Vegan Nights London: 2nd Birthday
Vegan Nights London: East London's popular vegan food party celebrated its 2nd birthday on September 5th 2019. We went along to celebrate, and vegan food, in all its diverse, delicious, snacky, OTT, healthy, naughty forms. Here’s how it played out...
- The Birthday Party
- The Food (inc. Hogless Roast, Vegan Vice and Nulla Moors)
- The Night
The Birthday Party
We went to the Vegan Nights London 2nd Birthday and all we got was this lousy tote bag stuffed full of Hippeas, two eggless cupcakes, a little bottle of Merlot, an energy ball, an energy bar and four cans of kombucha in it...and that's not to mention all the food on the night. The generous party bag was supplied by the people from Oggs eggless cakes. Many of them were handing out free cupcakes on the night. Many of them were handing out free cupcakes while dressed up like chickens. It was that kind of night. Vegan Nights is always a celebration. It’s like a town centre where the local team’s won. Only the local team are animals. And they’re managed by seitan. But last night was a celebration to celebrate the celebration. So what were we all celebrating?
They should bring JC here. No, not that one. Or that one (For the record, I think both Jesus Christ and Jeremy Corbyn would have a great time at Vegan Nights). JC. Clarko. Big J. J-Clark. The guy your dad pretends he doesn’t like. Jeremy Clarkson. When a tv doc called Jeremy Clarkson: My Big Fat Vegan Diet is inevitably commissioned, they should bring him to Vegan Nights London. He’ll pretend to hate it. Then he’ll have a Hogless Roll from the guys at Hogless Roast, say something like “That’s quite good, actually,” order another one, eat that, have a chat with the guy serving about how they do their Naughty Salted Crackling, and then say something like, “Now that is vegan food I can live with.” At Vegan Nights, he’ll come to realise that vegans like salt and fat and alcohol, and he’ll enjoy it. But still pretend to hate it. https://www.instagram.com/p/B2AGBBvBNOO/ They should bring the CEO of Evil Factory Farm Inc. to Vegan Nights. They should show them the queue for Vegan Vice and their Truffle Shuffle Deluxe and Peanut Butter BBQ burgers. And the queue for Renee’s Kitchen’s authentic-in-the-ways-that-matter Jerk Chick’n, or Omkara’s scene-stealing, belly-filling Tandoori Chick’n platter. “How much are you guys making? And your overheads are only...I mean this tastes like...this tastes better than...” https://www.instagram.com/p/By7SYweJhXX/ They should bring anyone who’s ever said, “Well, enjoy your bird food,” or, “Help yourself to some grass,” to Vegan Nights London. They should give them the mac and cheese-covered American hot dog from Pig Out, the smoky ribs from Nulla Moors, the OTT deep fried cookie dough from Yo Dough. Then watch them burst into flames. https://www.instagram.com/p/B1laIGuALmf/
And they should (in a much nicer way) bring their mum here who through loving, panic-stricken tears, has said, “Oh, but I don’t know what to cook for you now you’re vegan,” or, “Are you sure you can be healthy as a vegan? I don’t want you wasting away.” If you’re that well-intentioned, loving, panic-stricken relative of a vegan a trip to Vegan Nights could do you good. You’ll see the mass of different stalls they have, smell all the smells, see all these meals that you can’t believe are 100% vegan. You’ll see the healthy, happy, vital, vibrant, diverse, friendly, silly, smart people eating vegan food and having a great time. And you’ll be reassured about how your vegan friend or family member is getting on. You might feel a bit better about the planet, too. You might even try eating less meat and dairy from now on. https://www.instagram.com/p/B14ZiqqAgVU/
Vegan Nights is not a big hippy free-for-all. There are no six-string campfire protest songs. It’s a bit greener and more floral and big smile earth-child inside, especially upstairs where the jewellery and beauty products are. But for the most part, it’s a very modern kind of veganism they are putting front and centre. They’re big on Instagram. Many of their guests are big on Instagram. For the first couple of hours, there’s a lot of self-papping going on. The food looks great, the people look great, so why not. If food blogging, vlogging and ‘gramming are your thing, your people are here in numbers. But don’t be put off if it’s not. The snapping dies down after a while, when everyone’s full and in various states of drink. There was a communal letting down of hair around 9pm. About half an hour later, the queues for the food died down as most people moved inside to dance in the big warehouse-cum-dancefloor. The people manning the stalls started ordering from each other’s menus. I heard one seller say of another’s pizza, “How the hell is that vegan? How’ve they done that? That pepperoni can’t be vegan, can it? No way! It’s too cheesy to be vegan.” When even the pros can’t believe it, you know it’s good. https://www.instagram.com/p/B2EV91JJV82/ I think there were fewer stalls than there had been on some previous nights. But that just made it feel more cohesive and relaxed than before. Happily, there was more seating than before, too. Lots of colourful beanbags to plop down on. And lots of dogs. But not a bone in sight. I wonder what they made of the seitan. The music was heavy on 90s and 00s nostalgia, with remixes of pop and R&B classics setting the inclusive, party mood on the outside soundsystem. Things got progressively Drake-ier and Grime-ier, then the night turned big on birthday and party classics. When everyone started Electric Sliding (or teaching the Electric Slide to people who didn’t know), it was a beautiful thing. https://www.instagram.com/p/B2Ed__DBA3G/
So Happy Birthday, Vegan Nights. We're looking forward to your 18th, when we can buy you a beer. Imagine how big you’ll be then. Maybe planet-sized. Here’s hoping. For right now, we're just looking forward to your Halloween bash. If you can't wait until their Halloween party, then check out our article on some of the best vegan desserts in North London.