Yesterday, I had the lucky experience to attend an East Midlands blogger meet up.
Let me tell you, I was crazy nervous!
There were 40 bloggers attending, some I had met previously but mostly people who I didn’t know, which terrified me.
It helped that the setting was at Manhattan 34, a local cocktail bar on Rutland Street, Leicester, to give everyone a bit of dutch courage to get the conversations flowing.
My good friend Jess, who I have mentioned before, also got an invite so I wasn’t alone, venturing out into a city I had never been to before.
After finding the venue and greeting the few bloggers around, we grabbed a drink from the extensive and impressive drinks menu.
I swiftly chose a Lemon Curd Martini that tasted JUST like a lemon meringue pie. It had burnt sugar on top accompanied by a buttery shortbread biscuit. HEAVEN.
Jess opted for a rather large glass of Rose wine – as you can see.
After finding a seat and taking a peek around the stunning prohibition style venue, the place began to fill up rather quickly.
After around half an hour of milling around, speaking to different bloggers from around the midlands, we took a stroll over to the coffee shop stand.
Although they weren’t serving any actual coffee, they were offering a selection of brownies and bakes for us bloggers to try.
I can’t explain how delicious they smelled; I just wanted to try them all!
In the end, I opted for a cranberry and white chocolate slice which tasted like I had died and gone to cake heaven. It was so moist yet sweet from chocolate and had a twang from the cranberries. UHMAZING!
Bru coffee and gelato is located in the centre of Leicester and if I ever get the chance to visit the city again, I will definitely be attending!
Before some of the talks began, me and Jess grabbed another cocktail while the bar wasn’t as busy.
Jess opted for a delicious Espresso Martini and I chose a Bootlegger which was a whole load of whiskey with pineapple, orange and coconut flavours.
This cocktail WAS NOT for the faint-hearted though as it was super strong and punched you in the face (not literally but my head felt rather heavy!)
Next on the agenda was a talk from a PR guru from Cool As Leicester who talked about the importance of keeping up to date with your blog and how to promote through social media which was super helpful!
During the talk, I noticed a lime hidden on the door frame (not as weird as it sounds) which was part of a competition.
The prize was a free Mojito if you find a lime so of course I sprinted over to the bar and presented said lime.
Conveniently, one of the other bloggers had found one too so we chatted whilst waiting for our Mojito’s to arrive.
They did certainly look delicious and I love a good Mojito, especially when you can really taste the lime juice and, of course, you definitely could.
Next was another talk from a representative from Blogosphere Magazine which I didn’t catch much of as I was looking at all of the raffle prizes which were on offer.
After the talk, we had chance to buy any last raffle tickets and get ourselves prepared.
The raffle was to raise money for the Rainbows Hospice and for Bowel Cancer UK which I think was such a great idea, especially because they were so close to home for one of the organisers.
I was really dying to win a prize because they all looked wonderful but just a few I had my eye on.
These were a huge tea set with freshly made scones, a massive beauty hamper and The Happiness Planner which was the grand prize of the afternoon.
In the end, I didn’t win anything but Jess won three things which was awesome!
After the raffle was finished and we had packed up all our belongings, we had to leave to get the next train back to Derby.
Before we left, we were presented with not one but TWO goodie bags which I was so so excited about.
Some of the brands which provided the goodies were Matalan, Carex, Lab 2, Lush and many more!
The urge not to rummage through everything straight away was agonising.
We said our goodbyes and headed back to the train station.
Because this was my proper first blogger meet up, I think I held back a little and felt quite shy but after speaking to a fair few people, we all felt the same and were nervous for no reason at all.
Everyone in the blogging community is so humble and friendly which is exactly what you want people to be like.
It doesn’t matter how many followers you have or what you write about, just that you’re part of one big blogging community and that’s what really matters.