Thursday, 7 December 2017

Visiting Victoria and Bed and Broccoli - Australia's First Vegan B & B

By Chris R.

Gardens at St Erth

After wishing to visit for many years, we finally decided in early November to take a whirlwind trip to Victoria to stay at Bed and Broccoli, Australia’s first vegan bed and breakfast and visit the much anticipated Edgar’s Mission. Leaving the Sanctuary, even for just a short time, requires much planning and coordination, so it was decided that we would we just stay two days and four of our amazing volunteers would hold the fort.

Qantas vegan breakfast
First light at Perth Airport

Departing the Sanctuary before sunrise, we managed to get a bargain early flight and enjoyed watching the colours of the sky as the plane left Perth. We were pleasantly surprised at our in flight vegan breakfast, a delicious mushroom and spinach tortilla. Soon we arrived to a cool and cloudy Melbourne. Our hire car was booked and the customer service assistant questioned our plans as we did the paperwork, noticing the fluffy sheep looking out my bag. We ended up chatting for some time about animals and rescue centres in Victoria and she wished us well on our travels.

The drive to St Erth
The Gardens of St Erth

Fireplace at St Erth

With a few hours to spare before arriving at Bed and Broccoli, we took the scenic road through the Wombat State Forest to visit the Digger’s Club’s Garden of St Erth. We were excited to finally visit, having been Digger’s members for many years and growing a number of their heritage plants. Their cafĂ© unfortunately did not offer any animal free afternoon tea items, but we were able to buy a hot soy mocha to warm us, with the temperature now a low 9C. Misty rain shrouded the bushland and the gardens of St Erth were extra special. We spent over two hours enjoying the organic plantings and native surrounds, finishing with a perusal of the shop to collect gifts for the family at home.

The countryside on the drive from St Erth to Bed and Broccoli was scenic and we admired the old buildings and even older trees in many of the heritage towns though which we passed. Arriving just as the night was settling in, we were greeted by our host Nikki, followed by her hopping clan of joeys. Bed and Broccoli was green and inviting. So many animals peacefully going about their business signalled that our next two days were to be idyllic. Nikki provided an enjoyable and comprehensive tour of the accommodation and some lovely background on the animals cared for at the property. 

We had made the excellent decision to order dinner at Bed and Broccoli both nights of our stay. The first meal was cannelloni with a creamy pea filling in a spicy sauce, followed by an amazing freshly baked butterscotch pudding. Both were cruelty free, amazingly delicious and filling. 

A Bed and Broccoli breakfast!

Creamy Curried Penne

Cruelty Free Cannelloni

Butterscotch Pudding and Ice Cream

Nikki did not disappoint on day two, with a dinner of creamy curried pasta and vegetables, followed by an amazing lemon pudding to fuel us following an incredible day at Edgar’s Mission.  Following dinner each night, we watched the sun disappear and small bats begin their adventures around our cottage. They are gorgeous, busy little creatures and provided us with much entertainment.

Happy Hens at Bed and Broccoli

Resting Cow at Bed and Broccoli, made by Moo-tique Yarns

Welcoming Hens

Sunset at Bed and Broccoli

Our two days flew quickly and soon it was time to head to the airport for home. Upon our departure we were lucky to catch up with Nikki and Scott and learn more about the incredible wildlife care undertaken at ‘Red Box Wildlife Shelter’ which runs from the property. So many lives changed and hope given due to her dedication to the cause. Despite the busyness of running the bed and breakfast and caring for a number of rescue animals, she still makes time to help native wildlife in need.  

Bed and Broccoli support PVAS

Flying west

Time to go home to our animals

To learn more about Bed and Broccoli and Red Box Wildlife Shelter, be sure to see and give them a like them on Facebook.

Love organic gardening? Take a look at the Digger's Club and the beautiful garden of St Erth at .

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