Brighton is like the UK vegan central with many cafes, and shops dedicated to veganism. So of course a vegan festival would fit in perfect here.
Brighton is located in East Sussex it is a seaside town on the south coast of England. Known for The Brighton Marine Palace and Pier, commonly known as Brighton Pier or the Palace Pier is a Grade II* listed pleasure pier in Brighton; with arcades and attractions. Brighton is also known for The Lanes, these are a collection of narrow lanes lined with independent and quirky stores. There are many other places in Brighton that attract people to the town. But I am here to share with you the Vegan Festival.
I left Portsmouth railway station at around 10am – the train journey to Brighton takes approximately 90 minutes so I did go prepared, with some food, a smoothie and my politics book; to do some preparation for my classes the next day.
The festival was being held from 10am to 5pm in The Grand Brighton Hotel located on King’s Road, right on the sea front; from the train station it was about a 10 minute walk straight down the road until you reach the sea front, turn right and the hotel is right there, super easy to find which was great! I am terrible with directions, so if I were to get lost that would not be good.
I bought my ticket at the entrance, and the entry costs £3. There were roughly 60 stalls spread around the hall, and there were 6 talks throughout the day starting with a talk from Urban Squirrel Non-profit Licensed Grey Squirrel Rescue at 11am about the campaigning against the cruel and unnecessary culls of these animals and offering a more non-lethal resolution to the problem. Then there was a talk about turning vegan, history on veganism and a book launch from Edward Daniel – talks ran until 4.30pm that day. I think attending these talks, when you are adapting to veganism is perfect I remember going to my first vegan talk back in Belfast when I was only 3 months into veganism and it helped me so much. I would recommend attending one whilst at a vegan festival.
Next up we have all the stalls; ranging from skincare products, energy bars, alcoholic beverages to food (jerk style ‘chicken’, Greek vegan wraps, raw cakes and more) there were even vegan clothing, and lots of charities who are dedicated to supporting animal rights and stopping the cruelty – such as the charity I was speaking with ‘British Heartless Foundation’ they advertise how the British Heart Foundation use animals in their experiments to find a solution to heart disease in humans. I agree with this charity in that I don’t believe cutting open a goat’s heart and inserting a pacemaker or stitching 20 electrodes and a pair of piezoelectric crystals to the walls of their blood chambers and inducing experiments known as ‘Burst Pacing’ on to the goats as necessary to human survival. You cannot replicate heart disease in humans within innocent animals under laboratory conditions and calling it an ‘experiment’ is cruel. This charity is doing something so important for these goats, and that is standing up to a well known charity that so many people fund each year and calling them animal killers.
Ok, now I want to share some of the nicer aspects of the festival; the stalls of treats and everything I purchased there, which was probably a bit too much but it’s not like I do it every week, right.
First up I want to share the amazing skincare brand, known as Kokoa UK – I walked up to the stall and had a lovely chat with the lady running it, she let me try some of the Coconut Oil and Shea Butter moisturiser and when I asked what exactly was in it, she simply told me there were only 3 ingredients.. only 3! That is pretty amazing, coconut oil, shea butter and some essential oil to give it some scent. The moisturisers are suitable for all skin types due to this minimal ingredient list. They are sourced directly from Ghana, 100% pure and organic. Plus, each moisturiser is packaged in a tin tub, so no plastic in sight – perfect for the zero wasters.
Then I went on around and was in need of some food, this stall was the one that stood out to me, vegan halloumi! Yes please! I have never tried vegan halloumi, so it was a must – you could have got a plate of just the halloumi and hummus for £4 or get basically everything in sight within a wrap for £7, I just for the wrap, because I just had to experience the vegan version of Greek inspired food. On display it looks delicious, so I was super excited to try it myself.
This is my wrap – it was the vegan halloumi, with falafel, spinach and hummus in a toasted bread (I can’t remember the name of it) and oh my, it was delicious, the halloumi was made using soy (like a grilled tofu consistency) it was amazing and I would love to know how to make my own halloumi, maybe that is something I could try out haha.
Anyone who knows me, knows that Turkish delights are one of my favourites sweets ever – and when I seen this stall, I couldn’t resist buying some. Look at all the different flavours; rose, orange, apple, lime, lemon, cherry, etc. I ended up getting some original rose flavoured ones and a handful of the sour cherry flavoured ones to take home, hoping they would last me a little while but nope they didn’t last too long in my room, haha.
These donuts and Dragonfruit cheesecakes from the company Life Kombucha, look divine and taste absolutely amazing as well – everything that was on this stall was 100% raw and pure, something I have been loving a lot recently, raw desserts I tried both of these items and it was difficult to choose the best one but I would have to go with the Dragonfruit and Rosewater cheesecake – it was so sweet and crumbly. Along with trying these I also bought some little raw bites to take home with me (I got 1 in each flavour offered, cocoa and cashew) these little bites go so well with a cup of tea or coffee for a mid afternoon energy boost, something in which I used them for.
I also picked up this little beauty pictured below, from a stall called Frog Hollow. I was eyeing them up whilst I was walking around so decided to purchase one for the journey home, but actually ended up forgetting about it until I got home, which was perfect because then I got a proper nice photo of it before I ate it all. It was a cherry and almond chocolate cupcake which cost me £3.50 from the stall – I love cupcakes so I just had to buy it. Frog Hollow offer a range of super snacks; energy bites, raw truffles and superfood cakes using 100% natural ingredients, of course dairy free along with free from refined sugar and gluten. And again it is a UK based company, super local and wonderful. I had a great time at the festival, meeting people, talking to different companies and charities along with tasting amazing foods and drink some awesome drinks – I did try and purchase more items whilst I was here, however I don’t want this post to be too long so I will end it here. I hope you have enjoyed reading this and taking a look inside a vegan festival. Have you been to one before? What was your experiences like?