• Bristol Vegfest 2016

    We had a great time in Bristol this year, on the newly developed waterfront that hosts the original Vegfest UK. We love this festival and have been many times before as punters. It combines a vegan food fair with a music festival and is both outside and in three large marquees. On the down side this means you’re at the mercy of the great outdoors and on the plus side it means you’re at the mercy of the great outdoors. Stall holders find themselves either sweltering in the heat, piling on the layers or, as was the case this year, fire-fighting the rain. They warned us to bring pallets and they were right to, the trickles soon became floods and tempers got a bit frayed for those who hadn’t heeded the pallet warning. There’s something special about an outside festival, despite the odd moment of discomfort, that will always eclipse a crowded hotel ballroom.

    Our spot in the Amphitheatre was essentially dry apart from our feet but sadly we couldn’t hear the live music from the stage thanks to the falafel tent playing Lionel Richie around the clock. I did manage to catch a brilliant rendition of the Games of Thrones theme tune on a classical Hungarian guitar so there was plenty of good, eclectic stuff on the main stage. We made friends with our neighbours, caught up with wonderful vegan ambassador, Ashley of The Vegan Apprentice and met the enthusiastic folk at Vegan Life and our cats’ favourite people the Veggie Pets crew. We also met scores of happy, festival-spirited general public and, or course, talked the hind legs off a donkey about the merits of tofu. I’m not sure that expression works here.

    There’s so much good STUFF at these fairs. I had barely any time to explore and still came away with a Tibetan silver ring, a colourful rug, a bamboo T-shirt and a henna tattoo. And of course there’s all the delicious food. I recommend a Dirty Elvis for breakfast, the Happy Maki nori wraps were spectacular and you always have to find space for falafel and tahini sauce. Adam queued up for the Loving Hut ‘Tofish and Chips’ so many times they started giving it to him for free. Immersed in the world of Chimandanda Ngozi Adiche I opted for Nigerian food for lunch. Twice. I like going where the food suits my book.


    Nigerian Food by Flavors of Africa

    And of course it wouldn’t be the same without a Ms Cupcake cupcake. Or two. We could have eaten so much more. Despite the torrential rain, when the sun came out it was blazing hot, the cider, Pimms and local beers were flowing and the vibe was good. It felt like a real festival but with more friendly people and you can eat all the food. Festival highlights: the afore-mentioned queen of vegan cupcakes personally buying a press from us and the pint of well-earned, locally-brewed beer in the rain at the end of a day’s trading.

    Unfortunately, this wasn’t a very informative blog about Vegan Bristol as we idiotically didn’t book a table for the Friday night and ended up eating at a tapas place with a huge leg of ham on the bar. It may have been made of plaster of paris but I have a feeling it wasn’t. Anyway, they knew how to make their veggie options vegan so disaster averted. Just. Next time which ever one of us is in charge of booking on the Friday night, Adam on this occasion, will hopefully remember that restaurants that have 1847 anywhere in their name are likely to be fully booked whenever Vegfest is in town.


    After the rain



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