Last week I had the most wonderful day in London at the 3040 Blogger Meet, organised by Catherine Summers of Not Dressed As Lamb. The event, which was sponsored by Hope Fashion, was held at The Imperial in Chelsea, a really cool bar/restaurant on the King’s Road. I was so disappointed that I couldn’t go to the Blognix Retreat earlier in the year (I was blasting my eardrums at a Cult concert!) so I was determined not to miss the 3040 Blogger Meet. Living in the North West, heading to the capital is quite a big deal for me but thanks to Catherine’s excellent organisational skills, emailing us directions and all the necessary information, I managed not to get lost!
I’d been mulling over what to wear for about a week but only decided the night before after turning the spare bedroom into a bomb site with clothes, shoes and jewellery everywhere. In the end it was the footwear that steered me to choose my outfit (more on that in my next post) because I needed to be comfortable, but I also wanted to wear a heel. Even though I wear flats much more than I used to (thanks to a recurring back problem) I can’t give up heels entirely because they give me a confidence boost, and walking into a room full of people you haven’t met before can be a little daunting. I’ve been to a few blogger meets before so I wasn’t overly nervous – getting to know people online beforehand really helps – and when I arrived I was more excited than apprehensive. As soon as I walked into the Imperial I knew I was in excellent company – so many smart and stylish ladies! I picked up a goody bag, bought some raffle tickets and then started chatting over a glass of prosecco and canapés.
I was given a very warm welcome by Catherine, who I was so happy to meet finally, having followed her blog and admired her style for so long. When it was time for lunch we took our places at the tables, had a peep in our goody bags and exchanged business cards. There was a choice of two meals but I opted for the vegetarian dish of spiced aubergine. Although I’m not a vegetarian (I eat fish so strictly speaking I’m a pescatarian) I enjoy eating vegetarian and vegan meals. The aubergine was delicious, and very healthy too!
After lunch Catherine gave a talk entitled “How to Win at Blogging” which was full of useful tips and very motivating. The subjects of giving, receiving and exposing prompted a few titters but it turned out it was blog-related…nothing smutty! Our goody bags included a lovely notepad and pen to make notes; the pen has a touch screen stylus on the end which is very useful – my husband keeps trying to pinch it!
After Catherine’s talk we were treated to a presentation by Nayna McIntosh, founder of Hope – a fashion brand aimed at women over 40. Nayna has a wealth of experience in the industry having been part of the management team that launched George at Asda, and later on the founding team for Per Una at M&S. Nayna spoke with such knowledge and passion about creating good quality garments for the over 40 market, which are both stylish and comfortable. In her own words “I have empathy with this woman because I am this woman”. The clothes are designed to look great on women of all shapes and sizes. Instead of using conventional sizing the majority of Hope pieces use just three sizes: freesize, dual slim and dual curvy. Trousers are available in four sizes: super slim, slim, curvy and super curvy. After Nayna’s talk we were all given a beautiful merino cashmere poncho – I was so taken aback at this incredibly kind and generous gift. We had time to browse the SS16 range before the raffle was drawn, and guess what? I only went and won the cashmere poncho! I rarely win anything so I was completely chuffed to win such an amazing prize!
I just love Suzi’s style!
Our ponchos were gift wrapped with a lovely hand-written note attached…such a thoughtful gesture.
Also included in our goody bags was a wraparound bracelet, kindly donated by Lizzy of Lizzy O (and blogger at What Lizzy Loves). There were other fabulous gifts including a Laura Geller lip liner (which I absolutely love!), body spray, macarons, a Burt’s Bees lip balm, a sample of Verso serum and a copy of Blogosphere magazine (how did I not know this existed until now?). The day passed so quickly (a little too quickly as I missed my train and ended up getting home after 11pm!) but judging by how successful it was I’m sure we’ll be doing it all again before too long! A massive thanks to Catherine for organising it and making us feel so relaxed and welcome. I can’t wait until the next one!
*You can see the list of bloggers who attended here.