I just CAN’T BELIEVE it’s all vegan!
As you know, I am not a pro-vegan; in fact, I have mentioned and made it very clear that I couldn’t live without cheese (especially brie and cheddar) and I am by no means an expert and there are lots of vegan bloggers and Instagrammers that I am truly inspired by.
For me, it’s never been about diet, but more about how we can reduce the environmental impact.
So when the Vegan Market at Abington Park popped up; I knew that I had to go because I love a food festival/market and I also was curious to discover what vegan delights were in-store; and surprisingly, a lot of my regularly purchased items from food producers are in fact vegan-friendly – who knew!
But it did occur to me when I was visiting the market just how many food festivals and markets I go and visit in Northamptonshire; yet none of them appear on the blog! So that is changing ASAP!
Abington Park Museum is a great venue for a market, however, it is a bit of a maze!
So it’s always best to give yourself plenty of time when browsing around and my advice is to check out every room that’s available and/or open to make sure you don’t miss anyone, as I missed a few people who were exhibiting, unfortunately.
We entered the first hall and tried to navigate our way around – there were a lot of stalls to look for! But it’s also fascinating to walk inside and take in all the history facts inside too!
The event was open from 11am to 4pm, plus the weather was decent with blue skies, sunshine and a slight breeze, so it was a great occasion to attend the market and walk around the beautiful park.
But going inside, there was lots more to navigate…
We saw a lot of vegan-friendly stalls and I am sorry if I missed you and haven’t featured you here!
Two Birds Spirits
Local Market Harborough based countryside spirit makers, Two Birds Spirits were present and had their colourful array of gin and vodka spirits, some of which I know and love, but they had a few newbies which I hadn’t tried before, including their Strawberry & Vanilla gin which was really sweet!
They are featured in my Northamptonshire Gin Guide, though they are just off the border, they are always in attendance at local Northamptonshire based festivals and markets!
Read more: The Best Northamptonshire Gin Guide
It was great to see Iain and his many array of flatbreads on display. Replete Flatbreads make gourmet quality flatbreads based on recipes and classic combinations and flavours across the world – and they were all available at the Vegan Market!
From Marmite and Cheese, Spanish Cocas Flatbread with Patatas Bravas, to Italian Flatbread filled with pesto… it’s a whole cuisine of flatbreads!
We purchased a slice of the Indian Kulcha with Onion Bhaji, Tomato & Chilli Chutney filling which certainly gave us a taste of India and I wish we saved it for a curry at home!
You can guarantee whenever there is a food market; Friars Farm will be there!
Friars Farm is one of Northamptonshire’s most well-known and loved chutney makers, run, made and managed by Steve Reid.
However, he wasn’t present but Rachel was there ready to stand by and it was lovely as always to see her.
I’m usually up to speed with what new products Friars Farm has available, so it took me by surprise to see a new pate was available: their Apple & Black Cherry Pate which was super sugary sweet, but I loved it! I can’t wait to have this with blue cheese!
The Loving Chef
Natasha at The Loving Chef was present and she had baked up a storm! She had lots of vegan sweet and savoury treats in front of us, including a Chocolate & Cherry Cake,
She kindly let us try a slice of her Sweet Potato & Spinach Pie which was so moist, sweet and full of sweet potato and nutty flavour from the crunchy crust! I would very much like to know how to make this!
She has a variety of vegan workshops and masterclasses coming up, including vegan chocolate making evening and raw sushi evening that will make your soul feel good!
I came across the most gorgeous display of handmade hanging macrame’s, macrame plant hangers, keyrings and all sorts.
I was so glad to hear they were a local Northampton business of which you can also purchase from Etsy. I was really tempted to get a few of the yellow heart macrame’s for our bedroom!
Shires Country Kitchen
It’s always good to bump into Godfrey when he exhibits with his business, Shires Country Kitchen. He has been cooking for a long time and now makes homemade hummus, dips and pestos of all sorts of different varieties.
At the Vegan Market, he had a Beetroot, Celeriac and Parsnip hummus (not all together!) plus, his Chocolate Hummus was out for tasters, which we purchased back last year and loved it – don’t say no until you tried it!
AT LAST! I finally tried some of Flo’s Kitchen yummy bakes!
Flo’s Kitchen makes 100% vegan and sweet and savoury baked goods in Northampton, which is perfect for those who are vegan, but also for people like me, who want to make the small changes and eat things with no dairy.
We couldn’t help but pick up a White Chocolate Blondie which had hints of raspberry inside which was really moist and sweet – but I also couldn’t keep my eyes off their Lotus Biscoff bakes (Lisa Scott, if you’re reading, this is a bit of you!)
She takes orders via email and Facebook but you can also browse her Instagram for pure vegan foodie indulgence!
The Earth Shop
This shop brought so much joy to my life when I came across it – it was just such a shame (for me) that it was so busy as I hardly got a proper look in!
However, what I did see was all the stunning and useful eco-friendly gifts and items available such as handmade soap, wooden toothbrushes, makeup, skincare and some really cute gift ideas for home and garden that are all vegan and cruelty-free!
I checked out their website and I love the look of it – even if you don’t get to properly look at the stalls themselves, you do go away with some inspiration that makes you go looking for them!
Mums Made With Love
We love homemade curry at home, especially when Mums Made With Love curry sauce is involved!
I’ve mentioned my love for their Mild Curry Sauce, but we were kindly given a Medium Curry to enjoy as we love a bit of spice, but had never tried this one.
It was good to chat and see what they’ve been up to, as we hadn’t seen them since the Northampton Winter Food Festival.
If you’re looking for authentic, gluten-free, vegan and suitable for coeliac diets, Mums is for you!
Jelley’s Organic Vodka
I think this was actually the first time I met Benjamin Jelley, one of the founders of Jelley’s Organic Vodka properly.
But his display was eye-catching and though I am not a typical straight vodka drinker or with a tonic/fizzy drink of choice, I was intrigued by their menu of hot organic vodka cocktails Jelley was cooking up – especially the Elderflower Collins, which I got a cup of.
As predicted, it was sweet, hot and had the subtle hint of vodka taste – right up my street! I would have that at home.
They have been doing lots of work with James at Burnt Lemon Catering, including Supper Clubs which are often Market Harborough way, so I hope they will be doing one closer to home soon!
Check out their site here.
Nature’s Finest Juices
This isn’t a Northampton based brand, but it’s well worth a mention as we ended up purchasing from them.
Nature’s Finest Juices is a Wolverhampton based brand who pride themselves on sourcing and producing the best quality juices, using all natural ingredients, sweetened with Agave Nectar and with a key ingredient: Ginger!
There were a variety of flavours that are made to detoxify the body, but still taste good.
We purchased two bottles of the Sorrell & Ginger, which if you’re not a fan of Ginger, didn’t have too strong of a flavour, but was more subtle and the sorrel tangy flavour comes through more.
The two people who were manning the stand were really friendly and confident and were more than happy to give us tasters of all the flavours they had available.
The Indian Orchard
One of the last stalls we stopped to have a look at was The Indian Orchard, which was a new one I had come across.
Josh and I LOVE nothing more than making homemade curry sauces, but we are always looking to try different local producers who can make good side dipping sauces to compliment.
We love a Mango Chutney, which was one of the tasters available from The Indian Orchard on the day, but when we came across their Apple Chutney – complete game changer!
I will certainly keep an eye out for them and hope to stumble across them another time, as I definitely regret not bringing home a tub of Apple Chutney!
Speaking to one of the PR ladies, Kate, at Abington Park Museum, they have a whole host of food markets coming up including the seasonal Spring, Summer, Autumn and Christmas ones and the next Vegan market will be next year at a similar time.
Whether you are looking for something to do on a Saturday or Sunday, or you’re after some local food inspiration, heading to a food market is a great way to support your locals.
I also did a cheeky IGTV video where I did a food haul on some of the items I purchased, so if you fancy having a watch, it’s only under 5 minutes!