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The best coffee shops in Kent serving delicious dairy-free brews


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With the days getting colder and shorter, the demand for coffee is never greater with many of us turning to a cup of delicious caffeine to give us the boost we need.

But unless you're a fan of a black bitter brew, the alternatives for those intolerant to dairy can be limited. However, don't despair – national coffee week started on Monday so we've put together a round-up of the best cafés in Kent serving up delicious plant-based beverages.

The Wallflower has a sustainable ethos
The Wallflower has a sustainable ethos

The Wallflower Café, Herne Bay

This coffee house in Herne Bay is 100% plant-based and has a sustainable ethos, all the way down to its biodegradable straws.

The Wallflower Café is also the winner of the prestigious Travellers' Choice Award 2021 on TripAdvisor and is rated five stars. The owners source all of their produce locally and specialise in gluten free, healthy food and good coffee.

One customer on TripAdvisor said: "I'm not vegan but intolerant to wheat and dairy so it was nice to go somewhere where I could eat more than one thing on the menu.

"I had the falafel buddha bowl and berry smoothie and loved it."

Milk options on offer at Stag Coffee
Milk options on offer at Stag Coffee

Stag Coffee, Ashford

One of the unique selling points for Stag Coffee in Ashford is its commitment to being inclusive.

Its Facebook page boasts how it aims to cater for all dietary requirements and it is important that everyone can enjoy its coffee – it serves everything from coconut to gluten-free barista oat milk.

It's not just the coffee it's developing, with an expanding vegan menu including sweet bakes such as a raspberry almond slice to accompany a steamy brew.

Nicholas' review on TripAdvisor said: "Ordered two pumpkin lattes, one was supposed to be soya but I forgot. The barista happily exchanged it, which was very kind as it was my mistake. I shall definitely return, the coffee was delicious."

Hope and Lane doesn't charge for swapping out the cow's milk
Hope and Lane doesn't charge for swapping out the cow's milk

Hope and Lane, Deal

The Hope and Lane coffee shop in Deal boasts a separate menu for those who want non-dairy, gluten free and vegetarian options. It serves everything from vegan mushroom sausage rolls to sweet gluten free Victoria sponge slices.

What stands out for this café is the fact that it doesn't charge for using a milk alternative in its drinks – many coffee shops and chains charge at least 20p extra for a dairy-free cup.

Getting into the autumn spirit, it has also just launched a Halloween menu with pumpkin spiced lattes available as a dairy-free drink.

For the days when the weather is just too gloomy to leave the sofa, Hope and Lane has just launched on Deliveroo so can be delivered straight to your front door.

Chef Carl Williams with his wife Katie
Chef Carl Williams with his wife Katie

Life on High, Sevenoaks

Life on High is a speciality coffee and pro-plant cafe. It aims to have a fairly priced sustainable menu boasting an extensive breakfast collection with seasonal pumpkin and apple crumble pancakes.

The team was recently awarded the Muddy Stilettos Award for its development in eco-friendly coffee, cocktails and food menu.

Chef director Carl Williams and his wife Katie live nearby in Riverhead. Carl started his career at the prestigious Connaught Hotel in London and his talents were recognised last year when he was highly commended in the Kent Life Chef of the Year award.

This venue is unique as it tranforms from coffee house and eatery by day to a buzzing bar in the evening, serving cocktails and hosting themed parties and drag nights.

Steep Street is a Parisian-style coffee shop
Steep Street is a Parisian-style coffee shop

Steep Street Coffee House, Folkestone

This trendy coffee house in Folkestone not only offers an extensive list of dairy and gluten free alternatives, but 10,000 books to read when sipping on your hot drink.

Customers can relax on leather sofas and are encouraged to pick a book from the lined walls – a chic Parisian-style experience.

The owners believe that Steep Street is a hub for lively conversation, meetings, reading, writing and entertaining.

This is complimented by the menu which always includes dairy and gluten free, vegan and vegetarian options such as the vegan raspberry croissant to accompany a hearty cup of coffee.

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