Two days ago, I attended the East Midlands Bloggers Meet in Leicester which was mostly organised by the lovely Emmie of Carpe Diem Emmie & Kirstie of Behind The Scent. Prior to this I’d only ever been to one blogger event which was the Leicester Bloggers Clothes Swap at the Exchange Bar in Leicester. The swap was much smaller and I only met a couple of bloggers so this was my first proper blogger meet up!
Because there was 40 people attending, a few of us met up beforehand to calm our nerves with some delicious coffee and cake over at Bru, who really kindly supplied some treats at the event itself. Bru is a great little indy coffee shop on Granby Street in Leicester, idyllically located near the train station. I’ve been there a fair few times since some of my friends are addicted to their Bronkies (brownie meets cookie) and it’s really close to work.
Here are a few of us enjoying our pre-meet brunch. I had a double chocolate bronkie with peanut butter ice cream and a virgin-mojito. Amy of Amy Elizabeth Porter took the photos as you can probably tell, that’s her on the very left. Next along in the picture is myself followed by Lora of Lora Day and Sophie of Sophie’s Notebook. Just out of frame is Leanne of Latte Leanne.
Here’s the other side of Amy, (right to left) showing Charlotte of Shoe String Chic, Hannah of Hannah International, Natasha of Serenity You, Sarah of Sarah Deluxe and Shani of Shani Coles. Just out of shot is Becky of Geek Gets Glam and Issy of A Dose of Chatter was just on her way into Bru so isn’t pictured.
I’m really glad I went to the pre-meet (so to speak) because my anxiety was running a little wild on the morning and it gave a few of us the chance to get to know each other before walking into a room of people who were practically strangers. Charlotte, Sophie, Leanne and Becky especially made me feel really included, confident and at ease. They were so lovely and really stuck out as girls I’d love to continue to meet up with.
Also if you’re from Leicester or ever visit then I highly recommend Bru- all the staff are so friendly and they have a great selection of food for breakfast, brunches and lunches. I love their gelato, iced coffees and toasties. It’s also decorated really cool so it’s great for a good old instagram post.
The event kicked off at 1pm so we walked down to Manhattan34 just round the corner from Bru as a group. The venue itself is gorgeous and served some really fancy cocktails priced between £7.50 and £32! I ordered a few (and perhaps left the event slightly tipsy) including this Lemon Curd Martini complete with a little biscuit and some cream with caramelised sugar. The bartender legit whipped out a blow torch and went to town on it. Lora ordered one first and once I’d seen it served, I knew I needed one too!
Upon entering at 1pm, we were greeted and asked to pick a piece of paper from a bag. This gave us a fact about one of the bloggers in the room (which we had all given the host beforehand) which we then had to narrow down by striking conversations round the room. I picked Tiffany‘s fact which was that she’d looked after an orphaned pigeon so I was walking round asking who had fostered a pigeon for a good 45 minutes before we found each other.
There was also a lovely lady from Rothley Wine Estate who gave me a sample of their gorgeous sparkling rose. I might go down and check out the vineyard some time this summer!
When we arrived there was a singer performing (I am still trying to find out who she was!) who was really good, I stood there and listened for a while before getting down to the icebreaker. Once her performance & the ice breaker were over, Emmie stepped up to the mic to introduce the first guest speaker.
I loved the talk about working with PR companies from Gabby (CoolAsLeicester) and the one from Blogosphere magazine, a print magazine for bloggers by bloggers! I picked up a copy from their stall for £5 and it came with a cover printed tote bag which most of us were walking round with on the day.
As I mentioned before Bru generously provided us with an array of treats including brownies, caramel slices, bronkies and lemon cakes. I also picked up one of their loyalty cards and a tiny little jar of sweets which was adorable. I talked with their staff too and they both went onto my blog on their phones straight away; they were so lovely!
Another great company who got involved were Angel Eyes who were giving free lash extensions to the bloggers. I’ve got long dark lashes naturally so I didn’t think it would be worth having done however it’s very generous of them and I can’t wait to see what the other bloggers thought of their service.
There was a raffle too which I am totally gutted I didn’t take part in. The proceeds went to charity and there were lots of prizes given but I stupidly forgot to go to the cash point on the walk between Bru & Manhattan34.
Last but not least our hosts Emmie & Kirstie got together some incredible goodie bags to take home and since I’ve never attended any bloggers meets I was really surprised to see so many amazing brands let us sample their products.
I’ve gone through the bag and I’ll likely review a couple of the items that really impress me however I’d like to thank every company who’s products we got to sample!
Massive thank you to Emmie for organising this event and to those who helped out. Round of applause to the staff at Manhattan34, singer who performed (maybe somebody can drop a comment and tell me her name??), Gabby from Cool As Leicester, the ladies from Blogosphere magazine, the charities who attended, Danique Hairdressing, Angel Eyes and all of the lovely bloggers who made me really feel like part of the blogging community.
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