Last week the citizenM hotel group invited myself and some fellow Lifestyle Bloggers for a day out of Christmas yummyness, kicking the day off with a delicious brunch at The Southwark Tavern. But before I go into the ‘Ummming’ and ‘Aaaahing’ over the food, let me get the introductions out the way…
I was joined by Livvy of teatoastfashion blog, Helen of thelovecatsinc.com, Claire of fineanddandyblog.co.uk and Anoushka of anoushkaprobyn, plus we were joined by the lovely Alexa and Maria who had organisd the day.
Have you ever been to The Southwark Tavern? It’s right next to London’s famous Borough market, and from outside and even from upstairs, it just looks like your average pub. But delve down below and you’ll find a circular row of brick cells that reminded us of something from a Harry Potter novel, I was half expecting a secret passage to take us to Diagon Alley. Each brick cell sits about six people on wooden tables and has a shelf piled with battered boxes of games to play, such as Articulate and Monopoly. I’d say this would be a perfect place to hang out on a rainy day with your mates. In fact, even though it was only 11am, the smell of the pubs spiced mulled wine was tempting us to just park our bums there for the day and get cosy with some beverages. But we decided NOT to waste an entire day drunk in a cell, and so ordered a round of coffee’s and hot chocolates instead.
For brunch I ordered my favourite, Eggs Royale; poached eggs with smoked salmon on a breakfast muffin covered in hollandaise sauce. It is my go to dish on all brunch menu’s, it’s tasty, it filling and it’s healthy(ish). Although I was slightly jealous of Helen and Claire’s Banana & Honeycomb topped Pancakes.
After all the eggs, pancakes, coffee and not forgetting the steaming hot chocolates and lattes, we were very very full … or at least we thought we were. As we made our way around Borough market for a little winter wander, our taste buds began to tingle again as the aroma’s of all the freshly baked breads, cookies and brownies wafted in our direction.
There are some amazing things on offer at Borough Market, it’s a great place if you want to do some Christmas shopping and pick up gifts that are little unusual or/and edible. There are hundreds of different cheeses, so many different drinks available and foods from around the world. But then there are things that just make me think Really??
We spent about 40 minutes hopping from stall to stall with intrigue to see what would catch our eye next, taking pictures of all the beautiful things and getting stuck at the brownie stall just a little too long due to the, ahem, free samples that were being given out.
After we’d made our way around most of the stalls, we headed to the London Bankside citizenM Hotel which is just down the road from the market. This is where we were to have our Cupcake decorating class with Xanthe the original CookieGirl and cupcake legend. But not before having a smooch around the incredible citizenM lobby (which also has free wifi and looks like a great place for people like me/freelancers to come and work for an afternoon, FYI)
Xanthe arrived with boxes and boxes of treats for us, including Christmas coloured icing, orange and green frosting, pearls and stars and all sorts of toppings. I’ll be honest, I’m usually crap at cupcake decorating, but that’s probably because I’ve never been shown how to use the tools properly. Xanthe showed us exactly how we should be holding the icing bags and what pressure we should be putting on them when we squeeze. It was actually really interesting to learn about and I’m hoping that next time I do it at home I’ll be a bit more clued up.
The idea of our cupcake decorating lesson was to create some lovely Christmas themed cakes. Despite being sat inbetween Helen & Claire, who are experienced cupcakers and whose cakes turned out looking AMAZING, I was still quite impressed with my finished Christmas treats…
We couldn’t leave the hotel without trying some of their fabulous cocktails. We all took a seat in the unusually styled bar/lobby area – which is designed like a modern living room to make you feel at home – and all scrambled for the cocktail menu. After a good few hours of cupcake concentration we all felt we had earned ourselves a tasty drink.
I have to thank citizenM and the organisers Alexa and Maria for inviting me along because it really was one of those days that was just wonderfully perfect. I had never met anyone there before, and I was the only one who went along not knowing anyone, which initially made me nervous, but I had a great time. There has been quite a lot of negativity lately across twitter and blogs about the blogging industry and about bloggers who are lying and how everyone is trying to make out that they are bigger or more popular than they are. So to go along to such a nice and intimate event, with lovely bloggers and lovely PR’s that was just about having fun, eating good food and getting in the Christmas spirit was perfect. The day out was about having fun and being creative, and isn’t that what blogging is supposed to be about?? It is for me.