The South East Bloggers Club held their first ever blogging event at Layer Marney tower in Colchester in September.
Essex blogging events are few and far between now, so I was delighted to find out that a new group called South East Bloggers Club had been set up and that they’d arranged an event to be held at the stunning Layer Marney tower in Colchester!
The networking event ran for two hours, with different Essex based companies setting up stands and displays to entice bloggers in for a chat! The aim of the evening was to create strong partnerships with Essex bloggers and Essex companies, in the hope of forging some work collaborations in the near future.
We were greeted with goodie bags, packed full to the brim with products and leaflets, and a glass of prosecco to sip as we walked around. I attended the event with my fav Essex blogger withlovelottie, whom I’ve now known for almost two years now! We walked around the stunning venue and chatted to various brands, to see what they were about and how they would like to work and connect with bloggers in the future.
Charlotte and I headed to Betty Booths photo booth first of all to try out a range of props and accessories and to see what silly photos we could get! The two ladies assisting the booth all evening were super friendly and welcoming, and encouraged us to try out all the props to get some great snaps. There were different plaques and boards to hold, novelty hats and glasses to wear and various other hand held props to use. The booth can be hired for a variety of occasions, including birthdays and weddings, and I think it’s such a lovely touch that you get a printed copy each to take home with you!
Lilly Puds, an independent family-run Christmas pudding company, create delicious Christmas puddings all year round – including a wonderful gluten free option! The puddings are full of natural goodness, minimum of 50% fruit and reduced sugar, making for the perfect home-made Christmas pudding that can keep fresh for months. Alongside Christmas puddings, Lilly Puds also make and sell brandy butter and sticky toffee sauce – the perfect accompanying sauce for the home made Christmas treat. I chatted to the wonderful Alison and she was kind enough to gift me some samples to try. Silly Hannah here managed to leave the bag at the event somewhere… so I hope someones enjoying some Christmas pudding on my behalf! 🙁
Metallic Elephant, hot foil printing specialists, also had a stand at the South East Bloggers event, showcasing the wonderful stationary and bag selection that they personalise and emboss. Many of the brands you may love and buy from, including Radley, Osprey, Liberty and Burberry, use Metallic Elephant‘s foil machines to personalise and emboss products. Pretty cool, huh?
To banish any rumbling tummies, Perrywood Garden Centre supplied some deliciously beautiful and mouth wateringly good cakes, including this incredible vegan chocolate and courgette cake! I didn’t even realise it was vegan, or made from courgette, until after I’d eaten it. The sponge was deliciously soft and the mousse chocolate topping melted in the mouth. I can’t wait to visit the garden centre again for more amazing cake!
Charlotte and I got chatting to Nigel, the founder of Secret Hamper, the home of random acts of kindness! Secret Hamper are on a mission to make the world a better place one step at a time, with a selection of themed hampers which can be purchased and sent to anyone, anywhere. The Care Home Hamper stuck out for me; a hamper full to the brim with delicious cakes and biscuits and a nostalgic CD ready to be unwrapped and played for everyone to listen to. The box is especially good for those who suffer with Dementia, as it transports them into reliving their younger years, by enjoying deliciously sweet treats and music from their era.
It’s a wonderful idea for a company, and incredibly kind and loving, too.
Secret Hamper were also holding a poem competition to celebrate #WorldPoetryDay so… here’s my entry!
Whose hamper is that? I think I know
The owner is so happy though
Full of joy like a vibrant rainbow
I watch her laugh, she says Hello
She gives her Secret Hamper a shake
And laughs until her belly aches
The only other sounds that break
Are biscuit crunches and yummy cake!
After that, we started chatting to Prested Hall, a stunning country house in Colchester in Essex, offering exclusive use of the manor house for weddings with its 16 bedrooms, well-equipped health club, Elemis spa and treatment rooms. They regularly hold wedding fairs at Prested Hall, so it’s worth a visit if you happen to be looking for an Essex wedding venue! We sampled some of the delicious cakes on offer, including a delicious ginger cake, which is available on their Afternoon Tea selection – another reason why you should pay a visit ASAP!
Garden Games were also on hand to provide some entertainment for the evening – and I discovered a game that I’m actually rather competitive at… Garden Games had set up Jenga, Connect4, Buzz Wire and my new favourite… Strike A Light! The game had two different settings; one game you had to press the lights as they lit up, and if you hit one that wasn’t lit, you would lose a point. The other light game was to see who could turn their lights off the quickest! It was great fun and I really enjoyed bringing out my competitive side… I need to rent this game ASAP!
Fairfield Farm were also handing out delicious bags of crisps to munch on and enjoy. I had a bag of the jalapeño and lime lentil crisp and they were absolutely delicious. I’m excited to try the Heat & Eat ones where you heat the bag of crisps up in the microwave and then dip them into a delicious dip after! Results with Lucy also had a stand, and were handing our goodie bags with a water infuser bottle and discount codes to join the monthly plans – maybe this can be my kick start into exercising (at last!).
I was also fortunate enough to win Cupcake Daisy‘s competition chocolate bundle! I won by tweeting my fav sweet treat (Galaxy Cookie Crumble FYI) and I won these delicious handmade chocolate lollipops and chocolate blocks – I can’t wait to try them!
I had a fantastic evening at the South East Bloggers Club first event – I can’t wait to see what else they have in store. 🙂