A couple of weekends ago I spent a fun afternoon at Blog at the Beach, hosted by Icelolly.com. The holiday comparison site is based in Leeds, which is where they have previously held blogger events. I had been tempted to go to one of these, but Leeds is a bit of a journey for me. Also, I still get a little bit anxious going to a blogger event on my own as I’ve ended up being a bit of a “Billy no mates” before. But as this year’s Blog at the Beach was held on the other side of the Pennines I decided to throw caution to the wind and go along. The fact that Icelolly.com partnered with Visit Barbados definitely swung it!
Icelolly.com is a holiday comparison website where you can search and compare great deals on package holidays from some of the UK’s top travel companies. You can find everything from an all inclusive holiday, city break or a last minute deal on the site. Icelolly.com also hosts a monthly Twitter chat called #HolidayChat, where they pick a different theme each month and ask a few questions to get everyone talking 🙂
The venue was just a short walk from Manchester’s Piccadily station. As soon as I arrived I received a very warm welcome by the Icelolly team. The Bajan theme was very evident, with tropical fruit on display and cocktails on offer. I hadn’t had any alcohol since my trip to France in July, but I couldn’t resist a rum punch or two 😉 Thankfully it wasn’t as strong as the rum punches in Barbados…now they really knock your socks off!
We settled down on deckchairs for a welcome talk, followed by a presentation by Kirsty Leanne, a plus size travel blogger. Kirsty campaigns for plus size diversity in the travel industry. Later, Marc from Visit Barbados showed us a short film, followed by a talk about what the island has to offer. Of course, he was preaching to the converted with me! I’ve been six times and Pete has been 17 times! After the presentation we chatted about how I missed my own wedding in Barbados and where we eventually got married on the island (after the ash cloud had disappeared!).
Lunch was absolutely amazing! I never expect much in the way of vegan food at events, but this was a feast! I sat chatting with Jen, who blogs at She Gets Around, and we got on so well. We both marvelled at how tasty the food was. The vegan rum and raisin tiffin was to die for; it probably had about a million calories in it but I didn’t care! I even took a piece home with me and shared it with Pete and Isobel.
Later in the afternoon Katy English gave a really interesting presentation about how she grew her Instagram following to over 17k. I was in awe at the amount of time she dedicates to editing photos (I’m talking hours on one photo!). But her hard work has clearly paid off. I’m more of a snap and upload kinda gal, (which probably explains why I’ve been stuck at just over 3k for what feels like forever!).
As the day was drawing to a close I chatted with Mike from Pulped Travel, Sophie of Mama Mei and Toni who blogs at This Mama. It was a lovely ending to a brilliant afternoon. I walked back to the station with Sophie and hopped on the train home, very glad that I’d made the effort to go, despite my reservations about going on my own 🙂
Toni, me and Sophie.
This is not a sponsored post. I was invited as a guest by icelolly.com and was under no obligation to write about the event.