Tag Archives: Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum

Not my usual festival or..Blogstock 2014

A couple of  weekends ago saw me hanging about in a field with way too much glitter on my face, par for the course you may say, seeing as it’s festival season but no…far, far from par as this festival was not my usual music shindig but a blogging festival!? Yes, that’s right…a festival where the line-up consisted of talks/seminars and workshops on a number of blogging related topics and..it was absolutely FABULOUS! I kid you not, I had SUCH a good weekend.

I booked a ticket to Blogstock 2014 not long after they’d gone on sale. The rather brilliant Niamh Shields, she of Eat Like a Girl and The Blaggers Banquet, was going to be curating the foodie offerings and doing a talk and, having missed her Guardian Masterclass (on purpose coz I couldn’t afford it), I jumped at the chance to hear her talk.

I arrived onsite (after declining to share a cab from the train station with Niamh so that I could go and check in to my hotel…yes, yes…I know, shoulda camped really but, I WAS pretty pleased with myself when it bucketed it down on Friday night and I tucked myself into bed to watch a film) JUST in time to catch Niamh’s talk! And, as is always the case with Niamh, she left me completely fired up and inspired and this set the tone for the rest of the festival. After Niamh’s talk, I took a moment to wander round the site and it wasn’t long before the rather wonderful Sarah of Sarah Betty and The Fashion Galleries (which was doing a pop-up shop for the duration of the festival and was also hosting the fashion talks) had engaged me in conversation. The Fashion Galleries became kind of like my ‘home’. I didn’t know and hadn’t engaged with ANY of the other bloggers before pitching up at Blogstock so it was really good to have a place that I could default to if needed (which it mostly wasn’t) and, if Sarah at any time felt that I was being a bit of a stalker, she certainly didn’t show it. I’d anticipated giving all the fashion stuff a bit of a wide berth but, aside from the lovely Sarah, The Fashion Galleries had something that made me feel SO at home, and that something was…….

GLITTER. Ta dah.

Blogstock glitter

The Fashion Galleries also had some pretty cool pieces for sale; I particularly liked the London postcode bangles from Whistle & Bango and couldn’t resist a piece from crown and glory.

Blogstock Crown and Glory headpiece

And here I am looking rather pleased with myself, drinking my first ever Matcha tea drink which was a freebie on the Saturday morning. Thanks Vivid Drinks! It was actually pretty damn good.

Blogstock smiley Susie

Actually, there was quite a lot of free stuff (definitely not like my usual festival!). Free supper for all on Friday evening, free brunch, free popcorn, free booze including cocktails (though I did have to make my own!). Probably should have been listening to a debate or attending a talk or something but, you know, it can’t all be work work work..can it!? Well, anyway, I opted for cocktail making class and made myself two huge Appleton Rum cocktails. As usual, I had to tweak the recipes to get the drinks just right but, never fear…I succeeded.

Blogstock cocktail class

These were our opponents, they won the first round and we, the second. Hmmm…funny that! Very fair.

Blogstock Appletons still life close

Blogstock Appletons still life

Super cute cocktail shaker set, not sure how useful the mini shaker is though.

The Saturday night Fiendishly Hard Quiz..(that’s my name for it, not the official name).

Blogstock quiz

And here…ta daaahhh…is a bottle of champers being popped by the winning team which was..ahem, my team.

Blogstock quiz champagne

I went to sessions on food blogging, food photography (which, we all know, I’m crap at), finding your mojo (which I need to do generally speaking), doing what I love, getting the most from your smartphone photography, the power of niche, working with fashion PRs and how to make it big in fashion blogging. There were so many other sessions that I wanted to attend but wasn’t able to and I’ll most definitely be going again next year. The whole event was well organised, interesting and useful and it just felt really friendly. Lots of the bloggers, particularly the travel bloggers, knew each other but they were all very welcoming and I felt quite at home and comfortable (but still inspired).

The weekend helped me to decide where I want to go next with blogging which, in part, is saying goodbye to this blog and hello to a new one, but it was also just a darn good weekend away.

Thanks to Traverse for organising an absolutely brilliant event. I shall definitely be signing up to attend your London mixers and I’ll be at Blogstock 2015….with bells on (wish I could stop with the Grease references).