I get rather excited by a good vegetable, so it was with great anticipation that I visited Exeter Vegan Market yesterday to seek out some delicious, plant based goodness with my girlfriends. I wasn’t disappointed.
It’s held undercover in the Corn Exchange, which is a good job, as storm Gareth was giving the whole of the South West a good bashing. There weren’t as many stalls as I was expecting, but there was a decent variety of products and food stuffs: reusable sanitary products, non plastic and chemical free soaps, shampoo bars and face creams, clothing, veg stalls, sauces, peanut butters, and loads of ‘ready to eat’ food: everything you could want for your journey into sustainable and ethical living.
First up food wise was a naan pie. Yes, a naan pie! Everyone loves pie, everyone loves curry. Genius! Cleverly crafted naan bread dough with lentil, sweet potato and coconut filling. The naan was chewy and dense enough to hold the moist, mild, delicately spiced filling. It was delicious, and very substantial.
If you’re not vegan and sceptical, you really must visit, even if just to see what the vegan world can offer. There was a huge variety of moist and gooey cakes and cheeses. There are lots of things you can sample too, which is a great way to taste without forking out money on something you might not like. It’s a really friendly atmosphere and every stall holder was proud to talk about their products, how they were made and what ingredients were used.
The true stand-out stall of the day for us was ‘Fairfoods’, located at the back of the bar area. They served us an awesome Mac n’ cheese, which was creamy and comforting, with a crunchy topping. The portion was huge, and only £4…or £6 if you wanted it with a salad bowl. The salads were quite simply stunning: amazing quality and outstanding taste. Potato salad with a tangy mayonnaise, bulgar wheat tabbouleh that was full of fresh herbs and the most amazingly zingy dressing, and a tomato based salad that was bursting with flavour. Plus it was served on properly plates with properly cutlery so zero waste too!
Check them out for weddings and parties (honestly, no affiliation, they were just outstanding in price, taste and quality!) http://www.fairfoods.org.uk
Another top moment for me yesterday was stumbling across the ‘New Haven Project’ stall. I bought a jar of their moisturiser for only £5. 100% cruelty free and not a drop of a chemical has so much as sniffed at this product. I was worried it might be a little greasy and not absorb properly, so I tried a little on my hands and walked around a while to see how it felt. It absorbed beautifully, has a light fruity scent and my dry skin felt moisturised and silky all day. So I went back and bought a jar but now I’ve got it home and have become slightly obsessed with it already I wish I’d bought two! AND…all of the proceeds of the project go to looking after rescue animals. The smug factor of looking after the planet, supporting a small business, supporting rescue animals and gorgeously silky, chemical free skin to boot, for only £5, is really the bargain to end all bargains! Check them out: https://new-haven-project.fwscart.com/
I’d recommend you arrive early as unsurprisingly, stalls can sell out towards the end of the event. We spent a very happy 2 hours there, chatting, eating, drinking tea and generally having a jolly good time.
The next market is on 25th May. 10.30-2.30. If you are vegan or not I can promise you a delicious feast awaits you, make sure you don’t miss out!