Every night at 8pm I am forced to watch Grand Designs with the Beard. He cooks dinner most nights, so the deal is that he gets to watch what he wants whilst we eat, and so Grand Designs has now become our dinner time ritual. Watching people build their dream mansions – which sometimes includes castles! – wasn’t something I fancied doing whilst sat in my little studio flat. BUT, I have to say I actually enjoy the show. Watching these couples build their dreams after working so hard and saving so much; it’s actually hugely inspiring. It’s never an easy journey for them, but the outcome is almost always a happy ending. It’s also a great show to watch for storage tips, building advice and I just love seeing how the interiors of the houses end up being styled. Each house is so different, much like each story, and the end result always blows my mind. So last week when Hillarys invited me to Grand Designs Live on their behalf, of course I said YES.
Grand Designs Live is a fantastic place to go if you’ve just bought a house, are renovating one, or of course building from scratch. You have everything you need and so much expert advice all under one roof. It’s a sales teams dream, with thousands of companies all set up to sell you everything from washing machines and kitchen sinks, to Garden Club houses and floating beds. You’ll see some incredible things at GDL…
Unfortunately I am not buying a house, nor renovating a house, and I’m certainly not building one – so why would it be fun for me? Well, originally Hillarys invited me +1 so I invited the Beard along. He was chuffed about it. It was to be a fun Date. But in typical Beard fashion he ended up ill and injured (long story) so it was to be me, myself and I. At first i wondered if I should still go, a day out alone at Grand Designs Live; an exhibition based on a TV Show about houses and how to build them. Why would I want to go there alone?
Because I got to treat myself! There is more to GDL than sales, sales, sales. There’s food, drink, pampering, samples, freebies and some really ihteresting talks and demonstrations. First off I watched Primrose Bakery do a live demo where they made gummy bear rice krispie cakes, and we (as in me and all the kids I was surrounded by) got to eat the freshly baked samples, Nom! Next, I wandered along to look at some amazing art, including Posh graffiti which I just loved and will most certainly be trying them out for gifts and stocking fillers.
My fave brand/company of the day was JamJar lights, they had some amazing lighting. I loved all their hanging bulbs. It sounds daft but I’ve got a real thing for hanging light bulbs lately. A bar near my flat has a ceiling decorated with hanging light bulbs and it looks amazing. JamJars signature light is the JamJar lamp itself, which is around £40. Whilst the JamJar is the cheapest, I’m really temped to splash out on a hanging light bulb for my flat. They are so interesting to look at.
After enjoying JamJar’s amazing light show and crying over beautiful art I can’t afford (you have no idea how much I wanted that Audrey Hepburn picture), I wandered over to a massage area. Yes, you read that right, GDL have a massage area. I paid my £12, took a seat in the chair, and had an incredible neck, shoulder and back massage. It was soooooo relaxing, it left me feeling all tingly and zen. The lady who massaged me got rid of all the horrid knots in my back and shoulders. It lasted 15 minutes and afterwards I was given a free bottle of water and tips on how to stretch before my workouts.
Wandering along the stalls, feeling relaxed and happy, I couldn’t resist stopping off at an incredible sweet shop. It had chocolate truffles, clotted cream fudge, and so many different types of nougat including a Blueberry muffin flavored one. I had to try, so I popped a big chunk, along with plenty of chocolate and fudge, into a sweetie bag. It was bank a holiday, I’m allowed to be a bit naughty. On my way out a goodie bag was thrown at me as I was heading for a coffee and I was chuffed with some of the bit inside; I got chai seeds which I’ve been on the hunt for so that I can add to my smoothies! There was a few other foodie and cooking bits including herbs and some porridge oats. I also got some of those Robinson squash juice things – anyone else think they are the most pointless products ever??
Free cake, beautiful art, a massage, chocolate and nougat heaven … Me, Myself and I had a fab day. Grand Designs Live runs until Sunday 10th May if you fancy going. Tickets are only £12 for the weekday or £15 for the weekend. Why not treat yourself? If you do go, make sure to pop by Hillarys fab stand.