Last Thursday was a delicious whirlwind of a day in London-and a 7 hour round trip too, (one of the reasons we’re officially moving back down South to the outskirts of London, from Yorkshire later this year) but one that was worthwhile, nonetheless as it was spent having delicious fun with amazeballs people.
Now, look, I get it, I know my life looks incredibly charmed and in many ways it is: I work hard and play hard (sometimes), but I value everything and everyone in my world, and life can be incredibly tough-going too. Please don’t assume a slice of my life on social in the whole story. Last year was a mix of incredible work highs and devastating personal lows with a sick relative which meant many a sad time too. Nothing can be fun 24/7, that’s just not life.
I will say this though, the experiences my family and I have thanks to my job, and the people I’ve met on this journey, are hugely appreciated and treasured.
Thursday was filled with lots of those guys. And thank goodness too. I spent the day before, Wednesday pretty upset for various reasons I won’t bore you with, so my trip came just at the right time as I craved some happy-making escapist fun with fabulous friends.
It was a beautiful babe of a day filled with cake, champs and an awards ceremony thrown by Pinterest no less which I was a finalist at with my Dad’s recipe for Salmon Ravioli from his restaurant Giorgio’s.
First up, my pal Jason Collier, hairstylist to the stars and creative director of the Mathew Curtis salon at The Rosewood, London, transformed my locks for the day, dying and styling my long locks to perfection. JC created a twirly mid bun for me and a sweeping fringe I adoredwhilst my girl, Lela London had a bouncy blow dry thanks to Shanola, by my side.
Now, Jason is THE man when it comes to all things ‘amazing hair’ as he styles A-listers day to day, and has become a great friend to me over the past year, since we met.
Speaking of mates I collaborate with, and I know this sounds all cliched and ‘yeah right’ but my manager Neil is one of my best buds. I feel lucky to have found my tribe in him and my gang you see here. I trust Neil implicitly (he’s my work husband) and always has my back. Most importantly, he makes my work life fun and when you work as hard as we do, you need to enjoy it.
Neil met up with me at the Pinterest awards to celebrate my nom and afterwards, and somewhat, begrudgingly, joined me for Nandos but more of that later #chickencliffhanger 😉
..So, after Jason made me feel a million dollars, I headed to the Royal Garden Hotel aka my second home #luckygirl (I’m their resident blogger, don’t you know) to meet with multi-million best selling author Adele Parks. Adele and I have followed each other on twitter since I set up my account there (that long) and we’ve even chatted on the phone before, but this was the first time we’ve actually met IRL. We instantly clicked as I knew we would, and it was a real joy hanging out over the most exquisite champagne afternoon tea courtesy of the hotel.
Adele does the honours!
Dreamy raspberry lemon slice, coconut and chilli pineapple shot, tiramisu’ cupcake and apple crumble tart. Wowsas.
Tea for two!
Followed by the prettiest selection of sandwiches bursting with ham, smoked salmon, egg and cress and hummus…
And my favourite, fluffy scones with plum and raspberry jam and cream.
Adele kindly shared her wisdom with me over afternoon tea, encouraging me to write 500 words a day to meet my 15,000 word monthly deadline rather than leaving it all to one long sprint before my deadline. Looking at the pretty cakes, she advised, ‘Divide the book into little cake sized bites so it doesn’t overwhelm you’. Well, yes to that thank you very much. In fact just knowing I only have to commit to 500 words a day, encouraged me to get a whopping 6000 down on Wednesday alone. Thanks Adele.
I can’t wait to include her experience of being a mumboss in my own book too, what an honour it will be to feature her. We actually share the same umbrella publisher in Hachette, Adele is with Headline in Fiction and I’m with Piatkus/Little Brown in Non-Fiction. Adele said those who keep pushing, end up crossing paths: very true.
We literally could have chatted all day (she warned me that her son eats constantly so I encouraged her to take a doggy bag of the cakes we couldn’t finish for him) and next time, we’re planning an even longer catch-up.
I’m excited to read her latest novel, The Stranger in My Home, the only one from her immense collection I’ve not read yet which is just out. Adele’s novels hold a special place in my heart as I started reading them whilst pregnant with my first son, Oliver. Returning to her ‘voice’ is like coming home to me.
Warm, beautiful, relatable, funny and smart, just like her body of work, it’s no wonder Adele is such an incredible success.
I left feeling full, a little tipsy from the bubbles and utterly inspired.
Marching slash swaying to the Pinterest Awards after being stuck in traffic, Lela and I snapped (mostly in front of this incredible edible donut display and drank some more. Meeting up with Neil, we caught up with the Pinterest UK team and PRs we bumped into, and the highlight of the night for me, was hanging out with one of my closest blogging pals, Nomita of the achingly beautiful Your DIY Family blog.
Big thanks to Nomita for being my personal paparazzo and grabbing this shot of me below. Believe me I made her take tonnes and she was incredibly patient. I’m just sad after all my faffing, we didn’t get a shot of us together.
It was also lovely to bump into Tilly from Precis (who kindly gifted me this statement print dress along with lots of others I’ll be showcasing on the blog soon) as we caught up on all things motherhood and mumboss living.
Instagrammer Alison, a close mate of Lela’s joined in the fun, later on too.
Long time girl crush, Lauren Laverne did the honours of the night announcing the well deserved winners which included The Helmsely Sisters, My Fussy Eater etc etc and whilst I didn’t win the Go-To-Recipe category with my Dad’s Salmon Ravioli, The Londoner rightly did, it was an absolute honour to be nominated, and I had a complete blast.
After all that gourmet food, it was off to Nando’s we went (ha) with Lela’s first introduction to this chicken haven. After initial trepidation, she shared my dish of half a chicken, coleslaw and corn, and gave it the thumbs up.
With minutes to spare and pretty tipsy by now, I boarded the train back to Leeds, no doubt annoying fellow passengers as I chatted to them as they tapped away at their laptops (sorry, and still cringing people, if it’s any consolation), making to my front door Cinderella style by midnight.
I suffered from quite the hangover the following day so popped my Out of Office email setting on and snuggled up with my little one on the sofa for a movie marathon, and more chicken in the form of a roast I somehow (!) managed to cook for us.
Told you London was a whirlwind.
Not sure I’d have life any other way though.
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