Muslim Lifestyle Show 2017 — Olympia, London
On Easter weekend MLS 2017 took place at Olympia in Kensington. It was another well organised event with thousands attending. I went on Easter Sunday and it was really packed. We rushed in as we had tickets to see Jungly Jaadogar 2 at 12pm.
There was a good range of stalls plus a lot of new businesses I’d not seen before. I would have liked to have seen more Islamic art stalls as there were only about four, which was a lot less than last year. There were lots more international clothing stalls and I was very happy with my purchase from Anaya Clothing. The cookery theatre was fun, I managed to catch the ‘pie off’ and some tips on steak making. Some of the standout brands were:
- 20 Ways — A range of Italian products imported from Italy including some delicious halal beef pastrami and beef bacon which Halalnivore are selling. Other products included a green pistachio spread which tastes like Nutella! Yum.
- Bismillah Bags £4 — These sold like hotcakes. Quite simply, a sealed party bag with halal sweets, a dua book and an Arabic alphabet colouring book along with crayons and a few plastic toys. These were great for children and a way to keep them occupied for a bit. Money raised from the sales go to Human Appeal.
- Pie Mezzanae — These Northern pie makers were down from Blackburn. There are lots of flavours available but the chicken and mushroom was absolutely delicious. I was so surprised considering the meat and potato one was not very nice! If you ever see these guys again, go for the chicken and mushroom, you will not regret it.
The food court had a lot of variety offering Japanese, Chinese, pizza and hotdogs and thankfully not too many queues except for Hs & Co. I think the reason for this was that all the other vendors were selling small portions for around £7-£8 and Hs & Co’s servings were a lot larger. Saying that the Philly Steak was very average but my daughter loved it! The pulled chicken burger was a much better buy with juicy flavoursome chicken, it was worth the 10 minute queueing. The noodles stall was fantastic but the hot dogs were a big let down as the buns were dry and one sausage was way too small to justify £7.50.
My children stayed with me until lunch and then went home. I stayed until the end, shopping and chatting to lots of people I was bumping into! Although tickets weren’t espensive (£5-£20) you can spend a lot of money buying things you won’t find on the high street. The great thing was most stalls took card so no dashing around to find a cashpoint. To have so many brands under one roof catered towards Muslims, is what makes MLS so special. In London there’s nothing like it!