Sunday 1 April 2012

Chorlton Green Festival

This weekend I went to the Chorlton Green Festival, which is an annual festival celebrating sustainable living.

When I first moved away from my home 'village' of Little Hulton, which is on the Salford/Bolton border in Greater Manchester I spent a year and a half living in Chorlton, which was a far cry from the world I was use to. Chorlton seems to be in a world of it's own, a world that relishes in sustainable living (although surprisingly whilst still having quite a lot of cars), independent local shops and where to be vegetarian or even vegan is the norm.  I remember my amazement when I first walked into Unicorn, Chorlton's dedicated vegan co-operative supermarket and being amazed by all the 'usual' food items, especially the various different milk alternatives. I come from a family of dedicated meat eaters, and the idea of vegetarianism was something that only hippies do, and in order to be one you had to be called Strawberry, never wash and go round with a with a sign  proclaiming 'meat is murder', so obviously Chorlton was a shock to me and quite a revelation. You'll be happy to know that now of course, I am aware that not all vegetarians fit into the above stereotype!

Even now I no longer live in Chorlton, it still remains one of my favourite areas of Manchester, and I was excited to FINALLY be free on the day of the festival this year.

The day started with a group cycle ride into Chorlton via an old railway line that has now been converted into a shared pedestrian and cycle route know as the Fallowfield Loop. Having not cycled for several months this proved to be extremely tiring and as I type this I ache sitting down, getting up and even walking!

Once we got to the festival, we were pleasantly surprised to that ALL the food was either vegetarian or vegan. The boy was intrigued by the vegan fish and chip stall  which smelt very authentic however was put of by the massive queue! He eventually ended up with a Halloumi kebab from Jam Street Cafe, and I settle on a Thali from The Tibetan Kitchen which was a collection of little samples of all the different items they were offering, including momos which are hand stuffed steamed dumplings filled with spinach, potato and cheese and Ngo Khatsa which is a Himalayan chickpea and spinach curry/stew.

Chorlton Green Festival- you can just see The Tibetan Kitchen
I loved the design of this food van
 As well as all this, there were various other food stalls, including Indian Street Food, home made ice cream and two different cupcake stalls. Unicorn was even there selling various goods including home made soup, which I was a little disappointed by. Not by the soup, I didn't even try it, but because they weren't selling their trademark vegan hot dogs which Unicorn usually sells outside it's shop on sunny Saturdays.  That's another good thing about Chorlton, if its Sunny and a Saturday you can guarantee that Unicorn, the local butchers on the precinct and even the local bakers will go BBQ crazy and start selling sausages, burgers and in the case of Unicorn, vegan hot dogs outside their shops. It's brilliant and really adds to the atmosphere!

All in all it was a good day, and if you live near Manchester and would like to visit next year I would definitely recommend going, I will- and next year I will be braving the queue for the vegan fish and chips!

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