Vegan Life Live 2018

Vegan Life Live 2018


A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to win two tickets to the Vegan Life Live show at Event City in Manchester curtesy of Elsa Eats. This was a three-day event from 20th-22nd April and tickets also included free entry to the OM Yoga Show and the Mind Body Soul Experience.

I should probably state for the record at this point that I’m not a vegan and with my cheese addiction, probably won’t ever be, but after experiencing the event, I can safely say that it really doesn’t matter. I didn’t feel like I was missing out by not eating any meat or diary (although if I’m honest I doubt I could ever sustain that in the long-term so hats off to all the vegans out there) since the show was all about introducing people to animal free products, whether that be food or beauty. 


So what did Vegan Life Live have to offer? There was the Vegan food court which, being the greedy bugger that I am, I made a beeline for. Everything was plant-based including the curries, sushi and burgers.

GB Sushi
Eats Shoots & Leaves

I was very tempted by Eat Shoots & Leaves, partly because it has the same name as a great English language book I read a while back by Lynne Truss, (apologies, that’s the book geek coming out in me) and partly because their deceptively simple-looking menu smelt fantastic.  

Herbivorous

Then there was the Herbivorous stall promising BBQ jackfruit buns. Have you ever tried jackfruit? Me neither and I wasn’t sure what it would taste like in a BBQ bun so I decided to give that one a miss. Also, I hate tofu.

Juice Junkiez


These guys (well actually it was mostly ladies), The Juice Junkiez were very popular on the day and it wasn’t hard to see why. I was told by a lady on a nearby stand that the pineapple drink was creamy and sumptuous but after standing in line for nearly 40 minutes waiting for my Greek wrap, I didn’t fancy then joining the queue for this one. It was my loss as everywhere I turned somebody seemed to be drinking one of these. 

Tampopo

I also came across Tampopo which I keep hearing good things about. I was given a discount flyer so whilst I didn’t get a chance to sample any of their offerings on the day, I do intend to go and pay them a visit in their Albert Square or the Trafford Centre restaurants.  
Greek deli


Of all the food stalls the one that intrigued me the most was the Greek vegan deli, and based on the size of the queue and how long I waited I clearly wasn’t the only one. How, I wondered could a Greek deli be entirely vegan? To be honest I’m still not sure but the vegan halloumi and veggi burger wrap tasted as good as any wrap I’ve eaten and I’ve eaten a lot. What really made this so great were the selection of dips that included hummus, tzatziki- aubergine and sweet potato-carrot. The vegan halloumi was marinated in herbs and spices and grilled. 

Greek deli wrap


We also stopped for a nibble at a stall called The Garden which is based in Hale. Situated in the OM Yoga area and not part of the vegan food court, it nonetheless served organic food and drink. They support sustainability and use only local and seasonal products.

The Garden’s banana bread

The boyfriend tried the cacao in a muffin for the first time and enjoyed it along with an almond milk latte and I devoured one of the most moist banana breads I’ve ever had.

Almond milk latte and cacao muffin

The area around The Garden was a communal space where you could sit on long tables or wooden pallets on the floor and eat and drink with others. 

The Garden seating area
Diners in the seating area

As well as the food itself, I was interested in gaining inspiration for my own cooking. The Vita Coco Kitchen featured demonstrations by up-and-coming vegan chefs about how to incorporate plant-based products into your cooking.

Some of the food I’d tried previously such as Heck! and their sausages others, like Candy Kittens with their gluten free, vegan, natural gourmet sweets, were entirely new to me. Other highlights included vegan fudge from Slab Artisan Vegan Fudge, Tyne Cheese, Villakuyaya Fine Ecuadorian chocolate and The Vegan Food Pod selling doughnuts and sticky buns.

Michelle Luck jewellery
Vegan Life Live was also about experiencing not just vegan food but also vegan products more generally; this included everything from jewellery to makeup.
Real Remedies
The Real Remedies also caught my boyfriend’s eye but I managed to persuade him on this occasion that we didn’t need yet more herbal teas. 
Real Remedies

The Newcastle vegan store
Yogi tea stand

As you can see the boyfriend was quite taken with the Yogi Tea and ended up buying three boxes of the stuff (on top of the s**t loads we have at home that we never drink). Although, I will begrudgingly admit that their ‘bedtime’ herbal tea is actually quite nice, just don’t tell him that. 

A selection of the Yogi herbal teas we bought
Mind Body and Soul Experience

Whilst I was clearly there to try new vegan food, the boyfriend was particularly eager to experience the mediation and yoga. This was an event all about healthy eating and healthy living, something I can’t always claim to stick to.


Amy’s Ashram
I won’t lie, I was slightly mesmerised by the X-Pole girls doing their thing. While pole and aerial fitness sounds like it would turn my body into a lean gooddess type, it does look like a lot of bloody hard work so I think I’ll give it a miss. But hats off to anyone that does it. 
X-Pole

What I also didn’t realise with me being a little ditzy is that there were going to be yoga classes you could take part in on the day. So neither the boyfriend not I were properly dressed for any downward dog so all we could do was stand and watch and drink our super-green smoothies. 

OM Yoga studio

Missed out? Then there’s still a chance to catch the shows as the OM Yoga Show and the Mind Body Soul Experience will be at Alexandra Palace on the 19th-21st October and Vegan Life Live returns to London again in 2019 on the 9th and 10th Match also at Alexandra Palace.

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