Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Visit Holland #MeetTheDutchMasters Event


If reading back through my posts over the last year has taught me anything, it has shown me my love for attending events.




I've found attending events a real confidence boost, particularly finding the confidence to go on my own. The UK Blog Awards Event at Roast was a real milestone for me *read here* and I made some lovely friends at this social evening.


I was delighted to be invited to the Visit Holland event in Shoreditch last month by Simone, PR Manager for Visit Holland. Simone and I hit it off instantly at the Roast event, talking all things Henry Holland to our favourite cheeses, which coincidently we devoured sneakily in a corner before it was spotted by the other guests!


With the promise of cheese and cocktails, it didn't take much to tempt me to the Visit Holland event held in The Apartment at The Hoxton.



I have explored Shoreditch many times as it is one of my favourite places in London, particularly in the Summer months where it is buzzing with a thriving outdoor bar scene. My blog post about Shoreditch (and Camden) is my most popular to date and was awarded Blog of the Week by Visit London *read here.



I'd always wanted to check out The Hoxton and was delighted at the opportunity to do so at the Visit Holland event.



Now you may be thinking what is The Apartment if you haven't visited The Hoxton before... Well, it's literally an apartment contained in an area on the ground floor of The Hoxton Hotel. As you walk in you are greeted by an open spaced kitchen and lounge area, complete with kitchen breakfast counter, sofas and an impressive Smeg fridge. What a cool venue for an event - great job Simone.



Simone didn't disappoint on the cheese front either, an abundance of cheese cutely shaped into all things Holland: windmills, bicycles and Dutch flags were one of the first things to catch my eye as I walked in.





The spread was impressive complete with mini burgers, mini fish n chips and healthier quinoa with feta - I was literally in food heaven!







OK, OK enough with the food but please take my word for it, the food was amazing!





It was lovely chatting with Karen (I Don't Like Peas blog) and enjoying a few drinks with her and Gemma from the UK Blog Awards



After taking part in a quiz all about Holland, which quizzed guests on all things Van Gogh to the Rijksmuseum, it was needless to say I need to get myself over to Holland and learn about the culture! Gemma, like me, hasn't visited Holland before either and she did a very impressive job with her score sheet considering we had both fluked our way through - it's the taking part that counts right..?!




It was only right we celebrated our near victory by boomeranging our cheers on Instagram and believe me this was taken after about the fiftieth attempt. A standard night with bloggers!



The Visit Holland event looks back at the most influential and informative blog posts and publications about Holland over the last twelve months. As a fairly new blogger myself, it was great to get insight into the writing styles and travel posts a tourist board such as Visit Holland view in high regard.




Special recognition was given to the blog winners of the night, with Ron Smith winning the award for Best Journalism.








The most intriguing for me was learning and talking to guests who had flown in for the event to promote a particular area of Holland. Prior to the Visit Holland event, the only area that was well known to me was Amsterdam.


It was so lovely talking to Chantal about The Hague (Den Haag), which is only located a short distance from Amsterdam and is the only city in The Netherlands by the sea. Similarly to Chantal, Jurriaan, Director of Business Development & Operations for Visit Holland had also flown in for the event. Annemarie, representing the beautiful Keukenhof Tulip Gardens was amused when I told her the closest I had been to seeing the Dutch windmills and tulip gardens was visiting the Dutch Windmill located in Golden Gate Park San Francisco, on my trip last year (shown below.)



After having a giggle and showing my San Francisco pictures of the Dutch windmill I can't wait to see how it looks for real in Holland as I have been lusting over pictures of the Keukenhof Tulip Gardens on Instagram ever since I returned from the Visit Holland event.


To top off this truly amazing event, a goody bag was given to each guest containing a variety of items including Dutch literature, a hotel stay at The Hoxton, which can be used in London, New York, Paris and Amsterdam and the cutest little package containing bulbs from the Keukenhof Tulip Gardens!





This event was one of my favourite events since I started blogging and has really evoked my passion for travel. It was so lovely to be invited along and to meet so many inspirational people as they talked about their work and passion for Holland.


I look forward to seeing Simone again at this week's UK Blog Awards. Follow me on Instagram and check out my stories to see the event unfold.




Have you visited Holland before? Please share your tips and recommendations in the comments box below 
😀

Thanks for reading,

Jaz
xoxo

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