Sunday, 26 June 2016

Enjoying #BML for the First Time

To be frank, I am writing this perched on the side of my bed which hasn't got the contents of my case strewn across it. It is around 9 am on Sunday morning and I have been up since 7 am sorting the kid's breakfasts and watching them go through the #BML goodie bags with glee.
So far today I have managed to make myself a cup of tea, but have reached the point of feeling the wrong end of queasy; hungry but not feeling too chipper enough to actually make something. The joys of pregnancy! I decided the sample Coca Cola Zero may be a good idea, then half a slice of peanut butter toast. Then I began unpacking my case and now have eaten 2 triangles of Toblerone and to be honest feel a little bit shaky haha! It has been such a busy couple of days I actually feel like I have a hangover.

Friday night; hotel, eating out and meeting new friends

scruffy trainers thanks to walking around London underground
I did manage to clean these trainers but as expected London made them mucky and dusty again!
Slight detour at London Bridge Underground
We got off the tube at London Bridge, a bit prematurely - we had to continue to Old Street!

Settling in at the hotel with a Toblerone
Getting settled in at the hotel :)
The Californian Burger at The Diner in Camden
We stopped for dinner at The Diner, Camden, en route to the Fringe Party. I chose the Californian burger; beef burger, monteray jack cheese and smashed avocado.

Sweet potato fries at the Diner, Camden
We shared a dish of sweet potato and regular French fries but we were absolutely too stuffed to consider pudding! I unzipped my skirt!

The Diner, Camden
I would definitely go back to The Diner and I appreciated that our waiter asked us if any of us had allergies or intolerances.

Rose Lemonade back at the Thistle hotel
Rose lemonade was my drink of choice once we got back to the hotel. Can you believe we all got asked for ID?!

Saturday: #BML16

My first #BML was a fantastic experience. I had no idea what to expect really and I wondered if I would actually be able to recognise anyone. But once Claire, Serena and Hannah and I made it from The Thistle City Barbican hotel to The Brewery, I spotted a familiar face from the vlogging community, Emily from Emily and Indiana! We pretty much stuck together for the rest of the day, until the very end when we made a move to get our trains and we were unable to find each other to say goodbye. I also recognised Donna from What the Redhead Said but I think I came over a bit starstruck. We also met Alex from Bump to Baby and glided past Cherry Healey.

The Montcalm London City and Brewery hotel flag
Blue skies, lovely!

The courtyard tropical canopy we waited in before being let in at 9 am
Emily and I spotted each other beneath the hanging flowers and bananas of the tropical canopy in The Brewery courtyard

I have to admit that I grazed pretty much through the day, which was a good thing, having had a surprise bout of morning sickness that morning (brushing my teeth set it off). I started with a raspberry muffin and mini pastries and a cup of tea and after some talks in the main room, crepes and coffee were available in The Hub. The Hub was packed with different brands, their stores and their wares; made to order Whipsmith's ice cream prepared using liquid nitrogen, Munchkin, various travel companies with tapas, Blue Iron liquid iron supplements, and although I didn't spot him, there was a very oily, mostly naked male model for the Bollox to Cancer stall.

Whipsmith ice cream tried and tested flavour combinations. I chose Kinda Surprise
I could have chosen any number of flavours to create a yummy ice cream but I opted for Kinda Surprise from the 'tried and tested' combination board. It was delicious, but very sweet.
Tapas with anchovies
I enjoyed some tapas; the focaccia bread with tomato sauce and some kind of salami. These ones looked good and whilst I do like anchovies I don't think they are the best things to eat in such a social situation.
I attended a variety of little seminars and I think the one which I found most useful was the SEO talk by Judith Lewis of DeCabbit Consultancy; it was a shame that we didn't have longer really, but those who asked good questions did gain a bag of chocolate or wine gums which is a plus!

astroturf inside the Big little test festival room
The Big Little Tent Festival Lounge had astroturf down, tropical flower necklaces and tents

the MAM blogging video lounge ran a competition; guess the number of soothers
The MAM blogger video lounge ran a competition; guess the correct number of MAM soothers in the jar to win some fab filming and lighting gear

Emily guessed correctly and won the prizes!
Emily's lucky guess was CORRECT! Well done Emily, enjoy your new lights and stands!

In order to get our trains, we left after Cherry Healey's chat and Slouching towards Thatcham's 'Pretty in Pink' with a difference rendition, so much fun! Unfortunately whilst we had double checked train times we had not checked the weather and within 5 minutes of walking we were sheltering from some very fat raindrops, hail and thunder and watched as a little flash flood swirled down the pavements and roads. In the end we made it to the tube station and said goodbye to Hannah and Serena before embarking on the busy rabbit warren of confusion that is Bank underground station. So much walking and so much lifting of cases; my hands feel like they are developing callouses and need a hefty application of hand cream. Once at Waterloo, Claire and I quickly said our goodbyes before I slalomed around dawdling travellers to get to my awaiting train at platform 9. Apologies to anyone who may have been clipped by my case!

Cherry Healey was on good form
Cherry Healey was on good form and was very...enthusiastic!

I would love to go to #BML again, but in all likelihood it will probably be in 2018 when I will have a slightly older baby. Hopefully I will have another, more local blogger conference opportunity between now and then though as it would be lovely to see the now more familiar faces. I hope those of you who attended had a fantastic time too!

The contents of one Britmums goodie bag
The generous contents of the Britmums goodie bag. The kids enjoyed going through everything in detail.
I did vlog some footage of our stay and event so stay tuned for that on my channel Sophie and Lily soon!


  1. It was so lovely to meet you, I'm glad I found you at the very beginning! I haven't looked in my bags yet I've been so busy - need a weekend to get over this one haha xx

  2. Ahhh it looks like you had a great time.
    The burger you ate Friday looked gorgeous x

  3. Ah thanks for my mention lovely - I always just appreciate people saying hello! So glad you had a great time, it was awesome! x

  4. Glad you had a good time! It was a shame I ran out of time but I always try and help everyone and I guess that's where I fall down :-o
    The slides are up on Slideshare if that helps..?


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