I've exhibited at a couple of Vegan Festivals recently, and as always, I have an amazing time, so I thought it was time to get my thoughts down about them...
My first was The Great Yorkshire Vegan Festival Leeds. I was particularly excited because this is the first time I've exhibited at their festival in the summer. It was also the first time it's been held in their new home of the FD Arena in Leeds. If you've ever attended any of their festivals, you'll be aware of just how massive it's become. When I first started going, it was held in The Queens Hotel. It then outgrew their, and moved to Leeds Town Hall. It's since outgrown the Town Hall, and has moved up to the FD Arena.
And I must say, it is a move up. The Queens Hotel and The Town Hall are both beautiful, historic buildings which reflect Leeds's great past. Sadly, because of how old they are, they have no air conditioning. Can you imagine how stifling they are when the place is full?! Also, their labyrinth-style rooms can be a headache for exhibitors, especially if you're in a little room that no-one realises is there, and so doesn't get much footfall.
Having spoken to lots of visitors, the new venue gets a resounding thumbs-up from them, with it's newly-built, air-conditioned offering. Even though this resulted in a £2 price increase, the feedback was overwhelmingly in favour paying the extra money for a more comfortable visit. Bizarrely, it was held on one of the few days when we have blazing hot sunshine, which probably influenced some people's decision!
As I said, I pretty much always meet some amazing people, catch up with old friends and learn something new! At Leeds, I caught up with Trevor & Nicky Kendrick, who I haven't seen for a while. I met them at one of Steve's Pot Lucks, and that was one of my first introductions to the delicious raw desserts you can make with what nature gives us and nothing else! The education they gave me about food, how our bodies work and how we can live a healthier lifestyle, has left an indelible mark on me, it really has!
I also met Rebecca & Mink for the first time. Two amazing women, who had a very interesting discussion about, around cooking your food from scratch. Their comment "Don't buy food with ingredients, buy ingredients", really stuck with me, and I see a blog post coming around that topic, so thanks for the inspiration you two!
At Bradford I met the fabulous Katie Kitchen and her Mum, Nicola. Katie's a social media gal, and we had a great chat around that, and food in general. Thanks for stopping by both of you! I also had a great chat with Diane and Laura, and I need to research in further detail about 7 year old vegetarians! I also met for the first time a fantastic couple from Iuvo Skin Care. They make gorgeous, organic, vegan skin care products. Their bath bombs went down a treat after a long afternoon my feet, trust me!
Finally, I briefly met the fantastic peeps from the Meet Up group I've joined, Yorkshire Vegans & Vegetarians. They're a lovely group of vegans and vegetarians from Yorkshire who meet up at a vegan/vegetarian eatery. Check them out and join the group if you like, and we might catch up at a meeting soon.
That's it for festivals for a while, but as always you can can check out my Menu page and salivate until you place your next order!