A Slow, Pukka Ethical Hedonist Night Out!
On a decidedly balmy night in November, on Queen Victoria’s magical isle, the Isle of Wight, there was only one place to be – the Ethical Hedonist Magazine Slow Pukka Party.
The idea behind the evening was to talk about how I became an Ethical Hedonist and what a slow life could possibly mean! Even the venue was an excellent example of resourceful up-cycling. The Ventnor Exchange, the town’s former Post Office – turned twinkling HQ and hub for the Ventnor International Arts Fringe.
As I mentioned in my short introductory talk, it really all comes down to marvelous organic cakes and seriously good sourdough bread. My life as an organic girl began aged eighteen, as a wide-eyed undergraduate, when I fell in love with a tiny organic bakery with a unpronounceable name in my university town in Bangor, North Wales. This jewel box bakery baked the best pastries, fat, sticky, cinnamon Chelsea buns and aromatic, delicious bread. Unsurprisingly, the queues for marvelous cakes would snake all the way down the street! To say it changed my life is an understatement. It opened my senses and my heart to the idea of healthy, guilt free, organic deliciousness. I knew it was possible to avoid industrialized, bland, processed food; I just had to follow the my nose!
The latest EH Slow Pukka Night out was intended to be an inspiring showcase of sustainable talent and organic razzmatazz. From guilt free, superfood chocolate cakes with Seed and Bean dark organic chocolate – to slow, sustainable fashion from People Tree and L Saha and the wonders of Pukka Herbs and Ayurveda, to pristine skincare and pizza, of the superfood kind. After a touching on how Ayurveda can keep us well and cold free this winter with the wonders of Pukka elderberry, and black beauty tea, it was time to interview the first of our producers, the delightful Wine Butler from Winchester, about the pleasures of drinking organic, biodynamic and natural wines.
Have you ever tried a cloudy, unfiltered, organic prosecco? The colour of pale gold? If not, you really should. It tastes earthy, deliciously dry and nutty, with a zingy fizz that is is as uplifting as it light, and completely without the metallic acidity, that often spoils poorly made mass market sparkling wines.
Then it was time to discover the alchemy of artisan distilling and interview Xavier Baker, the man behind the island’s very first artisanal gin, vodka and soon whisky too! The island has never had its own distillery, which Xavier attributes to a flourishing trade in smuggled moonshine. Using hops from The Ventnor Botanic Garden and handpicked marsh samphire foraged along the seashore, Xavier has created a highly individual gin, unique to its geographical location, which comes with a dash of seaside citrus, floral, peppery grains of paradise and tart, fruit and steel juniper berries.
After the buzz of meeting the producers, the rest of the evening was devoted to making new friends and wandering around the marketplace stalls we had set up around the hub, which provided the perfect backdrop to discover sustainable and organic talent from Cornwall to Katmandu!
Thank you to the Tomato Stall for donating the best baby tomatoes in the land for my guilt free superfood pizza and delicate cucumber cordials for Xavier’s curious cocktails, featuring artisan gin and vodka, made for the very first time on the island.
A big thank you to the Isle of Wight Hospice shop Ventnor for helping our with colourful goodie bags artfully made in her majesty’s local prisons – recycling at its most imaginative.
STOP PRESS! The Ethical Hedonist will be popping up at The Ventnor Arts Club on December 12th during the day – with a perfectly formed array of organic, fair-trade and slow luxury producers including – Pukka Herbs, People Tree, The Wine Butler, L Saha, Inlight Organic and much more – just the place for stress free Christmas shopping that gives back – don’t miss out – www.ventnorartsclub.com
Check out our amazing slow and organic producers here