Festival season is now in full swing in London and Saturday marked another event on my calendar – the Greater London Vegan Festival 2017.
A much smaller festival than most I’ve been to, it was held mainly within one room of the Camden Centre in King’s Cross. Although it felt a little cramped at times, it had a much more intimate atmosphere than the larger exhibition centre festivals.
There were a few talks held in another room and a small mezzanine with hot food but my festival buddy and I stuck mostly to the main hall.
Although I do love the variety and big brand offers at the larger shows, it was nice to be able to support independent businesses and try out products I can’t buy at my local Sainsbury’s or Planet Organic.
There were loads of stands selling home-made cakes, cookies, bars and slices making it damned hard not to take home my weight in baked goods!
I did cave and buy a loaf of mango bread from a Creole baked goods stall, as well as a lemon cupcake from sweetPbakes (maker of last event’s glorious unicorn cupcake!); I swear, she makes the prettiest cupcakes ever.
I could have bought ALL THE THINGS from the various vegan “junk food” stalls but I restrained myself and stuck to a Mahalo chocolate bar only (basically a nutty, vegan Bounty. So good!).
Completely forgetting that our oven is currently on the outs, I also picked up a Cranberry & Pistachio cookie mix sachet from Auntie Mo’s, with grand plans of making super-easy and delicious cookies the following day. Let’s hope it keeps!
I love being able to try and buy cruelty-free make-up from brands that you generally can’t get on the high street. I was super-excited to find a stand selling my favourite ever eyebrow pencil from benecos as I’ve been meaning to replace my stub of a pencil for months! I also nabbed a lovely waterproof mascara from BWC.
There were plenty of eco-friendly and natural beauty stalls as well, selling everything from natural deodorant to handmade soaps to 100% biodegradable toothbrushes. I stocked up on delicious, hand-made bath bombs again.
One of my favourite discoveries of the day were plantable lollipops! Yep, you read that right – lollipops that you plant!
Well, you eat the lolly first, then pop the seed-filled, biodegradable stick in the ground to grow herbs or flowers! Such a cute idea.
We don’t get too much sun on our little balcony but I’m crossing my fingers and toes for sage and marigold sprouts soon!
Another tempting offering was vegan booze. I nearly bought pink gin (so fruity and delicious!) and then a nutty cream liqueur – basically the vegan answer to Baileys! To be honest, the main reason I decided against buying either was the weight as I wasn’t heading straight home. Shame!
There were several fashion stalls with everything from hand-made cork bags and purses to cute slogan tees and accessories.
My yoga and cat-loving friend went home with the “Namaste in with my cat” tee by Jade Green Vegan. Adorable. I am neither a yoga nor cat person but I was super-tempted by the “Fuelled by Veg” tank! Maybe next time when I’ve not already blown my budget on make-up and cakes…
We finished up at the event with a slice of spinach and lemon pie, which we ate outside in the elusive British sunshine. It was all going well until I realised I’d sat in gum and had a giant sticky patch on my jeans… FFS.
To distract myself from my sticky butt and enjoy the sunshine a little longer, we spent the afternoon (which stretched into late evening… oops) at a nearby watering hole enjoying gin cocktails and too much wine. Such a lovely way to spend a Saturday!
As it was a smaller event and I’d I set myself a modest budget for the day (which yes, was blown by the cocktails post-event!), I didn’t come home with a huge haul but I was still pretty pleased with it:
What’s your favourite festival buy? Let me know in the comments!