Paisley Food and Drink Festival – A Vegan Guide

Recently I was invited on a press trip up to Scotland for Paisley Food and Drink Festival. Paisley is a town located a quick 15 minute drive from Glasgow. It’s history visible from its beautiful architecture and recognisable Paisley fabric design. The most striking of Paisley’s architectural legacy is the Paisley Abbey, acts as the centrepiece of the food and drink festival, which takes place in the grounds of the Abbey.

This year, Paisley Food and Drink festival had a large focus on vegetarian and vegan foods, so I was excited to see what they had on offer. The fourth annual festival proved a real hit with more than 10,000 people turning out to sample some of the best produce and street food from across Scotland over the two-day festival. A number of activities took place over the weekend including the Gin 71 bar, who hosted tasting sessions which proved very popular (I think I managed to sample 8 different gins in the end?), and live cooking demos from Masterchef’s Gary Maclean and Dirty Sanchez’s Matt Pritchard (AKA The Dirty Vegan).

Vegan Churros // Paisley Food and Drink Festival // roughmeasures.com

paisley-food-and-drink-festival
 Leigh and I with our Vegan Haggis

We managed to sample most of the vegan options (including some vegan ales from the CAMRA Real Ale Bar), during the day, with my favourites being:

There were plenty more options which we unfortunately didn’t have the stomach space to sample, but it’s a good enough excuse to head back next year!
Overall it was a great day with much food, drink and live music.

Vegan Hot Dog // Paisley Food and Drink Festival // roughmeasures.com

Paisley Blossom Trees // roughmeasures.com

Vegan Crepe // Paisley Food and Drink Festival // roughmeasures.com


Disclaimer: I was invited to Paisley to attend the Paisley Food and Drink Festival and write about my experience – all opinions are my own.

Spring Sunshine Cocktail

Something about spring gets me all excited inside. Butterflies in my belly at the first signs of daffodils. Giddy when I see the new bunnies and lambs in the fields. Snowdrops twinkling along the canal brings a warmth to my heart. All these signs that we are getting out of our long, wet winter, and soon, we will be basking in the great British sunshine. Even the wild garlic is making an appearance.

This week, we had an unusually mild, spring evening. I was cycling home and heard a pop. I’d hit a sharp stone and my tyre had punctured. I was 3 miles from the boat and cursed myself for not having a spare. So I walked back, dragging the bike along, taking in the mild evening and the pink skies. I cycle this route every day, but my head is down and I’m focussed on the pedalling. Walking a route brings you the time to take in the surroundings and truly experience the nature and the joys of Spring.

Markets are now brimming with their spring produce, which gets me jumping for joy, especially when I see those juicy Sicilian Oranges (blood oranges to you and me). Bursting with juices and flavours, these beauties are packed full of Vitamin C, fibre and potassium, woop! Another of my favourite fruits to get me excited for summer is grapefruits. Growing up, I watched my mum eat her way through a lot of these sharp, strange fruits, vowing that I would never like them. Fast forward 10 years and I can’t get enough of them.

Spring Sunshine Cocktail // roughmeasures.com

Spring Sunshine Cocktail // roughmeasures.com

By the time I eventually got home on this mild evening, I was in need of something to drink, involving alcohol and to celebrate the appearance of Spring. A long day at work with an even longer commute makes for one thirsty Sus! I headed over to thebar.com to gather some inspiration. thebar.com is a fab website full of tasty cocktails and drinks, whether you like something simple and classy, or something with a bit of fizz, thebar.com has it all. You just type what ingredients or spirits you’ve got into the site, and they’ll find you a drink to match, perfect! There’s some amazing Easter themed ones on there, like this decadent Baileys Egg Nog and I especially like this Marmalade Collins. I mixed this Spring Sunshine Cocktail together and sat on the roof of the boat, enjoying the last few moments of daylight.

Spring Sunshine Cocktail (v) (gf)

Makes 2

INGREDIENTS:

25-50ml gin (I like Tanqueray)
Juice of 4 blood oranges
Juice of 2 pink grapefruits
A couple of sprigs of thyme
2-4 tablespoons coconut or maple sugar (to frost the glasses)

For the Thyme Syrup

250ml water
125g coconut sugar
1 bunch thyme

METHOD

The day before; In a pan, dissolve the sugar into the water. Bring it to a bubble and add the thyme. Leave it to steep overnight.

Strain the thyme mix through a sieve, into a jar and pop into the fridge. This will keep for a while.

Zest all the fruit, and add it to a bowl with some coconut sugar. Set to one side.

Slice all the fruit in half, and squeeze out the juice into a jug. I do this through a sieve to catch the seeds.

Get your cocktail glasses, dip the rips into water, and then dip them into the sugar/zest mix to garnish the rim.

Pour the gin into the glasses, then 25ml of the thyme syrup, followed by the fresh juice. Give it a good stir. Sit back, relax. Happy Spring.

Spring Sunshine Cocktail // roughmeasures.com

Spring Sunshine Cocktail // roughmeasures.com

This post was sponsored by thebar.com – Many thanks to them for their sponsorship which enables Rough Measures to keep going! All opinions are my own. Please drink responsibly.

How are you spending your Easter? Do let me know, you can keep find daily updates on my Facebook and Instagram!

Here’s some other fab cocktails from my foodie friends;

Smirnoff Marmalade Collins from Hedgecombers

English Garden Cocktail from The Veg Space

Tall Coconut Cocktail from Hungry Healthy Happy

Easy Bloody Mary from The Petite Cook