Brigton Street Art

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A couple of weeks ago, I was supposed to go to a vegan festival that was sadly cancelled. So, myself and two friends who were also supposed to be at the festival decided to camp in Hassocks for a few days. Just 2 short stops on the train from Brighton, it’s the perfect place to stay in the summer months if you want to visit the city considered by many to be the vegan capital of Britain. I’ve been to Brighton quite a few times, and it’s never somewhere I tire of visiting. Every time I go there, I find some cool new vegan cafe, or quirky little shop like nothing else I’ve seen. Highlights on this trip included one of the tastiest vegan and gluten free burgers I’ve ever eaten at Green Kitchen, and trying incredible teas at Bird & Blend. My two friends had never been to Brighton before, so it was also cool to see things through their eyes as a vegan visiting for the first time. I’ve blogged about Brighton before, so I’m not going to go on about it today. One thing I did want to share with you, though, is my new photos of the street art in Brighton. While there are old classics that have remained for years, there is also new work constantly appearing on walls, shop fronts, in fact pretty much anywhere you can get a spray can or a paint brush to. I also noticed that one of the streets I photographed last time is now being built over. I guess that’s a sign that things develop and move on. The builders, though, haven’t painted over the art on the surrounding walls, they’ve simply built another wall in front of them. I’d like to think that, in many years to come when that area is developed and rebuilt once again, someone will be pleasantly surprised to uncover original street art from the early 21st century.

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The Street Art of Brighton

During my recent trip to Brighton, I could not help but be distracted by the abundant and amazing street art all over the place. The main purpose of my trip was to visit Vegfest, but as soon as I ventured into the Lanes and North Laines in search of vegetarian restaurants and awesome clothes shops, I was surrounded by colour and imagination. My camera was virtually clicking away by itself. I’d spot a piece of street art, walk over to check it out, and then see another piece on yet another side street that I hadn’t noticed before. Before I knew it, I was three or four streets away from where I had intended and an hour behind schedule. I got some great photos, though, and I just had to share them with you.

Vegfest Brighton 2015

Brighton is one of my favourite places that I’ve ever visited. Known for being a lively, gay-friendly beach resort on the south coast of England, it’s also like the mothership for vegetarians and vegans. I would move there, but the huge selection of vegetarian restaurants and shops would lead me to eat too much and be in a lot of debt. However, I need no excuse to visit Brighton. So, when I found out that I was free the weekend of Brighton Vegfest 2015, I immediately booked my train ticket. And, the two day extravaganza of everything vegan you could ever imagine all under one roof did not disappoint.

Due to it’s location on the south coast, Brighton is usually one of the few places in the UK to get some sunshine. Unfortunately, that was not the case on this visit. This was the ‘sea view’ from outside my hostel on the Saturday morning…

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That blurry, vague shape that you can see in the background is Brighton Pier by the way! Booking a hostel right on the sea front also suddenly didn’t seem like such a good idea when I had to traverse along the edge of the building to get anywhere due to the incredibly strong winds. Lucky for me, and the other 12,000 people who attended, Vegfest was entirely indoors. My one piece of advise would be to get there early, or chill out in Brighton for a while and wait for the queue to go down as it was very long…

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DSC_0107When we did eventually all make it inside, it was definitely worth the wait. Hundreds of stalls advertising, selling and advocating everything from the world of veganism. Loads of charities and other great causes spreading the word about how we can save the world by living plant-based/vegan. A comedy festival with back-to-back vegan comedians for the whole two days. Two rooms with back-to-back presentations about lifestyle and nutrition. An entire room of fresh, tasty, vegan food. Performances, kids’ activities, vegan wine and a pedal-your-own smoothie station. Basically, heaven for vegans all under one roof. Here are my highlights from the weekend.

By far the best thing about visiting Vegfest was all the lovely, interesting and knowledgeable people I got to meet. Where I live in South Wales, we are lucky to have vegetarian restaurants and I live in a vegan-friendly neighbourhood, but I don’t often get the chance to mingle with so many people who have the same beliefs as me. I pestered nutritionists, charity workers, activists, chefs and many other experts with soooooo many questions. And they all patiently listened to me, answered what they’d probably already been asked a hundred times and expanded my knowledge.

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There were so many talks and presentations, it was impossible to attend all the ones that I was interested in. So, I decided to divide my time between subjects that I already had some knowledge of and subjects that would push me out of my comfort zone, surprise me and help me to move closer to living completely vegan and be more environmentally conscious. As a result, I listened to experts on children’s nutrition, vegan body building, hunt sabotage, eating raw and the Vegan Society.

After all the listening, asking questions and shopping (lots and lots of shopping), the food court beckoned. There was so much delicious food to choose from, but it was so busy in the Brighton Centre that the queues were massive and lots of vendors quickly ran out of food. In fact, that would be my one criticism of Brighton Vegfest in general. From listening to people who had attended n previous years, this year’s festival was a lot bigger and a lot busier. It was overwhelming, especially on the Saturday.

Whilst in Brighton, I also found some time to visit the North Laines. This is my favourite part of Brighton, and I filled up on some yummy food at vegetarian restaurants Wai Kiki Moo Kau and Iydea.

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I would definitely love to go back to Brighton Vegfest next year, by which time I’m sure I’ll have a hundred more questions. I’m also seriously considering dropping into Bristol Vegfest to see some of the talks I missed.