As some of you may know, Robert has some food allergies – egg, dairy and soya – which make eating out a bit tricky. That’s why we were so excited to hear about VegFest UK, which is a huge vegan and veggie festival, with masses of stalls, cookery demonstrations and talks, plus comedy and other performances.
Intrigued by this, Brian, Robert and I went off to Olympia in London a few weeks ago to see what was on offer. To say that we were impressed would be an understatement. There was just so much to find out about as well as so much to eat – and most of it was delicious. Even Jess, who is particularly fond of food containing butter, cream and eggs (!) wants to come next time.
VegFest takes part in different venues across the UK, with Brighton and Bristol next to host, in March and May next year. It was was full of stalls, which included some clothing and toiletries amongst all the food. We, however, were most interested in what we could eat (although we did like the soaps on offer at the soap deli which not only smelt delicious but were, we were assured, very good for delicate or eczema prone skin).
It’s true that some of the stalls offered wares which used soya, but there were loads that didn’t. Everyone was extremely friendly and there were masses of samples, which of course we had to try. We were particularly taken with the cakes and chocolates we tried, but also impressed to find a vegan pesto sauce (made by Conserve della nonna) which was delicious (unlike others we have sampled in the past).
Robert was very happy to try a huge cookie from Ms Cupcake, and to get stuck into the new flavour samples from Moo Free, which has become one of his favourite chocolate makes. This is because they knew they wanted to be kid friendly – and made their chocolate taste as near to milk, as opposed to dark, chocolate as possible. This is truly clever, as most the chocolate we’ve tried has been dark and Robert isn’t a huge fan (not sweet enough!). We also liked the new chocolate buttoms from Ombar and ate rather too many of the fabulous Goody Good stuff sweets.
There was so much to see and eat, including some amazing raw juices (particularly from noshraw), delicious coconut milk (Koko was the best!) and yummy desserts from pudology (only one is currently soya free, but they’re working on it!). Lots of the produce was also gluten-free.
Although they do contain soya, Brian and I were wowed by Claire Baker’s Consider It Chocolates (any vegans out there, we implore you to try them) which were amazing, especially the cinnamon ones. We were also astonished by the array of massive doughnuts and cream buns from the Big Fat Vegan Bakery, although we were too full to try them! We did give the flaxseed milk a go, but, although it’s probably good for you, it wasn’t the best we’ve ever tasted (ugh!), while the vegan “duck” was nothing special.
Everyone we met was extremely friendly and chatty. There was even a kids’ zone where a pirate taught the children to flip pancakes (yes, really) and Robert powered up a blender simply by riding a bike!
All in all, we had a lovely time and it was great to be in a place where Robert felt he could enjoy himself and eat like a “normal” child (!) rather than finding nothing tempting on offer. His ticket was free and adult tickets were only £10 in advance (and there are various other offers including buy one get one free).
We will be back again and think that anyone interested in food would enjoy the array of goodies on offer. Now we just have to decide whether to go to Bristol or Brighton!
This week we’ve linked up with the Mad Mid Week Blog Hop, hosted by the lovely Super Busy Mum. Hope over there to see more blog posts…