Visiting The Allergy & Free-From Show

Every year The Allergy & Free From Show exhibit at the London Olympia in Kensington. I’d been once before a couple of years back, but thought I’d give it another go this year! Tickets are free and as well as the  Allergy and Free From show, you also get access to the Just V Show (vegetarian and vegan) and Love Natural Love You (natural lifestyle and skincare) areas.

Once we got into the show we picked up our lanyards. This year the show organisers have arranged it so everyone who has bought a ticket gets a lanyard with a barcode and their name on it. Then if you’re interested in finding out more about a brand at any booth, they just scan your barcode and the show organisers will pass on your details to them. I’m sure this is a GDPR move, but it seemed very simple and effective!

The first booth I noticed was Haymax. I worked with them a little while ago, letting you all know about their fantastic natural hay fever remedies! It was great to see them there.

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By the time we had arrived, we were both pretty hungry so my focus was on finding something dairy-free to eat.

We tried a few samples on our way through the booths.

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At Portabello Attic I tried I sample of their vegan Nutty Nutella cheesecake. It was really amazing. Gooey and buttery tasting, but lovely knowing it was totally vegan.

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Then we spotted The White Rabbit Pizza Co who offered some vegan options. I love vegan pizza because the ingredients are usually more exciting than with standard pizza.

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Gary tried this pizza which is due to come out soon, and is on a brand new base style. He said it was amazing!

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I tried this vegan option and it was truly delicious. So flavourful and really yummy!

I have already looked and you can buy this brand in my local Sainsbury’s and Waitrose. I’ll be heading there soon to pick one up!

By this point I knew I needed something proper to eat, rather than samples. The only issue with this show, is that unless you want to fill up on samples (which won’t be suitable for every dietary need) or buy something from the standard permanent and over-priced cafes that line the Olympia (which don’t offer anything dairy free) then you’re pretty much stumped for food. There was a lovely looking vegetarian stand with salads and quiche but nothing suitable for me. But then we stumbled over Mahi Vegan Street Food.

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I decided to go for the Mac N’Dawg and Gary got the V-Dawg, both seitan hotdogs with toppings. Gary’s had crispy onions, chopped pickles, mustard and ketchup. Mine had mac n’cheese, chives, crispy onions and ketchup (it was meant to have sriracha but I’m a wuss!) The staff were so nice, and really efficient.

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Neither of us had has seitan before, but we both thoroughly enjoyed our hotdogs. So, So tasty and just what I needed!

But of course after you’ve had your hotdog, you need ice cream right? So off I trotted to Booja-Booja, a brand I’ve known for years but only recently tried their ice creams. The staff were so lovely, and served their deserts from a cute converted Tuk Tuk!

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I went for a scoop of caramel pecan praline, and it was divine!

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Despite it being a warm and busy show, I really enjoyed seeing what was on offer this time around. It’s so good seeing so much being offered generally for people with allergies, intolerances and alternative dietary choices.

Anyway, now I’m off to dream about that hotdog…..

Allergy Food Show & Going Back In Time (Again!)

This past weekend Gary and I headed into London for a packed day.

Firstly we headed to the Kensington Olympia for the UK Allergy Show, a food show dedicated to free-from foods and food allergies. The place was packed and rammed with stalls. We had a really good look around and I was pleased to see some brands I already knew about: Everything But The Cow, Bounce, CoYo and Dream. I had a few free samples, but we got hungry pretty quickly and went in search of food. Despite seeing a few people with tubs of fresh food and carrying pizza boxes walking around, we struggled to find anywhere to actually eat a decent lunch. We ended up going to the specially set up Free From Cafe where we spent over the odds for not much food – at least I could guarantee mine was dairy free!

We left the Olympia and headed to White City for a mooch around the shops, before we made a visit to Five Guys for an early dinner and an awesome burger. Their burgers never fail to impress (I’m over the moon that their about to open one in Milton Keynes!).

We then took the tube and a leisurely walk to the Royal Albert Hall where we had tickets to see Back to The Future Live. If you’ve read my blog for a while you’ll know that last year we went to a few BTTF events including the amazing Secret Cinema. This year being the 30th anniversary we had some more fun events to attend! Back to The Future was being shown with the score played by a live orchestra. We saw Pixar Live and Brief Encounter in this way last year, and couldn’t wait to see Back to The Future.

IMG_3257We sat opposite the Hall in the sun for a bit and then headed over to the front of the building where people were crowded around a Delorean. You could have your photo taken inside it for a fiver, but we decided to just stick with snaps from around it!

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And then we went inside. We’ve found some seats that we like to book every time we go to the Albert Hall, lots of room in front of our seats and a great view of the stage.

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The orchestra started by playing the main theme before the movie started. The first half of the movie was screened, with a few additional score pieces played over scenes that didn’t originally have score (these were written by Alan Silvestri, who scored the movie), and then there was intermission. Everyone was really enjoying the movie and you could tell the hall was filled with hardcore fans, with laughter and clapping in all the relevant places.

The second half was started with the orchestra playing the main theme from BTTF3 (set in the wild west), to everyone’s delight. And then the rest of the movie began.

It was a really enjoyable evening, though I was dog tired by the end and attractively fell asleep on the train on the way home with my mouth hanging open…. Gary has photographic evidence. I’m sure he’d show you if you asked….

Back to The Future is one of those films you can watch again and again, which is handy because I’ve probably seen it more than any other film now! And we get to experience it again, in part, mid July when we visit London Comic Con and attend a BTTF talk with Michael J Fox and other cast from the first movie. I can’t wait!