Review: VegfestUK London – an eco foodie feast

VegfestUK London

This was the first London event for Vegfest UK, and there were over 180 stalls of natural, eco-conscious healthy products and lots of entertainment and education laid on

Judging by the crowds of people who flocked to VegfestUK London at Olympia this past weekend, interest in vegetarian, vegan, raw, or simply just a less meat-filled lifestyle is at an all-time high.

It was my first time to this particular two-day foodie festival. Vegfest started in Bristol in 2003, set up by entrepreneur Tim Barford, expanded to the veggie mecca of Brighton in 2008, and it’s taken this long to spread its wings to the capital. They’d sold almost 10,000 tickets in advance of the first London event, and there certainly seemed to be a bumper turnout on the Saturday afternoon that I was there.

Individual food stalls and food product vendors obviously featured prominently, along with natural, cruelty-free beauty products and eco-clothing. There was also a huge range of entertainment laid on for show visitors – two cinemas with a good line-up of eco and health conscious films and documentaries (such as Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days), a large cookery demo area with lots of healthy, cheffy things going on, workshop areas, a kids play zone, a main performance stage, plus some live bands playing. Continue reading

Review: Bees, teas and macarons at St Ermin’s Hotel

Rewiew: Afternoon tea at St Ermin's, Westminster

Afternoon tea at St Ermin’s, Westminster. Tasty tea and honey treats. Is there a better way to spend an afternoon in autumnal London?

Afternoon tea is such a civilised past-time isn’t it? It’s also a great excuse to gorge yourself on mountains of sweet delights and slurp a dozen cups of tea in posh surroundings, without anyone around you even batting an eyelid.

From a chef’s point of view, it’s also become an extremely creative affair. Waltz into any reputable hotel these days and you’ll probably find an afternoon tea on the menu (priced on a sliding scale of fairly reasonable to downright extortionate), with many treats and savouries unique to that place.

The bees get busy

I recently visited St Ermin’s Hotel in Westminster with a good friend of mine, for an afternoon of sampling what’s probably one of the most locally sourced afternoon teas in London. You see, the honey for the hotel’s Honey Afternoon Tea comes from just a few storeys up – busily produced by their 200,000 resident Buckfast bees. Continue reading