We visited the biggest Allergy Show in Europe for the first time, this is our low down on our first to this amazing three day free from show which happens every July.
Last weekend was the fabulous Allergy show at Olympia in London and for the first time we managed to get down there, albeit only for the day and with that day being Sunday we missed out on a lot of the stuff, there was so many stalls sold out.
However despite it's busy-ness and stalls being cleared out we still had a wonderful time. We usually visit the one in Liverpool to wander round every year and I have always wanted to go to Olympia knowing it is a lot bigger but never had the chance as it is a long drive for us. This year though we were contacted by them with the chance to exhibit our language cards and wristbands but unfortunately we weren't in the position to be able to do that (hopefully next year!) so instead we decided to go down for the day (or more like afternoon by the time we got there after our three hour drive!).
Tesco Free From exhibit
If you are familiar with Liverpool Allergy Show then think at least 4 or 5 times bigger than that with hundreds of exhibitors doing all sorts from stalls doing back massages to vegetarian and vegan to everything you can imagine gluten free.
One stall was offering gluten free fish and chips with a free pack of batter (they had finished by the time we got there though),the kitchen was offering lots of gluten free choices and so many demonstrations going on from different exhibitors
Honestly we didn't get chance to get round it all, there was so much to get round, I was exhausted and despite being 3pm on a the last day it was still absolutely packed with people. We did get a chance to see a fair bit though, even if I didn't visit every stall. Here are a few of the highlights of the show!
Schar's gluten free bus at the allergy show
Schar had a bus just inside the entrance and were giving out some fab testers including viennese whirls. Like most stalls there wasn't a lot left by the time we reached them but there was still a queue, everything of theirs was proving very popular however, and the Schar bus in the middle of the great hall was a sight to behold, they certainly stood out that was for sure!Koko Dairy Free
These days I can tolerate some dairy however I do still love my alternative milks, a favourite milk of fine is always the strawberry koko milk, I love it. I did manage to sneak a sample from the stand but that was all I managed to get my paws on the, the fridges were rather bare after 3 days of taking a beating, even at Liverpool last year I struggled getting my favourite as their stall gets hammered, but if you have tried their milks you will know why, some of the best dairy alternative out there!Angels and Cookies
Angels and Cookies are a new favourite of mine with their allergy free cookie dough. I have done a few recipes using their cookie dough
recently and went in search of more. The cookie dough isn't cheap but it is so good. I managed to snag the last choc chip cookie dough of the day and they only had a few of the rest left after selling out of stock each day of the event, they certainly proved very popular. It was great to talk to them too after dealing with them online a few times.Nutri Brex
Finally getting to try their new granola was something of a novelty, I have been looking for it in vain for a while but nowhere seemed to have it local to me, so I was glad to see it at the show along with their Weetabix gluten free alternative. The granola is great but more of a porridge than a granola (granola to me is in clumps, not plain oats with added nuts as this appears) but I still grabbed a pack of each and have been enjoying it for breakfast the last few days!Pure Bred
Pure Bred have some of the nicest bread around, I didn't actually buy any from the fair since I still have some at home that I got in Sainsbury's, but it was nice to see a variety including their snowballs, which are cakes covered in jam and coconut which are amazing, plus they had other cakes and biscuits available which are hard to get, they had a nice offer running to, buy any item and get a pack of their baps free.Prewetts
I love Prewetts biscuits so at £1 a pack I had to grab some, though by the time I got home my chocolate digestives had completely melted and stuck to each other so I ended up with a giant digestive sandwich. However, their digestives taste just like proper digestives, even my none Coeliac fiance said they were like normal digestives, he said he even had to look at the box to make sure they were actually gluten free! They truly are the best digestives, grab some when you see them if you miss proper digestive biscuits!Free From Fairy
I loved seeing Free From Fairy, it might have been one of the smaller stores but it is one of the best flours around and they can give any of the bigger brands a run for their money. I was already stocked up from a local Free From shop so didn't buy any and they were super busy with customers when I passed, if you love to bake their flour is worth a try, you won't regret it.
View over the allergy show
I have been wanting to try this for a while because I miss Ovaltine, but despite being labelled gluten free I was a bit sceptical, it is made with barley and rye. After a chat with the people on the stall though and knowing Coeliac UK have also approved it, it is actually 100% safe for Coeliacs, the gluten is removed during processing, a bit like with barley malt vinegar. So I took the plunge and tried it while I was there and it was really lovely and no reaction! So I bought some of course, great alternative to Horlicks and Ovaltine but has a coffee kind of taste despite not containing coffee (it is naturally caffeine free too so a good alternative to coffee).Smooze
I'd never heard of these until a week or two ago and when I saw them at the fair I decided I had to try them. Well to be honest there was so many people pushing and shoving toward the stand I bought blind and went straight in for a mixed pack of 24 items at just £7. They are a bit like Jubbly lollies, the ones that come defrosted and you just freeze them up at home, but these are made with coconut and fruit, the mixed pack contains pure coconut, mango coconut, pineapple coconut and pink guava coconut. I froze them up when I got home and can honestly say they are beautiful and I am now trying to find where I can get a mixed pack without signing up to Costco, certain ones are available in Sainsbury's but only one or two flavours. Certainly one of my favourite finds at the fair though!
Until next year where we will hopefully go down on a day and time when everything hasn't pretty much gone on a lot of the stalls (if we are not exhibiting (we can hope!)),if you get the chance make sure you visit, it is a great day out with lots going on and lots of bargains and offers to be had!