As previously mentioned (see my post on the last events I went to), I am making full use of the fact that there is so much going on in London – whatever your interests, there are events to suit them. Last week was super exciting because I got to meet two inspiring people who I’ve been following from afar: Niomi Smart and Ella Mills, both of whom have just released new recipe books.
On Wednesday I trekked over to the Kensington Whole Foods for the Q&A with Niomi Smart and the signing of Eat Smart – her fully plant-based recipe book. It was great seeing the area designated for the event buzzing with lots of chatty excited people (and by people I mean exclusively young women), and feeling the excitement bouncing off everyone. I’d take this over a rock concert any day (- is that sad?) I was given a copy of the book, a goody bag (I could so get used to those!) and offered a drink. After rushing to get over there on time from uni I needed something more hydrating than alcohol though, so I sipped on some flavored water by Plenish that I conveniently found in my little bag of goodies.
The Q&A itself was interesting and touched not just on food and eating, but also on (truly) organic beauty products, i.e. products approved by the Soil Association. It was thus only fitting that we had samples from some of these brands in our goody bags ;). (I’ll do a review of some of the – edible and non-edible – products I got from this and other events in a separate post). A highlight was getting my book signed by Niomi and exchanging a few words with her. She seems like a genuinely delightful person and you can tell how excited she is about her book and her recipes. As for me, it’s great having another fully plant-based recipe book to be inspired by. Oh and I almost forgot: We got to sample some of the food from her book and the falafels were amazing – especially with the peanut sauce that accompanied the vegetable skewers. (I was quite hungry at that point and was luckily sitting right next to a large platter of them, so, while chatting to the lovely Laura from Toronto, I could easily reach out and grab more 😉 )
The next day I made my way to Whole Foods again, this time the one in Fulham Broadway. Eager not to be in a rush as I had been the day before, I made sure I had enough time and ended up being the first to arrive. As I didn’t feel like queueing outside the building for half an hour I engaged in a much loved pastime – aimlessly browsing through Whole Foods – and eventually came out with my first packet of maca. While waiting in the queue I started reading Deliciously Ella’s Smoothies and Juices while sipping a sample of Ella’s Green Dream Smoothie – nice and thick and full of flavor! There wasn’t any Q&A session at this event, but it was so wonderfully surreal to actually meet Ella, even for only a few moments, have her sign my book and pose for a picture. It was lovely and it made her feel like more of a real person to me – if that makes sense 😀
On my way back to the bus stop I happily munched on one of her hazelnut and raisin energy balls that I’d been excited to discover in the little brown bag containing her book (along with a bottle of the smoothie we’d sampled). It made me smile to think that probably a lot of students new to London were in pubs, drinking beer and eating chips (judging from my course’s Whatsapp group at least!) and might have a different idea of what a cool way to spend the evening is. But that’s what I love about London – it’s easier to fully be yourself and embrace who you are because there’s something for everyone. I’m still in the process of learning who I want to be and what I want to get out of life, but I feel like this is a good place for me to be while I’m asking myself these questions.