Review of Free From Festival London 2017

The Free From Festival London is the UK’s first gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar free food festival. It is a successful food festival which incorporates free from food and live music and makes for an enjoyable day out. The latest Free From Festival was based at Old Spitalfields Market London. It had a large array of dairy free, gluten free, paleo and vegan foods to try, with the odd tea company thrown in for luck. I have been very lucky to attend the previous festivals in my official capacity as a food and tea blogger. So when I was asked if I would like to have press tickets I of course graciously accepted. It was an amazing day out and I had the opportunity to try a range of fantastic foods and tea. So here is a snap shot of my day at the food festival.

What immediately struck me as I arrived was the size of the festival and how it had grown. I had to wait in a queue to get in. In fact the festival had proved to be that successful that it was old out and people were being turned away. I showed my press pass got my goody bag and tried to plan my day. At this stage I to confess to still being a state of surprise as too much it had expanded. So I took it all in did a bit of people watching and listened to the fab entertainment that was on offer. Here’s a snapshot of what I saw during the day.

My first stop was Eat Safe app to see Matt and his girlfriend. She is soya intolerant and has found this to be highly restrictive when eating out. So Matt helped devise the Eat Safe app as part of his masters degree. It is in its beta testing stages and will hopefully be available for all to try later this year. I’m sure that this app will prove to be very successful.

Onto the food. I love my mid morning snack it is part of my everyday routine. I popped along to The Protein Ball Company. Their snacks were created because the struggled to find clean healthy protein snacks. They are made from dates and cashews with a few extras thrown in. All of their flavours are gluten free and sugar free but only two are vegan. I tried the lemon and pistachio. The balls themselves were slightly firmer in texture when comparing them to similar snacks. On my close up sniff test they certainly had that familiar smell that I associate with this style of snack. I could smell the subtleness of the lemon and pistachio. On biting into the ball I liked the texture, it was initially slightly firmer than similar snacks that I have tried followed by a soft slightly gooey texture. As for the flavour the lemon was apparent but not to overpowering it worked well with the pistachio. I really enjoyed these snack balls, they make a nice change from a snack bar. It also encouraged me to make my own when energy balls

One thing I like to enjoy is fresh bread. I discovered Manna Vida. They had a variety of breads to sample all were gluten and dairy free. I sampled both their herb focaccia and their garlic & rosemary focaccia. I was suitably impressed it passed my sniff test. It smelt like a freshly cooked focaccia and the subtleness of the herbs was spot on. As for the garlic one the garlicky aroma was certainly present but intermingled nicely with the rosemary and was not to overpowering. The bread was light and springy and airy in texture. It was like eating a regular nice regular focaccia. I have to say it is one of the nicest free from breads that I have tried and I’m a tough critic. I just had to buy a packet of their earl grey & lemon bread to take home and try.

Continuing on the bread theme I have to confess to not liking any vegan spreads to date, I just don’t like the aroma or flavour. I often use mayonnaise instead or olive oil and balsamic vinegar as a dip for fresh bread. I was intrigued when I came across Pepo Papa pumpkin seed oil from Hun Foods I tried both the rustic and refined oil and preferred the rustic version. I dipped some plain bread in it and was pleasantly surprised. It was like my balsamic vinegar and oil dip but much nicer. It had a slightly nutty flavour and was smooth in texture. I was sold and treated myself to a bottle, this will become my new accompaniment to my fresh bread. I am looking forward to drizzling it over the recommended salad.

Of course I had to seek out the tea stalls. My new tea discovery this year was Macha Now. It’s a tea company that set up in the UK this year but has been trading in America for a while. It’s made from ceremonial grade matcha. The tea comes in a plastic bottle so its easy to have on the go. In the cap you have the matcha which you twist and this adds it to the water, you give it a shake resulting in a dark green drink. Of course I just had to sniff and taste this tea. It smelt like a regular green tea aka a grassy meadow but a lot more intense in aroma. On sipping it that grassiness hit my taste buds. I would describe as strong good quality cold green tea. It had a slight punch to it whilst being nice and refreshing at the same time.

Before leaving I opted over to see the guys at LEGGERO a gluten free Italian kitchen based in London. They were selling their freshly made pasta. Sadly, I couldn’t take any as I wasn’t heading home to late that day. I do hope to pop into their restaurant in the near future as I was gutted to not be able to make their launch earlier this year.

I had another fantastic day at the Free From Food Festival and would recommend it to everyone. So thank you Free From Events for my press tickets I really appreciate it. I can’t wait for the next food festival.


  1. June 6, 2017 / 9:01 am

    What a fab event – I bet you discovered loads of new yummy treats! Thanks for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

    • pinkiebag
      June 7, 2017 / 6:13 pm

      It was a fab day out with too much food to try ?

  2. June 6, 2017 / 9:27 am

    Sounds like you had an amazing time! The food certainly all sounds delicious.
    I’d love to see you do a full review of matcha tea in the future, I really trust your tea reviews.
    Cora ❤

    • pinkiebag
      June 7, 2017 / 6:55 pm

      Hi, it was an amazing day. Lots of vegan choices. Thank you for your kind comment about my tea reviews. You should try the matcha tea.

    • pinkiebag
      June 7, 2017 / 7:38 pm

      It was an amazing day and lots of vegan food to try. Thank you for your kind comment about the tea. You should try this matcha tea.

  3. June 7, 2017 / 9:51 pm

    It was a great event wasn’t it? I was utterly pants at spying anyone from the blogging world but in my defense I did have Beth with me so was in.protective mummy mode! I wished I had more pennies at my disposal there were so many products I’d never heard of…did scoop a couple of goodies though, dictated to by Beth so I must crack on.and try them out, no doubt I’ll blog about them when I do x

  4. June 7, 2017 / 10:07 pm

    This sounds fantastic and as a coeliac I must go next year. Wish I’d known about it this year. Imagine a whole festival of not having to question if food is gluten free or not, bliss! #brillblogposts

    • pinkiebag
      June 9, 2017 / 7:43 pm

      Such. Shame you missed it. Have you been to the Allergy Show? You would love It’s in London in July and it’s free.

  5. MyCityMyLondon
    June 8, 2017 / 12:27 pm

    It was a great event wasnt it! the food was too good!!

    • pinkiebag
      June 9, 2017 / 7:44 pm

      It sure was. I can’t wait until next years ?.

  6. June 8, 2017 / 4:19 pm

    So surprised we didn’t know about this festival! Sounds great, wish we could have attended too! Glad you enjoyed yourself!

    Jessica & James |

    • pinkiebag
      June 9, 2017 / 7:46 pm

      It’s amazing and well worth a visit. I’ve been soo lucky to attend a few now. I’m looking forward to the next one.

  7. Charlotte
    June 8, 2017 / 4:28 pm

    So jealous, this event sounds fab! Manna Vida’s bread sounds amazing (especially the garlic one), and I’m glad to hear that it had an enjoyable texture, something I think a lot of ‘free-from’ breads can lack. I also love the sound of Matcha Now’s little invention, I love matcha and their bottle sounds like a fun way to enjoy some on the go! You’re so lucky to have gotten great tickets to such a fab event, and I’m glad to see your trademark sniff-test went with you!xx

    • pinkiebag
      June 9, 2017 / 7:47 pm

      Hi, I had an amazing time and had soo many fab samples. I can’t wait to make my earl grey tea loaf. My famous sniff test goes everywhere ?.

    • pinkiebag
      June 9, 2017 / 7:48 pm

      It’s an fantastic event that I love.

  8. June 8, 2017 / 5:31 pm

    What a fantastic event! I’m glad to hear it was sold out, and that apps and vendors that help people with dietary needs navigate the world are doing so well!

    Matcha is my absolute favorite at the moment!


    • pinkiebag
      June 9, 2017 / 7:49 pm

      It was indeed a fantastic event. I’m becoming a lover of matcha to.

  9. Abbeylouisarose
    June 8, 2017 / 6:26 pm

    Wow, I’m so impressed that there is a whole food festival dedicated to those with specific dietary needs, that’s a step in the right direction for inclusivity! Great to hear that you enjoyed your day!

    Abbey ❤

    • pinkiebag
      June 9, 2017 / 7:50 pm

      It sure is. I feel honoured to get the chance to attend ?.

  10. June 11, 2017 / 8:35 pm

    This is such a fantastic festival – I actually was gluten free for years right up til I was pregnant and now I seem to be able to tolerate a little. It’s brilliant that the market has changed so much over the past years for free from diets. Thanks for linking up to #dreamteam

    • pinkiebag
      June 11, 2017 / 8:44 pm

      Hi, it’s great isn’t it. I never thought I could eat soo much at a food festival let alone get easily available treats in the shops.

  11. June 12, 2017 / 7:37 am

    Excellent idea! This festival has sure been helpful for people living with dietary restrictions. I used to allergic to a lot of things when I was a kid so I’m sure my mom would have enjoyed this kind of event back then. 🙂

    • pinkiebag
      June 12, 2017 / 8:36 pm

      Hi, yes its great how the free from market has improved and offers so much choice now.

  12. Alice
    June 12, 2017 / 8:36 am

    Those cupcakes look incredible! Sounds like you had an amazing time and discovered some lovely new things to try.

    Alice | Dainty Alice

    • pinkiebag
      June 12, 2017 / 8:38 pm

      Hi, I sure did. I may have tried several cakes ?

  13. June 12, 2017 / 1:00 pm

    It’s hard to believe that a few years back “free from” food was so scarce it was practically non-existent! Now they have their own festival? Great news for all celiacs!
    Katja xxx

    • pinkiebag
      June 12, 2017 / 8:40 pm

      Hi, it sure is. Soo different from when i grew up.

  14. June 12, 2017 / 1:14 pm

    I love food fest or similar fests. This is the first time I came across such an interesting fest. Thanks for sharing.

    • pinkiebag
      June 12, 2017 / 8:40 pm

      Hi, its been around for a few years now but is growing in popularity. I love it.

  15. heidisplanner
    June 12, 2017 / 4:42 pm

    I would love to visit events like this! Can’t wait to see something like this in Finland. Maybe in a couple of years!

    Heidi ? | Heidi’s Planner | Instagram

    • pinkiebag
      June 12, 2017 / 8:42 pm

      Fingers crossed it makes it your way in the future.

  16. June 12, 2017 / 4:46 pm

    Sounds like a great day! I would like to try the matcha tea and the manna Vida bread!

    • pinkiebag
      June 12, 2017 / 8:43 pm

      I’m sure you would like them both. I need to get some of the Matcha tea for the warmer weather.

  17. Jasmin N
    June 12, 2017 / 8:52 pm

    Sounds like a fun event! & it also sounds like you had such a great time out there 🙂 thank you for sharing!

    • pinkiebag
      June 12, 2017 / 9:06 pm

      I certainly did.

  18. SofarsoSabine
    June 13, 2017 / 12:33 pm

    Great to see how much fun you had on this event!

    • pinkiebag
      June 13, 2017 / 8:55 pm

      I certainly did ?

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