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Are vegetables the new rock'n'roll?

With more than 6 per cent of the population now vegetarian and a large chunk cutting down on meat, vegetarianism is the fastest-growing food trend in the UK and restaurants are finally taking note. No longer are vegetarians made to choose between cheese salad, omelettes, or nibbling on slices of bread.

Exclusive vegetarian restaurants are opening and most eateries are offering larger choices for non-meat eaters. Chef and restaurateur, Stephen Bull - who made his name with his meat and offal dishes - has launched vegetarian menus in his restaurants (Upper Street, St Martin's Lane branch, right). While traditional punters tuck into roast guinea fowl or marjolaine of foie gras, vegetarians can sample toasted sweetcorn and herb gnocchi with tomato salad dressing.

"Vegetarians are still not spoilt for choice, but there is definitely more of a selection," says Vegetarian Guides author Alan Todd, who is bringing out a new guide to London next month. "Vegetarian food is something everyone is getting into and restaurants have to wise up to this or they will lose out."

Nikki Spencer