Another Veggie Pret has opened today, the third vegetarian-only branch for the cafe chain.
Located on Exmouth Market, it's another London eatery – the others are in Soho and Shoreditch – but we're hoping this means more Veggie Prets will open across the country.
As well as a new menu featuring scrumminess like the Vegan Ragu & Red Pepper Hot Wrap and the Sweet Potato, Coconut & Cashew Flatbread, the coffee shop features Pret's first ever hydroponic system where chefs can grow and harvest their own fresh herbs as they need them, right in the shop.
It's kicking off by growing the basil for the Halloumi, Red Pepper & Basil Toastie and Avo, Olive & Toms Baguette.
"It may look a bit 'out there', but we're hoping the hydroponic system in our new Veggie Pret shop will give our kitchen team instant access to fresh and flavoursome herbs," says Pret's Brand Director Caroline Cromar.
"The herbs grow in a perfectly controlled environment, free from pesticides, and use less water than conventional growing techniques. We're keen to test this approach to in-shop growing to see if it could be beneficial to more of our shops in the future."
However, potentially even cooler are the filtered water taps providing free drinking water at all three Veggie Pret locations now, and at Pret's Manchester shops from October 31st. Next to the taps are reusable glass bottles (£3.99/250ml and £4.99/500ml) to encourage customers to refill reusable water bottles instead of buying a new plastic one each time.
In a blog, Pret's CEO Clive Schlee explains it's a trial at present: "These shops will […] start selling two sizes of reusable glass bottles alongside our regular water bottles, so the choice is clear. The aim is to understand if customers will choose to refill a bottle rather than buying a new plastic one."
He adds: "Plastic bottles present a real challenge and there are two schools of thought within Pret. The passionate environmentalists say stop selling them altogether, while the pragmatists say make it as easy as you can for customers to use fewer plastic bottles. We are looking carefully at both options. I tend towards the pragmatist end myself."
Schlee is calling for feedback on the trial and on what Pret can do to make the biggest impact on the plastic bottle issue, so get tweeting if you have thoughts.