Win VIP tickets to Essex Vegan Festival in Colchester this weekend

Richard Monk of the Norwegian Bakers who will be at Essex Vegan Festival in Colchester on Sunday, No

Richard Monk of the Norwegian Bakers who will be at Essex Vegan Festival in Colchester on Sunday, November 25. Picture: NIGEL BROWN - Credit: Archant

Stock up on vegan gifts and food at Essex Vegan Festival on Sunday.

Vegans get ready, because there’s a Christmas market coming to the region especially for you this weekend - without an animal product in sight.

This Sunday (November 25) Vegan Events UK hosts the Essex Vegan Festival in Colchester’s Charter Hall from 10.30am to 4.30pm with more than 100 stallholders expected to attend, selling vegan food and gifts and hosting cookery demonstrations and interactive workshops.

Spend the day browsing for gifts for vegan friends (or yourself) while munching your way through a carefully curated selection of street food stalls selling everything from homemade vegan hotdogs, to Indian dishes and raw food to give you an energy boost.

Gift exhibitors include Watson & Wolfe with their luxury sustainable men’s accessories made with PU leather – a product made from more than 50% bio renewable corn. All the brand’s items are lined with a material produced from 100% recycled plastic bottles, from wallets and travel documents to card cases.

Essential by Nature bring their 100% natural and cruelty-free skincare including gentle and uplifting Ylang Ylang and Lavender Body Butter made with shea butter, avocado oil and coconut oil, and a zesty Bergamot Body Butter infused with nourishing grapeseed oil.

And Viva La Vegan will be in residence with their compassionate clothing range.

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The highlight however has to be the vast array of food on offer during the day. Whether you’re thinking of going vegan, have tried it before and come up against lots of challenges, or have been following an animal-free diet for years, the organisers have plenty up their sleeves to educate, inform and excite you throughout the event.

Victoria Bryceson from Vegan Events UK says: “It doesn’t surprise me that plant-based cuisine is now one of the top three trends – just last month Channel 4’s Great British Bake Off featured a vegan week! We now regularly get record numbers at all our events, nationwide. There seems to be an insatiable demand for everything plant-based. Our festivals make an enjoyable day out whether you’re vegetarian, vegan or simply vegan-curious. The idea behind them is to offer support to anybody who would like to try it.”

During the day our own nutrition columnist Juliette Bryant from Juliette’s Kitchen will appear on the main stage, making a raw, gluten-free and refined sugar-free Christmas cake at midday. After live music from Ian Haywood Juliette returns with her advice on natural ways to boost the immune system. And you can catch her for a chat about plant-based food during the rest of the event on her stand.

Other stallholders to look out for include:

Greek Vegan Deli: Authentically made Greek specialities but without any butter, eggs or cheese. Choose from vegan spanakopita, made with tofu and spinach, vine leaves stuffed with herb marinated tofu and even baklava, formed from homemade fyllo pastry and drenched in cinnamon syrup.

Winyl: An interesting new business from Manningtree combining selling vinyl (very on-trend), with vegan and organic wines.

Badger’s Vegan Kitchen: Popular pre-made sandwich fillings (and most of them freeze well so stock up). There’s their classic coleslaw packed with white cabbage, carrot, onion and their own egg and dairy-free mayo. Check out the Egg Mayonnaise Alternative which is really rather good, gaining its chunky texture from noodles and chickpeas. And the Tunah Mayo binds TVP with sweetcorn, onion, four varieties of seaweed and vegan mayo,

Bolivian Pastries: Expert local bakers of things like saltena – a savoury treat encasing a sweetly spiced vegan filling and looking a bit like a small Cornish pasty.

Dark Matters: Deeply dark vegan and 100% palm oil-free brownies made with loads of 72% cocoa solid chocolate and dark muscovado sugar. Flavours range from Cheeky Monkey (banana and toasted coconut) to After Dark (mint chocolate chip).

Dominee’s Doughnuts: Really beautiful vegan doughnuts in interesting flavours. Think strawberry, rose and coconut, white chocolate and cardamom with pistachios and raspberries, and gingerbread with maple glaze and crumbled ginger biscuit.

Elspeth’s Kitchen: Makers of beautiful, colourful bakes and cakes – specialising in raw, gluten, soya and refined sugar-free wedding and celebration cakes. The staple cakes include salted date caramel slices, raspberry ripple no-cheese cheesecake and a stunning layered Rainbow Bounty made with coconut, cacao, dates, almonds and sweet orange essential oil.

Norwegian Bakers: Another local business selling very tasty vegan Scandi bakes, such as creamy filled semla buns with their delicate dusting of icing sugar on top, to warming cinnamon rolls.

Entry to the festival is £3 per person (free for under 16s) and VIP tickets (online and limited at are £15, to include fast track entry, and a goody bag packed with vegan products, samples, discounts and offers.

Win a pair of VIP tickets

We’ve teamed up with Vegan Events UK to offer free VIP entry. To win simply answer the following question and email it, by 12noon on Friday, November 23 to writing VEGAN COMP in the subject line.

What is the key ingredient of tofu?

A: Almonds

B: Avocados

C: Soy

The closing date is November 23, 2018, entries received after this time/date will not be counted. No cash value or alternative. The promoter’s decision is final. For full terms & conditions go to or Unless you have chosen to receive other information from us, Archant Community Media Limited will solely use the data you provide for the purpose of running the competition, including contacting winners and the distribution of any prize.

Usual Archant promotion rules apply.

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