A new vegan restaurant by sisters — and stars of reality TV show Made in Chelsea — Lucy and Tiffany Watson, called Tell Your Friends, will open tomorrow (1 May) in Parsons Green, near Fulham. It is backed by the duo’s father, Clive Watson, who owns The City Pub Group, which includes Broadway Market’s favourite hipster hangout of the mid-aughts, The Cat & Mutton.
An announcement said that “Tell Your Friends is a family business which will combine Clive’s expertise of the industry with Tiffany and Lucy’s desire and vision for what their own restaurant looks like.”
They say they are doing it because Lucy has “embraced vegetarianism since childhood” and three years ago became a vegan. Tiffany “soon followed.” The conditions, though, have never been better as the sustainability of meat- and dairy-free restaurants becomes ever more feasible in London. Indeed, as the announcement proclaimed, “The duo are part of a growing number of young people ditching animal products altogether in favour of a vegan diet, but in doing so are well aware of the challenges of finding great vegan food.” Perhaps they just haven’t looked hard enough? (As the list here outlines, many restaurants offering vegan food have existed for a long time, even if they have never felt it necessary to blow that trumpet.)
Regardless, the sisters claim that “Tell Your Friends intends to demystify veganism and show case just how tasty and accessible it can be.” They would also appear to be doing little to refute the claim made earlier this year by Khushbu Shah that neo-mainstream (or “white”) veganism has created a “dominant discourse” that “ignores vegans of colour.”
Moreover, and as is becoming increasingly common for businesses adopting this new vegan narrative, dishes will not merely be focused on traditional assemblies of vegetables, but instead “iconic dishes that we know and love but instead made using vegan ingredients.” Which is to say vegan dishes that imitate non-vegan dishes. Cited are “chicken bites” which will be made using jackfruit, coated in a hemp and sunflower crumb; “burgers” with bean patties and cashew cheese; and “fish and chips” breaded banana blossom and cashew tartare sauce. The latter of which could or could not have been inspired by the recent big money US vegan import, By Chloe.
“Compelling” is how cocktails are described. They include a rose petal martini and rhubarb royal, alongside a series of non-alcoholic “Mocks” which all use the botanical, zero percent ABV “spirit” Seedlip as their base and will include the strawberry muddle and the garden G&T.
Cold pressed juices are listed not as flavours, but as colours: Green, pink, orange, yellow and red. If that isn’t enough, there are two so-called “Power Shots” — turmeric or wheatgrass — which promise to “provide a much needed boost” to anyone’s day.