Another year, another Vegfest and I couldn’t contain my excitement! London’s 2017 Vegfest was just as fantastic as that of 2016 yet with more products and brands to discover. Due to such high demand of all things vegan, 2017 marked the first year of the Vegfest trade show which saw business owners, buyers and media professionals flock to London Olympia to see what was on offer. Whether a trader, blogger or a dedicated vegan, Vegfest shared over 100 stalls, inspiring talks, cookery demos and exclusive offers I couldn’t deny!
Here I share with you my favourites and why you need to book a ticket for Vegfest London 2018.
Cupcakes & Shhht
I have to admit, I have quite a sweet tooth. I love sourcing delicious vegan cupcakes, brownies and treats wherever I go. I mean, you don’t always find vegan cake in your day to day life, so how can you say no to a slice?
My first stop was to the Cupcakes & Shht stall, an independent all vegan and gluten free cake business that also has a cafe in Elephant and Castle (I must go!). It wasn’t just the smell of butter icing but the kitsch and cutesy decor drew me in and had me admiring the abundance of sweet treats. Peanut butter chocolate brownies, strawberry cupcakes, double choc and vanilla, oh you name it, they had the flavour combo! I picked up a gluten-free peanut butter and vanilla cupcake – delicious butter icing but unfortunately the cupcake was a little dry which may be due to the gluten-free flour used. Nonetheless, I want to go back to sample the brownies and try another cupcake or two to compare.
Ruby’s Of London
From one cupcake stall to the next, Ruby’s of London were back with their incredible looking donut cupcakes. I tried two of the donuts last year and they were delicious. The intricacy of the butter icing swirls and delicately placed sprinkled toppings make the perfectionist in me jump for joy and my mouth water. You can find Ruby at Greenwich Market every Saturday and Sunday or order her cakes online, delivered straight to your door!
If you haven’t heard of Ms.Cupcake, where have you been! This wonderful lady makes ‘the naughtiest vegan cakes in town’ taking traditional indulgent American treats such as blondies, cookie sandwiches, cupcakes, brownies and more and makes them vegan friendly. On sale also was her cookbook that means we can make the naughty treats at home for friends and family. The stall was incredibly popular all day and unfortunately I was too late to pick up the red velvet cookie sandwich I had my eyes on. Thankfully, there is a Ms Cupcake shop in Brixton that is open 7 days a week. Better get my travel shoes on and make a trip!
I had been dying to try Happy Maki since Vegfest 2016 and was thankful to see them back this year. For every sushi burrito they sell, a tree is planted and they feed a child in need, what is more amazing than that? They had a fantastic array of flavours to choose from which made the decision rather difficult. With eyes bigger than my stomach (after all the incredible samples I had eaten) I chose the Fully Loaded sushi burrito packed with crispy ‘chicken’ pieces, roasted sweet potato, avocado, raw veg and lashings of teriyaki sauce. Oh, my It was incredible! Thankfully, for the Brighton dwellers amongst you, you can visit their store at 8 Pool Valley near the sea front to get your Happy Maki fix.
Lazy Boy Kitchen
For lovers of mac & cheese and all things barbecued, Lazy Boy Kitchen is your jam. They take comfort American classics and put their plant-based twist on it, and fantastically if I say so myself. I tried the BBQ Platter which contained Seitan burnt ends, bbq pulled jackfruit and raw cashew mac n’ cheese. The burnt ends would convince a meat-eater that it was the real deal, the oozing bbq sauce and smokey flavour was on point. The mac n cheese was delicious and not too nutty and bbq jackfruit bursting with flavour too. To catch this lovely lot in action, follow them on social media and see where they are popping up next!
If being full wasn’t enough, the samples kept on giving. Conscious chocolate are a brand that I have tried on numerous occasions yet always seem to forget about (trust me, they aren’t forgettable!). They should be a household staple with the delicious raw, organic and 100% vegan ingredients that they use. They have so many flavours to choose from that will suit any palette. My favourites have to be the Essential Orange, The Nutty One and Goji & Coconut. If you love vegan chocolate, raw or not, these bars are game changers!
Follow Your Heart
Follow Your Heart may be the creators of the Veganegg and delicious Vegenaise but we stopped by to sample a new range of sliced cheeses. Their new flavours include Smoked Gouda and Pepper Jack Style, both of which are soya-free. The smoked Gouda was a favourite, smokey, cheesy and darn right delicious which would taste perfect draped over a nutty veggie burger! The Pepper Jack Style was fiery and peppery, not my kind of flavour but nonetheless impressive. These could be game changers as the new face of vegan cheese.
Helping the environment and reducing consumption of single use plastics, Aquapax had us covered. The recyclable and sustainable packaging is made from paper and inside holds pure mineral water. They donate 1% of every sale to a non-profit environmental organisation and are doing their part to combat global warming. As they say, we need to ditch the plastic.
Freaks Of Nature
Freaks Of Nature make delicious and indulgent dairy-free, soya-free and gluten-free treats for everyone to enjoy. I discovered these delicious puddings in Tesco a while back and continue to purchase them for a treat. On offer was a chance to try some of their products and purchase a few too. I sampled the vanilla posset with mango & passion fruit coulis topped with crushed pistachios – creamy, tangy and luscious. I cannot wait to add these to my shopping basket!
The Protein Ball Co.
I have been a huge fan of The Protein Ball Co. for as long as I can remember. I first discovered the Goji & Coconut flavour in Brighton a few years ago and absolutely fell in love. Although their range isn’t fully vegan, they do stock two flavours that are really worth the money; Goji & Coconut and Lemon & Pistachio. The Goji & Coconut will always be a firm favourite; nutty, sweet and melt in your mouth. The Lemon & Pistachio are for the tangier palette, zesty, clean and nutty. These are a must-try so source a stockist near you or order online!
This was just a selection of the incredible food I sampled at London VegFest 2017 and am thankful for discovering new and wonderful businesses that are shaping the future of Veganism.
To find out more about this fantastic food festival, visit the Vegfest website.
Sad you missed out on Vegfest? Visit the next two in Brighton or Bristol.
Brighton VegFest 24th & 25th of March 2018
Bristol VegFest 26th & 27th of May 2018