I visited the Glasgow vegan festival in the Trades Hall on Sunday 28th May with one thing in mind – cheese! But what I found was a lot more than that. I hope this becomes a regular fixture as it was very well attended and for a beginner transitioning into veganism, was informative and educational.
My daughter is 8 and is vegetarian through choice. She was very keen to come with us – I suspect mainly because she is a fiend for a free sample and had figured out there may be a few to be had. We visited on the Sunday and as soon as we got in the building the only problem with this festival was apparent – the Trades Hall is like a rabbit warren and just didn’t have the space and ease of movement to host something like this. However, just like us, the Glasgow vegan community was determined and many of the stalls we visited completely sold out over both days.
Out first stop was a yoga workshop with Yoga Frog, based in the Scottish borders. The class was specifically designed to target the neck and shoulders. It was enjoyable and the instructer was very engaging. She also recognised some of us (me!) were not particularly flexible or yoga savvy and adapted some of the poses to take this into consideration. If we stayed closer to Selkirk I would definitely try the classes out, if you’re in the area i would thoroughly recommend. My daughter particularly enjoyed getting under my feet and laughing at my inflexibility, however declined to take part herself!
The next stop was something for lunch. There were about 7ish catering stands all crammed into one tiny room. I wanted to try the pulled Mexican jackfruit roll from Mex it up and my daughter and friend tried the bacon and egg pretzel roll from Sgaia. Jackfruit roll was really good but was missing something. I think some vegan friendly creme fraiche or mayo would have just rounded it off. I got a tin of young green jackfruit too to try it out myself at home. I tried a bite of the Sgaia bacon which actually had too much of a meaty texture for me, but daughter enjoyed it. I have heard good things about Sgaia but as with many others they were completely sold out by the time we got back around to their stall.
The next point of call was a proper look round the vendors. There was a good variety of clothing, food, beauty and education! We made a beeline for Tyne Chease. This was the one stall I was most looking forward to and like the majority of food stalls, there were free samples, my daughter was in heaven They had the original and dill flavoured chease left, although looks as though they had had other varieties in stock earlier in the weekend. Both varieties we tried were delicious, and much nicer than the coconut oil and soya based cheeses I’ve been making do with so far. We made use of the 2 for £12 deal and got an original chease each. I have to be honest and say mine is practically finished now, you can see my attempt at toasted cheese below:
We also visited Gin and Mix. I love gin and these pre mixed cocktails were absolutely delicious (free samples again, yay, sorry wee yin these were most definitely not suitable for you!). These would be perfect for sitting in the sun enjoying a refreshment or two. I bought both varieties, one was a natural gin and tonic version and the other had citrus flavourings. Yum!
There were some general grocery stores such as Alternative Stores who had lots of grocery and store cupboard essentials. We got some banoffee toffee and I’ll definitely be checking out the online store as they seemed to sell a lot of vegan staples at reasonable prices.
We visited the The Vegan Kind stall and Lyndsay picked up a May lifestyle box which, to be honest, looks absolutely great value for money! Vegan alternatives are not the cheapest thing in the world and for a tenner a month I’ll definitely be giving it a try. They currently have a £5 off offer on the website if you sign up to the newsletter.
Our next visit of the day was to Wear Your Voice to have a look at the t-shirts and 8 year old was very taken with the Unicorns are Vegan style, so that was our next purchase of the day (below). Just before we left we stopped for a quick sniff at Eden perfumes (I received one for my birthday this year and it’s lovely and such an amazing and purse friendly dupe) and a little strawberry shortcake dessert at Blitz Patisserie, which we are already making plans to visit in Falkirk in the near future.
We took in one final workshop before we headed home, An Introduction to Mindfulness and Mindful Consumption with Pause and Breathe which really gave us some food for thought. In particular I discovered I don’t really like lovehearts if I take the time to consume them mindfully rather than just shoving them in my gob a handful at a time! It was a great way to round off the festival for us, I only wish we’d been able to attend more of the talks and demos.
I hope to attend meet vegan events in Glasgow, I know of a few regular events – recommendations welcomed!