VegFest London – Is this why Plant-based foods and Vegan Food have a bad name?

One of the joys of being at Veg Fest was that I could sample foods on the stalls and from the cookery demos.

Highlights for me included the raw food cooking demos of Rebecca Kane and Chad Samo.

Despite the taste tidbits on offer it got to a point in the day when my breakfast smoothie was a long distance memory and I needed some healthy delicious fuel to get me through the rest of my day.

I was in the right place, with a huge choice of stalls selling a wide variety of options for lunch. But what to have?

There was a burger stall selling good smelling veggie burgers but with deep fried chips. Hmmm. Not for me. They may be cooked in vegetable oil but they are still unhealthy. I decided on a vendor to try (who shall remain nameless) and I ordered a wrap containing a delicious sounding mix of butternut squash, tofu, spinach etc. It sounded great and at. £6 seemed reasonable.

What I was handed was a damp cold wrap filled with the meanest serving of bland and unseasoned tepid vegetables. It had virtually no flavour and would not have sustained a mouse. It came garnished with a napkin and “Eco” biodegrade able fork. I ate it and say there feeling that I’d wasted my £6.

A little later I was still hungry as the wrap had failed to satisfy.

I looked about for another item to satisfy my hunger and decided to avoid the “faux foods” of burgers and sausages which on investigation seemed to contain high levels of both fat and salt.

This time I choose a melange of veggies assembled into a croquette or ball. It sounded lovely. I sat down at my plastic pic-nic table and unwrapped my prospective lunch item. I took a bite and my heart sank. This concoction was damp and dull. It might have been better baked and served hot. Maybe I missed the point and should have taken it home and reheated it, but it was so unappetising that I left 2/3 of it.

Is it me, did I just make bad choices or were these items examples of how difficult people find it to make plant-based or vegan food healthy, tasty and filling? Am I asking too much?

I was also hoping that there might be a stall selling juices. I spotted one and my heart lifted only to queue up and abandon my plan when I discover the juices are all fruit and no vegetables, so high in sugar.

I’m back at Veg Fest today and will continue my search for a delicious, substantial lunch.

Share Button
6 replies
  1. Kev
    Kev says:


    I am on my way back from Vegfest, also disappointed. I had hoisin noodles which were really tasty with one of the best meat substitutes I have tasted. However, for my £5 I got a small carton with a dessert spoon of noodles and small portion on top. My small carton was barely half full. So I decided to go for a veg wrap to fill me up with similarly bland veg filling to yours. Couldn’t find a bottle of water in the building. I return disappointed.

    • bhoneycombe
      bhoneycombe says:

      Sorry to heat that Kevin. I did get some water from a stall upstairs on Saturday. Today, I took a water bottle.

      I was fortunate today and made better choices. I had the pastilla from the middle eastern stall and later a very yummy hand roll from the sushi truck.

      I do think that the organisers should perhaps re-think the catering and the noise levels. I felt really sorry for the speakers trying to be heard over the booming noise all around them.

      Despite this, I did think it a great and welcome event although was rather surprised by the absence of Wholefoods, Ocado, Waitrose, VitaMix, blendtec, and Holland & Barratt. All if whom, I’d expected.

      • Kev
        Kev says:

        Yes, I expected a bit more from a London event, I must say. The venue was awful for speakers or entertainment. No vegan ales or bar. Bland concrete echoey industrial building. Food stalls were hit or miss or plain piss takers. The Hove event was better I feel.

  2. Nathalie Mylan
    Nathalie Mylan says:

    Hi Barry, How are you since we met at the South London Vegan Mums demo of your More than Meat tasty food. Thanks so much:) I really enjoyed the food, company & everything. I tried to email but did not work? Just found this blog, wow you know a lot about plant based foods & raw foods. I’m into it too but find other people aren’t & they take the p out of me. Did I miss you talking about it all?
    I hope the vid is ok but be happy to do it again.
    You said you were interested in mindful yoga & I gave you my card. I offer a range of tools & resources offering breathing/pranayama, yoga poses/asanas, chakras, chants, mindfulness, meditations, yoga nidra, lifestyle recommendations & law of attraction. I hope you are still interested as believe could support you mind, body, spirit/soul & I could do with some testimonials too:) I also have ideas for More than Meat to bounce around.
    I hope you are still interested:)
    Look forward to hearing from you my email mylanmindfulyoga@gmail.com. Phone 07801843047 My blog not as great as yours as no pictures yet. http://www.mylanmindfulyoga.wordpress.com. Also listed http://www.yogatherapyforthemind.info. Hope to hear from you.
    Take care


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply