Disguising myself as a hardcore vegan, I arrived at the venue, Leeds Town Hall ten minutes before the festival opened. I felt a bit like those teenagers that camp outside Manchester Academy all day waiting for their favourite band to show up, but only a bit- I'm much too old and wise to sit out all day. There was a method to my madness though, as usually at these events the first 100 (or so) people get goody bags, and the goody bag was well worth getting up at 6am on a Saturday.
After sussing things out for a while inside, I wandered outside to meet for my friends India of Let Us Go Fly A Kite, Pamela of FemVegGeek and Pamela's other half, Adam. Whilst waiting I took the opportunity to sample some free Frys products at the entrance to the festival, on offer were the burgers, sausages, prawns, nuggets and schnitzels, I skipped the burger as I've had them before (I've also had the sausages before, but I just couldn't resist!) but tried everything else and was really impressed with the schnitzel, I will definitely keep an eye out for when Holland and Barrett have an offer on them. We also met Miracle, of Miracle's Mission who we ran into throughout the day- I think her presence made this my favourite vegan fair so far this year, she was so friendly and was obviously loving all the attention!
After dragging ourselves from Miracle (eventually) and chatting to some familiar faces, I made sure we headed towards Deb's Pantry, a stall I had spotted earlier on and was desperate to go back to, as they were selling VEGAN LEMON CURD!!!!
I made the stallholders laugh when I did a little involuntary dance when I spotted this, and after tasting it, I was determined to go back to their stall and make sure I got one- I'm sure I was just on time too, as I think I bought the last jar, and even if I didn't, I was close as they sold out in two hours! This stuff is super tasty and I'm using the fact the instructions say to eat within 10 days of opening as an excuse to have it on toast every night.
The organisers of Veganuary were there, and were offering of Ten Acres crisp and popcorn in exchange for a small donation to the cause. I ended up donating twice and getting two packs of the chicken flavour ones, which I'm saving for a dirty crisp butty at some point. Although I was really impressed by their new Lime and Sea Salt popcorn. Animal Aid were selling off short dated/just gone past their sell by date snacks, including peanut Trek bars for 50p- at that price it would be rude not to!
I also got a bit tipsy thanks to the lovely people at the cider stall who let me taste all their delicious ciders before I settled on a half a pint of their medium-dry. I don't like beers or ales, so I often feel left out at festivals, but it was great to see a stall dedicated to vegan cider and a chance to try different types. After browsing round the stalls and grabbing some food, we headed into Leeds town centre in order to visit Out Of This World, which is a local independent shop, which offers a array of vegan produce (although not a fully vegan or veggie). Now that I no longer work in Manchester and don't have easy access to 8th Day, I take every opportunity I can to visit vegan friendly independent shops and came away with some Green and Black's dark chocolate and ginger, two cliff bars and a jar of my Zest vegan pesto (my favourite!). We then headed to Costa for a sit and a drink, and me and Pamela amused ourselves by taking pictures of our new soft toys we bought/won at the festival in various poses. Meet Caja the Pig and Bertie the Badger!
After finishing our drinks, we headed back to the festival to see what bargains were to be had, Pamela and India managed to get some good bargains, I settled on a new bag instead, as my kitchen cupboards are full to bursting point,
I'm not to sure of the name of the company who made them, but I've added myself to a mailing list for when they have a Facebook page and I'll update this post. I love that her bags are made from recycled materials (so this bag was a pair of jeans), and I love foxes- blame a childhood growing up with Farthing Wood!
I really loved The Great Yorkshire Vegan Festival, and I hope to go next year. However, I'd be tempted to get a VIP ticket for £10 and allows you to queue jump and includes a VIP goody bag, given what I got in the free goody bag, I have high hopes for the VIP one!