Speaking at the Bump & Baby Expo & Our Stay at Hotel du Vin in York
My homecoming back to Yorkshire after almost a year away (!), couldn’t have been more memorable thanks to the blooming brilliant Bump & Baby Expo and parents who came to my recent book date up North! I got to take my family along for the fun, too!
I arrived York train station a few weeks ago, having just flown back from my Belfast book date just the night before (shattered was not the word), to thankfully discover dazzling sunshine and blue skies waiting for me, oh, and the family suite of dreams at luxurious boutique Hotel Du Vin in the centre, we called home before I headlined, yes, HEADLINED, a bit like Beyonce (I wish) with a speech at the Bump & Baby Expo, and book singing to boot.
For those who don’t know (where have you been?!) The Bump and Baby Expo is Yorkshire’s largest maternity exhibition and is now in its third year. It supports mum and dadbosses hosting stalls-galore by local business owners as well as international brands, and it helps charity to boot, supporting, Action Medical Research for Children where £1 for every entrance ticket sold, is donated.
Action Medical Research for Children funds medical research to beat the diseases that devastate the lives of many children. Originally founded in 1952 to successfully find a cure for polio, Action has continued saving and changing lives through medical research and has raised over £115m to fund some of the most amazing breakthroughs
Founder of the Bump & Baby Expo, Jackie is a mum and professional baby and maternity photographer at Babies By Jackie and she conceived the event to help support local businesses and parents, alike. Partnering with the glorious hostess with the mostess, the fittingly (!) 8 months pregnant, Kate, of Avocado Events , this powerhouse duo ensured the Bump & Baby Expo was one heck of a warm, welcoming and super slick place their 600 guests could enjoy but also learn from with a varied programme of talks and workshops for both expectant and experienced parents and shops and business to meet their every need.
Kate set up Avocado Events on her maternity leave in June 2016, after 15 years in Event Management & Marketing roles. Thrown into the crazy new world of motherhood, she had a vision to create exclusive events that would bring together expectant & new parents with groups, charities, businesses and classes to support their parenthood journey. She has worked with venues such as Hotel du Vin, Waterstones & Everyman Cinema running events across Yorkshire ranging from Weaning Workshops to Parent Blogger events so brought her expertise to the day.
And what a day it was! I left utterly inspired by the gifted women I had the chance to speak to.
These events really are a two-way street with so many wonderful friendships and collaborations taking root and blossoming, thanks to them. Thanks to SEO, blogs bring like-minded women together, and IRL meet-ups cement that fact.
Take awesome business owner and blogger, Sally Bunkham of Mum’s Back who is now a good friends thanks to this unifying online world which brought us together a few years ago.
Sally, cleverly sells gift boxes brimming with all the stuff you weren’t allowed to eat or drink in pregnancy for mums post-birth. At the event, she unflinchingly shared her transformative experience of first-time motherhood and subsequent PND before interviewing me about my own traumatic birth and how I ultimately regained my voice, confidence and a new, accidental business during the recovery process.
Sally and I spoke of the juggle which is never easy, with the need for compromise along the way, and how best to consistently commit to your craft while leaning on family and friends to cushion the falls and help you through the inevitable self-doubts and ups and downs of self-employment.
It was a joy to be back on home turf connecting with Yorkshire mumbosses determined to launch or build upon their existing businesses and blogs.
A massive great thanks to Imagination Creation for a backdrop that simply wowed (it was even colour co-ordinated to my bestselling MUMBOSS book) and to all who attended my talk on the day and bought my book from the Waterstones stand. Reading your amazon reviews and feedback on social media and in your blog posts, gives me the strength to keep sharing so thank you!
There are hundreds of pics so I’ve picked a few here to share so I don’t break the internet ;). Above with Carly, founder of copy editing business Blue Media Edit.
Below I’m with RachaelDennis, NCT Yorkshire & Humber Regional team volunteer.
We were touched by founder Rob of Family Sanctuary Art who made us a hand-drawn Our Family elephant pic on the day to take home with us. Rob is a teacher by day and creative entrepreneur by night.
Huge thanks too to Charlotte Stein, who blogs at Team Stein Mummy who allowed me to use this photo of her adorable daughter, Florence, ‘reading’ Mumboss! Argh!
Style-wise, I wore my fave Zara dress for the book date with gifted Lotus boots, I live in. I was styled as always by the fab Lauren Jobling.
…I also want to take this opportunity to share our spectacular stay at the Grade II-listed mansion house hotel (and former orphanage), Hotel du Vin where we enjoyed two lavish nights and three days in what was one of the most memorable stays of our lives. Truly.
We were kindly welcomed to our sumptuous suite with champagne, red wine, brownies for the boys, and chocolate-dipped strawberries, and if that wasn’t enough, exquisite hampers of thoughtful gifts from Yorkshire based companies were also left for us to discover.
Our hearts were bursting with gratitude.
A shout-out to the generous companies who gifted us the above items are mentioned below,
Dining in the newly refurbished hotel restaurant the Bistro du Vin on both evenings (with vegan options for me and a vegan poached pear and dark chocolate dessert I would like every day of my life please) the food, ambience and service couldn’t have been more perfect.
I’ve shared dishes across both nights and breakfast too with leek and potato and vegetable soup, toasted garlic baguette, Halibut, chicken schnitzel, chickpea and beetroot salad and vegan gnocchi for me. My Dad was ecstatic they had his favourite lemon tart on the menu too!
I loved that my folks stayed over on our first night so we were able to spend some much-needed quality time together.
They loved the magnificent breakfast the next day too, as did the kids who can be fussy at times but gobbled all the food on offer throughout!
I must return and make use (!) of their opulent wine cellar too (next time)!
But back to the room again for a minute.
Our 10 foot bed (yes, 10 foot) offered us one of the best night’s sleep in history (true story) and the children loved their twinning stand-alone bath tubs they enjoyed while watching TV. There was another TV on the flip side Peter and I could watch from bed too.
How lucky were we!
Every room at the Hotel du Vin, boasts Egyptian cotton linen, powerful drench showers and roll top baths as well as flat screen TVs and unique features that have been carefully restored to reflect the 19th century heritage of this mansion house converted to a hotel which merges modernity, seamlessly with antique furniture and details.
Sincere thanks too to Bistro Manager/ Sommelier Jade Daniells and Receptionist Alice Clarkson who went the extra mile during our stay.
Excitingly, it’s not just us who are lucky ducks with our stay as you can win a night in a superior room (my parents stayed in one) at the Hotel du Vin York (1 night, fits a family of 4) worth £180 with breakfast too.
Simply enter below.
Ends 9th June 2019.
The hotel stay, travel, and hampers were gifted. As always, my words are honest.