I looked forward to the Port Eliot Festival for months. We booked our camping tickets not long after they went on sale and I’ve been writing and re-writing “festival to do” lists tirelessly since then. At the time of booking the trip I knew full well food choices may be challenged for a festival vegan. The “what if I can’t eat anything” panic didn’t really hit me until reading a recent Vegan Life magazine article on surviving festivals, and of course I only read the article a day before we were setting off!

To survive my first time as a festival vegan I packed:

  • Calcium tablets
  • Nutritional Yeast (my own little portable “Nooch” pot)
  • Seeds (little portable pot of mixed chia, pumpkin and sunflower)
  • Nuts (Cashews and peanuts)

As we putted along the road in our bongo I found myself running through lists in my mind again. All the things I could have brought but hadn’t really thought about to help me as a festival vegan. For me food is up there between “walk the dogs” and “must sleep” as top priorities, and the thought of being without a home-cooked plate of quinoa or soup sent chills up my spine. But I figured if things got desperate I could always fall back on good ole french fries. As long as I could wash it down with a good vegan cider I’d have a big smile on my face all weekend.

We parked, set-up and wondered down to the main festival area to orientate ourselves. My excitement started growing as we stumbled across more and more food trucks ranging from a shimmer of vegan hope to full-on vegan rainbows dancing over them!

What an adventure, and so full of taste, texture and great conversation. I spent the weekend wondering from plate to plate of vegan food or drink. Something that really struck me was the demand at the food trucks offering vegetarian and vegan food. The ravenous carnivores prowling the estate had a wide array of meat to choose from, but it was the sushi truck, indian-food bus and vegan streetfood van with the longest lines!

Festival Vegan Food Discoveries:

You could not help but be drawn to this old, converted school bus. The colourful outside made you feel instantly joyous, and the inside was surprisingly spacious. I was more than a little in awe of all their great storage ideas too. We had the Aloo Paratha for breakfast a couple of times, and I ate really, really slowly to savour the taste. I “pimped” my paratha by peeling back one side and sprinkling on a bit of nutritional yeast and seeds. Vitamin B12 issues…not me!

Bhangra Bus made life easy as a festival vegan

I’m almost embarrassed to say how many of these sushi rolls I managed to consume in 4 days. I tried all of their options (you do the maths!) and they were all terrific. My personal favourite was the “Fully Loaded”, a delightful combination of sweet, savoury and crunchy. It combined a meat-free “duck” and raw crispy vegetables with teriyaki sauce, ginger and a generous dusting of sesame seeds. Delicious! Hot on it’s heels the “Avocado K.I.S.S” also had my tastebuds doing high-fives. I still don’t know what the “K.I.S.S.” stands for though!

I love the slogan on their website “sushi means seasoned rice not pickled fish”. Interestingly, this is actually the literal translation…I had no idea.

Happy Maki Sushi made me a happy festival vegan

We only got to try Feral Food Store’s Tofu Shreds and Seitan burgers and they did not let us down. I was fascinated watching them prepare the food. It was a bit of a wait, but everything was being prepared by hand fresh as you watched, making it well worth it. In my mind this takes the term “fresh food” at a festival to new heights!

FFS streetfood for a festival veganFSS tofu shreds burger feeds hungry festival veganFSS grilled cauliflower for festival vegans

These ice lollies looked lovely and at the time my husband tried one I was just too darn full. He went for the Gooseberry and Elderflower Pop which smelt so tangy as it came out the wrapping it tempted me to take a tiny bite. It was so zingy and refreshing – exactly what you need on a hot day at a festival! I loved that they were local to Cornwall too, and try source all their ingredients locally.

All the food was amazing but overall it was the Happy Maki Sushi truck that stole my heart. I just kept going back again, and again, and again…

Happy Maki Sushi Fully Loaded Happy Maki Sushi Avo KISSHappy Maki Sushi Fully Loaded

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You might think all I did at the festival was eat and drink, which wouldn’t be too far from the truth!

But we did manage to take in some fantastic comedy, James Acaster had me crying with laughter. We also saw some great music, literary readings and talks on foraging and wild cocktail making.

Festival vegan learns to block printFestival vegan learns to cyanotype print

I learnt basic block-printing and Victorian cyanotype sun printing, and walked away feeling pretty darned chuffed with myself. I would really encourage you to give it a go, imagine being able to make all your own wrapping paper and birthday cards using recycled materials (my new goal!)

If you haven’t heard of the Port Eliot Festival keep an eye out for it. Not only is it in a stunning location in the open countryside, but this festival vegan came away just a wee bit more cultured, with an open heart and mind.

Now I have to figure out a way to get the Happy Maki Sushi truck to drive past my house every week… If anyone has any bright ideas, do send them my way… 😉

 

Simplifying Happy Choices (as Festivals!)

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About Michelle

Michelle grew up in a culture where it was normal to eat meat at every meal. Watching close family suffer multiple health problems drove her to learn more about eating for health. After watching Food Inc Michelle took the plunge into veganism and hasn’t looked back since. She is now on a mission to bring vegan inspiration to everyone!

One Response to “Festival Vegan Novice…Can You Survive?”

  1. Miche

    Having read another of your blogs I do believe your talents have been hidden under the proverbial bushel. Not only informative but fun to read. Anyone who reads this and with a spark of “more fork no knife” in them will surely want to visit.

    Reply

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