Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Mooplehog Creates New A30 Diversion

A trip west and over the border to Devon this past weekend took us up onto Dartmoor in Miles our Camper Van.  We were 'truffle hounding' for chanterelles and the peace of a night under the moorland stars, but we were also in Devon to meet one of my oldest friends (not in age I might add!) who was staying in Devon for a few weeks.  For various reasons we had been unable to meet up for far too many years so I demanded I treat her to lunch on Sunday and a long overdue catch up.  As we were both moorland bound, a mutual friend (thank you Erica!) had suggested Mooplehog in Okehampton, which we were told was not only open on Sundays but was also vegan friendly.  

We arrived at the small and cosy Mooplehog to be greeted by the beaming faces of Rebecca and Shane.  The delight was mutual I felt when we asked what vegan options they had on offer to be told proudly that they only offered vegan food!  You know it is that whole thing when vegans have sought out vegans and the meeting of minds and hungry mouths is a wonderful thing!

One of the counters was heaving under a colourful display of fruit and vegetables; all of which we were told were locally sourced, and as Rebecca guided us through the menu, it is clear that the priority at Mooplehog is the use of fresh ingredients; locally sourced and magically transformed into healthy creative dishes, without the reliance on prepackaged vegan alternatives or anything with palm oil.  

The fresh produce on offer is 'Ready, Steady, Cooked' into whatever imaginative foodie creations they can dream up.  Figs from a friends tree had formed the base for a couple of the dishes on offer on Sunday for example.  The dishes were therefore distinctly different from other places we have eaten and all were very tasty.  The freshness and imaginative use of herbs, spices and other wonderful flavourings shone through, even in the simplest of accompanying salads.  Mooplehog also offer a fine selection of loose teas and unavoidably tempting sweet treats to round off a very fine meal.

Mooplehog has only been open since 8th September and got off the ground with a small Kickstarter.  It was however against the advice of their financial advisor.  It is true that Okehampton isn't the most obvious place for a vegan establishment.  It is a smallish market town in West Devon on the northern edge of the wonderfully misty wildness of Dartmoor National Park.  The main A30 (Devon and Cornwall's only 'motorway' basically) bypassed Okehampton in 1988 and the heavy jams in the town (of which Phil and I experienced when we were kids travelling to Cornwall in the 70's) are a mere memory, along with the passing trade.  It has a couple of health food stores hidden away but otherwise a sleepy destination for vegan activity, until now that is. 

Mooplehog sits proudly on the main street through town, far from hidden away, and seems to be drawing customers not only locally (curious non vegan locals included) but from much further afield.  It seems that their financial advisor didn't fully appreciate the power of the vegan pound!  I salute Rebecca and Shane for sticking to their vegan guns (that sounds a bit wrong but you know what I mean!).  They are proud to be a fully vegan establishment, yet at the same time they are not shouting it from the rooftops, which has that wonderful effect of bringing in customers who might not otherwise experience vegan food.  Their passion for good food and veganism, and their hard work has powered them forward and is now bringing in appreciative customers from far and wide.  It has certainly put Okehampton on our vegan map, with a new A30 diversion now a given for us!  

Check out Mooplehog's very busy Facebook page for events, including their Saturday Night Munchies buffets (next one coming up on 27th October so get booking!), Brunches (including one for Boxing Day!), daily specials and mouthwatering photos.  They are currently open every day except Wednesday with Sunday opening being 10am - 2pm.  

In conclusion, Mooplehog is well worth a visit and if you are passing by up or down the A30 you'd be an absolute fool not to bypass the bypass and support this new vegan venture!

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  1. Thank you so much. We love our little quirky café so are delighted to read that you do too. X

    1. You are very welcome. We are glad to have found you. XX