Last weekend was Irish Vegan Festival so two friends and I bussed it up to Belfast, excited and hungry for some vegan yummies. Needless to say, we tried some delicious vegan food, but also some not so delicious food, but that’s to be expected. A vegan convention can seem like heaven, but you’re not going to like EVERYTHING!
I uploaded my vlog to my YouTube channel so you can see some of the beautifully presented food and awesome products on offer at the fest, but I’ll just do a brief recap here too!
We hurried and arrived at the Waterfront where the fest was held at 11.40am, but it’s better late than never, right? Unfortunately the bus times were against us – we got on at 9.3am and the journey takes about 2 hours. It didn’t make much of a difference as there was plenty to see and eat, but it took us a while to get our bearings and figure out how to get there.
Once we arrived we made a beeline for a hot food stall – Sgaia. I’m so glad we went here because their Eg and Bacon Brioche Burger was EPIC! I’d eat it EVERY day if I had the chance (so it’s probably a good thing it’s not widely available). Plus they had a great ticket system for serving people so we didn’t have to queue for an hour before getting our food (I’m reminded of the Moodley Manor stall at Veg Fest last year – we were in that queue so long the food was cold by the time we got it!)
We also tried a pastry that I initially thought was an eclair (no cream inside unfortunately!) that was pretty good, and we gave The Crazy Rabbit ice cream a try too. I picked tahini swirl, my friend Katie chose passion fruit and her boyfriend Jamie picked coffee. The coffee one was great but the passion fruit one was a little flavourless, whereas the tahini swirl just tasted TOO MUCH like tahini. For something that’s called ‘swirl’, it was just too strong a taste. However, it’s an Irish company and they just started up, so I’d definitely give their stuff a go again in the future!
Katie and I gave a chilli sauce a go that almost burnt our tongues off and we tried some strawberry almond milk (though it wasn’t my cup of tea). We also picked up some very cute t-shirts (I picked one with the slogan ‘Eat Cake, Not Steak’ and Katie chose ‘Eat Jam, Not Ham’) for about £20 each, which is pretty steep, but we loved the design so much we ignored the protestations of our purses!
There was a VR experience at one of the stalls but Jamie gave it a go and it turned his stomach so Katie and I decided to give it a miss. We already know the horrors that animals face at the abattoir and have no desire to see it in action. It’s too devastating. However, this kind of thing would be excellent for opening the minds of some curious omnivores.
The Waterfront space was a really good size as you could walk about among the crowd without feeling suffocated and there were plenty of areas where you could just sit and chill, including a kids corner. There were lots of bins (though it would’ve been nice to see a recycling system) and a good area just outside the stalls area where you can get a cuppa tea or a beer.
After the convention, we went exploring to check out a few charity shops. All three of us love a bargain and we could happily spend a long time in a charity store. We all managed to pick up a few steals – including a corduroy skirt for Katie, pyjamas for Jamie and a cardigan and shirt for me. Buying from charity shops and second hand stores is more environmentally friendly so checking them out before going to a mainstream store is a good rule of thumb!
Overall I had a great time and I would go to the festival again so props to the organisers for all the hard work! I hope that Farplace Animal Rescue made plenty of cash to help the FIV+ cats they take care of!