Tim Barford (VegfestUK): My Big Vegan Day Out in Mallorca

3rd September 2017

Recently I was lucky enough to get some time off out the office down tools and disappear to Mallorca for a week of sun, sea, swimming, beer, football, tunes and general all-round good vibes and a bit of Balearic magic. The highlight of my short and very sweet visit though was a wonderful day out at The Mallorca Vegan Day Out Festival – an event held on the Saturday August 26th 2017, a dozen or so kilometres out of Palma the main city, on a beautiful finca and featuring 20 or so stalls, a bar, some speakers, a bit of music and a few workshops scattered around this most gorgeous setting which included a swimming pool and a stunning sunset silhouetted against the hills, with a temperature in the 30’s and a feelgood factor way outdoing any green fields you’re likely to find in a UK fest these days.

 

The highlight of any good vegan fest is the people, and you could tell there was a real good core of vegan people, businesses, hosts, speakers, activists and healers, everyone working together pretty much seamlessly to ensure that a visitor experience (which included over 1,000 of us over the 12 hour period) was 2nd to none……and of course a close second is the food, which again was tops, with some truly delightful vegan sushi, an awesome green smoothie and raw burger, a seitan boccadillo and a triple-flave vegan ice cream the standout memories. The bar flowed late into the night, as you do, and the general all-round consensus seemed to be a most excellent day out for all.

 

A particular highlight was discovering some breath transformation therapists working away in one of the areas of the festival. I’ve done a lot of breath work over the last 30 years, especially chi kung exercise and various deep breathing meditations, but this one was a bit new and I gave it a whirl. An hour later I was most definitely transformed and took away a whole new technique which I’ve been practising a bit since. It’s always nice to learn new stuff especially in areas that you are already familiar with and this was an added bonus to an already life-enriching event.

 

And in and amongst the beats, the yoga at sunset, an astrology talk and various other bits and bobs was a talk on speciesism by a local vegan activist which I thought was just great… a really good approach with a rights and justice core to an event that was ultra welcoming on so many levels to people new to veganism, focusing on good food, a great venue, a party and festival vibe, some healing and therapists and then a talk on speciesism for those that wanted to learn more. A first-rate approach, in my opinion, and one that we somewhat focus on these days with our own events.

 

All credits to organiser Scott Adams who put together a most fantastic all-round gathering which brought many local businesses, professionals, movers and shakers together in the name of a common cause, as well as presenting the Island’s many existing vegans and plant-based peeps the opportunity to eat and chill together all day, as well of course as visiting peeps like myself who just happened to be on the Island (along with Michelle Obama and Coleen Rooney apparently, both holidaying in Mallorca at the time, but not at the festival) taking in the immense pool of wellbeing and feelgood factor that seems to inhabit the Balearics in abundance.

 

A few days later I met up with Scott and his partner Alba for a bite to eat in top Mallorca vegan spot Bon Lloc, tucked away in Palma Old Town in narrow streets…. oh my goodness, very good food with some excellent choices and plenty of it, most reasonable and 4.5 out of 5 for everything in balance, very well recommended for anyone visiting. The pictures speak volumes – my asparagus with almond sauce starter isn’t in the pictures but was dope let me say, very tasty. Plenty of beer too obviously and the whole thing vegan from head to foot, most lush.

 

I would love to go back and spend more time in Mallorca. There’s a great emerging vegan scene there and as my plane out took off into the night and swooped left over Palma Bay I felt inspired, focused and feeling great all over about Vegfest, about veganism in general and especially the UK vegan community, which over the last 3 years especially has been through some pretty challenging times as a new stronger more focused movement emerges to take this whole thing forward into the 21st century at a fuller and fuller pace. It’s exciting, challenging and ever ongoing but I’ve got a new zest for life after my week out in Mallorca and am looking forward to the rest of 2017 and into 2018 with more enthusiasm and confidence than for a long long time.