The thing with Free From fairs is you can get so much often for a lot cheaper than supermarkets, we hadn't even made it into the main event when this fact proved itself, after taking our tickets a kind gent pointed us to a corner where there was "free chocolate sauce", thinking it was samples we went and looked to find that it was actually full bottles of choc shot that was being given out, an item that in the supermarkets costs £3.50 a bottle, so naturally we had a bottle each and then grabbed a free bag containing vouchers, recipes and a couple of free samples as we headed through the doors.
The smaller free from fairs usually hold 20-30 stalls, but this event being the second biggest in the UK (the biggest being it's sister event, The Allergy and Free From Show in London) has over 100 stalls, some of which were only small, but others resembled small shops. This wasn't our first time at this event so we knew the crowds would be bad and we weren't wrong, countless Coeliacs were pushing there way through, sampling everything they could on the way.
From there we went round to Newburn Bakehouse, again a big stall with so much pushing but we fought our way though and sampled some of their artisan bread which was very nice indeed, heading to the shelves we picked up a loaf of that for £3 and a few of their muffins at £1.
We usually bring lunch out with us but this time we decided to buy something from there, the cafe that was set up in the corner was a little expensive for our liking changing £2 for water we didn't even bother looking at the prices for anything else, instead we bought pies and cake from Betterlife Bakery, 2 pies, 2 sausage rolls, rocky road and millionaires shortbread cost us £10, which we put in bags for later on (we finally got to eat them on the way home and they were delicious!).
Next stop was various small stalls, some of which were selling a mix of products from various manufacturers, then we went round the edge were there were lots of small things from people advertising apps, mops with a seriously
From the edge we went back into the centre trying chia seed butter spread which was an alternative to peanut butter, I liked it but can't say the same for my Mum who near enough spat it on the floor. I honestly thought it was nice though, would have been a great alternative to peanut butter, they also sold veg based granolas which were low in sugar.
Heading to Nairns they had their usual fab offer of of 5 items for £5, the only thing they were limiting was the cereal to 2 packs a person, otherwise you could have 5 of everything if you wanted. I opted for their amazing ginger biscuits, choc chip biscuits and salt and pepper crackers which I can only get in Waitrose and I don't go in there often. For £5 I felt like I had grabbed a right bargain. BFree was up next were we grabbed a Fajita kit for £3 (which costs £5 in Tesco), a pack of pitta breads and some of there new quinoa and chia wraps for £5, the kind lady also threw in an extra pack of pittas for free.
At Delicious Alchemy's stall we were stopped by Emma who recognised the logo on our t-shirt (we should hope so they have provided us some fab prizes from competitions in the past!) and we had a quick chat before purchasing some of their amazing mixes at 3 for £5, as Emma got inundated with more hungry coeliacs we took off to Feel Free where Claire came over and introduced herself when she saw us approach,
By this point we were getting tired but knew we had missed some, so heading to the bit we knew we had missed we found Natures Store and their awesome rice cakes and seeing signs for their new Vienesse Whirls I also ended up buying some of them along with my stock of rice cakes, then headed to Angelic, some of the best biscuits going but so hard to find, I usually have to go to smaller health shops to find them, as we talked out that the chap behind the counter said they are currently in talks with supermarkets about getting them on the shelves there so I will be keeping an eye out for them! We left there with 3 boxes of biscuits costing £6.
Finally satisfied we had seen everything (after nosing at a Chinese Vegan stall) we decided it was time to go, after 2 hours of nosing around I was exhausted (not that that takes much with me!), heading back to the car in the pouring down rain, hands aching from all the bags, we were quite happy with the haul we had got and I was glad that this year I decided to go in the car rather than the train as I had just as much as I did last year and getting it all on the train was a nightmare.
When we got home I added up all we had bought, we spent just shy of £50 for £70-£80 of products, most of which could be frozen for future use. I always enjoy the show, there is so much stuff to try, products you never see anywhere, and it is always nice to try new products and sample what else is on the market that isn't in supermarkets, what's more the money you can save at these events in amazing. Rest assured we will be back next year!
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