10 Paddington St, W1U 5QL, Marylebone, London
One of the best things that has come from being Shortlisted for the 2015 Cosmo Blog Awards, is meeting all the other amazing and talented bloggers, in particular, my fellow Travel nominees whom I was shortlisted alongside. Back in October when the shortlist was announced we all began tweeting one another to say congratulations. Tweeting turned into a group email as we began discussing possibly meeting up on the evening of the awards to all go together. But it was the lovely Mary from maryhop.com that decided to organise a special travel blogging evening for us on the eve of the awards, and my oh my did she hook us up…
Mary had told us to meet at 7pm at OPSO, a Greek restaurant near Baker Street. I was at another event until 8pm so was fairly late, but luckily I hadn’t missed out on too much food as the girls had all been too busy gabbing to eat. I was presented with a glass of elderflower prosecco and I introduced myself to my fellow nominees.
I was actually quite nervous about meeting everyone. I’ve been to a lot of blog events, but never an actual meetup, where the sole purpose is just to, well, meet up. And the weird thing about meeting other bloggers is that I often know the people I’m meeting because I follow them on instagram and twitter and I have read their blogs. But in most cases I’ve never actually met them and I end up accidentally calling them by their blog link as opposed to their actual names, like “Oh Hey Maryhop” or “Hey CharliNice” – although this became a running theme over the next 24 hours.
So,who was there?
Of the ten bloggers nominated in the travel category, six of us were able to make it to the OPSO dinner. There was of course Mary, who had organised the dinner and brought along her friend. Sat next to Mary was Katy from NotWedorDead, not only a fellow nominee but a friend I’ve known for years. And next to Katy was the beautiful Charlotte from AdventuresofaNiceGirl. I was sat next to the lovely Lizzy of MissBarlow.com and on her right was Lauren whose blogging alias is ElleCroft. From our category we were just missing TwinsthatTravel, SophiesSuitcase, Janet the journalistontherun and the fabulous Jess from TheTravelista.net.
After some chit chat and a little toast to ourselves, my nerves had vanished and I was ready to tuck into the delicious food that was beautifully presented to us, course by course. And Mary had not only arranged for us to be wined and dined like Princesses, but we were to be the first to sample some of the Christmas Menu, and honestly, I can’t fault it…
This Venison is not normally something I would order, but it was really really delicious.
Mini hot dog anyone?
Although they look like chunky crisps, these fries were soft and thin and so tasty, I could have carried on eating them all night.
This snowy cheesecake was my favourite dish of the night. I have a really sweet tooth so dessert is always my fave, but this was unreal. As well as being so elegantly messy (and very instagram worthy!) it was just sooooo tasty. The biscuit was so crumbly and yummy and it was all topped with edible flowers… well, I hope they were edible, I ate them!
Lizzy and I shared one and we literally demolished this course!
I then embarrassed myself by attempting to get my truffle out of this …er …. truffle holder (??) by clawing it open. The chorus of laughs around me soon alerted me that I was doing it wrong, proving I need to up my luxury Food game. But the truffle was worth it and was served with these adorable little cookies that I enjoyed with a late night latte.
I have to say a BIG Thank you to Mary (above) for organsing such a wonderful evening for us all. Not only was the food and drink at OPSO so elegant and delicious, but just meeting up with the girls and getting to know each other before the big event, was fantastic. After all the tweeting and emailing over the past few weeks it was lovely to put tweets to names and actually have a REAL discussion with each other. We laughed lots, swapped travel stories, shared our ambitions and aspirations – it was honestly such a lovely evening. A perfect way to kick off the #CosmoBlogAwards <3