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30 March 2015

VegFestUK Brighton

Things I bought at VegFest Brighton
This past weekend was spent in Brighton at the best possible place for vegans; VegFestUK. VegFest is a 2 day event including everything possible that's vegan, there were 15 caterers, talks and conferences going on all weekend and most importantly, over 180 stalls mostly selling products and letting you sample free products! I went back to the chocolate stalls so many times they even started to recognise me - whoops! I went to VegFest with two of my vegan friends Hazel and Matt and had the most amazing weekend.
Vegan Vanilla Fudge
I definitely didn't come away from VegFest empty handed, and neither did my friends - not even close! Being a student I really haven't been able to spend my money on anything but the weekly food shop since January, however, two days before VegFest I found out that I had somehow over paid my rent and was due some money back. And if receiving money the day before VegFest isn't a sign that said money should be spent at VegFest then I don't know what is! I bought some catered food as well as some raw chocolate, vanilla fudge, some moisturizer from lush and lots lots more - retail therapy at a vegan festival is definitely the best type of medicine at the end of a uni term!
Mud pie - half of that was one slice!

The catering this weekend was simply incredible, I got to try the Caribbean jerk soy wrap, homemade lemonade and mud pie on the Saturday; all of which were amazing and so filled with flavour, not to mention the mud pie was the biggest slice of chocolate cake I have ever been given and for £2 - it was bigger than my head! 
Happy-Maki Sushi
Come the Sunday word had spread about how amazing the Sushi was and I had been recommended it by at least 4 people, so of course I had to try it! The sushi was being hand rolled so the line took a little while but it was worth the wait! I got the brown rice "fully loaded" with extra ginger and it was to die for; I forgot how much I used to love sushi (which is the name for the seasoned rice, not the fish) before I came to VegFest and now I will definitely be making some during the Easter break.

My "Fully Loaded" Sushi Roll
My favourite stalls were companies I had already heard of like The Raw Chocolate Company and Lush , but there were also lots of companies who were recently launching so were showcasing their products; including aged cashew cheese and pasta made from beans instead of grains for a higher protein alternative. 
Raw Chocolate & Vanoffee Mulberries
It was amazing to see the level of veganized products at VegFest - there is literally a substitute for all of your favourite foods so you'll never miss out, I even bought a vegan wagon wheel!!!! Due to the geletine in regular wagon wheels I haven't had one for about 9 years, so though it was rather expensive I just had to try one! Another big hit were the vegan bakery; there were Chelsea buns & chocolate profiteroles bigger than anyone's head and the stall was jam packed (excuse the pun) until selling out completely. 
Vegan Wagon Wheel
The stalls at the festival weren't all food though, there were many campaigns raising awareness for animal cruelty and doing their bit to help prevent this. The one that really hit me hard was the lamb sanctuary for animals that do not meet the farmers requirement so would otherwise have a very different fate. It just reminded me of the millions of farm animals abused and slaughtered everyday and how this is considered the norm by our society, with no one battering an eyelid - but when you speak to any person, vegan or not, they will tell you how animal cruelty is wrong. Why are the animals abused and killed to eat not included when these people state that animal cruelty needs to be stopped?
My New Tank Top
We also went to the most amazing health food shop in the town called Infinity Foods, they had so many different products for sale which we were mezmerized by and spent almost 45 minutes looking around and I bought some of my first ever nutritional yeast! (yes I know I'm a bit late to that one). I also got to go to my favourite tea shop -  BlueBird Tea Co, I go between stages of tea and coffee and I'm definitely in a tea stage at the moment, more specifically special blends of black loose leaf tea. The teas I bought were Bonfire Toffee and Vicky's Sponge cake, both of which I can't wait to try!
Bluebird Tea

The best thing about VegFest was how normal and at ease I felt; I could pick up any food in the center and not have to ask first about whether it was vegan and that freedom was something that unless in a vegan restaurant you tend to miss out on. There are 3 more VegFests in Bristol, London and Glasgow later this year if you missed the Brighton one and I couldn't recommend it enough! If you're vegan, vegetarian or even just want to find out more about transitioning to those diets then it's more than worth it and you'll have the most amazing time!
Homemade Lemonade at VegFestUK
My next post will be a new recipe, I promise! After the weekend I have tons of ideas circling in my head of what to make next and apart from some uni work to do, I have 3 weeks to try them out!