Monday 4 May 2015

The Lowry Food and Drink Festival

I love a good food and drink festival, however being vegan now takes some of the joy out of it as I'm usually stuck with a falafel stall and some chutney and that's it.  And I'm not even that fond of chutney.

Discovering the Lowry Food and Drink Festival in Salford last year changed all that, and this year was no exception!

Fun Fact- You can get married at The Lowry Theatre and it has amazing views of the quays (which would look even more stunning at night). However it's super pricey!

After figuring out what's what and borrowing £10 of The Boy when I discovered my £20 wouldn't buy me all the things I wanted I headed straight for the Chaat Cart for some lunch.

Everything at this place is vegan, I had a lovely chat with one of the stall holders and found out they are opening a unit in Manchester Spinning Fields this month.  I ended up with a masala dosa, which is an Indian lentil crepe filled with a potato filling and served with two dips (I don't know what they were!) and it was delicious.  Sorry for the lack of photo, it was hard to hold it AND take a picture at the same time. Sometimes I wish I had more arms.

Next, it was time for dessert. Yes, I had the option of a dessert at a non-vegan festival! It came in the form of churros from the awesome people at Churtopia, who were also at Bolton's Food and Drink Festival last year. The chocolate sauce that comes with the churros isn't vegan but I was happy with cinnamon and sugar coating.

After being fed, I headed out to grab some things to take away, and it didn't involve just chutneys or curry sauces!  First place I headed to was an Indian stall, which is there for any kind of festival or market held at the Lowry. This stall is the reason I didn't starve at the Christmas Market when the Chaat Cart wasn't there, as they do several vegan samosas. Unfortunately, by the time I came to buy my samosas they had sold out of every flavour apart from their bombay aloo. Usually I get one of each flavour.  I think the spicy soya might be a new one too!

Next I went to the nut stall and bought a pack of cashew and pecan nuts coated in vanilla and cinnamon. It's great to have the option of nuts at a festival that haven't been coated in honey and I had nuts from this stall at the Christmas Market (Churtopia wasn't at the Christmas Market either- so disappointing!) and they're really moreish. They also do coated almonds but I wasn't too keen on them as I'm not a massive almond fan.

Next stop was a stall that I'd not seen before, which is great to see- as much as I love seeing the same companies return to a festival year after year, it's good to see newcomers too. It's proof that the Festival is growing in popularity and adds a bit of excitement. Orchard House Pate sells two vegan pates as well as more traditional pates-  three mushroom and sundried tomato, lentil and cashew. I was going to go for just one of each, but when I saw for just £2 more I could get a third one I got a second of the tomato and lentil one as it was my favorite out of the two. Whilst the stall holder was packing my order she told me that the day before she hadn't brought any of the tomato and lentil pate and some of her customers had "shouted" at her and she had to go home and make some up!  This shows two things- one, I picked well ordering two of them and two, either more people are choosing to avoid meat or at least cutting down on it.  They will also be at the brand new Castlefield Food Festival on the 15-17 May. I'm gutted that it clashes with my holiday and the Manchester Vegan Fair, as I definitely would have paid a visit.

Later on in the evening, I was feeling a bit peckish so I had some of the tomato and lentil pate with some tomato and linseed oat cakes I got as a Christmas present and hadn't got round to eating.  It was so good that I polished off half a pack of the oat cakes with the pate! The good thing about the pates is each pot is around 200 calories so you don't need to feel too guilty if you polish it off in one sitting and they can also be frozen.

There was also a falafel stall that looked like it could be vegan friendly and also sold sweet potato fries topped with hummus and pine nuts. I was put off it due to the HUGE queue and also, falafels at festivals is kinda tired.  It was also great to see Camp Cooks at the festival again, basically drag artists cooking and serving food with a bit of dancing thrown in. I don't know if any of their food is suitable for vegans, or if they could adapt anything but I still love them. In the picture below they're dancing to Around The Old Campfire.

I definitely recommend visiting this festival next year, and hopefully they'll be some more exciting stalls selling vegan goodies!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds excellent and wish I'd known about this! Loving the vegan pates. Must make an effort to go next year.