We journeyed many a mile from London for the Saturday date of the UK’s largest vegan festival – Vegfest Bristol 2017 (http://bristol.vegfest.co.uk). The anticipation had been building for weeks – and we couldn’t wait to get stuck in!
Graced by 250 stalls and situated outdoors – it successfully cultivated more of a true ‘festival’ vibe thanks to two live music stages, hosting a range of local acoustic, rock and folk music.
Our plan was simple. We wanted clothes. We wanted patches and badges. But most of all – we knew we would want SIGNIFICANTLY more food than could be consumed in a single day without causing potential fatality…
…So we came prepared;
• Tupperware (for delicate cake and sweet treat preservation)
• Extra bags (for inevitably buying more than planned)
• A flask (for milkshakes)
• Imodium (you can never be too prepared)
This facilitated the transport of our beautiful haul back to our hotel room, where we could eat safely, and slip blissfully into a food coma…
AND SO WE BEGIN…
RAIN. Yes. Typically, Britain managed to conjour up a very wet day for the largest and outdoorest vegan festival around. This didn’t seem to deter hordes of hungry vegans (and I’m sure a number of curious omnivours) from pouring in once the gates flew open.
There was a tangible buzz and excitement in the air from the very beginning. SO MUCH TO SEE. SO MUCH TO EAT. SO MUCH TO BUY.
From the moment we stepped into the first marquee we were greeted by the Bute Island Food’s (http://www.buteisland.com) ‘Sheese’ stand, with a full spread of delicious looking samples. Free samples are dangerous territory. ‘DO NOT EAT TOO MANY’ screams your mind. But your heart and stomach team up and bully your mind into submission. You end up gorging on every single sample. This moment was no exception. My mind was defeated. My stomach was satiated. My heart had no regrets. We left with two bags of their brand new grated mozzarella and a bag of the mature cheddar.
I wanted a burger. Chloe wanted Booja Booja ice cream. We eventually compromised and agreed that we would start by perusing the various (and wonderful) clothing stalls:
Viva La Vegan (https://www.viva-la-vegan.com) have a varied range of clothing, made with organic materials sustainably and ethically sources. There are T shirts, tops and hoodies with original designs, badges & patches, and an array of re-worked vintage shirts and jackets. We bought the black ‘So Woke’ tee and vintage checked shirt from here.
Heartcure (https://www.heartcureclothing.com) are a non-profit ‘alternative’ clothing brand. All profits go to Brook Farm Animal Sanctuary. They sell a wide range of t-shirts, raglans & hoodies – all made with organic materials which are ‘fair wear’ sourced. We came away with the ‘Adopt Don’t Shop’ tee and the ‘Stand For Something’ Earthling Ed tee.
Chiaralascura (http://chiaralascura.com/en/) we didn’t come away with any clothing exactly – but just had to buy their ‘Seitanist’ patch.
It was time to begin the inevitable binge. We were so ready: Targets identified. Belts loosened. Eyes significantly larger than our stomachs…
So first of all, We joined the longest queue (it was worth the wait!!) for any of the food stalls/caterers at Vegfest: Feral Food Store/Dirty Vegan (https://www.feralfoodstore.co.uk). I chose the absolutely delicious southern fried seitan burger. Highly recommended for burger lovers – or just anyone that loves a savoury treat!
Moving on to something sweeter – next up was the Booja Booja (http://www.boojabooja.com) ice cream cart! Chloe indulged in the amazing Chocolate Hazelnut Truffle and Chocolate Salted Caramel scoops.
Although I had a taste of the Booja – my sweet tooth had been teased and it needed satisfaction. I grabbed a Biscoff cupcake from Bristol Animal Save (https://www.facebook.com/BristolAnimalSave). It was very tasty – but best of all the proceeds went to an excellent cause!
Chloe hadn’t stopped craving a cookie for weeks prior to Vegfest. Finding a worthy gluten-free option was next on the agenda! We stumbled across Forced To Be Fussy (http://www.forcedtobefussy.co.uk) and the chocolate chip cookie did not disappoint!
Neither myself nor Chloe had eaten a Crepe since going Vegan – and with a gluten-free option – this was a no-brainer: The Creperie (http://www.thelushcreperie.co.uk) offered a number different toppings. Chloe went for the gluten free chocolate & banana, whilst I opted for the traditional (and some say boring!?) lemon and sugar. They were good – but could have perhaps done with a little more filling.
I was struggling at this point. I needed a savoury palette cleanser. One that The Hippy Chippy (http://www.thehippychippy.co.uk) was on hand to provide. We went with the traditional chunky chip – although a number of flavour options were available. I think I speak for both myself and Chloe when I say that these are the tastiest chunky chips I have ever had!
And finally, onto the last hurrah. The final indulgence. When I say last, I mean it would be the last tasty treat we would consume AT the festival. We had two-bags-full of goodies to take away with us…a haul of epic proportions that will be discussed in another post!
We visited Go With The Fro (http://www.Facebook.com/GoWithTheFroUK) to wash down those incredible chips with an amazing triple chocolate shake!! The nausea had long set in, but it didn’t stop us from absolutely loving it!
We were stuffed. We were exhausted. We were ready to go back to the hotel and begin rifling through our wonderful haul!
VegfestUK Bristol 2017 was over…for us at least! There were far too many stalls to experience in one day. If we had several stomachs and limitless funds, this post may have covered many more of the wonderful vegan stalls and caterers that made Vegfest such a wonderful experience. The live music really elevated the atmosphere too!
Sadly – news has since come about that this was the very last Vegfest to be held in Bristol after 14 wonderful years. This is due to increasing costs imposed by the council. I won’t go into detail here – but you can check out this post by organiser Tim Barford here:
Hopefully this is not the last of this event in Bristol – but in the meantime there are many more locations and different vegan events to enjoy throughout the year.
That’s it from me…until next time!