Haven’t you just always wanted to go to a London food festival?
Because the We Heart Mondays launch event was so good – I really didn’t need much convincing to go to their Christmas food festival. After trying all of the yummy treats on offer at the launch event, there was no way I was going to miss out on a event they were holding that was specifically about food! Based in Hackney, the We Love Monday’s HQ really isn’t that hard for me to get too and I found myself with enough time to sample everything on offer to ensure I could write an in depth review. Yep, that’s the reason I’m giving for making myself so full I felt sick and I’m sticking with it.
Afia’s Samosa Shop
Occasionally, I’ll find a product or service through m blog that absolutely blows me away so much that I know I’ll end up being a customer for life. Afia’s Samosa Shop is one of those companies. Afia’s is a small company based in Birmingham that sells delicious Indian food online that is free of wheat and gluten. This is an amazing accomplishment because not only are Afia’s Samosas wheat and gluten free, they are also egg and dairy free. This means if you are a vegan or cannot have dairy (like me) you can still enjoy them. One of the things that struck me was how light and thin the pastry was. Anyone who has ever picked up one of those greasy samosa monstrosities from a garage will appreciate what I mean. Without making the pastry too thick – you can enjoy the flavour of the filling (either meat or vegetarian). I eat Indian food all the time and this is the nicest I have ever had. We also kindly got some Parathas and Onion Bhaji’s to take home which were easy to cook and delicious. I really wanted to film myself cooking them for my Youtube but unfortunately I couldn’t navigate my exceptionally rubbish phone while cooking them, so I will leave you with Afia’s video to show you how easy it is.
Not only were the ladies at the Biskgetz stand super fun – they were offering mocktails and vegan biscuits. Due to the dairy situation, I gravitate towards a lot of vegan food. Despite enjoying a digestive now and again, being as dairy free as possible means my days of coming home on a Friday and doing a whole packet of ginger nuts to myself are well and truly over. Not only are Biskgets vegan, delicious, and GMO free but they are available in a super handy pot so you can take them to work for your desk for a Friday treat.
Nestled in the small village of Burley in the New Forest, Burley Fudge are on a mission to take back control of mouth watering fudge treats that are packaged perfectly from all of the big brands muscling in on the market and getting it wrong. Their fudge literally melts in your mouth and if you know a fudge lover that is also keen on not eating animals they have a vegan offering which is just as tasty and packaged just as lovingly as the other offerings. They also have a “Fudge of the Month” club, which if I am being honest, sounds like a club I want to be in. They have an online shop, so you don’t need to hot foot down to the New Forest just to get your fudge fill, although I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t want to as it looks beautiful.
The thing about bread is, everyone loves it. I don’t eat it too much but when I do I really enjoy it. We’ve had it drummed into us by various ‘health experts’ and fad diets that bread is the absolute devil when you want to try and be healthy but that really isn’t so. Rye bread is actually a lot more healthy than refined whitebread, and I am here to tell you that the Karaway Bakery make the most delicious rye bread you will ever put in your mouth. One of my favourites was the dark rye with nuts and raisins. The ladies were kind enough to give us some loaves to take home and I have been eating it all week. You can find them on Bourough Market, and although I haven’t had a chance yet I’ll be popping down before Christmas to stock up.
If you read my blog on a regular basis you’ll know I’m an avid tea fan. So much so that I spent my last Friday night in Mei Leaf with a pot of Jade Star. Nazani Tea are cornering the tea market with the original idea of luxury herbal tea’. One of the main draws is that they put a lot of work into sourcing their tea and they can track the journey of it start to finish. Anything that passes your lips has been sourced and nurtured by Nazani directly. They grow tea in some really interesting places like Scotland and Greece and some of the brews are ones that you wouldn’t naturally appoint to herbal tea. One of the ones I liked the most was the Barley tea as it was a mild taste and really refreshing. Excited to see what they do in the future.
Pollen + Grace
Is there anyone else out there with a food allergy and stomach condition that struggles to find stuff you can eat, remain a healthy weight and not have to eat stuff that tastes like wallpaper paste? Because, SAME. I honestly end up eating food I know for a fact that I shouldn’t for the pure fact that I just can’t find dairy free alternatives that are up to my taste test. Pollen + Grace do convenient, pre-packaged vegan food pots that will do you for breakfast, lunch and dinner without too much effort. I tried the Dahl which was absolutely amazing and then I had the Chia pot to take home with me. I really struggle to find nice things for breakfast so it was a welcome treat and certainly good for me. The great thing is they are stocked in Whole Foods, ad considering Whole Foods are popping up everywhere but the Venezuelan Amazon you are never too far away from a quick and easy vegan meal.
The first few months I was a vegetarian I couldn’t have cared less about eating meat and it didn’t even enter my head. I’d watch my friends devouring burgers and have absolutely no feeling about it what so ever. Six months down the line – I’m struggling. Seeing as there really isn’t a way to eat meat without killing animals (believe me, I’ve looked into it), Seamore’s seaweed bacon was a completely welcome idea. The best bit? It actually does taste like bacon. They also do seaweed tagliatelle for those who want a healthier option to pasta.
Another reason I love We Heart Monday’s is that they are all about finding brands that can be enjoyed by everybody. There is always so much dairy free food on offer at the events and they are one of the only places that hold events where I don’t feel like I have to miss out. Coconut Collaborative make delicious coconut milk yoghurts and desserts, and they also have other treats available on their online store. If you want a top tip, stirring in the chocolate dessert to the vanilla yoghurt is the nicest treat you will ever give yourself for breakfast.
Gosnells mead is quite an innovative idea that stemmed from a genuine interest in mead and how it could be brewed in a way to give a different taste to products that are currently on the market. Fermented from honey, mead gives a light, crisp taste that is something more refreshing than similar products on the market. As I don’t drink I didn’t try it, but my Mum did and she thought it was awesome, which is a great testament to them as she is the fussiest woman on earth!