The United Kingdom’s first all-vegan hotel, Saorsa 1875, is looking to expand to a second location after only one month in operation. Founded by vegans Jack McLaren-Stewart and his parents Sandra and John, the hotel—which occupies a Victorian-era baronial house built in 1875—first opened its doors in June offering guests an all-vegan experience from food to cleaning products to furnishings and beyond. Saorsa’s cocktail bar Faodail serves libations made from local ingredients and inspired by the owners’ travels. Dining at the hotel is overseen by Italian chef Luca Sordi who uses ingredients from local purveyors and the hotel’s own vegetable garden to create dishes inspired by the Scotish wilderness. “Not only has the vegan community wholeheartedly embraced us and thrown their passion behind it, I’d say about 55 percent of our visitors are vegan and the rest are vegetarian, flexitarian, or sometimes just curious,” Sandra McLaren told Boutique Hotelier, adding that the hotel has welcomed visitors from as far away as Japan and Australia. In addition to scouting a second location, the owners are working to develop the grounds to be a haven for local wildlife, as well as installing outdoor hot tubs to make vegan travel even more appealing to guests. “We had two aims when we took over [the property],” Sandra McLaren said. “The first was to create a cool, comfortable place where vegans could stay without feeling like they were compromising on their ethics. The second was to smash some of the stereotypes that still surround veganism—it’s not the hemp-clad, abstinent lifestyle that many still think but a vibrant, compassionate way of life and a hub of incredible innovation.”
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