Hey everyone! I hope you’re all well.
Last Saturday I went to one of my favourite events ever: Vegfest! The main reason why it’s one of my favourite events, you ask? Obviously, because of the sheer amount of food on offer. Let’s not mess about.
As I’ve said in previous years’ blog posts about this event, I personally love them because they really defy the idea that vegan food is ‘boring’ or ‘restrictive’ as you can find pretty much any type of cuisine you like at these shows. If like me you have the appetite of a lion in a butchers (which is a rather moronic comparison to make in a blog post about veganism) you’ll have the time of your life.
In case you have no idea what I’m going on about, Vegfest is an event dedicated to showcasing some of the best vegan businesses around, whether they’re brand new or well-known, local or international. Drawing in around 8,500 people on its 10th anniversary at the weekend, the numbers do the talking about what a success it has been so far.
If you’re a foodie, Vegfest will be heavenly to you; it’s free samples galore (which is music to my hungry ears) and the variety of food on offer is vast. I went with a friend who, thank the Lord, enjoys eating copious amounts of food as much as I do, so we shared a little bit of everything we fancied.
From giant burgers, cheesy pizzas and hearty pies to Thai stir-fries, Indian curries and Caribbean fare, it was pretty dangerous turning up with a rumbling tummy! I shamelessly tried pretty much everything, but had no regrets, of course – it’s not often I am able to eat literally everything in one same place.
The first things we ate was fried plantain from a Caribbean stand and the Chinese grilled vegetable dumplings from ‘Rockin Buddha’ – so flavoursome, light and perfect with a dollop of sweet chilli sauce. We also got some ‘chicken’ style satay skewers from a Chinese caterers, but I can’t for the life of me remember what they were called!
Secondly, we shared a Hotdog from ‘Green Grill’ and the Kentucky Fried Seitan from V.Dorset. It’s safe to say my skirt was becoming concerningly tight, but you only live once and all that jazz.
For once in my life, I didn’t dive headfirst into the sweet stuff… mainly because I was beginning to struggle to breathe. I didn’t try any of the homemade cakes on offer, but they all looked incredible.
The only ‘sweet treat’ I got my hands on was a Carrot, Spinach and Pineapple juice (I say ‘sweet’ very lightly) which took a frustrating 25 minutes to make and clearly had a ratio of 1 part pineapple to 10 parts carrot as it tasted alarmingly like a salad. That’ll teach me – next time I’ll go for the chocolate cookie.
One thing that really excited me was ‘The Online Vegan Market’; essentially a corner shop for vegans, which sounds dull but actually, being able to pick and choose anything is a luxury us grass-guzzlers don’t have yet! I felt like a kid in a sweetshop again, not to mention their staff are so friendly and super chatty. I picked up the new Vego spread to try and it is to die for (and by that I mean I’ve already consumed the entire jar by spoon.)
If food doesn’t ignite the kind of over-dramatic excitement in you as it does me, there were plenty of other things to see, including lots of beauty and wellness businesses such as Eden Perfume, local alcohol brands, sports, fitness talks, artwork, and even several speeches and Q&A panels throughout the day about veganism and all it has to offer: a great opportunity to learn a bit more about it if you’ve got no clue!
I loved that they were giving ‘free gift’ vouchers at the entrance – a very nice touch. I picked up this pink grapefruit and guava flavoured Kombucha to try; I’m not usually a fan of the stuff, but this came at a time of a flustered, sodium-induced thirst, so it was gratefully accepted.
Whether you’ve been vegan for years, eat a little bit of everything or are just generally curious and interested to sample some plant-based grub, you are welcome at Vegfest and it really is such an enjoyable day out… just don’t turn up with a raw pigs head, please and thank you.
Love, Dayna x