Bloggers Hangout Christmas Food Fest
After being introduced and invited to my first one in October by Vi Vian, I couldn't wait to attend this event with my sister and meet lots of new brands!
Held near Shadwell, the event was full of friendly and food-filled stalls :)
Right by the entrance, was Cocoa by L, a company I had been looking forward to meeting. Not only does she make scrumptious chocolates, but they are also raw and vegan! Made with only natural sweetness, such as agave syrup and coconut (no dates), these chocolates are definitely unique. If you like your after dinner mints, then the mint crisp is perfect as a little dessert. It's has a mild peppermint taste with seeds that give it a nice crunch when you bite into it. The coconut one is so good! It has a soft chocolate mousse like centre with a little sprinkle of desiccated coconut. The hazelnut chocolate is slightly firmer with crunchy pieces of hazelnut inside giving it a great contrasting texture.
I am a chocoholic but these chocolates are indulgent and very rich so are better to be enjoyed in small quantities just as L had intended :)
The next stall we visited was Alara - a new company who make healthy cereals, muesli and porridge, with a sweetener from Peru called Yacon. I made the sample with almond milk but found it needed quite a bit of honey to make it sweet. But if you don't have a sweet tooth like mine, there is a natural sweetness from the goji berries.
Next door was Ragini, a lady full of smiles, who was cooking up a spicy Mauritian curry made from vegetables. Despite only trying a little sample, it sure packed a kick! Thank you for my sample pack, I be trying out the sample and recipe over Christmas!
Berrywhite was the next stall to visit, perfect for cooling down my tastebuds! Sold in WHSmiths, Holland and Barrett and many other shops, they have a range of sparkling and still drinks in four flavours:
- Lemon & Ginger
- Pomegranate & Blueberry
- Cranberry & Guava
- Peach & Goji Berry
My favourite would have to be the lemon and ginger as it was light, refreshing, not too gingery and reminded me of ginger ale in Italy. All the drinks can be drank delightfully on its own or added to white wine for a fruity zing.
Heading back towards the entrance we found Vi Vian and Ivy and JimJams's stall. Now if you love Nutella, you'll love the chocolate hazelnut spread. Not only is there no added sugar (compared to Nutella, which contains 57 sugar cubes), it is also gluten free! It is creamy and so smooth - you really wouldn't be able to tell the difference!
I also got to try the raspberry jam, which also has the sugar reduced. It brought a more natural and fruity flavour. Interested to try the strawberry jam, we covered his stall whilst he went to pick up a jar from downstairs :)
Next stall was the lovely Jools, who makes bottles of bubble tea. Not any bubble tea, healthy ones! Jools was so generous to let us have all 3 flavours to try:
The apple green tea was perfectly sweetened but I found the lychee beads (only a few in the bottle) tasted more like rose, slightly perfume-y. If you like the sharp, refreshing taste of cranberry, then you love the cranberry green tea with vitamins and endless amounts of acai beads! The mango green tea with acerola beads also had a perfume like taste but I'm not a big fan of mango flavoured things in general. The beads were sharp and had a slightly bitter taste - similar to marmalade. I love the recyclable packaging with the clever little collapsible straw! My favourite one would have to be the Apple Green Tea.
Vi Vian summoned me to Frill - a vegan frozen smoothie stall! There I met the bubbly Rebecca, who let me pick any ice cream out of the available three flavours: Intense Chocolate, Refreshing Green and Bursting Berries.
Naturally, I went for chocolate :) I was scared it would melt by the time I left so she said she keep it for me until I come back and collect it :) When I returned, Rebecca let me have my chocolate one and 6 additional pots to take home! Thank you Frill!
One of our final brands to meet was Wow Chia, who make healthy drinks and include chia seeds. Available in 4 different flavours, we were able to taste them all and take as many as we liked home! I went for the vibrant green apple, spinach and kiwi. The texture made me think of frogs eggs but don't let that put you off :) The taste was quite similar to cucumber but still very nice to drink. The orange flavoured one was very orange so if that's your kind of flavour, you should get that one.
After covering all of the stalls, there was only one left - Dilly & Wolf - a company who specialise in roasted snack pots. After trying all of their flavours, it was hard to pick my favourite one to take home! I was very lucky to get the last pot of Cider and Sea Salt fava beans! They have the perfect balance of the sour acidity from the cider vinegar to the savoury flavour from the sea salt. Just thinking about it is making my mouth water! I was also kindly allowed to take a pot of coconut and chilli flavoured beans, peas and seeds back for my mum who said in exactly these words "I could eat the whole pot in one go! Better hide them from dad." Thank you Dilly & Wolf!
Thank you The Bloggers Hangout for another great event :) I met lots of brands and could not carry another single thing home!