Yesterday 27th September I went to Kensington Olympia for the London VegFest event. I was very excited to be going for the first time and rightly so: it was great!!!
VegFest is a 2/3-day vegetarian & vegan lifestyle show that takes place in London in September, in Brighton in March and in Bristol in May.
There were more than 200 stalls with great food, beauty products, clothing, cooking tools, tons of delicious samples offered by the food stalls, talks about vegan food, lifestyle, vegan raw diets and campaigns, book signings, performances, cooking demos, a cinema area, workshops, live music and comedy and more. Here is the pdf of this year’s programme just to give you an idea of how much there was going on.
It’s a great event for anyone who is interested in trying vegetarian and vegan products alternatives, looking for good quality sustainable brands or for people who already know some of these brands and want to have a great day out discovering more.
The best thing was to step in there and not have to check the ingredients for everything: I just ate anything I wanted to eat knowing it would be vegan and sustainable!! :D I even finally got to try Kombucha, I loved the ginger Equinox Kombucha they were offering tasters of.
It was really busy and everyone seemed happy and friendly and there were many children running around too – there was something for absolutely everyone to enjoy.
I tried Koko dairy free coconut milk, which was really delicious in all its flavours: chocolate, strawberry and plain.
It’s sold in Holland and Barrett and in some bigger supermarkets so I’ll look out for it as it was that nice.
There was a Nakd stall and I pretty much tried all of their raw bars, including several I hadn’t tried before. Then I bought a whole box of 18 mixed and matched flavours for £8! They even have a Christmas pudding bar now…
I tried hemp milk for the first time too, in a nice, smooth latte
Something else I finally tried was pecan butter…oh…WOW!
Pecans are my favourite nuts in the world and I’ve dreamed about trying them in butter form for a while…then I found a wonderful stand where they had pots of butter from any seed or nut: macadamia, pistachio, pine nuts, walnuts, sunflower seed in addition to others I’ve tried before such as almond, peanut and pumpkin seed butter. The pecan was the best, so rich and buttery!!
GreenLife ecological fashion caught my eye, they had eco underwear and socks.
Their items are made in Italy with natural fibres such as organic bamboo, which has antibacterial and antifungal properties and is 100% biodegradable. They felt SO soft, so I invested in a pair of pants.
My friend bought a really cute mug of a whale ejecting hearts from its blowhole: so cute!!
Magpie‘s lovely crockery is all made from bone-free vegan bone china, 100% of their proceeds went to charity – this year’s charity is Cats Protection – and they regularly collaborate with illustrators…I’m happy to have found this brand, it would be great for gifts :)
Upstairs there was a stall with pastries from the Big Fat Vegan Bakery which had enormous pastries covered with sticky glaze, chocolate and filled with cream.
There were loads of food stalls to choose from: Lebanese food, meat-free hot dogs, chips and burgers, the Honest Carrot we first saw at Reading festival, sushi, Creole vegan food, roti wraps and more…all vegan. We chose to share 2 meals so we could try both the Pad Thai noodles and the Jamaican pumpkin vegetable curry.
There was a queue for them throughout the day, but it was definitely worth waiting a while…
These were rice noodles with tamarind sauce, 2 types of tofu, beansprouts, spring onions, chilli flakes, crushed peanuts and lime. TASTY.
This was pumpkin and vegetable curry with rice and peas and salad it was sweet, creamy and comforting. I would have liked it to be spicy too, but then I’m someone who adds West Indian sauce to pretty much anything except granola :P
In the afternoon we went upstairs and listened to a talk from the lovely lady from Ms Cupcake, she was talking about how to replace animal ingredients with vegan ingredients when baking.
She was really funny and informative, it was a pleasure to listen to her and I really want to go to her bakery in Brixton soon.
Something I found out: sugar in the E.U. is all vegan as it’s illegal to produce it using animal bone char, however in the U.S. around 60% is made using animal bones so it’s not even vegetarian and you need to look out for organic sugar or brands which specify they don’t use bones in the refining process :\
These are the lovely things I came back with from VegFest. I wanted to buy more vegan and natural deodorant so I got 3 for £12 from Jason, they’re usually at least £4.99 so that was pretty good.
The paper bag has my super-soft organic bamboo pants in it and I got the granola box on the left for free when I subscribed to a newsletter, the Aquapax carton was simply water and the man who saw how much I liked it said it can be reused for a while too.
Just above the deodorant there’s an eye liner and lavender soap I got with a draw the Vegan Society was holding. They just asked for a donation, then you could pick a ticket and get a prize! Apparently that eye liner alone is usually £18! My friend got the Blackfriars flapjacks and gave them to me :)
Those are the 18 Nakd bars I chose, the Bakewell Tart ones are so nice! Nakd bars are just great when travelling or anytime you need a good healthy snack. They’re raw and 1 of your 5 a day.
The 2 Provamel almond and cononut milk cartons were free with a freebie ticket I got at the entrance and the milk cartons on the right are from another Italian company, Isola Bio, who make milk out of any grain, including a quinoa chocolate milk drink. I chose the barley and oat milks after tasting them as I liked them a lot, who needs dairy milk when there are so many alternatives?!?
I had a great time going around exploring and finding out about great businesses that I share ideas with and consider the environment and sustainability as a priority.
I loved trying or seeing what they make and giving a little support.
Now I just want to go to the next Vegfest in Brighton! :)
Have you been to or heard of VegFest before?
Do you know any other eco events?