Leicester Vegan Market

It’s an exciting time to be vegan at the moment! With Vegan MoFo 2016  just around the corner (anyone can take part, check it out!) , and “vegan fair” season in my area beginning (there are at least three that I know of in the next few months!) I’m gearing up for a lot of great vegan food coming my way.

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Sunday was the day of the second ever Leicester Vegan Market. The first vegan market in Leicester was not so long ago, in June, and Leicester is a wonderful place to be vegan. I live in Derby, which is a little north of Leicester, but close enough to visit. The market in Leicester is Europe’s largest outdoor covered market, and on weekdays and Saturdays it’s filled with people selling everything from gorgeous fresh fruit and vegetables, to a wide range of fabrics, to music and mobile phones. On Sundays, however, the market is usually closed, but on these special dates it gets taken over by the vegan market. With over fifty stalls this time, the market is a great place for vegans and non-vegans alike to browse and buy.

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Some of the stalls at the market – Clockwise from top left: Mithaas, sign at the Veggies stall, Vegan Pizza Co, Ananda Foods

There were lots of food stalls, but also lots of non-food stalls, including books and leaflets, artwork, toiletries, clothing and many more.

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I had lunch there – Pulled jackfruit chimichangas (deep fried burritos) from Mex It Up who always do delicious food! They were also selling vegan corn dogs, which looked really good.

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Followed by dessert from Whipee Gelato, which is an ice cream & dessert shop on Granby St in Leicester. I had three flavours of the gelato – chocolate, cherry, and passion fruit – they also did vegan waffles and other flavours of gelato, all of which they offer in their shop!

We got three varieties of cheese from the market – the first two from Lettices, a fairly new vegan cheese and meat company (they offer online ordering too, if you’d like to try them) and the third from The Naturally Vegan Food Company, who are based in Northampton and did a vegan Brie! Complete with the rind!

I got some marshmallow items from Ananda Foods who are a vegan marshmallow company – they make vegan wagon wheels! And so many other things, including a “make your own marshmallow” kit.

Finally, some extra treats we got. Clockwise from top left – some Organica chocolate bars from Lakeside Ethical Treats, who have stalls and a website selling all sorts of vegan chocolate, sweets, and snacks. Next, cupcakes from LuVegan. We bought a big box but gave most to family – these are ours, on the left a Neapolitan cupcake, on the right an Oreo cupcake. Bottom left, crisps from Ten Acre Crisps, bought from the Currant Affairs stall. Finally, a delicious samosa from Sona Foods who did some delicious Indian snack foods, including a very Leicester “Samosa Cob!”

 

It is always lovely to go to an event where everything is vegan. To see it so popular too is even better! The market was brimming with people eager to try the vegan products – many of them non-vegans themselves, which makes it even more special.

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West Midlands Vegan Festival

Last weekend was the West Midlands Vegan Festival, held in Wolverhampton Civic Centre, which turns out to only be an hours drive from us – so we decided to go along and have a look! It was the first vegan festival I’ve been to – sure I’ve been to vegan restaurants and shops, but never a festival!

It was a nasty, rainy day, and parking was admittedly difficult (we payed £6.70 for a 4 hour stay!) but once we got to the Civic Centre, it was lovely and warm and we soon dried off.

The event started at 10am and we arrived probably about 10:30 and it was already packed full! There were people in the streets of Wolverhampton holding signs pointing to the “Vegan Festival” so I’m sure that attracted more! At just £1 per person entry, it was great value.

Note: I apologise for the poor quality of the photos – I only had my phone with me!

First of all we stopped off at the Change Kitchen stall and my husband bought a samosa – for just £1 again! I found things were surprisingly affordable at this festival, I suppose I still had the idea that vegan food must be expensive, but it wasn’t for the most part. We then went on and I, being still cold, got a cup of hot Vanilla Chai Tea – which was milk, sugar, and caffeine free, but still so tasty!

I bought some makeup from the Beauty Without Cruelty stand which was great to see – so many vegan cosmetic companies seem to be only available online, and I hate not being able to try products first!

We stopped by the Harper’s Bizarre Candles stall – I won’t say too much about this because I have to keep some of it secret from prying eyes, but their candles have the most amazing scent! I can’t recommend them enough. We also went to the Handmade By Erica Jayne jams & chutneys stall, which had a little taster section where you could test the lovely food!

Next, we bought a box of cupcakes from Care for a Cupcake?, which I have to say were absolutely delicious! We shared them with Greg’s family who also liked them.

We bought some cashew cheese from a stall called “Annie Mae” and it was lovely – the person behind the stall was also very helpful with letting me know the ingredients of the cheese when I asked because of my intolerances!

Not the greatest photo, sorry!

We also stopped at the Vegan Store website’s stall where we bought chocolates! Honeycomb toffee and some iChoc white chocolate – mm.

Next it was lunch time! We were so spoilt for choice here. There were so many stalls selling food and I wished I could have tasted them all! We actually bought some samosas and pakoras to take home from the Centre for Conscious Awareness because we couldn’t miss out!

But in the end, we decided to go with a hot dog from Shambu’s, which was slathered in lovely onions, mustard, and ketchup, and a “Loaded Nacho Plate” from Mex It Up – nachos, beans, pulled jackfruit, salsa, cheese sauce, and jalapenos!

The food was absolutely delicious and I wish I could have it every day!

After that, we headed home. And got soaked in the rain on the way to the car, but it was well worth it!

So my recommendation is – if you have a vegan festival anywhere near you? Go to it!