To my absolute delight, I recently spent the weekend down in London. After being born in Essex (but we moved to Sheffield when I was just two), I’ve been eager to return so that I can actually remember it. Finally, the time came when I was invited to a Plus Size Blogger Focus Group with TK Maxx, an absolutely huge brand that not only wanted my feedback, but they even let my Mum come too. Normally with events in London, you’re expected to just be able to budget it in and 99% of the time, it’s really not feasible. TK Maxx didn’t blink and eyelid over paying for our travel, and they even made the tickets open so that we could stay longer if we wished. When arriving in London, my Mum and I met up with Leah and headed off to Kettners. For hardcore Made in Chelsea Fans, you may recognise the name as a couple scenes have been shot there. The focus group was also being filmed so that they could show it internally, but it was rather professionally done with actual camera men from Made in Chelsea! Mum and I were just a little bit excited and started to practice our awkward, silent stares into the distance.
The ladies from TK Maxx were absolutely lovely and made us all feel very comfortable. I had wanted to meet most of the ladies going to the event for a very long time, so it was an absolute treat and I managed to play it pretty cool. As a separate part to the focus day, we headed off to nearby park to take some photos for TK Maxx’s Me by Me campaign. Unfortunately, it started to rain and I had to basically sprint back to the cover of Kettners, before my red hair stained my clothes and my dignity (joys of red hair). We also had a mid event tea break which was absolutely to die for, trays and trays of food came out full of beautifully prepared sandwiches and cakes. When the focus group had ended, I did the typical blogger move of taking photos with people I had just met. The beautiful ladies, Leah, Caroline and Georgina were absolutely hilarious and it was a pleasure to finally meet and get to spend time with them.
After the focus group had finished, we hastily ran off to our Go Native Apartment at Earls Court, which for anyone who knows London, will know that it was quite a distance. However, I was going to the Hairfinity UK Launch party in the evening (check out the Chi Chi London dress I wore here) and needed somewhere to stay that wasn’t too far away. The apartment was absolutely gorgeous, but nowhere near the size of what the photos suggest, more like a compact version. The apartment was all open plan, but had two clear rooms, a shower room, kitchen area, oven, microwave, wardrobe, everything you could possibly want. It would be perfect if you were staying over for a couple nights. The staff were also incredibly helpful and we were able to check out at the later time of 12pm, making our Sunday just that little bit easier, but anyway, back onto the Saturday….
I rushed to get ready and ended up absolutely hating my hair and makeup, but isn’t that always the way when you rush? However, I did receive a few compliments from strangers, so maybe it was all in my head? The Hairfinity event was rather disappointing if I’m perfectly honest, and I always am. It was packed full of unfriendly people that I recognised but couldn’t place, including other bloggers apparently, who didn’t attempt to talk to the group of bloggers I was with all night. Such a friendly community, eh? Anyway, after finally tracking down someone else who was going, I finally got to meet Ellie! We were fashionably late as Ellie was walking from the Tube and I screamed of excitement after finally finding a cab. Inside we ran into the beautiful Zoe and Sophie. It was so lovely to spend the night with them and get to know them more as they’re such lovely girls. Sophie is actually a PR who recently sent me the most beautiful skincare, it was quite funny when I realised as I was so grateful!
The event itself had quite a bit going off. Including a wind machine photo booth, which due to the heat of the room, and sweat, I decided to stay away from. The drinks were all free, although the non-english speaking staff didn’t understand what water was and instead handed me a Champagne. Luckily I wasn’t driving and instead just wanted to cool down, otherwise that could have turned very interesting. The event also a sectioned off VIP room, which meant people could crowd around and watch celebrities as if they were wild animals. There were also the smallest toilet ever at the event, which were up two flights of stairs, so naturally my shoes didn’t last long. The Kardashian’s arrived just as all the oxygen had about been used up in the room, which meant that I was definitely done for the night. Ellie and I agreed to wait until they arrived, try and get a picture of them and then leave. I didn’t even attempt to get a photo as I was just too hot and bothered, and despite Ellie’s tremendous events, she didn’t get one either, well not a decent one anyway. We headed to the coat desk for our umbrellas and goodie bags, then headed off for a cab.
As soon as I arrived back at the Go Native Apartment, I quickly got changed and my Mum suggested that we hit the Italian place across the road. Not wanting to throw money away on overpriced food, or be seen by too many people, I thought it’d be smart to head to the Tesco on the end of the road. Literally a 3 minute walk with all the food your heart could desire. We had an absolute feast of shockingly healthy food, including the salad bar and tubs of fruit. We did pick up some Ben & Jerry’s but we couldn’t finish it, so I do hope whoever found it was happy! Despite sounding a little boring, it was lovely to just be able to sit down comfortably for a little whilst and in each other’s company. After our midnight feast we both headed off to sleep to be woken up several times from traffic, an ambulance, or just my Mother being annoying. We did both have very restful sleeps regardless as the bed was ridiculously comfortable.
After we had finally packed our bags and were ready to go, we headed off on a adventure around London. Our aim was to walk to Hyde Park, just over a mile away. However, with an incredibly achy body, an asthmatic Mother and a huge suitcase, we did have to stop at a pub on the way. £9 for two drinks darkened my soul just that little further, however, it was the pit stop that we both needed before carrying on into Kensington. It was an absolutely beautiful walk with so much to see ad do. We visited a few shops and even stopped by Hotel Chocolate for a bite to eat before heading to Kensington Palace, where I thought my Mum was going to finally tell me that I’m actually a Princess. We really wanted to head to Convent Gardens, but we just didn’t know how. So, we hopped in the most expensive taxi ever, but I did get to see all the parts of London that I wanted to. Making it a kind of tour bus but for half the price! Of course, we had time to do our outfits of the days whilst on our travels too.
My Mum was wearing a Newlook Duster Coat, Yours Clothing Lace Dress, The Curve Leggings (coming out soon!), a Newlook Bag and Shoe Zone Shoes (her feet were hurting).
You can read about my outfit on my Newlook post.
Just before we left, we headed to 21 Convent Garden, an Italian bar with an outdoor dining area that was absolutely delicious and definitely finished off our weekend perfectly. With open tickets it meant we could pretty much hop on any train, which was definitely welcomed as we really were too tired to wait around. We had an incredible weekend and we’re really looking forward to going back for the Plus Size Awards this weekend where I’ve been nominated at ‘Best Plus Size Fashion Blog’, wish me luck!