I am not a nominee in the UK Blog Awards; I’m fairly new to blogging and this time last year one of the only places I went on my own was to the gym. I’d mustered the courage to travel to a few London events on my own (Henry Holland: Fashion In Motion, Esthechoc Beauty Chocolate + Karen Millen: In Focus) since October. When an opportunity came about to spend a social evening with the UK Blog Awards I thought why not. I had promised myself to get out of my comfort zone this year, attend more events to socialise with the blogging community, plus the event was being held at Roast overlooking Borough Market, a restaurant I had always wanted to try since I love the market and many of the ingredients are obtained fresh from the market.
Not only that I’d heard about their roast burger dish; isn’t it a beast.
*Photo from Roast Restaurant website*
I have no qualms in admitting a Sunday Roast is hands down my favourite dinner and I was really hoping for the opportunity to try it.
As I headed down on the train after work on a wet Monday evening, I seriously contemplated heading home, then put the thought aside. Then again, anxiety struck again on the tube as I thought to myself there is still time to head home.
Though I’d been to other events alone, I think the fact that it was a UK Blog Awards event with successful bloggers that terrified the life out of me. I thought, why am I going?! I’m not a nominee for the UK Blog Awards nor do I have years of experience to share to enlighten others…
No, I’ve come this far, paid for my train ticket. If I don’t enjoy it I can make excuses and leave after an hour (I said to myself.) I took a few shots of the restaurant from the outside (standard Jaz behaviour, I do love taking photos) and finally mustered the courage to take the stairs up to the restaurant.
The staff offered to take my coat on the way in, thoughts of a quick getaway dashed in an instant. I handed over my coat and looked into the bar area, which had handfuls of people grouped together in conversation…this wasn’t going to be easy…
A lady with a clipboard ticked me off the list and introduced me to Gemma from the UK Blog Awards. It was lovely to meet Gemma face to face, after conversing via email. Gemma put me at ease explaining that not all in attendance were nominees for the UK Blog Awards, PR companies, Blog Award judges, bloggers were in attendance as well as nominees.
Gemma introduced me to two other bloggers who were not nominees. Kathryn, a food blogger with the blog Homemade With Mess and Kelly who along with her friend has the very popular online magazine, Celeb Mix.
We spoke about our respective blogs, holidays, Glastonbury and even talked about our favourite celeb crushes (mine is David Beckham BTW). The conversation just flowed and we hit it off straight away. As more people arrived, we were put into groups for the Roast food quiz.
Roast had laid out the most amazing canapés: scallops, olives with feta cheese and wait for it…mini Yorkshire puddings with beef and horseradish.
No need to guess where I parked myself! Luckily, this was also the first stand for our team to answer questions. The questions were all food related and unfortunately, when it comes to food I realised I just eat it and my food knowledge is actually non-existent. Needless to say, our team did not fare well, though this may be down to the copious amount of wine being served. I managed to restrain myself to two/three glasses, after all, I did have work in the morning.
The wine, canapés, and quiz were a really nice touch to encourage attendees to mingle. Sad to say it, we probably wouldn’t have socialised as well as we had if we’d sat down for a meal to devour the Roast Burger…though I still want it.
After the quiz, a musician began playing his guitar and singing songs including a favourite of mine ‘Brown Eyed Girl’, which always reminds me of the thriller starring Julia Roberts ‘Sleeping With The Enemy.’
I began talking to other bloggers at the event including Sarah who has a family blog called Family Travel Times, Karen (I Don’t Like Peas) who was at the London Fashion Week show I attended last month, George (Better Fools) and his UK Blog Award nominee partner Mariacristina (Coochinando.) It was lovely to meet them all and learn about their blogs. Particularly, George who spoke about his battle with leukemia and how blogging helped him through it as well as inspired others during their own difficult time. George said he couldn’t have got through it without his blogging wife and cooking connoisseur Mariacristina, who sure has some fabulous recipes on her blog. No wonder she has been nominated in the prestigious UK Blog Awards. – Good luck Mariacristina!
Meandering towards the cheese, I began talking to fellow team mate Simone, a judge for the UK Blog Awards. Simone is the PR Manager for Visit Holland and we had a real giggle chatting about various things and doing our utmost not to eat all the cheese on the stand near the musician, which had started off quite well hidden. Simone asked me about my blog and we both discovered we share an appreciation for the fashion designer Henry Holland.
As the night drew to a close Simone kindly invited me to her Visit Holland event in Shoreditch, which I am attending this week.
I can’t wait to see Simone again and hopefully catch up with some of the lovely bloggers I met at Roast.
It just goes to show you it’s not a bad thing getting out of your comfort zone, as if I’d let my anxiety take over I wouldn’t have met these lovely people or received an invite to this week’s Visit Holland event (I do love Shoreditch – check out this post.)
Thanks for reading,