Vegan Life Live happened to be another fantastic event to celebrate Veganism. From talks and cooking demos to food and vegan beauty products – we had it all. I ventured to Alexandra Palace with the wonderful Anjuli from Well Travelled Vegan and we both ate our weight in delicious sweet treats, savoury nibbles and an abundance of samples. Here I share with you the brands I discovered, what I bought and why you should go!
Vegan Life Live: Dark Matters
One of the first stalls we stumbled across was Dark Matters. It was packed full of indulgent Vegan brownies in an array of flavours; Salted Caramel, Peanut Butter Swirl, Hazelnut Maple Pecan, Rum & Ginger, Mint Choc Chip, Rose Almond Pistachio and an Orange Marmalade. I couldn’t resist the Salted Caramel with a gooey salty sweet drizzle a top. It kept well until the following day but possessed more of a cake texture than brownie. Nonetheless one I loved and a brownie I would love to try more flavours of!
Vegan Life Live: Baking Bad & Ms Cupcake
Beautifully crafted cupcakes were on display by Baking Bad. You could not miss the intricately piped buttercream icing and array of flavours as well as brownies and traybakes. I am regretting not getting my hands on a few for sure. Ms Cupcake however did steal the show. Having deep regrets from not getting my hands on a Cookie Sandwich at Vegfest, I knew it was top of my list! I purchased a Red Velvet Cookie Sandwich; sickly sweet cookies with a butter cream icing centre that was so indulgent and delicious. This was eaten for breakfast on the following morning – no regrets!
Vegan Life Live: Goupie Chocolates
Goupie Chocolates have been circulating social media for a while now and I have been excited to get my hands on a box. These ‘devilishly moorish’ chewy chocolate triangles came in a range of 12 different flavours, the favourites being Orange, Espresso, Salted Sticky Toffee and Hazelnut. We sampled the Espresso; punchy and rich, the Orange; zesty and warm and the Sticky Toffee; salty and sweet. These would make a perfect gift as well as the Faberge eggs which are great for Easter. I took home a box of the Orange Goupie Chocolates and let’s say they didn’t last long! These reminded me of the Terry’s Chocolate Orange Crunch segments you find in a Christmas sharing box and possessed a milky and creamy chocolate coating.
Vegan Life Live: Clive’s Pies
If you love Linda Mccartney’s Country Pies, you will absolutely love Clive’s! There are seven different flavours to choose from including Sag Aloo, Creamy Mushroom, Aloo Gobi, Lentil & Olive, Chestnut & Bean Cassoulet, Hungarian Goulash and Mexican Chilli. I sampled the Mexican Chilli Bean pie and it was delicious. The pastry is dense but hearty and made with whole grain ingredients. What’s more, the fillings are generous and are bursting with flavour to suit any and every palette. I will definitely be getting my hands on a few in Holland and Barrett.
Vegan Life Live: The Vegan Owl
The Vegan Owl Beet Wellington and Sos Roll definitely caught my eye. These pastries and pasties looked delicious with their fluffy and light pastry and oozing filling. On offer was also a Corn-niche pasty, an award winning addition to the trio. I wish I had tried these as there was a long queue for others to get their hands on some!
Vegan Life Live: Elspeth’s Kitchen
Elspeth’s raw desserts are something to admire. Beautifully presented on bespoke ceramic stands plates, each slice is hand crafted and finished to perfect. Made from all natural, plant-based ingredients they look too good to eat. Whether you fancy raw ‘no cheese’ cheesecakes, Mocha tortes or fancy a Lime & Basil slice, there is such a variety. I am yet to purchase one as I would love to sit and enjoy in a cafe setting twinned with a green juice or turmeric latte.
Vegan Life Live: Hippeas
Hippeas are taking the crisp world by storm and too right. The high protein and high fibre packed chickpea puffs are available in 5 flavours; Salt and Vinegar, Cheese & Love, Sweet & Smokin’, Far Out Fajita and In Herbs We Trust. Having tried the Far Out Fajita flavour before, I wasn’t a big fan due to the chilli and cumin. However, I am sold on the Salt and Vinegar variety and could happily eat a large bag. They are light, tangy and pack a great crunch. These are a brand to keep an eye out for!
Vegan Life Live: I Am Nut OK
I Am Nut OK could have found the way to my heart. Their Garlic and Beetroot Cashew Cheese will make your mouth water. The flavours are well rounded, creamy and taste more like a nutty hummus. The garlic and beetroot flavours are not too overpowering and compliment each other perfectly. This would be a perfect gift to bring along to a dinner party or serve with hummus crisps for friends. Priced at £6 a jar, this is definitely a pricey treat but one worth every penny.
Vegan Life Live: Soffles Pitta Chips & Chic P Hummus
Chic P Beetroot, Horseradish and Sage hummus has been a favourite purchase of mine since visiting WholeFoods. Who knew that when twinned with Soffles Pitta Chips it would be a match made in heaven? The horseradish gives the hummus a tangy edge which marries the earthy Beetroot perfectly. It is light, flavoursome and packed full of goodness that would taste incredible in a sandwich too! The Rosemary pitta chips were bursting with Italian herbs in crunchy bite sized pieces that were incredibly moorish. WholeFoods, i’ll be coming for ya.
Vegan Life Live: Lovingearth Chocolate
Lovingearth chocolate is a party for your tastebuds. It is incredible that raw ingredients can taste so creamy and delicious. My favourite variety had to be the Salted Caramel, Creamy or the Hazelnut. These are priced at £3-4 a bar but worth forking out for if you want a high quality and nutritious chocolate fix! What’s more, they also come in bars of combination flavours such as ‘Salted Caramel Swayzee’ or ‘Banoffee Bang Bang’ to name a few which blend delicious sustainable ingredients together to create a unique treat.
Vegan Life Live: Good To Go & Norty Puds
The Good To Go range are like a gourmet take on Tesco’s new Wicked Kitchen range. Whether you love wraps, baguettes or the traditional sarnie, they combined unique and beautiful looking plant-based sandwiches to suit everyone. I had my eye on the spiced potato cakes and pear chutney wrap or the red pepper mashed chickpea & miso spread baguette. These would make a perfect lunch and ones to share with your non-vegan co-workers too!
Another new discovery at Vegan Life Live was Norty Puds. These are a range created by the wonderful Elspeth at Elspeth’s Kitchen and are just launching as we speak. She has released three flavours; Chia Me Up, Bana-Norty and Salted Choc. We tried the Bana Norty flavour which was a healthy take on a Bannoffee Pie. The creamy topping and essence of banana came through in an indulgent manner, topped with a cacao dusting. The packaging itself is on brand with its vibrant and eye-catching colours. I wish them all the best at success as I will be keeping my eyes peeled for these!
Vegan Life Live: The Brook Burger Bar
Vegan Life Live may not have had as many food vendors to choose from than the likes of Vegfest but boy was it difficult! The Brook Bar caught my eye a few times as the Loaded BBQ Nacho with Jackfruit, nacho cheese, cream and mango salsa looked mouthwatering along with the Satay Skewers. On the menu they also had The Brook Beet Burger with cheddar, pickles, mayo, mustard and homemade slaw. There permanent base is located in Hackney and offers a wide variety of menus.
Vegan Life Live: What The Pitta
Doner Kebab lovers, What The Pitta holds the answer to your prayers. Despite having never eaten a kebab even before going Vegan, I knew I couldn’t miss out on giving it a try. The doner kebab pieces are made from spiced soya chunks thrown in a freshly made wrap with fresh hummus, chilli sauce, soya yoghurt Tzatziki and salad. The meaty chunks were really delicious, a little crispy and tasted just how I imagined doner meat to taste. The Tzatziki and hummus were delicious however the raw onion in the salad did ruin the after taste a little for me. I will request no onion next time!
Vegan Life Live: Beauty Products
Aside from food, the festival was packed with clothing and beauty products too. I spotted my favourite Eden Perfumes stall and stumbled across Pacifica Perfumes which I had heard a lot of positive press about. I smelt the Island Vanilla scent and it was divine. Ve-Glam aka Glamour Without Guilt launched a wonderful range of lipsticks and mascaras which were all of course fully Vegan and cruelty-free. These are available to buy online too as it is a brand I am sure I will revisit. The same goes for Stanway with their eye-catching Make Up wheel showcasing vibrant lip colours!
Vegan Life Live: Freebies & Purchases
The Vegan Life Live goodie bag was exclusive for the first 3,000 participants through the door. Within that we received a Sacla Free From Mayo, Vita Coco Coconut Oil, Gusto Nero Black Jasmine Rice Pasta and V Life Bounce Balls. These are all products I am slowly working my way through and will review as I go along on Instagram no doubt.
A few other brands I spotted and would highly recommended checking out are;
Coffee & Cheese 100% Vegan Wholesalers – Delicious oat chai latte & lots of mock meats and cheeses
Conscious Chocolates – Incredible flavours in rich dark chocolate bars
Clare’s Vegan Cuisine – Incredible Pumpkin Tart and she is a private chef for special occasions
LoveSeitan – Blocks of seitan in a variety of flavours
Pulsin – Brownies, oat bars and other nut based snacks
Brave – Roasted peas in Sea Salt, Paprika Chilli or Garlic & Herb
I had a fantastic time at Vegan Life Live and would highly recommend the festival to anyone. For just a small fee we were gifted a goodie bag bursting with fantastic treats, sampled delicious and new products and even networked a little. Whether you’re Vegan, veggie curious or simply are open to the idea, try before you buy is the way to go and the perfect atmosphere to do so in.
Have you been to Vegan Life Live before?