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.


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.


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.


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.



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


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.


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.


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!


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


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…..

Chilling Out and Beach Time

On Wednesday we decided we needed to chill out a bit since we’d been so busy! We slept in late, got up slowly and generally lazed about! We visited Gary’s parents and then went off to a lovely internet cafe I love. I had some iced coffee and carrot cake and we watched the people walking by. I also finished watching Veronica Mars. What a show! I was surprised at the final episode as it didn’t seem like any kind of finale but really enjoyed the movie. Well done Kickstarter backers! I’m now in a kind of miserable withdrawal that there’s no more. Hopefully there’ll be more movies!


On Thursday Gary surprised me by telling me we would be driving to Southend-On-Sea. We headed off and enjoyed the drive, listening to the radio and hearing about all the people arriving at Glastonbury Festival. I got my usually Glasto jealousy!

We walked along the beach and had a look around the fun fair which looked like a lot of fun! I’d love to try some of the rides out when it’s a bit warmer and a bit busier. Lunch at a lovely Bistro restaurant was followed by ice creams on the beach and then we went to have a looked around the Sealife Centre. Gary bought me a windmill which made me very happy!


We made our journey home with a detour to Bluewater for a look around the shops where I snagged some bargains in the Boux Avenue sale (I own a bikini now – crazy shiz!) and dinner at TGI Friday’s. It was a wonderful day full of sun, sea, sand and shopping!

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Fun Rides and Roller Coasters

I have to say after the day I had running and walking on Tuesday, that on Wednesday I was a tad achy, but already knew that Wednesday and Thursday would be my rest days because I had a lot planned.

My Sister in Law, Nicky, picked me up and we headed off for our road trip to….. Thorpe Park!! Until last year I was a theme park virgin. I was kind of spoiled because my first theme park was Disneyland Paris. Nicky told me Thorpe Park was nothing like Disney but she hoped it would still be good. Since I got the rollercoaster bug last year I was eager to try out some more. The road trip was great, tunes and chats and we arrived at the park singing I Believe in a Thing Called Love by The Darkness at the top of our lungs.

The day was overcast and we had gone midweek so we knew it wouldn’t be busy. There were few lines for any ride. We headed straight for the newest ride Swarm. It’s based around the idea of some disaster or plane crash and you wait inside what’s built to look like a derelict church with an upside down and crashed major incident unit van in it. They play fake news reports about the disaster and I think it implies some kind of alien invasion. It’s an amazing ride. Your legs hang down and you fly through the wreckage, over a crashed helicopter and through a small hole in a billboard. It’s epic!


Next we moved onto Stealth which takes you from 0 to 80 mph in 2.3 seconds. It kicks off so fast that it literally takes your breath away and you only breathe again seconds later because you’re screaming! Great ride – we went on it twice in one go because the queues weren’t long.

We got some lunch (a light lunch of noodles – I didn’t want to ride on a full stomach!) and headed for Saw. I’d heard the entrance to the ride was pretty scary and I don’t like the Saw movies at all but I know the premise so I was a little nervous. We put our bags in some lockers and headed on. There were no line so we walked straight around the queue system – a few bangs and flashes to make you jump but nothing scary. On the ride we were at the front of a four seater car. You go through a tunnel and Billy the doll rides out on a scooter to tell you you’re locked in a metal box and it’s your choice to live or die. He then says ‘This is what it’s like when you die’. Then everything goes dark and the ride starts in the pitch black! You fly fast in the dark until some light appears and you see a twist ahead. As you turn upside down there’s a mannequin cut in half screaming – it’s very fake so not too unpleasant. You carry on straight to a stop, where there are two screens. Billy tells you ‘Let the Games Begin’ and in front of you is a totally vertical track. You’re basically lying down as you go up – and you know at the top you have to come down – via another 90 degree drop! It’s insane. As you fly down there are huge circular saws in front of you. Then it’s the regular twists and turns and screams.  It was so awesome we did that one again straight after too!


From there we sought out Nemesis Inferno, which was another ‘brace yourself’ ride. It was very fun. Next was Colossus. From the map I’d seen that this ride has some twisty bits which seemed to go on forever. I’ve got a little issue with too much repetitive movement – makes me feel über queasy, so I was a little apprehensive. The ride was really fun, but three twists one after the other was enough for me. They did put in a last twist which went the other way to help me ‘unwind’ my brain, but still I didn’t really fancy going on it again – time was running out and we wanted to get another go on the first three rides!

We headed back to Saw, then Swarm and then Stealth for another go. In the end we had 11 coaster rides. It was epic. Also while I was there I got a call about a job I really really want and I have an interview next week. It made the day even better!!


Tired and achy but really happy we drove home to some more tunes.

Today we headed to London for the day! The weather was drizzly but we managed to see everything we wanted to and get some yummy lunch in Covent Garden and have a good chat. We visited the Moomin shop (of course) and I took Nicky for her first Gelupo ice cream. I tried the Ricotta and Sour Cherry flavour which was amazing! Gary has since reminded me they do Earl Grey flavour which I’ve missed on the menu both times so I will just have to go back! We also got to try some yummy tea in Whittard and I stocked up on my lemon black tea so I can start using my cold brew iced tea jug again! Totally knackered by this point we decided to call it a day and get on the train home.

I was worried that with two rest days together I might lose my mojo but I’m ready for my run tomorrow! By the way, you guys should also check out Ari’s blog at The Pace of it All and give her some support. She’s running a 5k today after a long day at work AND she’s got an awesome giveaway happening at the moment!

Only one day of my holiday left and I intend to make it count. I’m actually looking forward to getting back to work too! Life’s boring when you’re lazy, so fill it with fun stuff! Thank god my job is fun as well as hard work!

(Don’t forget, if you like my blog you can now ‘Like’ it on FB!)

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Run for It!

The weather is on the turn for the better and so when Gary and I had today off together we decided to hot foot it to London to soak in the atmosphere and cheer on the London Marathon runners.

We decided to stop at the Embankment 25 mile checkpoint, because we would get there in time to see the Men’s Elite group run through. The weather was sunny but with a cool breeze. We found a great spot where we could see the runners come by and in the end spent a few hours there cheering as they went past. It was fantastic giving the runners a push on with some encouragement and cheers.

Runners going past Big Ben, Lining the streets, Ice Cream at Gelupo
Runners going past Big Ben, Lining the streets, Ice Cream at Gelupo

Before we knew it, it was 2pm, we’d been there a long while and we had to eat so we begrudgingly got the tube to Hyde Park and went for lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe. I decided to have their ribs – delish! Then we headed to Leicester Square. We were amazed by the number of marathon runners, still wearing their medals but walking around and sight-seeing or shopping as if they hadn’t just run 26 miles!

We walked to Gelupo Gelato in Soho. I mentioned them in a blog once before when I tried their ricotta, coffee and honey gelato, so I couldn’t wait to see what they had this time. Gary went for a scoop of blood orange flavour. I went for kiwi, gin and elderflower. It was amazing! Really refreshing but cream, full of flavour and very satisfying.

It was a fantastic day. I must say I’ve been really inspired by the marathon today. The runners were all wearing black ribbons in memory of Boston, there was such an atmosphere amongst the crowd giving support for the runners, and the weather was just right for the runners. We’ll definitely go back next year. I’ve even been inspired to put running the London Marathon onto my bucket list. It’s really something I’d love to do in the next few years. I’d better get my running shoes on….. anyone wanna do it with me?

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