The Loving Hut, Menton
The French Riviera is not a haven for vegan food. Cheese and salami rule the roost here and for much of our sojourn to capture the last of summer in southern France a while back, S's diet was confined largely to pasta and salad.
But then there was The Loving Hut.
This wonderfully-named spot is nestled on the seafront at the western end of Menton's main drag.
It must be said, it took us three attempts to go there. Like most places they are shut from about 3pm until 7pm every day, but they also do not open on Sunday evenings or Mondays.
However, eventually, we managed to make our plans coincide with theirs and rocked up for lunch. The sun was shining out over the sea and the tables spilling out off the porch and onto the street were beautifully shaded by the restaurant's standout yellow awnings.
Our vegan credentials (well, S's vegan credentials and my suffering carnivore qualities) must have been apparent to the waiter, since we were the only people he didn't feel the need to point out the vegan onl menu to. He was also possessed of that brilliant - and very Gallic - ability to provide a quick and seamless service while appearing to always expend the minimum energy and effort. A lesson for us all, I feel: Be more French Riviera waiter.
The menu consists of starters, snacks and mains, as well as a range of desserts and a set menu to give you all three for less thatn 30 Euros. The drinks menu is also beautifully stocked with fresh juices and mixed drinks.
I plumped for the falafel pitta, while S had the crispy burrito.
Mine was the perfect sunshine lunch, with fresh falafel crammed into pitta with a hefty dose of salad and a homemade creamy (without cream obviously) dressing.
S, meanwhile, was almost conquered by her enormous burrito, which was one the Snacks & Sandwiches menu but could have been a main in its own right. It covered the plate and came stuffed with vegan cheese, beans and tomatoes and piled high with salad.
We both wolfed down our platefuls (I may have helped with the burrito) and washed it all down with an excellent espresso.
We did not even get onto the dessert menu, so we will have to go back one day.
In the meantime, if you're searching for vegan fare in Menton I would highly recommend it.