We awoke early. Sun beaming in through the window. ‘The early bird gets the…delicious vegan fayre’… or something along those lines anyway. So we were up – and we began preparing our stomachs for Vegan Summer Fest in Brighton.
Google Maps advised that it would only take 57 minutes to get there…but an incident meant that it took closer to 2 hours. I’m not going to sugar-coat it. I was hangry – and my blog-mate bore the brunt of that hanger. But we didn’t want to let that ruin the day!
After a couple of circuits of ‘The Level’ – we found a very convenient parking space…and we were off! Well. To the toilet by the nearby cafe. We needed to make extra room…
I digress – now on to the festivities! We handed over our VIP tickets and were passed a couple of lovely goody bags full of treats, samples and discounts (of which we will discuss another time). By this point we were ravenous.
It wasn’t long before we stumbled across Café So Vegan (www.facebook.com/CafeSoVegan). They serve a variety of hot dishes and cakes. Given my adoration of burgers, I was naturally drawn to the Mac Daddy. It was a southern fried style ‘chicken’ burger topped with their ‘mac no cheese’. It was delicious, and certainly lived up to the name.
The desire for a savoury beast had been satiated. It was only fair that we tended to Chloe’s sweet-tooth needs next. Raw For Life (www.gabrielhideg.com/raw-for-life) never disappoint with their amazing banoffee pie. It has become a firm favourite with both of us since we first tried it at the London equivalent of Vegan Summer Festival.
Rosina Makes (www.rosinamakes.co.uk) serve a range of entirely gluten free (and entirely amazing looking) cakes. We couldn’t help but try two of their offerings: The Millionaire Chocolate Slice and Raspberry Vanilla Cake. Both were extremely tasty (and generously portioned). Probably the best gluten free cakes I have ever tasted! The millionaire slice was on another level of deliciousness.
As if that wasn’t enough sweetness (not going to lie, it pretty much was for me…) we continued on to something we had been looking forward to for several weeks leading up to this event. Gluten free waffles, provided by Ice Green (www.ice-green.uk). We shared a waffle topped with salted caramel ice cream, honeycomb pieces and marshmallows. It did not disappoint. The waffle had a light texture, the ice cream was rich and creamy and the extra toppings were the….cherry on the waffle? Anyway, I could waffle on about this all day…*clears throat*…
Whilst we had already planned to have (an overly large) dinner at the recently opened all-plant-based Italian restaurant Purezza (www.purezza.co.uk) later that day, seeing happy looking people wandering around with tantalising pizzas meant we very quickly succumbed to the pressure of trying the gluten free margarita by Dough Ball Pizza (www.doughballpizza.co.uk). I only managed a few bites. I was full to the brim. It was nice, but did not really stand up to Purezza (don’t worry, we will review this another time!)
We were both proudly wearing Viva La Vegan (www.viva-la-vegan.com) attire, and it didn’t go unnoticed. We were accosted (in a friendly manner of course) for a photo. It was a pleasure having the chance to catch up with them after Bristol Vegfest (and fortunately, my face didn’t ruin an otherwise delightful picture…)
Once again, there were many stalls and stands that we didn’t have a chance to give the attention they deserve. The VIP goody bag was well worth the extra money (£15 including entry) but we will have to elaborate on the contents another time.
We bought several other items too: Some cheese from the always great Vegusto (www.vegusto.co.uk), some banana and raspberry spread from Jamco (www.facebook.com/jamcospreads- which I only tried a small sample of, can’t wait to try it on some toast!) and a bamboo toothbrush from Zero Waste Club (www.zero-waste-club.com).
Finally, because I am (still) a child at heart, I couldn’t help but try the ‘lucky dip’ at the Hunt Sabs stall (www.facebook.com/BrightonHuntSaboteurs). And so I leave you with this, a picture of said child excitedly rummaging for the best prize. (it was toffee, and it was very nice!)