Newcastle Vegan Festival, June 2017
Newcastle Vegan Festival took place for the 4th year running today (Saturday 10th June) at The Assembly Rooms in Newcastle City Centre. It is an event I have attended and featured on the blog in the past and have enjoyed. Festivals such as these are a great way of meeting local producers and discovering fantastic cruelty-free foods, clothing, cosmetics, etc.
As well as picking up free samples, discounts, participating in food tastings and listening to speakers, there’s also the chance to visit stalls promoting animal charities and activism in the area.
Admission was just £2 for adults and a pound for children. Under 5’s and carers are free to attend and this price included entry into all the scheduled presentations and workshops. Heather Mills was in attendance giving a talk and it shows how respected the event is to attract high profile speakers such as her. It was lovely to see so many families there. I took Dinky along and she enjoyed trying out the tasters on offer. The unfortunate thing is the event is in a difficult venue to negotiate with a pushchair. It was also boiling hot and all I wanted to do was drink bottle after bottle of water! You can read about a previous visit of Canny Food to the event here.
There are so many local producers of tasty vegan treats and snacks so I was pleased I’d skipped breakfast to make sure I had plenty of room for all the goodies on offer. We stopped by Mivesi first of all. Having recently visited their restaurant in Alnwick I knew Amina and the team were clued up about veganism and I was pleased to see their attendance at the first festival of the season.
Their Spice Jars were very popular and I’m looking forward to sharing a recipe or two perhaps using these handy packs in the near future.
Hearing that Grumpy Panda’s long awaited Gateshead restaurant will be opening on the 29th June is music to the ears of a junk food vegan like me. I look forward to sharing more details on the blog very soon.
Getting a sneaky peek at their menu, including the Kraken food challenge that the Teen will no doubt be keen to take on, certainly whetted our appetite. It’s good to see a specific menu for children and that gluten free options will be available.
As it will be my local restaurant I think July will be spent working my way through the burgers and hot dog combos on offer. I really enjoyed the Cheeztake with its dairy free cheese and seitan base. Roll on the end of the month!
Those who believe vegans exist on a diet of grass and twigs will be surprised to learn of companies like Parallel 7 and their delicious pulled ‘pork’, Naked Bakery’s delicious macarons, FlipnFast’s crepes covered in melted chocolate and crushed Oreos and Alternative Stores with their range of vegan marshmallows and snacks.
I was hoping to see Essy & Bella, a local chocolatier, at the event so I could stockpile her delicious vegan chocolate bars. Amy was there as a visitor, however, and it was good to catch up. I will be featuring these products in a special post soon.
What I’m always struck by at events such as these is the sense of community in our region. I have made many friends through the Canny Food blog and it is often festivals like these where we have a chance to get together and have a catch up.
At a time where people feel fragmented and divided by politics, etc. isn’t it lovely to see something we can be united by? I am happy that Canny Food can support and hopefully be a positive voice within our collective.
Thanks for reading,