Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Food Blogger Connect 2015 - My Thoughts


A few weeks ago myself and my friend Jac from Tinned Tomatoes travelled down to London for the annual Food Blogger Connect Conference. FBC as it’s known is the world's leading international food blogging conference. This year the venue was advertised as Chiswick House and Gardens.

Jac and I turned up on the Friday morning and got out of a taxi alongside TV cook  and food writer Sophie Grigson who was giving a talk at FBC. We walked into the grounds chatting to her.


We met all of our peers and settled down for the first part of the conference which was Sophie, giving us a talk on food writing. This was a really interesting and fun talk on using certain words when describing foods, how to compile recipes and the like. I must remember not to use the word ‘delicious’ when describing food!!


Over the weekend there was a mixed bag of content, some of which I found useful and some I didn’t. We had a presentation from Pinterest, which I did find very helpful and will start to change the way I use the application.

In the grounds, outside the marquee where we had the classes, was what is billed as the ‘StrEAT Party’. A gathering of stalls promoting foods and drink from all over. We could sample hot dogs, burgers, pastas, Mexican food, birch water (not a fan!), greek cuisine and so on. We could chat to our friends and sample new foods.


On the Saturday afternoon, myself and a few others decamped for a while and went to our favourite bakery ‘Outsider Tart’, which I have visited on a couple of occasions already.


We received a goody bag at the end of FBC and sadly I couldn’t take everything with me, due to luggage restrictions, but I managed to cram in a very nice food rasp, a silicone Madeleine tin, tasty marshmallows, Pop chips and more.

I have to be honest and say I got more from last year’s conference. I didn’t find that I learned anything wildly new or different (aside from the Pinterest talk). Luca my friend who blogs at Chestnuts and Truffles suggested they have two ‘streams’ at future events - such as beginners and advanced, so bloggers get a choice at which level they want to join in. It is an expensive trip if you don’t find you learn that much.

The venue was not the best either. It was much further out and tricky to get to unless you lived in London. Also, it was advertised as being at Chiswick House and not in a tent in the grounds. As this was September in London, as the day went on things got a bit chillier. Plus as it got dark around 7pm, the ‘Streat Party’ failed to encourage people to stay afterwards as they had last year when it was held in June.

I’m not sure I will return next year, but for those who haven’t been before it is a great place to meet fellow bloggers and chat about things – the highlight of the weekend for me!


Whilst we were away Jac, Lisa from United Cakedom, Sarah from Maison Cupcake and myself were lucky enough to have been given accommodation at the Ibis Hotel in Shepherds Bush. This hotel, which is at the rear of Westfield Shopping Centre, was my first experience of staying in an Ibis.



The room was spacious, with lovely d├ęcor and a very funky bathroom. It was like a curved pod in the corner of the room. The inside had a wet room kind of feel with a level floor and a most spacious, powerful shower. Great for my weary bones.


We also had breakfast included where you could eat just about anything you desired. Lovely breads, fruit, yoghurts were on offer. Although I don’t usually I went for bacon, sausage, hash browns, egg etc. The breakfast area, which doubled as the bar the rest of the day was comfortable and modern, making you feel very relaxed.


The location is very central, perfect for the Central line funnily enough.


Overall, the weekend was enjoyable and I did have a good time seeing friends and learning some new things. The accommodation was lovely and I could not criticise that at all. As for Food Blogger Connect 2016? I shall wait and see what the schedule is before I make my mind up.

Disclosure Statement: I received free accommodation at the Ibis hotel in exchange for a review. Any opinions expressed are my own.

11 comments:

  1. Why shouldn't you say "delicious"? I say it quite a lot!

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    1. According to Sophie it's overused and, if it's something I'm making, why would I be making it unless it's not delicious! Made me think anyway...

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    2. I dunno. I've read some blog posts where people have said "it was just OK but I thought I'd share it anyway". Not exactly a ringing endorsement for their recipe!

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    3. I've seen that too Charlotte, hope I've not been guilty of it! Surely you would only blog about something you absolutely love?

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  2. I love your honest write up. FBC has not interested me before, but it's something I may consider if I can learn something new.

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    Replies
    1. As a newbie to the conference I'm sure you'd learn a lot Charlene - although you do seem well established as a blogger!

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  3. It was great to spend some time with you at FBC - and I really appreciated the warmth and comfort of Ibis after being outside in the elements all day ;-)

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  4. I had a great weekend. I always enjoy spending time with you. The hotel was great and yes the conference was mixed. I thought the tax talk and social side was worth the trip down xx

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  5. Only downsides here was that I’m not sure if they were expecting such a crowd as they did not have nearly enough servers and sometimes it would take a really long time for service guy to come. But at event venues Chicago they tried to keep a smiles on their face.

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