Vegfest Scotland – a different dimension of travel
Vegfest is an event that travels around the country, primarily in the South: Brighton, Bristol and London. But on 5 and 6 December 2015 it came to Glasgow SECC. There were 117 different stalls promoting vegan and vegetarian foods, cruelty-free cosmetics, treats, clothes, and related charities. And around 7,500 people attended the event. In addition to the many stands there were live music performances, cookery demonstrations and a plethora of talks on nutrition, lifestyle and campaigning. As a silver traveller, I gave a talk in Vegetarian for Life’s Mature Zone. The Zone was aimed specifically at the over 50s with related talks and 'pay as you feel’ tea and cakes! My talk focussed on tips for the vegan and vegetarian silver traveller, who has to prepare more (and perhaps complain more!) if they are to have decent food on their travels. Vegans and vegetarians need to research which countries beyond the UK are veggie friendly and look up where they can eat. Similarly in the UK, where some areas are much keener on vegetarian trade than others. One enterprising hotel, Portsonachan Hotel near Inverary, had a stand at the event and brought its vegan menus along to recruit customers with a special deal. Well done them for having a bit of foresight! Scotland is a popular destination for vegans and vegetarians. Many of them are keen on the wildlife and beauty of the country, so hotels and restaurants willing to make an extra effort find it pays dividends. Ambleside in the Lake District is another extremely veggie-friendly area with three completely vegetarian restaurants and a new vegetarian hotel, Ambleside Manor, opening this December – hope I get a chance to review that one! It is also important for vegans and vegetarians staying in non-vegetarian establishments to make their needs clear before they arrive and not just accept second best. So they need to check the menus to see if veggie sausage, veggie bacon, dairy-free milk and soya margarine are available – and if not, request them. Silver Travel Advisor had also kindly provided some free travel bags, mouse mats and guides for the Mature Zone. These lasted precisely 5 minutes at the end of the talk!
If you would like to read more about Tina’s travel adventures or about Vegetarian for Life check out: http://vegetarianforlife.org.uk/blog/category/travel
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