Firstly, this is long ass post but stick with it, it’s worth it!
This weekend has been one of my favourite weekends this year, why? It’s VEGFEST weekend! Last year my day at VEGFEST really opened my eyes to veganism and how easy it could be to go vegan, this started me on the journey to being the vegan I am today. When I went last year I liked the idea of being vegan but having a wheat intolerance I thought I was going to starve to death, but surprise surprise, there’s a ton of food and no I can’t eat all the sausages or any Quorn but that’s ok, the really good food isn’t processed anyway.
VEGFEST is one of the few places that I know for sure, that I’ll be able to get hold of some quality food which means I turn into this, an excited mess of a creature, inhaling all of the food…
Anywhere I can eat cake makes my soul happy, seriously, I love cake. Last year I discovered that there is such a thing as gluten free, vegan cakes and this year did not let me down! But before cake, lets talk savoury. Saturday morning I went to my usual Body Attack class then rushed around like a mad-man to get over to the SECC, by the time Mark and I got there I WAS STARVING. We walked through the doors, looked at each other and agreed that first, we needed to eat.
There’s a lot of vegan food out there that’s filled with gluten which breaks my heart so when I see food that smells amazing AND is naturally gluten free I squeal a little. Flavours of Africa were serving boxes of jollof rice, spinach stew, bean cake and with fried plantain – how did I not know that plantain was so good? This is exactly what I needed in my post gym, hunger haze!
On Sunday I was sat scoffing this Caribbean delights, this is jerk soya, fried plantain (because it’s my new fave), rice, veg and what tasted like sweet potatoes. Right, I need to put something out there for you all, I’m not keen on sweet potatoes. I know, I know, but I find them a bit “meh” although I did eat one or two, then donated the rest to the sweet potato addict that is my boyf. This box was also phenomenal, what even is jerk soya? How do they make it? These are all questions that I will be asking Google very soon. If you’re ever at an event and Brownins is available I suggest that you get yourself in line immediately!
Nearly everything on this stall was gluten free NEARLY EVERYTHING! I had a ton of choice but naturally I gravitated straight toward the peanut butter, chocolate cupcake because I’m a creature of habit and a peanut butter fiend. The chocolate peanut butter sponge was perfect, light, fluffy and moist, the frosting was delightfully creamy and sweet, then to top it all off there was a shard of peanut brittle. OH SWEET JESUS. Yes that deserved the caps lock and no I will not apologise for shouting at you. This is cake was amazing, I really wish I had gone back to buy more…
VEGFEST isn’t just about the food (although the food is the main reason that I enjoy it so much), there’s everything from clothing to henna tattoos. Me being the basic hippy that I am I couldn’t resist getting myself a henna tattoo.
There was also plenty of cruelty free cosmetics stalls, vegan information and a ton of clothing brands! Everything you need to live a cruelty free life.
The talks and demos
This is something that I completely missed last year, mostly as I wasn’t really interested because I was a bit hungover, I didn’t want to be judged by vegans and I was only there for the food. Fast forward a year and I was planning the weekend around the talks. Now I didn’t see many but the ones I did were fab. So who did I see?
At first, this might seem like a strange thing for me to go to because they are about catering for older vegetarians and vegans but Amanda Woodvine talked about easy ways to make your vegan diet a healthy one – right up my street. It was a great reminder that vegan is easy but healthy isn’t always, especially when she was talking about omega 3, turns out I’m not getting any of that…
Bob was talking about vlogging on YouTube and how easy it is for ordinary people to use YouTube to spread the vegan message. For me, the best thing about his talk was him talking about how no one else is having my vegan experience therefore I have something to talk about. Setting up my own vlog is something that I’ve been umm-ing and ahh-ing about vlogging but I’ve never been able to take that leap so stay tuned!
This was a cooking demo and it was my favourite 45 minutes of the whole weekend, why? Because Mel was showing us all how bloody easy it is to make vegan cheese. Mel is like me, she’s from the land of cider and cheddar cheese AKA Somerset, we know our cheddar, which is why I struggle so much with shop bought vegan cheddar – they just aren’t cheddar. But Mel runs workshops where she teaches people to make their own, inexpensive, vegan, fresh cheese, she makes everything from soft garlic cheese, cheddar, through to brie. HOW BLOOMING EXCITING! Luckily for me, she also had a stall for me to bulk buy until I get to grips with making my own cheese. If you’re in the West Country please go to one of her workshops and buy some cheese because what she’s doing is really important for us cheese loving vegans!
I can’t get away with saying the word swag can I…? If you follow me on Instagram you might have already seen my hauls from each day. I didn’t go wild but I bought everything from koko strawberry milk (they were already out of the chocolate), a new hat from Go Vegan Scotland, koko butter which I didn’t know existed, a new mug from The Vegan Kind, all of that fresh cheese from Mel’s Kindness Kitchen and I ended up sponsoring a pen for the cats at the Cats Protection. TAKE MY MONEY.
All in all I think that VEGFEST is a great event for vegans, vegetarians and curious people alike. If you’re thinking about how your lifestyle affects the planet or if you’re just a foodie who’s looking to try some new food then grab yourself some tickets for next year!
Did you go to VEGFEST this year? What did you think?