Last week I had the pleasure of going to my second VegFest event, this time in Brighton! I first went there back in September in London and did not want to miss this one! Thanks paperbagblog for the tickets :)
My friend and I went to what were 2 days of vegan food samples, coffee, vegan pastries and buns, VBites visits, eye-opening talks and challenging walks in the outrageous coastal wind.
VegFest is a festival where you can learn more about the health benefits and ethical side of eating vegetarian vegan food and try lots of vegan treats, meet people who make and sell vegan products, learn about environmental initiatives and activities, get information on how to try out a plant-based diet and generally to show how simple and easy it can be to do all this with the products available out there!
It is a hub of animal-free, cruelty-free, no-animal-testing sustainable goods. A very friendly gathering bustling with people of all ages, lots of children, people there because of food intolerances or allergies and curious meat-eaters alongside devoted vegans.
There were many healthy vegan juices stalls…
…and so many treats everywhere!
The lovely people from the Global Fusion Vegan Creole Bakery were there too, I don’t know how they do it, but their loaves and cakes are SO moist and have an incredibly comforting texture. They have sweet and savoury loaves and are always extremely generous with the samples they give.
There was always a queue to taste and buy the loaves, they were really popular and we saw they sold out pretty early in the day. I got a delicious savoury loaf with olives, mushrooms, peppers and herbs for £3. They are based in London and make and their delicious goodies in Stoke Newington but also sell them in other markets around London, such as Brixton’s farmers’ market.
The savoury loaf I got was great! My flatmates liked it as well :)
I had some with steamed kale with garlic, chilli and lime squeezed over it. So lovely!
The Big Fat Vegan Bakery stall was there too, displaying their amazing array of enormous and colourfully irresistible buns, doughnuts and pastries…
They were extremely busy too, there was a constant queue and it was so manic for these people selling all this baked vegan goodness.
Eating vegan food clearly does not mean you miss out on anything!
My friend got a comparatively healthy oat cookie from the mouth-watering Ms Cupcake stall whereas I opted for this vegan pillowy-soft chocolate, cream and Oreo topped doughnut which was too tasty to describe properly. It was £2.50 and probably the equivalent of 2 or 3 ordinary-sized pastries :O
I saw many people with different types of vegan beers and they were served in these biodegradable cups…
I wish these biopac cups were used at more events and gigs as they aren’t as bad and as polluting as ordinary plastic cups and packaging.
One thing I did notice that I was disappointed about was that although the main areas were provided with recycling bins, the bins by the sellers were general waste and people were throwing leftover food along with recyclable packaging.
I e-mailed VegFest on Easter Sunday morning and was shocked to receive a reply a few minutes later! I was told that “most of the rubbish gets recycled round the back, and spare food gets
donated to food banks” – when I specified about the rubbish being the waste produced at the venue by the punters I got another response:
”We have recycling bins throughout the venue, and it is always a huge shame
that the general public ignore the instructions and put food waste in the
wrong compartments rendering the waste useless for recycling.
The general bins in the auditorium were sorted, if waste found to be food,
went into general disposal / incinerator and conversion to power. If
packaging went to recycling.
All food waste went into a designated food skip and was dealt with by Cox’s
All cardboard and packaging was bailed and sent for recycling.”
I was also assured there is a meeting coming up in the coming weeks which will focus on this area for future shows.
Although not ideal, I really hope they can sort something out for future shows and make this festival even more environmentally-friendly.
At the venue there so many other stalls…really nice vegan cheese, a wide variety of stalls selling hot food such as curry, kebabs, Thai food, pancakes that were exactly the same as non-vegan pancakes, really thin and foldable (I asked: all they make them with is plain flour and soy milk!) :)
Also non-food items such as beauty products, baby skincare and bath products, make-up, clothing, bamboo socks and underwear; everything was vegan and many products were organic too.
I got a yaoh vegan lipbalm, it’s nice to know there are no animal fats in it, unlike many other lipbalms for sale – it was also buy one get one free so my flatmate can enjoy fresh spearmint-smelling lips too.
If you have a look at the VegFest website you can find out more, the next one will take place in Bristol on 23rd and 24th May.
We were at VegFest both Saturday and Sunday, on Sunday we went to several all really interesting, some heart-warming and some alarming talks about Local and Global Food Sustainability about which I will write about in the next post.
Did you go to Vegfest? What did you think of it?
Are you planning to go to the next one in Bristol in May or other similar festivals?