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A Lochgilphead couple’s quest to rid themselves of harmful substances has resulted in a unique business model.
Sara and Sean MacLeod run their Kilmartin Glen bed and breakfast, Kings Reach, on a plant-based basis, meaning they don’t serve any meat, fish, dairy or eggs.
The couple fell in love with Scotland in 2014 while on a family holiday. ‘We left a piece of our hearts here,’ said Sara.
Looking for a complete lifestyle change, they moved up from the busy south of England in 2017 when they bought a property large enough to run two to three rooms with two self-catering bungalows behind the main house.
Sara and Sean are both vegan which is part of their Buddhist practice of Ahimsa – harmlessness.
‘We have been practising Buddhists for the past eight years and we follow the Thai Forest tradition,’ explained Sara.
‘We try to reduce our harm in the world by the way we live our lives. So this doesn’t just mean what we eat, but everything we use and consume.’
King’s Reach doesn’t just offer plant-based breakfasts: all the cleaning and laundry products are cruelty-free, and the couple reuse and recycle as much as possible.
‘We provide vegan soap bars for guests in compostible packaging, not toiletries in little plastic bottles, and our electricity is provided by Ecotricity, the green energy supplier,’ added Sara.
Sara does all the cooking and her menu is varied to appeal to all diets. ‘It’s not all lentils and lettuce!’ she said.
On the menu at Kings Reach, customers will find a vegan version of a full cooked breakfast, a stack of pancakes served with blueberries, bananas, pecans and maple syrup, or a healthy lemon and coconut chia pudding.
There is also a breakfast buffet of cereals, five different plant milks, fresh fruit, dairy-free yoghurts, freshly baked bread, and home baked pastries and muffins.
‘We have had people staying from all over the world with different diets who have really enjoyed our offerings,’ she added.
‘For vegans or vegetarians, it is a treat to have more than one choice and not to have to sit in a dining room where others are eating bacon and eggs.
‘For omnivores, there is enough choice on the menu for them to try plant-based eating.
‘You don’t have to be vegan to stay here, everyone is welcome. Some guests have been inspired to go dairy-free after trying our food.’