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A quick visit to Tooting's first Vegan Festival

I don't go to vegan festivals or events very often, and I really should. They're an easy way to support vegan businesses, meet other herbivorous types and, y'know, get out of the house.

When I happily found myself with a quiet day over the bank holiday, and Twitter helpfully told me there was the first Tooting vegan festival happening, I thought I needed to get involved. I used to live within spitting distance of Tooting a few years ago, and spent a lot of time there. That means I'm always happy to find an excuse for getting back to rooting Tooting, especially if it means I get to eat new vegan foods.

When we turned up about half an hour after the festival opened, it was already rammed - the vegans of South London were not in short supply! The festival was being held in the Tooting Tram and Social, and I think the pub was a bit surprised by the number of people that had come out -- the bar staff were run ragged keeping up with drinks orders.

As it was still a relatively small event, there were only a dozen or so stallholders to check out. I rolled out my sleeves, and loosened my belt.

Our first stop was Vegan Express, which was serving a couple of hot dishes alongside some sweet treats. Vegan Express is a full-time restaurant in Tooting, and after eating their tofush and chips, I'm convinced I need to find my way back to the restaurant for a repeat meal.

I haven't had tofush and chips in so long, and I've been massively craving it. Vegan Express' was a work of genius - the crisp batter around seaweed and soft tofu was on point.

We also managed to fit in a visit to Brownins Food for a big jerk soya wrap.

The jerk soya sauce was great - rich, thick, and full of layers of spices. The soya itself was really close to what I remember meat being like (to be fair, I could be wrong on that front, as I've not gone there for some decades) so I couldn't really love it as much as I wanted to. Don't get me wrong, I love a bit of meat alternatives as much as the next vegan, but this was spookily close to actual meat. So, if you're not vibed out but vegan meat that's like the real thing, then next time you see these guys at a festival, then you need to treat yourself to some cracking jerk.

(Because obviously tofush and chips and a big jerk soya wrap was obviously not enough for two people for lunch, we got a pattie too!)

After that, we had been planning to get and some cake from any of the lovely looking dessert stalls, but we were way too stuffed to even consider it. The pattie was totally worth it, though.

I did find myself reaching for my wallet once again though when I met the Zero Waste Club, a business run by university students selling compostable bamboo toothbrushes. Yes! Bamboo toothbrushes without pig bristles, or or non-recyclable nylon bristles, or shedloads of plastic packaging. I've been looking for something like this for ages, so when I stumbled on them at the festival, I couldn't leave without buying a couple.

And, for added bonus points, I got to find about May Project Gardens, a community project with initiatives focusing on nature, food, and creativity.

And that's why I need to go to more vegan festivals - you get fed, you get educated, and you get a good day out. What more could you ask for?

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  1. I love the toothbrushes! And the sound of all the food. I hadn't heard of this but love that more and more vegan festivals are popping up.

  2. I love going to vegan festivals. I feel like they make it acceptable to stuff my face with as much food as possible. The tofush and chips look so good!

  3. I don't go out much, but i do try to go to the foodie festivals if my purse permits it. And vegan festivals are popping up a lot more frequently now. I went to Cheltenham Vegan Fair this weekend and so pleased I got there early, as it was one in one out after we left. As someone who had a vegan -
    vegetarian food stall and cafe, i like going because i like to see whats on offer and for inspiration. I have seen Brownins in Bristol, so will try there grub next time. I am hoping to make tofish this weekend, ive made it in the past, but without seaweed. The one you showcase has me tempted.

  4. The fish and chips look excellent! I also need those toothbrushes in my life.


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