V Bites closes for winter

Heather Mills's seaside vegan cafe in Hove has been closed for the winter.

VBites has been open since July last year but announced it will be shutting down for the winter period ``to focus on staff training, recipe development and VBites franchising''.

Sir Paul McCartney's ex-wife refurbished the former fish restaurant in Hove, East Sussex, last year and developed a wholly vegan and largely organic menu using meat substitutes with her team of chefs.

The cafe, which is next to Hove Lagoon and a large children's play area, stayed open all of last winter and has been open seven days a week during the summer period.

It was deserted today with bars on the windows and signs posted on the doors announcing its closure, but with no details of when it will reopen.

A message on the VBites website said: ``VBites Hove is having its end of summer holiday from Saturday September 11.

``2010 has been a great year for VBites. We have had a fantastic summer and - like many beach cafes across the country - will be closed over the winter so that we can focus on staff training, recipe development and VBites franchising.

``We've been working hard and it's been our pleasure to serve you over the Brighton and Hove summer beach season.''

The message said the cafe is available for private parties during the winter months and Ms Mills will be hosting ``fun and informal'' cookery workshops at the site over the period.

``We look forward to seeing you again soon when we re-open,'' it added.

Mills has previously spoken of her plans to offer the VBites concept as a franchise.

A spokesman declined to comment further on the closure of the cafe today.

Mills, who had a high-profile divorce battle with former Beatle Sir Paul in 2008, has attempted to make a name for herself as an animal rights campaigner since being in the public eye.

The former glamour model, who lost a leg when she was hit by a police motorcyclist in 1993, announced earlier this year that she wants to make a reality TV show in which celebrities will live with a disability for a week.

She is due to give a cookery demonstration in Brighton tomorrow as part of the Incredible Veggie Roadshow.

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