The word Vegan written on a blue plate

Getting the most out of VegfestUK London 2019

Getting the most out of VegfestUK London 2019

Planning on heading to VegfestUK in London this year? You should be! Running across two days on Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th October, the festival has something for every vegan taste bud, and far more than just food.

 

Of course you should be visiting Kindred Traveller while you’re there (we’re running a competition across the weekend, with a whopping £200 off a holiday as the main prize), but there’s so much to see and do while you’re there that it’s useful to have a few recommendations. So here’s a guide to the Top Ten things to see and do on the weekend.

 

1. Relax

With an entire zone dedicated to Yoga on Level 2 of Olympia Central, you can find rejuvenating or relaxing sessions of yoga, tai chi, qi gong and meditation. Definitely the place to seek out when you need some headspace from the crowds.

 

2. Take time to visit the animal welfare stands

Head towards Stall CK1 and visit the Hunt Saboteurs Association. They’re offering a free gift to those that become a member at the show, and they’re an organisation we should all be supporting. They’re in the Central Hall on Level 1.

 

3. Feel the animal love

Skip the lunchtime queues on Sunday, and instead head to the ‘Foxes for Everyone’ talk by Trevor Williams. Trevor founded the Fox Project 30 years ago, which rescues injured foxes and orphaned cubs, and aims to resolve challenges by advising on humane methods to deter foxes.

 

Fox sitting by rock at edge of woods

4. Getting hungry?

Head to the Vegan Food Village on Level 1 of Olympia West. There’s so much to choose here that no one will struggle to find something that suits their palate, whether you love healthy or vegan junk food. We’re looking forward to trying something from the Greek Vegan Delhi on Stall CAT15 (if we’re not at our stall, you’ll know where to find us. Unless we’re on a toilet break. Don’t follow us there.)

 

5. Get your game on

Take a break from inhaling food, and visit the Geekstraveganza gaming area. They’ve a host of of board and card games available for every age and taste, and they welcome you coming along to play at any time over the weekend. Find them on Level 3 of Olympia Central

 

6. Single and ready to mingle?

Then there’s a speed dating session for you. Run by Karin Ridgers, the founder of VeggieVisionDating.com and VeggieVision TV. All social and speed dating sessions are held on Level 2 of Olympia Central, but you will need to reserve your space on the speed dating by emailing Karin at info@veggievision.tv with the heading ‘speed dating’, along with your phone number, email and a recent photo.

 

7. Take in a short film

Head to a film screening of ‘Planet Vegan’, which examines the world of veganism and takes a look at the key players behind the growth of the vegan movement. A fascinating watch for vegans, and a non-judgemental insight for the vegan-curious.

 

8. Grab a pie-to-go

from Mr Nice Pie, with their weekend offer of 3 pies for £10. I’ll be trying to grab some before the event opens and the mass influx begins, as I love them. I’d recommend their Swedey Todd or Drunken Mushroom pies. Find them at Stand WC3 in the West Hall on Level 1.

 

9. Not just food stalls

If you’re looking for ethical gifts, make sure you pop by Vegan My Style. Drawing together a variety of clothing, beauty, and lifestyle products from ethical suppliers. From baby boxes to picnic sets, lip balms to jogging bottoms; everything they offer is vegan and 100% cruelty free.

 

10. Bringing along the kids?

There’s an entire area dedicated to keeping them entertained, with cookery workshops, fun, magic and dancing. Hosted by Captain James Tea Cook (Pirate of the Carob Bean – I see what he did there) on Saturday, and by The Mad Hatter on Sunday. Sadly, I suspect I’m too old to participate in the Mr Potato Head Brain Surgery that they’ve got planned for Sunday afternoon. Find them on Level 3.

 

Mr Potato Head dressed up as Spiderman

 

And if all of that isn’t enough, then there’s a Vegan Bodybuilding Competition on Saturday afternoon on Level 1!

Find Kindred Traveller at stand CA5 in the Central Hall of Level 1, just up from Seating Area F. We’re at the opposite end of the hall from the Strength and Endurance section where the Bodybuilders are. Sadly.
Beautiful Zakynthos landscape

5 of the best things to do in Zakynthos

With over 6,000 islands in this Mediterranean archipelago to choose from, it’s no wonder that Zakynthos (also known as Zante) is often forgotten when people choose a Greek holiday.

Lying west of mainland Greece, with views of Kefalonia, the island has a rugged coastline, picturesque villages, and some of the best golden beaches in Greece.

Here are Kindred Traveller’s Top 5 things to do and see in Zakynthos.

1. Navagio Beach (Shipwreck Cove)

Navagio BeachAn iconic spot, that you’ll see time and again in images of Greece. Contrary to what you may have been told, this beautiful spot is best seen from above, rather than visiting the beach itself, which can be crowded and offers little respite from the sun. The view of it from the clifftops, however, is simply stunning.

This natural harbour, with its clear blue waters and white sand, is surrounded by 200m cliffs. The beach hit the news in 2018 due to a sudden and unexpected rockfall onto the beach, hence the need for caution in the area; from above and below!

The main focal point of the beach is the wrecked ship that lays there. It may just be a grounded cargo boat, but it certainly takes a good picture.

The beach is only accessible by boat, and you can book boat tours from all over the island. Instead, we’d recommend hiring a car, and heading to the viewing area above it for the best views.

Please take care when viewing from the cliffs. You’ll inevitably see tourists taking an ill-considered route along the edge in an attempt to get the ideal selfie. The area is unstable, and people have died falling from the rocks.

2. Xigia Beach

Xigia Beach ZakynthosIf you’re looking to bathe in sulphur and collagen-laden waters, (and don’t mind smelling of eggs for the trip home), this beach is definitely worth leaving the resort for. Rumoured to have healing properties, the locals claim this helps with arthritis and cellulite . . .

There’s free (but very limited) parking above, and a small canteen for drinks and snacks. Spend the day, or make it a relaxing stop on your drive around the island.

At Kindred Traveller, we offer a visit to Xigia beach amongst our optional excursions.

3. Relaxation & Cocktails at Tsilivi Beach

Cocktails on the beachTsilivi isn’t just home to a long, golden stretch of beach, but it’s also an excellent place for a cocktail. Tsilivi has managed to avoid the rowdier 18-30 crowds that frequent resorts like Laganas, but still has plenty of atmosphere for a great night out.

This is the place to spend the day relaxing on the beach, where food and drinks can be brought to your sun lounger. Then, come the evening, enjoy a meal and late drinks or a dance.

4. Zakynthos (Zante) Town

Zakynthos TownFollowing the earthquake of 1953, much of the island’s oldest buildings, with its Neoclassical architecture, were entirely destroyed. The capital, Zakynthos (Zante) Town, was no exception. Consequently, much of what stands there is relatively new.

There are pedestrianised areas with open squares surrounded by stylish bars here. As the town is also the home to the main harbour, filled with large and expensive yachts, this is also where some of the wealthiest patrons drink.

The town’s main church, Agios Dionysios, is home to the relics of the town’s patron saint, and the original 1708 building was reconstructed in 1954.

For incredible views over the town and out to sea, head just under a mile from town to the village of Bochali. Here you’ll also find the ruins of a Venetian castle, destroyed by invading Turks in 1480 before being restored in 1515, set in a pine tree-lined park.

5. Boat Trips galore

Boat trip in ZakynthosThere are a variety of boat trips you can take around various parts of the island. With full and half day tours taking in Turtle Island and turtle spotting, trips to Navagio Beach, and more.

Our favourite is to the Blue Caves at Cape Skinari on the northern coast, where the sea reflects the deepest blues of the sky, and the surrounding caves are marked purple in colour. It’s a magical trip, which is complemented by a dive off the end of the boat to cool off.

Alternatively, you can hire a boat yourself from various locations, and head to a variety of coves and beaches. Take some snacks and cool drinks, and head out to explore.

Now take me there