Table talk: Where Dale Vince eats ..

The Star Anise Arts Cafe in Stroud has a very down-to-earth ethnic feel, with real wooden floors and vegan food. Sometimes, it reminds me of the desert cafe from Star Wars. Not because everyone looks weird or alien, but because of the sheer variety of people. You'll see all sorts.

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

The cafe is a very chilled place to hang out. It has a different vibe to London. The atmosphere is great. Sometimes, we go there for internal meetings. And we'll inevitably see other people from Ecotricity, which is quite funny.

The food is always special. They've got great chefs and a lovely committed team who enjoy what they're doing. They're passionate about doing it well, and that comes through. These people aren't just punching the clock.

The menu changes every day. I went there today and had goulash, and they also do tofu, stir fries, and even shepherd's pie. Everything comes with these amazing side salads and incredible vegetables. And they bake their own croissants and biscuits every day, and serve organic and biodynamic wines and beers. The fact that there's no meat is never an issue, simply because there's no sense that you're doing without: the goulash just happens to be made with beans, not meat. But I think it tastes amazing with vegetables - there's more variety in taste and texture.

I don't go in for entertaining clients, but when someone has driven a long way and it only seems right to go and eat, this is the place. It's an eye-opener for most people, but everybody enjoys it.


Old Painswick Inn, 1 Gloucester Street, Stroud, Gloucestershire GL5 1QG, 01453 840021

Average for a main course: lunch £8; dinner £12

Favourite dishes Home-made croissant £1.40, goulash £8.20, biodynamic beer £3.00

Dale Vince is founder and chief executive of green electricity company Ecotricity

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

The questions to ask when everything is unknown

Systemic intelligence is an indispensable skill for business leaders.

How to stop your culture going back to normal after COVID

In this video, Capita's Melanie Christopher and Greene King non-exec board director Lynne Weedall discuss...

This isn't just a health crisis, it's an equality crisis

Inspiring Women in Business winners: In the “new normal”, we must make sure that female...

How to build an anti-racist business

You don't need a long history of championing equality to make a difference.

What are Simon Roberts’ big 3 challenges at Sainsbury’s?

The grocer's new CEO has taken the reins at a critical time.

Should CEOs get political?

The protests that have erupted over George Floyd’s murder have prompted a corporate chorus of...