When I was asked to speak at the Glasgow Vegan Festival, I knew that I wanted to take some time to explore more of Scotland while I was there. I initially planned to make Glasgow and Edinburgh my main bases, but when I found out there was a fully vegan B&B just a little bit north of Edinburgh, I changed my plans.
It’s not often that I get the chance to stay in fully vegan accommodation run by like-minded people, so I wasn’t about to pass up the opportunity. The owners Robin and Frances gave me such a warm welcome that I felt at home right away and knew I had made the right choice.
The Accommodation at The Cosy Vegan B&B
The room I stayed in at The Cosy Vegan B&B was pretty much the epitome of the word “cozy” (or “cosy” as it’s spelled in the UK). The soft blues and purples made me feel relaxed as soon as I stepped through the door, and there were lots of interesting books to read on the shelf.
I immediately wanted to settle in and hibernate there for a few months. And I could have, because the room contained every amenity I could possibly need. In addition to the TV, there was also a toaster, a kettle, a refrigerator stocked with plant-based milks, yoghurts, and fruit juice, and lots of yummy snacks and nibbles.
And as I shut myself into my peaceful haven, I saw the coziest thing of all hanging on the back of the door: a bath robe! Nothing makes me feel more relaxed than lounging around in a bath robe.
This is something that I almost never experience while traveling, as bath robes are typically found only in high-end hotels that are way beyond my budget. Being able to burrow into the mound of pillows on the bed while wearing my bath robe was a real treat.
The room that I stayed in is the main room for guests and is semi en suite, with a toilet and sink. There is also a smaller room next door that is not en suite, and the shared bath and shower room is on the floor below.
Both rooms are equipped with plenty of vegan, cruelty-free toiletries, and even eco-friendly bamboo toothbrushes, just in case you forget to bring your own.
The Food at The Cosy Vegan B&B
The only thing that could entice me out of my pillow fort was the tempting smells wafting up the stairs from the kitchen.
I chose the half-board option, so I had both breakfast and dinner at The Cosy Vegan. The portions were so huge that I ended up skipping lunch! If I felt a bit peckish in the afternoon, there was always plenty of fresh fruit, granola and sweet treats in my room to tide me over.
Breakfast began with a bowl of berry oatmeal (“porridge” in the UK), topped with flax seeds and served with two slices of toast. You may not know this about me, but I have this thing with oatmeal. It’s my favorite food. EVER.
If you’ve been following this blog since the very early days (in which case, sorry about all the blurry photos and rambling run-on sentences!), you might remember me as a new vegan wondering how to make overnight oats while traveling.
I continued to write about my oatmeal experiments in Toulouse and Venice, and my moment of glory was when The Oatmeal Artist crowned me “Oatmeal Enthusiast of the Month”.
In my guest article on The Oatmeal Artist, I completely geeked out by creating a unique bowl of oatmeal for different countries around the world. I made Chinese oatmeal with lychees and adzuki beans, Indonesian oatmeal with jackfruit and coconut, etc.
Actually, re-reading that article now, I’m still pretty proud of it, geeky though it was. Anyway, my point is that I know oatmeal, and The Cosy Vegan makes a mean bowl of oatmeal. But that’s just the beginning.
Each morning, my bowl of oats was followed by a huge Scottish breakfast of baked beans, hash browns, vegan sausages, tattie scones topped with tofu scramble, mushrooms and tomatoes, and even vegan haggis! Plus more toast, with vegan butter and some uniquely-flavored jams.
Dinner was always equally filling and delicious. My favorite dishes were probably the haggis burger and the baked mac ‘n cheese. The onion rings were really good too!
One evening we were joined by Pip of the Newcastle-based vegan food blog Canny Food, so we all ate dinner together in the conservatory and enjoyed a wide range of meze and other finger foods. The courses just kept coming!
Things to Do Nearby
The Cosy Vegan is located in a small village called Crossford in the historic county of Fife. Crossford is a quiet, sleepy village – the perfect antidote to the hustle and bustle of modern city life. There are some lovely walks in the surrounding countryside too.
But if you fancy doing a bit of sightseeing while you’re in the area, nearby Dunfermline is an obvious choice. It’s a quick 10-minute bus ride from Crossford, or, if you prefer walking like I do, a leisurely 45-minute stroll.
Dunfermline was once the capital of Scotland, so for a small town it punches above its weight when it comes to historical sights. The main attraction is the abbey and the attached graveyard, where the kings and queens of Scotland were buried until the 1300s.
Pittencrief Park, or "the Glen" as it's known locally, is a lovely place for a stroll.
And if you’d like to venture further afield, trains between Dunfermline and Edinburgh are frequent and direct and take less than 40 minutes.
Glasgow, though further away, is actually easier and quicker to reach from Crossford. There are three different bus routes from Glasgow that stop right in the center of the village!
By car, Edinburgh and Glasgow are both about an hour's drive away. Finding a parking spot near the B&B is no problem.
If you’re traveling with your four-legged companion, fear not. The Cosy Vegan B&B is dog-friendly! Your fur baby will have their own cozy doggy bed, and vegan dog meals can also be provided.
Robin and Fran have a dog companion of their own -- the always excitable and enthusiastic Sandy-pup.
They also have a flock of rescued battery hens in the backyard. So if you can't finish your breakfast, don't worry about wasting food. Sandy and the chickens will thank you for the feast!
Also, the Cosy Vegan B&B donates a percentage of all proceeds from accommodation and meals to a local farmed animal rescue called Lotus Animal Sanctuary. So, even if you do finish your breakfast yourself (in which case, well done!), you'll still be helping animals by staying there.
Many thanks to The Cosy Vegan B&B for hosting my stay. As always, I have given my honest opinion in this article. I will never endorse a service or product that I wouldn't use myself.
wendy, i have been a vegetarian all my life and i could never imagine an article on vegan in scotland : )