Thursday, 11 June 2015

New Nikes, fresh feet and a blogger lunch at the Charlotte Street Hotel, London.

I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect as I set off for London yesterday morning. I knew I was on my way to a blogger event that would involve both shoes and lunch though, and quite frankly that was all the convincing I needed.

Plus, I felt like I hadn’t been to London for actual yonks (stupid finals), and boy, had I missed that fine city.

The shoe mecca that is Office was the assigned meeting point, and I was duly handed a £50 gift-card upon arrival. Um, awesome much!? What a treat from the lovely people at Nexus Communications, who’d kindly invited me and a handful of other bloggers to spend the day with them. Although at this point the point of the day was still rather mysterious.

Any day that starts with £50 to spend in Office has got to be a good one though, right?

You may have heard me lamenting my #biggirlfeetproblems (not as catchy a hashtag as I’d hoped) before, and the struggle is real. Office, however, is a shop that at least does some shoes in larger sizes, if disappointingly few. Luckily I still managed to find a pretty new pair for myself.

Enter, pink leopard print trainers:

I know. How ridiculous does that sound? Pink… leopard print… trainers.

But, HELLO! Aren’t they fab?

I’ve actually been after a nice pair of Nikes like this for some time. Sure, I go to the gym and workout classes a lot, but I only have boring, run-of-the-(tread)mill sporty trainers. Boo to that.

Stylish trainers like these Nikes are now totally acceptable as everyday footwear, and surely they’ve got to be better for our feet that flimsy ballet flats? Or so my Mama has been drilling into me for years anyway.

It’s always a good day when I’m going to the gym after a lecture and can thus go into uni in my comfy workout kit and trainers. Ya feel me.

So, my new shoes were boxed, bagged-up and whisked away while we bloggers hopped into the cars waiting to take us to the next destination on our day of fun: the Charlotte Street Hotel.

Naturally, I had had an online stalk of said hotel before arriving but I hadn’t realised it was the very hotel I had walked past a few months earlier and marvelled at from outside. Super Pinterest-worthy. The Charlotte Street Hotel is one niiiiice hotel, ma friends. And we were going there for lunch, lucky us!

*tries to act cool*

Once there I got a chance to really talk to some of the other lovely bloggers – it was so great as there were only eight or nine of us in total, so we could properly get to know each other. Goodness knows why I got to be one of the lucky bloggers invited but I'm so happy I was!

Allow me to introduce you to these super fabulous and lovely ladies:

L-R: Ellie from The Elle Next Door, Jess from Cocoa Chelsea, Jess from Feeling Stylish and me. Do check out their blogs as they're super great and really inspiring. Oh, and for those of you who have asked, the somewhat princessy skirt I'm wearing is from Chic Wish.

We made our way into the hotel and downstairs to a private room with a big table beautifully laid and ready for us. Waiting in the room was the lovely Gina Akers, the presenter, journalist and beauty expert who was leading the afternoon’s discussion.

Let me tell you, it’s so awesome to spend time with like-minded bloggers whose initial reaction is to ask questions like: “What’s the wifi password please?” “What’s the twitter handle for the hotel?” and “Is there a hashtag for the event?” Essential info, I’m sure you’ll agree.

But the answers to all these questions and more were duly revealed to us. The one thing that could have been more blogger-friendly in my opinion was the lighting situation: we were in a basement, and everyone knows natural light is an essential for good photos. But hey, I’m just being overly picky.

After a spot of mingling we sat down and ordered our choices from the lunch menu. I wasn’t going to have wine. But then someone offered me wine. So yeah, wine. 

L-R: Sabrina, Mitra and Lauren, all super blogging babes too.

While our lunches were cooked, we got down to business. And yes, we FINALLY found out what the day was all about: #freshsummerfeet. Basically, we learnt about how important it is to look after our feet and how to get them summer-ready. And the company behind all this? Odor-Eaters, who have just launched their new SlimSoles which are shoe-liners specifically designed for women's shoes.

Did I embarrassingly laugh out loud because I thought Gina said “over-eaters” rather than "Odor-Eaters"? Yes, yes I did. Oops.

We were reunited with our new shoes which had been sneakily fitted with Odor-Eaters SlimSoles so we could see just how slim they were. I think it's safe to say SlimSoles are the Cara Delevingnes of the insole world. By that I mean they are slim. Moving on...

We talked about our new shoes and Gina wowed us with an array of foot facts. Srsly.

Get this:
  • The average person walks over 115,000 miles (more than four times round the world) in a lifetime.
  • 9/10 women wear shoes that are too small for them.
  • A pair of feet release half a pint of perspiration DAILY!
  • 20,000 women in the UK are hospitalised every year due to their footwear, usually because of a high heel-related accident.
  • The average woman walks three miles further every day than the average man.
Cray-cray, right?

Anyway we swiftly removed thoughts of sweaty feet from our minds as it was time for our starters.

I had the salad and it was utterly divine. 

We then moved on to talk about how best to look after our feet. Classic stuff really: exfoliate, dry them properly after a shower, moisturise with foot cream and make sure you change your shoes daily. 

And then out came the main courses:

I went for the risotto which was totally dreamy. 

Classic blogger table.
Big bowls of salad, green beans and fries were brought out for the table, so naturally, I went for them all. Carbs on carbs? I think so.

And then it was pudding time. Choosing just one of the trio on offer was a challenge for me, as you can imagine. The opera cake was tempting...

But I think I made a good choice with the mixed berry Eton Mess. It was goooood!

Quote Jess from Cocoa Chelsea: "It's so nice to go to a blogger event where people actually eat" (as I shovel Eton Mess into my face and proceed to eat the extra one next to me too. I did ask. No-one else wanted to finish it. You know you'd do the same.)

Oh, and then petits fours, tea and coffee were served to finish up a super tasty luncheon.

It's safe to say my princessy skirt was a little tighter by the time we left.

I'd had a simply wonderful day discussing shoes, food, feet and blogging, not to mention meeting some awesome people. It was also really interesting to have a few hours dedicated to discussing a body part that is so often neglected: feet. No one really wants to talk about feet. I've never really liked mine, but I'm jolly excited to put them to good use in my new trainers!

Thanks so much to Nexus PR for inviting me. It was such a treat and I feel very lucky.

What are your thoughts on your feet? I genuinely want to know. Honest.

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