Last Saturday morning I found myself cold, wet and hungry, standing in the rain in Brick Lane. Pretty gloomy? Oh no – I was queueing to get into the Old Truman Brewery for the first day of Fare Healthy (a “feel good festival of food, exercise and wellbeing”) and inwardly glowing, feeling super excited to be let loose in a fabulous foodie playground and, not least, at the prospect of a good breakfast!
Fare Healthy is an amazing gathering of brands, fans and inspiring people from the areas of health and wellbeing, all somehow involved or interested in what and how we EAT, MOVE and THINK. (Personally, my thinking was mainly geared towards the eating, as was my movement – going from one amazing looking food stand to the next!).
My first stop, after meeting up with my lovely friend and fellow foodie Catrina and getting some skin care samples from Kiehl’s, was: breakfast! I had an amazing coconut banana waffle from Spring Green London (I shamelessly helped myself to all the toppings: coconut yoghurt, blueberries, wild blueberry jam, goji berries, cacao nibs and bee pollen). To be honest, I’m not the biggest fan of all things coconutty, but I absolutely loved this waffle and it was the best way to fuel myself for, well, a lot more eating. Because that’s basically what the rest of the day consisted of 😉
Let me just briefly take you through some further personal highlights from the event:
- the Pip&Nut energy ball workshop: Everyone received a little bag with some base ingredients, got to process them and choose a station with the desired add-ins. Catrina and I went for the cacao peanut butter version and ended up with insanely delicious spheres of nutty goodness! [If you’re interested in the recipe: 60g raw almonds processed together with 120g dates and 40g dried cherries, mixed with 1 tbsp peanut butter and 1/2 tbsp cacao powder.] Luckily our friend Leila arrived just in time to help us shape the mixture into balls, roll them in various toppings, and, of course, test them 😉
- Food Stories: Ella Mills interviewed by Martin Morales – Yes, I’ve been to many Deliciously Ella events already, and, as I sat there waiting for the talk to begin, I did start to question my booking. [Having felt so entirely out of the whole “scene” back in Switzerland has, I guess, made me instinctively book anything and everything involving the people and brands I was following from afar]. Would I just be hearing the same things I’d heard from other events? Well, there were, of course, elements I recognized, but I found it a very inspiring talk that discussed things from a slightly different angle, which was probably due to the interviewer and his choice of questions. Being a chef and restaurant owner he was, perhaps naturally, very much interested in the business side of Deliciously Ella and asked great questions about both the origins and the future of the brand and the delis. This resulted in some amusing anecdotes. For example, three weeks into the opening of the Mae deli, her husband and business partner being sick in bed, Ella found herself in possibly one of the worst positions imaginable to an inexperienced deli owner with, at the time, no management, when the chef informed her that she quit and was off to Barcelona. As horrible as that must have been (!), I love stories like that as they reveal some of the less sparkly reality that is often behind successful businesses. We often just see the result of something and perhaps underestimate or are ignorant to the fact that a lot of hard work went into achieving that result and overcoming countless obstacles. I was also intrigued by Ella’s vision for a restaurant, inspired by one of her favorite food spots in LA, which she’d ideally like to open within the next three years.
- Biccy Bom Tasting! Now, if you are a fan of Livia’s Kitchen and their wonderful treats, this needs no explaining to you. For those unfortunate souls who have not yet discovered this brand of divine fully plant-based, refined sugar and gluten free delights: Biccy Boms are little balls of biscuity, oaty goodness with a date-based center in three flavors covered in a milk-chocolate like coating (the milky-ness apparently comes from the addition of lucuma), that are due to be launched soon. I was lucky enough to try two flavors: ginger (very fiery!) and salted maca caramel (one word: wow). If you’re in the UK, definitely keep your eyes peeled for these, as they should be hitting shelves within the next few weeks – can’t wait!
- The In the Blog House: with Niomi Smart, Saskia Gregson-Williams and Izy Hossack talk. This was a relaxed interview with three inspiring bloggers and I very much enjoyed hearing a bit more behind how and why they started blogging.
- Sampling! I won’t list everything I tried, as I honestly wouldn’t be able to tell you, but the standouts were: Mani Life peanut butter (deep roast!), Pana Chocolate fig and wild orange raw vegan chocolate and The Giving Tree Broccoli crisps! (none of which I took pictures of annoyingly – was too wrapped up in enjoying the taste 😉 )
So, unsurprisingly, I conclude with the warmest praise for this wonderful, inspiring, fun and delicious festival. I strongly hope that it will take place again next year, and that I will still be here in London to enjoy it 🙂
Hope you enjoyed reading about it and maybe discovering some new brands or products!