We head to The Green kitchen for lunch. As we enter, the smell of homemade food and the warmth from the kitchen gives it a homely feel; we’re greeted with a smile, given a menu and asked to take a seat.

The walls are painted in soft green and framed wildlife illustrations hang in two neat rows along the back wall. I peer passed the cappuccino machine into the open kitchen; it is arranged with stainless steel shelves packed with utensils, food containers and fresh fruit and veg. Two display fridges by the till are crammed with wholemeal products like veggie burgers, natural yoghurts and juices. Beside them are healthier snack options such as Chickpea puffs and Vego bars.

We start chatting with the friendly waitress and order falafels and hoummous with pitta bread, carrot, pepper and cucumber sticks on the side. I look out of the window; it’s one of those perfect October days, gentle winds and leaves falling. I sip mint tea wondering why there aren’t more vegetarian cafes around. I’ve heard people say that the vegetarian diet is limited, but when I think of dishes like tagines, stir fries and vegetable curries, I have to disagree.

By cutting down on meat and trying vegetarian dishes, we enrich our culinary experiences and discover other cultures. The waitress tells us about their monthly themed dinner evenings. The next one is a Nepalese buffet. I get it booked and look forward to trying some Newa cuisine.

Our lunch arrives. The bread is warm and it’s such a pleasure to see the real colour and consistency that hoummous should be. I can taste the subtle combination of garlic, chickpea and tahini. It’s authentic home made food and I feel full after eating it. For dessert, I bite into a carrot and walnut muffin. The crunchy walnut complements the rich carrot and cinnamon flavours perfectly.

I’ve lost count of the steak restaurants my husband has made me dine in over the years, so I’m enjoying seeing him sitting there out of his depth and subjecting him to a strictly vegetarian lunch. It’s time to expand his horizons a little; he needs to learn that there is life beyond meat n’ potatoes!

Later that evening I ask, “What’s for dinner tonight?”

“I’m making us Steak Diane…” he smiles. “…with plenty of veggies on the side!”

He doesn’t appear to be joking. I give up!