On Saturday I ventured to my third VegFest in the 18 months since becoming vegan. My first was Bristol in May 2015 then in February this year I went to Brighton.
As always, it’s an opportunity to find out more above various vegan brands and campaigns plus the chance to fill your stomach with the abundance of free samples on offer (I most definitely got my £13.50 ticket price worth!) plus all the delicious food stalls. I had wild plans to eat two meals but the samples kept me going either side of my Vegusto hotdog.
Some of the other things I saw or sampled at VegFest:
Lots of vegans. When anyone says “I don’t know any vegans” or “veganism isn’t that common” I say – go to VegFest. Sure some people are veggie or even omni but there were over 7000 vegan of v-curious people there on Saturday which suggests there’s a lot of compassionate (and hungry) people out there).
Gary. And lots of it. That’s vegan cheese to the uninitiated. Whilst Bute Island are the absolute bosses of tasty, affordable vegan cheese I had massive props for Raw Food Rosie‘s vampire slayer and sundried tomato cheeses. Vegusto and Nutcrafter Creamery were also massively indulged.
Vegan beard oil. And lots of other posh toiletries from the folks at Bear Face. I absolutely love their branding and design. Just wish I had a nice long beard to style!
Delicious cakes. If anyone ever challenges a vegans ability to get their hands on some downright dirty indulgent cakes take them to any one of the stands you’ll find at VegFest. Ms Cupcake is the undisputed queen of vegan cakes in London (and now amazing diner food mmmm – both which were very popular at VegFest) but she’s getting a good run for her money by Vegan Sweet Tooth with this selection of fine cakes. We tried the rose and pistachio – it did not disappoint.
Eco coffins. Well, you’ve got to think of everything, right?! I didn’t ask if other coffins aren’t actually vegan though or if these ones are just more environmentally-friendly. I expect they at least come lined with tempeh.
Scottish pies. Macaroni pies. Haggis pies. Jackfruit pies. Made by a Scotsman from Glasgow (Cool Jerk Vegan Pies). GET IN MA BELLY as we say in Scotland.
Hemp seed butter. To me this is what people think vegan food tastes like. Dry, earthy and making you need to down half a bottle of water as soon as you’ve eaten it. I love hemp seeds but this – I couldn’t get my tongue round it. Sorry, hemp fans.
Queues. Lots of them. Mainly for my absolute faves Temple of Seitan and Pomodoro e Basilico. Damn, I wish had the patience of those guys as I was so after one of their chicken & bacon subs. Us vegans love to eat so get more food stalls please!!
Coconut jerky. I’ve never liked any other vegan jerky that I’ve tried – maybe cause it’s not something I’d have pre-veganism- but this stuff was really lovely! Coconut flavour with a nice crunch. The chocolate and hazelnut was soooo moreish.
All the Nakd bars. And every other protein/energy bar under the sun. The guys at Nakd must be raking it in for all the samples they give out. I’m not complaining though as I tried them all. More than once… The new caramel salted posh bites are to die for!
Vegan caviar. I didn’t make the same mistake that I did at Brighton VegFest and actually eat some of this. Gross when not vegan, still gross when vegan.
Chocolate. So much chocolate. Competing with cheese for the most sold item I’m sure. My faves were Pana Chocolate (it’s a form of of vegan crack for me) and these guys at Ombar with their melt in the mouth GIANT VEGAN BUTTONS.
Peter Ebdon. Yup, the snooker player. He’s taken a leaf out of Steve Davis’ book and had a bit of a career change and is now a motivational vegan speaker. Although, being a snooker player he isn’t that motivational… But props to him for spreading the vegan word. He was just one of many speakers including the vegan athletes summit that we also popped in to.
Oatly creme fraiche. THIS. This was almost life-changing. I could’ve dipped nachos into this all day… I only bought 2 tubs. Should’ve been 20. It’s going to be stocked in Tesco very soon. Not soon enough!
No Peanut Butter Bakery donuts. Well, this isn’t strictly true. There were loads when I first went by but come 3pm when I finally had a tiny bit of space for one, they were all been gobbled up. Sad face. Thank god they’re at Brick Lane every Sunday.
This is just a fraction of what was on display at VegFest. If you haven’t been before get yourself along. Events in Brighton, Bristol and Glasgow are just as good – a bit smaller but also cheaper to get in to. There’s usually meet ups and loads of your fave bloggers and Instagrammers will be there so it’s a great opportunity to meet these folk IRL. Until next time!
Images: Tristan Parker