chop suey. A bit limited, we thought, so in the end we did go to the Italian restaurant after all, where the serving person was very polite and patiently told us about their vegan meals. A very warm welcome and a very nice meal. https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g1227928-d3800188-Reviews-Le_Basilic-Walcourt_The_Ardennes_Wallonia.html 

The next day after having visited our family we came home and cooked our own meal, that was equally enjoyed by Pindy, the parrot and me. 

Day 4 we went to a Lebanese Restaurant in Philippeville called "Le Phénicien". Very nice food and very nice people. https://www.lephenicien.be/ 

Day 5 we filled up our fridge with food bought in the Lidl of Beaumont. We ate vegetable spring rolls, a salad plus bread at home. 

Day 6 we payed a visit to the famous town of Chimay, where of course we tasted their very nice beer in the local pub "Le Casino". Very nice atmosphere. And guess who was driving. ;-). 

All in all, travelling as a vegan gets more and more easy especially when you have cooking facilities in your cabin. In major towns eating vegan in restaurants is not a problem at all. People are really very helpful and friendly. One person even said it was our "right" to be vegan ;-) . 

Last but not least some photos we made of cattle, the Belgian Blue cows bred for their meat. Bulls have enormous mustles, birth usually takes place with a cesarean and calves stay in Igloo's without their mums. This is what we all do it for. Please #GOVEGAN if you are not already!

More photos on facebook

From 1 February until 9 February 2019

Loir-et-Cher department

This time we didn't take the caravan but we rented a bungalow in a Center Parcs a couple of hours away from home, just to relax from the habitual tasks of looking after the animals, cleaning, going to vets etc. The very first night when we arrived we ate in the bungalow as most restaurants in the Parc were shut. The self-service restaurant didn't really have many options for eating vegan. There was a small supermarket in the center of the Parc (a Carrefour) that had some vegan products and we had brought some things from home. Pindy, our small parrot enjoyed the meal that he shared with us.

The next day we went to look for a supermarket in the area. We found a small Auchan in Ferté St. Aubin where there was plenty of vegan food available. Again always check the label in case it contains eggs or milk products. We did most of our shopping there in order to stock up for a couple of days. That evening we went to the Italian restaurant Il Giardino in the Parc.

They were very pleasant and flexible. You could order a vegetarian pizza (there were several options) without the cheese and add other ingredients instead. We had a very enjoyable meal. At the end they asked us whether we would like to fill in a survey and of course we mentioned that more vegan options would have been very welcome. Otherwise we were very happy with the service.

Most days we ate at home. We visited the town of Orléans one day, where we were surprised to find a little shop called Etik & Bio https://www.etiketbio.eu/index.php with plenty of organic (so not vegan) and also vegan products. We decided to do a wine, bread and vegan cheese party at home so we bought a number of vegan cheeses. Some were very nice, others were a bit disappointing.

The stay in the parc was very pleasant. We were visited by a peacock the very first day and when he found out there was food available for him he called the others. In the end every morning we heard them hammer on the door for breakfast so Henrietta had to share her grains with up to 9 peacocks.

More photos on facebook

From 12 October until 21 October 2018
Paris and Calais

The purpose of this trip was to attend three demonstrations: one in Paris against hunting in France, a demonstration in Holland against the culling of 1000 deer in the #Oostvaardersplassen (which in the end did not take place) and a demonstration in London asking for another vote for Brexit.

So the first stop was a campsite near Paris, at Maison Lafitte. Pricy but very pleasant. During our internetting hour we made friends with a local cat that was very well looked after by the campsite. https://www.sandaya.fr/nos-campings/paris-maisons-laffittehttps://www.facebook.com/Sandaya.Campings

The number of vegan restaurants in Paris seems overwhelming. We selected some restaurants from the site Happy Cow https://www.happycow.net/europe/france/paris/

We found out however that even though they mention vegan, the options can be limited so always phone in advance to avoid making long trips through Paris only to find out that the restaurant can't really provide you with a vegan meal.

The very first day we had a hamburger at the demonstration from a traiteur/restaurant called My Kitchen: www.mykitchn.fr/Welcome.html. They were very nice.

The second day we stayed in Maison Lafitte, a very pleasant little suburb from Paris. We had a beer in the local brasserie Le Cosy http://www.lecosy.fr/fr/ and afterwards headed to one of the Indian restaurants in Maison Lafitte: Ganesh https://ganesh78.business.site/ where we had a lovely indian meal.

The third day we headed back into Paris to visit the Sacré Coeur and Montmartre. We asked various restaurants on "Place de Tertre" whether they had vegan food. We were pleasantly surprised that they did have at least one dish. A very nice atmosphere however a bit too touristy. And we wanted to visit an only vegan restaurant. The first tearoom we found in the area was not totally vegan https://www.facebook.com/soulkitchenparis . So we ended up in Cantine Le Myrha with only vegan and organic food https://m.facebook.com/LeMyrha/ It's a sort of selfservice restaurant. Very pleasant food, atmosphere and of course a cat to keep us company in the restaurant. On the way back to the camping we popped into a local organic shop "La Vie Claire" where we found plenty of vegan products and cheeses. https://magasins.lavieclaire.com/…/mai…/maisons-laffitte/207

Day 4 we went to an Asian buffet/Wok restaurant called Palais du Chine in Maison Lafitte. You can choose your own food. It is easy and fast. Afterwards we went to see the film A star is Born in the cinema of Maison Lafitte. If you haven't seen it yet and still plan to, do not forget our handkerchiefs 

Next day we headed for Calais. We popped into the Auchan where again vegan options were plenty. There is really no excuse any more for wanting to eat meat or cheese.

We ate out twice in Calais. The first night we went to an Italian restaurant Le Milano http://www.le-milano.fr/ where we had a very nice pizza without cheese beforehand we visited the local Pop Rock Bar for happy hour.  https://www.poprockbar.fr/?lang=en

The second night we went Indian again, where we had our very best indian meal in France ever. The restaurant is called Bollywood https://www.facebook.com/Bollywoodcalais/ They also do buffets during the week.

Conclusion. Again if you ask restaurants whether they have something vegan they always do or they can prepare you something special. Veganism is getting more common especially in the larger cities and also the supermarkets mostly have vegan options. But do check the labels. Milk or eggs are still used in many vegetarian products. The chain of shops of "La vie claire" was a good find during this trip. Organic is always better. We have been going on trips now for a year and we have the impression that things are already getting easier than a year ago. 

From 11 September until 18 September 2018
Dordogne, Vaucluse and Tarn et Garonne departments

Avignon and Montauban 

En route to Avignon from the Vendée we decided to stop overnight somewhere halfway. So we stayed for one night in the Campsite Camping Domaine de La Faurie in Seniergues. While checking in we were asked if we wanted to eat at the restaurant later that evening. We hesitated and answered that we probably couldn’t as we were vegan. This did not seem to be a problem at all. After all the paperwork and payment for one night was done we went together with the man from reception to speak with the cook. She suggested a salad and mashed violet potatoes: an unusual sight. We could bring our own eggs (from our pet chickens from home) and vegan cheeses and sausages. We had a lovely meal while enjoying a wonderful view over the Dordogne landscape. 

Next day we reached our final destination Avignon. The first evening we ate at the campsite and investigated our options to eat out for the coming days. There are a number of purely vegetarian/vegan restaurants and some more restaurants mention that vegans or vegetarians are welcome. So enough choice to keep us fed for the coming days. However we only went to the vegan restaurant Chic Planète and ate a burger. The meal was good, there was a warm welcome from the owner with whom we had a little chat about veganism in France and how it gets more and more common. He’s investigating the possibility to open a vegan restaurant/shop also in Marseille. 

Our stay was shortened because it was over 31°C. 

So we decided to head north, on our way back home again. We stayed for 2 days in Montech.The restaurant in the centre of town was prepared to cook vegan. However their opening hours were not convenient for us, only every day during lunchtime and only on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. One night we went to Montauban for an evening meal. Here again when we asked a restaurant whether they were prepared to cook a vegan option, they were very helpful and said that wasn’t a problem at all. We finally ended up in a Indian restaurant Délice Indien on the Place Nationale and had a very nice and pleasant meal. Indian cuisine always has plenty of vegan options. Next day we headed for home. It was too hot to travel any more …. 

In conclusion, travelling when you are a vegan is getting more easy also in France. The shops like Lidl have vegan options from time to time. And in general when you ask a restaurant people are not shocked and you you get a very friendly reply that the cook is willing to prepare you a vegan meal.

You'll find some more photos of our trip on facebook 
From 30th of June until the 7th of July 2018

It is early July. There is a heat wave in the Vendée. So we decide to go a bit more north, to Brittany where the temperatures would cool down a bit in the coming weeks. We arrive, early evening, after a very hot trip without airconditioning in the car, at the campsite Les Pins close to Crozon. https://www.camping-crozon-lespins.com/campsite-france-brit… Setting up camp takes us now about an hour. It's our aim to eat out as much as possible, but tired and have taken some leftovers from home we decide to eat at the campsite. Gives us all some time to stretch our legs, Henrietta, our pet chicken on her lead investigates the area for bugs and herbs and Pindy likes the protection of the tents.

The first day our first mission impossible is to find some vegan products in the nearby supermarkets. It is a Sunday. The only supermarket that is open is an E Leclerc Express in Tal ar Groas. There is nothing vegan at all, but there are some vegetarian products. Again what seems to be vegan, in french "végétale", does very often contain milk or egg products. So be careful and always read the labels. We come back with some essentials like carottes rappées, taboulé, and other salads etc.... The evening we eat out in a small beach village called Morgat, near to Crozon. Lovely ambiance. We end up in a restaurant called "La Flambée" https://www.facebook.com/laflambee29/ that serves vegetarian pizza's. They are mentioned on the menu, so we ask if it would be possible to leave off the cheese. Very friendly people and a very nice meal.

Day 2 It starts to rain. Everything is wet as we didn't really prepare for it to rain. However, our day isn't ruined. While things are drying we spend the day in the caravan with the animals and pamper ourselves with some gin and tonics.

Day 3 Time to do a proper shop. The E Leclerc in Crozon is very well equipped with vegan products. We buy the most important things to keep us going for the rest of the week. After a stroll over the rocks and on the beach at La Pointe de Dinan https://www.tripadvisor.fr/Attraction_Review-g1194610-d7040…, (we come back with a small plastic bag with rubbish found on the beach) we have a light lunch with plenty of veggies and bread. A red squirrel and a blue jay join us. We aim to eat out again in the nearby village of Camaret sur Mer. However, due to car problems we decide to stay in and eat our meal at the campsite.

Day 4 The car starts again. So that evening we make a second attempt to go out and find a restaurant in Camaret sur Mer. The Finistère is well known for its seafood. So not much of interest for vegans, unfortunately. So we end up in an Irish Pub called "the Donegan" https://www.facebook.com/The-Donegan-1495643490653172/ for a drink. Becoming peckish after one pint of beer we ask whether it would be possible to order a vegetarian pizza without cheese. Again pizza was our best option for that evening.

Day 5 After a lot of organization for getting a replacement car (read more about our car problems on our timeline https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=550364762026258&id=100011582169346 ) , we end up in Camaret sur Mer again. We visit our "local" pub again for a drink and to do some internetting. We were not very confident in finding another restaurant that serves vegan food. However, on the way back to the car, we see a sign on the pavement with the words "vegan welcome". With great enthusiasm, we enter the restaurant called "Bistro/crêperie La Marine" https://www.tripadvisor.fr/Restaurant_Review-g1087668-d6855… and order a vegan pancake and a salad. Very friendly staff who are really prepared to help. We have a little chat about veganism. They told us it is becoming more and more normal even in the Finistère .

Our last day before leaving for home, we go back to the E Leclerc in Crozon to do some last shopping, where we also end up eating a vegan pizza in their cafeteria for lunch.

Conclusion The Finistère is not (yet) really vegan-friendly although they are working on it because it is very touristy. Restaurants offer vegetarian pizza's. The main shops like E Leclerc do sell vegan meals and products, however, it is important to read the labels of the products as "végétale" in French does not always mean no eggs or milk products are added. A good side effect of our visit to the Finistère though was that we came back home and had both lost a little bit of weight  after all these fat free pizza's and salads. You'll find more photos on our facebook page Vegan Tour de France 

From 1st of June until 8th of June 2018
North department and Somme department

As you might have been able to read on our Blog, at the beginning of June we went to see the notorious nature reserve in the Netherlands,  the Oostvaardersplassen (you can read more about it here) . Of course, once again, we took our little caravan and our pet birds with us. As the trip was quite long we had to make some stopovers. The first one was in the North Department. We stopped at a campsite called Les Colombes in Douai. It had been a long day so after having set up camp we didn't really feel like going out for a meal. So we went to an Aldi supermarket nearby for some of their vegan products. And there was also a "friterie" in the town. So our first night on the road we had to improvise a little bit. But it hit the right spot.

In the Netherlands we set up camp in the nature campsite the Kemphaan. We mainly cooked our own meals (vegan cheese tosties with salads, pasta with tomato sauce, vegan sausages and vegetables). One day we went out for lunch in the restaurant Buitengewoon Lekker. We asked whether they had something vegan. They prepared especially for us some vegan dishes. They were very pleasant and nice and not at all surprised by our request. 
Our second meal out was in the Tasty Wok in Lelystad. This is a self-service Chinese restaurant, so you can chose whatever you like. The wok options are very good, plenty of veggies, white rice (to avoid the egg in the noodles or fried rice). It is standard price for everyone (30 euros per person) drinks included. 

Our last stop before coming home was in the campsite Château des Tilleuls . We had a very pleasant reception and enjoyed our stay in this campsite. We had a nice evening in, cooking our own marinated ¨Big Steaks¨ from Vantastic Foods. At the campsite's snack bar  we bought chips and salad to accompany our meal. The next day we headed for home. 
26 February 2018


 Find the most vegan/vegetarian-friendly countries around the world, for travellers by clicking on this map

From 6 to 12 October 2017
Gironde department

( International ) tourist locations seem to be more vegan friendly in general

The beginning of October, a month after our last trip, we went on our third vegan trip. This time we chose a location reasonably close, only 3 1/2 hours drive away from home: Lacanau Océan, a small town on the Atlantic coast to the west of Bordeaux in the Gironde department/Nouvelle Aquitaine region. 

We had to decide at the very last moment whether we could leave as one of our cats just had an operation on her teeth. We do have someone come to stay in the house when we leave, but we don't like to go away knowing an animal is poorly and  needs extra attention. Having a caravan is easy in that respect as you can leave without having to book a house or chalet in advance. So we packed in somewhat of a rush just the day before leaving. As you could perhaps have guessed, once we were a few hundred kilometers from home we started to realise that we had forgotten some things such as our vegan cheeses,  meat replacements etc.  which was a shame as we had brought our toasty maker with us. It was clear that a visit to the shops would be necessary once we had settled in, in order to have something to eat that night.

The 4 star camp site where we stayed, the Airotel  l'Océan Camping and Spa , is located in the north of the Landes de Gascogne Regional Natural park  not far from the ocean in a beautiful setting of an old pine tree forest.  It is on the outskirts of the town of Lacanau Océan,  where surfing  seems to be the main attraction, so we could  easily walk into town to the restaurants and to do our shopping. We only visited one of the town's supermarkets, the U Express where the choice of vegan and vegetarian products is very limited. The very first evening we had to make do with a vegetable/bean burger on bread. 
For more comprehensive shopping we took our car the following day and drove to several supermarkets in neighboring villages. Surprisingly  there was nothing of their vegan range to be found in the Aldi  in Hourtin which was about 25 minutes drive from our base camp. So pushed on further to Lesparre which boasts a Lidl and an E. Leclerc. The Lidl also had no range of vegan products but the  E.Leclerc did.  So it was there that we stocked up our food supply for the coming days with various meat replacements, cold meats and also bought a new kettle as we had forgotten to bring one with us. 

As for eating out, perhaps because Lacanau Océan is a surfing town, the vegetarian options in restaurants were quite good. We did a search on the internet for "restaurants végan/végétarien" and mainly got results on the Trip Advisor site and the site of https://www.lafourchette.com/  which is in French. 

Unfortunately, some of the restaurants with the best reviews had already closed for the season and wouldn't reopen until April next year. We had a very good meal at a restaurant called "Le Monkey", where they specifically prepared a vegan meal for us based on pasta and vegetables of the season. The african atmosphere is remarkable and very pleasant. We really recommend a visit. We were lucky that we went there on the day after our arrival  as it closed for the season a couple of days later.. Another evening we ate in a Moroccan restaurant: Riad Marrakech . The staff were very friendly and the food was nice. We had a little companion at our table, a black cat begging for food, but we  couldn't offer her anything that she found acceptable as we didn't have any meat so she preferred our neighbors' table. 

The final restaurant of our stay was a pizzeria called ROMA where we had a vegetarian pizza, without cheese, that we really enjoyed. We rejected a restaurant called La Cabane feeding people on Ostrich, Zebra, Crocodile, Kangaroo  and all sorts of other exotic meats, even though they did have a vegetarian option. 

The fact that you don't eat any animal products in restaurants was never seen as strange or odd with nobody appearing surprised at our requests. We had the impression that this was possibly due to fact that we were in a  tourist destination. Veganism is more and more common amongst international tourists and restaurants adapt to this. However, the lack of vegan meat replacements in the supermarkets that we visited was a disappointment.

From 31 August to 5 September 2017
Allier department

Our second vegan trip was aimed to be to the Haute Savoie from where we would make a couple of city trips to Genève. A problem with the turbo of the car however made us decide to stay at the very first camping we had booked which was located in the Allier department in a lovely spa village called Néries les Bains. It was a lucky choice, as we were close to the major town of Montluçon for shopping, but the camping itself was in a green, hilly, woody, touristy area with a small village nearby so that we could go out on foot, have a drink in the pub, listen to live music and come back without having to drive.

The very first evening we arrived at the camping it was quite late. Shops and restaurants were shut by the time we had set up camp. We had brought vegan cheese and sausage, bread and our toasty maker, so all we had that day was a couple of vegan toasties. For breakfast next morning and the following mornings we had brought our usual breakfast: a homemade fruit smoothie (from peaches off our own trees), cereals, soya milk, fruit, orange juice and coffee. As we do eat the eggs of our chickens we brought some boiled eggs and mayonnaise made from our own eggs.

In the Carrefour in Montluçon, we found a reasonable range of vegan products (which in french is called 'produit végétal' ) like vegan hamburgers, vegan chicken nuggets, seitan stirfry pieces and meatfree salamie and cold meats from La Jasse, 'l'Instant végétal', which were supposed to be vegan as it said végétal on the package. However as we found out later the salamies still contained eggs, so you have to read the label to make sure products are really vegan. In a food supermarket Le Grand Frais in Montluçon , we also found several vegan products, but again the “vegan” salamies still contained egg and so were not totally vegan.

On our trip to Moulins we found several vegan products in the Intermarché in Moulins but here also supposedly vegan products like lasagna végétal of 'les Végétales de Monique Ranou'  and vegan cold meat from 'Fleury Michon' contained egg and/or milk. On our trip back home from Moulins we popped in an Aldi in Commentry where we found relatively cheap, vegan charcuterie and sausages from “Simplement Bon et Bio”, this time to our relief, without egg products.

As for eating out, we went to an Italian type restaurant 'La Brasserie' in Néries les Bains where you could order a vegetarian pizza. We asked them to leave out the cheese on the pizza. Even without cheese the pizzas were remarkably nice. Another day we ate in an Asian Wok restaurant 'Royal Xia' in Montluçon, where vegan options were plenty. Just leave out the meat and seafood.
Of course camping gives you the possibility to prepare your own meals with vegan meat replacements like hamburgers, sausages, etc. however eating out in restaurants was no problem at all depending on the restaurant you choose of course. And people were very helpful in general. Products vary from supermarket to supermarket so you don't have to eat the same meat-replacement every day. However it is important to read the labels, as 'produit végétal' even with the Ⓥ or V sign is not garanteed to be vegan (so without milk and/or egg products). 

France, 30th of July 2017 
The start of our "Vegan Tour de France"

Although having lived in France now for many years we have never really had the opportunity to enjoy visiting the country. When we came here our first priority was the house,  then the garden and the fields. Then we got involved in the association for the protection of animals NALA that has taken most of our time until recently. We thought it was about time to travel a bit  so we bought a little caravan, an old Eriba Puck, with an awning. 

Yesterday was our very first trial trip to La Rochelle which is only about an hour away from us. With the car laden with  our lugage in the back, our tiny pet chickens in their tent and our green-cheeked conure parrot, Pindy, on the backseat we left. Of course, we expected a little bit of traffic as it is peak holiday season at the moment. What we didn't expect though was a blockage of the main tourist road by farmers protesting for the  umpteenth time that they aren't being kept by the taxpayer in the manner to which they are accustomed. 

The article about the protest, published the day we left:
We had planned to camp in a camping site in La Rochelle, but traffic was impossible. Luckily when it came to a dead halt we are only two cars away from a side road that had a sign post announcing a campsite "Le Merval" . So we  decided to stop there.

It was the receptionist who informed us about the farmers' protest and told us that they didn't know how long it would go on for. So we just took it easy and set up camp and then had a bite to eat, while we waited for the immense traffic jam to disperse.

By late afternoon twice was flowing freely so we took the car into la Rochelle. There, after the customary visit to an Irish pub, we had a lovely, vegan meal in a small eco-friendly restaurant called 'Le comptoir de Walter' which also serves vegan and vegetarian food. You will find the following advertures of our  "Vegan Tour de France" here