Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Traveling Solo - How I Coped

Traveling Solo - How I Coped I recently wrote a blog post on how to enjoy traveling alone, following some eager research to fill the nervous gap between being here in the UK and flying out to the USA alone for the very first time. I thought I would let you know how it went in reality - as giving tips prior to doing something is all well and good... This is the real stuff, the nitty gritty (not too gritty I hasten to add)! It was my very first time on a long haul flight, I've never been to the USA (even though it's been a dream destination for many many years) and I've most certainly never flown alone before. You can see my little video of my travels here:  [youtube height="HEIGHT" width="WIDTH"]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3I1ktcRsjd8[/youtube]   Not only was I flying alone on my outbound journey, but also coming home too - eek, scary for somebody who finds "doing London" a bit of a challenge sometimes all the time - I'm a bit of a country bumpkin! So, I kept a journal (thank you SO MUCH to Cat at The Teatime Treatery for my fab birthday gift!) throughout my journey and I cannot believe just how much I LOVED every minute of my trip, the scariness soon disappeared and the excitement came over me as soon as I left my front door. Traveling Solo - How I Coped I can't quite believe just how much travel was involved over the 3 weeks I had planned, including many modes of transport I hadn't even considered would be taken on... in fact, here's a run down of the modes of transport I encountered whilst on my epic road trip - it went something a little like this: ▽ Car ▽ Taxi ▽ Coach ▽ Airplane (Heathrow to Toronto) ▽ Airplane (Toronto to Orlando) Traveling Solo - How I Coped ▽ Shuttle ▽ Private Car ▽ Stretch Hummer Traveling Solo - How I Coped ▽ Private Coach ▽ Golf Buggy  ▽ Mini Bus ▽ Polo Trailer Rollercoaster Back of a truck ▽ Horse & Carriage ▽ Hearse (yup, really!) Traveling Solo - How I Coped ▽ Airplane (Orlando to Toronto) Airplane (Toronto to Heathrow) ▽ Coach ▽ Car And breathe! Traveling Solo - How I Coped Wow, there was a lot of travel involved, ok, not all solo (I met my bearded friend and his lovely family & friends out there for my adventures), but the flying was alone both ways and I'm so stupidly proud of myself for taking this step. It wasn't as scary as I thought it would be, in fact, it was peaceful and the time flew by as I gave myself the time to unwind, watch films, read a book and blog as I soared through the air and wandered restfully around the terminals. I loved every minute.  I was lucky, no delays either way, no issues, plain sailing - whoop! So, were my tips in my previous blog useful when it came to traveling alone? Let's have a quick recap and I'll let you know! Traveling Solo - How I Coped ▽ Pack less than you think you need - I took a big suitcase weighing 19kg and a carry on case weighing 9kg, along with my handbag full of stuff I *thought* might be needed for my journey... half of it I never used, as the insight entertainment was so good! I bought my shampoo & general toiletries out there so I didn't have any leaking issues and this saved on space not bringing them home too. ▽ Glow with confidence -  There wasn't one delay or issue encountered, I sauntered through each and every airport gate with my head held high, making it look like I had every confidence in what I was doing. The last leg of my journey was the scariest, as I forgot where my baggage reclaim area was on landing in Orlando, but I am a VERY professional "people watcher" and I spotted the guy from the row behind me on my plane, so I followed him confidently and found my bags... and my AWESOME bearded friend with a hand-made "Miss Sue Flay" welcome sign at the arrivals gates *swoon*. Traveling Solo - How I Coped ▽ Keep hydrated & freshen up where you can - I drank water everywhere I could - the great thing about airports? Water fountains everywhere and in the US, huge water bottles to take on the flight. If you ask your flight attendant, they will also bring you cups of water, so there's no excuse. I also made sure I didn't indulge in the dodgy plane dinners (one was rather suspect, so I ate the salad and kept to my pre-packed nuts & dried fruit to keep me going until landing) and I applied face and hand cream every few hours to keep me refreshed. I couldn't sleep on the plane though - far too excited en route and past exhausted on way home (in fact, from leaving the US to arriving back in the UK, I didn't sleep for more than 50 hours - eek!) ▽ Treat yourself - I blogged, I read books, I ate what I fancied, I watched so many films I lost count - I was in my own little bubble and I loved every minute of it. I urge everyone to try flying alone just once and tell me they didn't enjoy the "me time". I even enjoyed breakfast at The Perfectionists' Cafe at Heathrow (This is inspired by Heston Blumenthal's "In Search of Perfection" TV series) for a delicious poached eggs & bacon with muffins and a huge pot of tea - mmm. Traveling Solo - How I Coped ▽ Offer a friendly face and people will want to chat to you. It's so true, I chatted to all of my travel companions on my flights and had some fascinating conversations with them all. One gentleman had been flying from India to Toronto and had some great tea chat in store for me and one old man on my return journey had just had the holiday of his life with his grandchildren - he had even been micro lighting in Florida and swimming with sharks - I loved hearing everyones travel stories and I would urge everyone who finds themselves sitting next to a stranger to strike up a conversation. One of my fellow travellers even kept an eye on me at one airport after our flight to make sure that I kept safe - she was very sweet. ▽ Don't take chances, I didn't leave my baggage unattended, even when popping to the loo or stretching my legs on the plane, I always had my bags with me. When visiting the loo in an airport, take all cases, even if it might feel a little awkward to be ramming a wheeled case into the stall with you - better to be safe than sorry. I had some very special items in my carry on that I just couldn't afford to lose if I left my case for a couple of minutes, I'm trustworthy to a point, but I was alone and half way around the world - I wasn't going to ask a stranger to hold my valuables... Would anybody honestly?! Traveling Solo - How I Coped  Wear lots of layers - on my way out, I was frozen - it was windy and wet in London and the flight was a chilly one. I took off my shoes, popped some comfortable jersey socks on, had my cardigan on over my shirt and jeans, wrapped up in my complimentary blanket and I was cosy. On the way home, I was baked, so hot on the plane I just couldn't sleep, so layers are one life saver when it comes to flying, don't chance it! ▽ Social media is a great tool for keeping you company at the airport. I managed to connect to free wifi in most places and it kept me entertained and was a great way to tease my followers with my journey. I shared sunsets and sunrises, airport geekery and kept updated with what was going on as I went - hurrah for technology! Traveling Solo - How I Coped In fact, I'm ready to fly again - where are we headed? Shout out your suggestions, I'm all ears...   MSF Miss Sue Flay logo Green Brush   Read my new "About Me" page here! You can also read about Miss Sue Flay's "Around The World In 80 Stays Challenge"and other Secret Stays & Reviews here. See more of my travel videos here and more of my food review videos here. Or get in touch via social media through Facebook, Instagram & Twitter for a natter about life in general! Please Note - I paid my own way on this occasion and I am in no means obliged to blog or write about my experience, but I simply choose to share their offerings with my readers, should I enjoy the experience. Any questions or to discuss an independent review or "Secret Stay", please do email: hello@misssueflay.com Traveling Solo - How I Coped All images © 2015 Miss Sue Flay, these may not be used or reproduced without written permission from the owner, many thanks in advance.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Cambridge Spotlight: The Cock At Hemingford Grey

The Cock Hemingford Grey This week I was invited by the lovely Jessica Donnithorne at Cambscuisine to join the team at The Cock in Hemingford Grey for their staff summer menu tasting session. Cambscuisine are the brand behind some of our favourite meat-based restaurants in Cambridge such as Smokeworks, St John's Chop House, The Tickell Arms, Cambridge Chop House and the Cambridge Dining Company. They have some exciting plans afoot for a second Smokeworks this summer and they are keeping their lips firmly closed on any location info or finer details - exciting! The Cock is their pilot venue, having been open since 2001 and I got to join Will Findlay and his close-knit team of chefs (including George & Fabiene) and waiting staff to sample their new seasonal menus. I was also joined by Pina at One Two Culinary Stew, a fellow blogger so I was in superb company for some food geekery. Will has been Head Chef at The Cock since 2006 and his fresh ideas and passion for locally sourced ingredients is addictive, I felt like a part of the team and got to chip in with my own thoughts on the dishes and help with any suggested additions or changes throughout - what an honour. The team carry out these tastings in order to get the service team familiar with every dish, making them truly knowledgable when it comes to customer questions throughout service. I'm aware that this is probably the norm for most pubs and restaurants, but it's been a while since I've seen such a friendly team that get on like a family - it was like being around a table for a family celebration, it didn't feel business-like at all, the atmosphere was inspiring. The Cock Hemingford Grey What can you expect to order at this picturesque village pub/restaurant? Well, if you simply want to visit a local village pub for a beer garden experience, you are welcome to enjoy a bar snack and a pint whilst soaking up some rays in the garden or curled up by the fire. However, you can also expect to sit in their restaurant and enjoy a high end dining experience - minus the huge price tag. In fact, the prices are more than fair for the quality of dishes in front of me this week - I was mightily impressed and I'm truly not just saying that, I had no idea just what they had to offer! Most of the dishes are also gluten free too, you won't be disappointed as a coeliac, there's no dull options here! A starter can range from between £5.50 - £7.50 and a main can vary between £11.50 - £20 (or if you fancy the Beef Wellington Sharing platter, rem, WOW!) then you can pay £48, £24 per person and you are in for the Wellington of your life. The À la Carte starters include the following dishes: ▽ Fried truffle gnocchi with caramelised onion puree, pickled wild mushrooms, garlic oil & rocket Soup of the day (changes every few days) ▽ Smoked brie with pickled apple and roast grape salad with sage pesto ▽ Duck parcel with sweet & sour cucumber, sesame, spring onion & soy dressing (My personal fave!) ▽ Seared pigeon breast, radish & baby gem fricassee, black cherry gel ▽ Cold smoked pork fillet, piccalilli puree, soused vegetable salad ▽ Rabbit & black pudding terrine with carrot jam, mixed leaves The Cock Hemingford Grey  The À la Carte mains include the following dishes: ▽ Asparagus, pea & truffle risotto with rocket, parmesan & truffle oil salad ▽ Rosemary & garlic polenta, watercress, radish and chilli jam ▽ Lamb rump, pea & mint puree, confit potatoes, black pudding, chantenay carrots & red wine gravy ▽ Guinea fowl supreme with rosemary potato bake, asparagus, mushroom puree, wilted spinach & madeira sauce ▽ Braised spiced pig cheek & belly faggot with Mouli, carrot & red cabbage slaw, coriander Miso broth ▽ 9oz Sirloin steak / 14oz Butler steak with hand cut chips, herb roasted tomato & Cafe de Paris butter ▽ Beef Wellington to share with Lyonnaise Potatoes, salt baked carrots, buttered greens & port sauce Best advice to avoid disappointment?... Book your table before you go, or else you WILL be disappointed! The menu changes every 3 months or so and the fish menu and pudding menu will all change within the next few weeks too - I cannot wait to find out what they have in store! You can see my little geeky video of this tasting afternoon here! [youtube height="HEIGHT" width="WIDTH"]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4eWe0h9Yhc&spfreload=10[/youtube] www.cambscuisine.com MSF Miss Sue Flay logo Green Brush   Please note - This visit was complimentary following an invitation to view this venue and meet the team. I am in no means obliged to blog or write about their offerings, but I simply choose to share with my readers, should I enjoy the experience. The service team that work on the day or duration of my visit are not aware of my reasons for visiting, to enable a fair review. Any questions or to discuss a "Secret Stay" or review, please do email:hello@misssueflay.com You can also read about Miss Sue Flay's "Around The World In 80 Stays Challenge" here. If you liked this video, you can view my other video reviews here!  All images © 2015 Miss Sue Flay, these may not be used or reproduced without written permission from the owner, many thanks in advance.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

"Breaking Bad/Against Humanity" Supperclub - Book Now!

Miss Sue Flay New Year Roundup You all know by now that I'm a HUGE "Breaking Bad" geek, right? If you don't know, check out my Breaking Bad Afternoon Tea guide here! I'm now excited to announce that I am co-hosting a one-off supperclub event on Thursday 21st May 2015 with Cambridge's very own "Mr Cake" - a fellow sweet treat lover - for the 2015 Eat Cambridge food festival. Breaking Bad Against Humanity It's going to offer a "Breaking Bad" themed food & drinks menu, combined with a game or two of our new favourite and darn right naughty card game; "Cards Against Humanity". If you are a terrible human being and love one, both or none of these elements, this is a supperclub for you all - so long as you are aged 18 or over! Your hosts for this very adult pop-up supper club plan to bring guests together over a themed party game for horrible people (Cards Against Humanity) combined with a menu inspired by the biggest TV phenomenon of recent time; "Breaking Bad"! Dine on a three course meal designed to please the biggest Heisenberg-loving geeks around the table, whilst playing a darn right awkward game or two of the most hysterical card game taking the world by storm. Breaking Bad Against Humanity Running from 7.30pm until late, slip inside a top secret Cambridge city-centre venue for an immersive "Breaking Bad" experience orchestrated by me, Miss Sue Flay - including a delicious savoury menu brought to you by the venue's chef in collaboration with "Walt's BBQ" and "Los Pollos Hermanos", followed by a very special "Breaking Bad" pre-dessert and dessert brought to you by Mr Cake. Also included are FOUR alcoholic drinks, including two cocktails specially created for this event and two locally brewed craft-beers for you to enjoy alongside your food - and the venue also has a fully stocked bar from which you can purchase additional drinks if you want to make a full on night of it! Breaking Bad Against Humanity So get fed, get drunk and get to know your dining companions very quickly over a hilariously raucous game or two of Cards Against Humanity, accompanied by a cool "Breaking Bad" inspired soundtrack. Expect to see edible crystal meth of some form (shhh, it's a secret as to how we intend to present this!) and enjoy our fantastic central Cambridge location, of which will be revealed to guests closer to the event - we don't want to a Mexican standoff once people find out where we are cooking now, do we?! Breaking Bad Against Humanity *This is is an event purely for the unshockable.* STRICTLY 18+ BOOK YOUR TICKETS HERE NOW! £55 per hit.    MSF Miss Sue Flay logo Green Brush    

Monday, 27 April 2015

Around The World In #80Stays: Golf Buggying In Florida

#80Stays: Golf Buggying In Florida I'm just back from a jolly good EPIC holiday in Florida - my very first time in the USA and most certainly not my last! If you couldn't guess, I've had the holiday of a lifetime and I thoroughly enjoyed traveling alone to meet my companions on location - it wasn't half as scary as I thought it would be - in fact I LOVED flying alone! This break has been planned for a little while alongside a family wedding with the bearded one my boyfriend (of whom I celebrated 6 months with whilst here, swoon!) and his family & friends, as well as a quick trip to Savannah (Georgia) planned whilst in this area. We have been staying in The Villages, a very unusual experience for any first in the States... it's a retirement settlement in Sumter county, Florida, a friendly, age-restrcited "golf cart community" for the over 55's - long story as to how I came to stop here, but I've had a blast and I want to be back there in the sunshine right now! We stayed at Towneplace Suites by Marriott within Lady Lake and every morning started with a dip in the pool and a quick bronzing session on the poolside beds - pure heaven. The hotel was air conditioned, but when hopping over to Savannah for a few days during the trip I really noticed just how reliant I had become on this haha... phwoar, sweaty wasn't the word!! And then the adventures started... so many parties, plans & gatherings arranged, days out to some truly inspiring locations, pre-wedding celebrations including Bachelor/Batchelorette parties, some great company, amazing food & drink to sample (I'm in love with Shrimp & Grits!) and a huge amount of fun in our own private golf buggy between town squares. #80Stays: Golf Buggying In Florida I've got so much to tell you on this trip, so to start, I want to show you a little video that will tell you much more of a story about the golf buggying we've just had a giggle doing. (Check out my dirty laugh at the end of this video, I can't believe just how much my life has changed over this past year and the adventures my #80Stays travel challenge has taken me on... wow!) Jetlag-be-gone.... Watch the video here: [youtube height="HEIGHT" width="WIDTH"]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwvfoM7Weug[/youtube] MSF Miss Sue Flay logo Green Brush   You can also read about Miss Sue Flay's "Around The World In 80 Stays Challenge"and other Secret Stays & Reviews here. Or get in touch via social media through Facebook, Instagram & Twitter for a natter about life in general! Please Note - I paid my own way on this occasion and I am in no means obliged to blog or write about my experience, but I simply choose to share their offerings with my readers, should I enjoy the experience. Any questions or to discuss an independent review or "Secret Stay", please do email: hello@misssueflay.com All images © 2015 Miss Sue Flay, these may not be used or reproduced without written permission from the owner, many thanks in advance.  

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

#YesGirlProject - How To Get Motivated About Exercise

Primal Performance Weightloss Motivation I recently saw this video through the #ThisGirlCan campaign on the television and it inspired me no end... have a watch and see just how many different women, of all shapes and sizes are getting on with it... [youtube height="HEIGHT" width="WIDTH"]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aN7lt0CYwHg[/youtube]   People tell me that I'm doing well on my fitness plan - I am, don't get me wrong - but, I have down days too, as we all do. But my best advice? Stop moaning or making excuses, there is always a way to start exercising and just get on with it, no matter what your size/fitness level or ability - say yes, get moving, you just never know where it might lead! Please do enjoy my latest video blog, a little peek into my countryside runs in Norfolk recently... I'm at my worst, but I don't care... you shouldn't either! [youtube height="HEIGHT" width="WIDTH"]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHScTDQqvLE[/youtube]   www.thisgirlcan.co.uk MSF Miss Sue Flay logo Green Brush   What's your favourite form of exercise? Are you struggling for motivation? Do you want t say yes more?! Do leave a comment below and share your thoughts, I'd love to hear from you! Or get in touch via social media through Facebook, Instagram & Twitter for a natter about life in general! #YesGirlProject is coming soon to www.MissSueFlay.com!

Monday, 23 March 2015

Top 10 Hotels In Films

True_Romance,_Safari_Inn Within my recent travels, I've been lucky enough to sample some amazing hotels and restaurants through my "Around The World In #80Stays" challenge and I've been asking myself what defines a "great hotel"... Not only does a hotel bedroom need to be clean, comfortable and memorable, the service needs to be fantastic and the location needs to offer something special. But, seeing as I am a film geek, I do often find myself thinking of the more memorable and famous movie hotels and the scenes within films that get me chuckling, smiling or even shivering and how much I would LOVE to stay within some of these hotels as part of my travel plans! Can you imagine me renting out Leonardo DiCaprio's Bachelor pad with my friends, partying with Quentin Tarantino "Four Rooms"-stylee or waking up in a penthouse suite in Las Vegas with an epic headache like the guys in "The Hangover"?... There are some hotels I'd love to visit simply to geek out in and these recent thoughts saw me compiling my own top ten of hotels in films, enjoy! Colorado-Stanley_Hotel 1) The Shining This is the most iconic hotel portrayed in film in my mind... "The Overlook" hotel was inspired by a hotel known in "real life" as the Stanley Hotel in Colorado (USA), where it is said Stephen King stayed in 1973 and found the inspiration to write about this haunted hotel. This hotel is said to be haunted and hosts regular ghost tours and walks to entertain and spook their guests, as well as being known to play the uncut version of this film on channel 42 on repeat, should you need something to watch whilst snuggling up in bed every night. Not to be confused with this 80's horror being filmed here, as it was in fact partly filmed using the exterior of the Timber Line Lodge in Oregon. 2) True Romance One of my favourite films of all times, there are some fantastic film locations set within this film, not forgetting the Vista Theatre in Hollywood where Clarence meets Alabama for the first time after she dumps her popcorn on his lap "accidentally" on purpose.  Remember the iconic scene for this film when James Gandolfini finds Alabama and doesn't treat her like a lady shall we say?.. This hotel is the Safari Inn, located close to Universal Studios and is also host to scenes in other films and shows over the last few years too. Book me a bedroom here when I head to the States to explore more soon please! 3) Elizabethtown If you haven't seen this film, what are you waiting for? It's a great indie film, a little depressing in parts due to the nature of the story (Orlando Bloom designs a shoe with a flaw that costs his company $972 million to correct, he loses his job, decides to commit suicide, gets interrupted with news that he his dad has died, he travels to Elizabethtown to pick up the body, falls in love with Kerstin Dunst, stuff goes down at the funeral)... in a nutshell. The final scene is within the ballroom of the Brown Hotel in Louisville and you will never listen to "Free Bird" by Lynyrd Skynyrd again - I love that this was filmed in a replica of the hotels' ballroom - I wonder why!? Watch the infamous scene here!  [youtube height="HEIGHT" width="WIDTH"]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1F2ZoqbMAO0[/youtube] 4) The Grand Budapest You can't feature a top 10 hotels in films post without mentioning this superb film, if you haven't clapped your eyes on this masterpiece, then stop WHATEVER you are doing right now and watch it gosh darn you! This film is set in 1920's Germany, and entertains you with the story of Mr Gustav, an ever-pleasing concierge within a decadent hotel back in its day. You'll be getting clever with your laptop passwords ("BoyWithApple1") and wanting to head to Germany at a moments notice. This Wes Anderson story was filmed largely around the historic town of Görlitz in Germany - the pastel-pink hotel used as the main focus for this film is in fact a model. The lobby of the hotel was, however, filmed in an empty, run down department store called the Gorlitzer Warenhaus. Now get me to "Mendl's" for some beautifully crafted patisseries, quick sharp! The_Grand_Budapest_Hotel_(14977721802) 5) In Bruges This is a City I plan to visit for my #80Stays challenge, I hear it's like a fairytale with all the swans and canals... Unlike some films, where they aren't actually filmed where you think they should have been, In Bruges WAS filmed in Bruges. This dark, but slightly comical tale of two hit men in hiding gives you a great insight into this picturesque location and the hotel used for their stay was the Relais Bourgondisch Cruyce Hotel. What is interesting about this venue, is that it's actually a boutique hotel and isn't given the credit it deserves in the film, where it is actually played down as a slightly less classy establishment for these two unlikely holidaymakers. 6) Best In Show This is a film I have recently been introduced to, an improvisational comedy by the creators of "This Is Spinal Tap" and follows a group of dog owners and their pups as they compete in a big dog show. It's hilarious and the memorable scene for me here is when Gerry (the dad from "American Pie") & Cookie (the mum from "Home Alone") check into their hotel only to find they can't afford the room rate for the night. The receptionist takes pity on them and checks them into the most affordable room for their budget - the cleaners cupboard. 7) The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel I recently saw this fantastic film at the cinema and it really is worth watching the first, as well as this sequel. It's a colourful, amusing emotional and feel-good film series all rolled into one - I wasn't so sure to start with, but I love them both, the second just a little more admittedly (Dame Maggie Smith is worth watching it for alone, she's just brilliant). I may not be the "right" age to be a resident at the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, but I still wouldn't mind an overnight stay on my way through! Check out Castle Kanota, better known as the Viceroy Club within this film. 800px-Bates_Motel 8) Identity Again, not based or filmed on/in a real hotel, but it has to feature... the plot focusses on ten strangers who arrive at an isolated motel which becomes temporarily cut off from the rest of the world, and they are mysteriously killed off one by one... Noticing a theme when it comes to motels in films?... 9) Lost In Translation This film was shot at the Park Hyatt Tokyo, a high-rising hotel boasting a swimming pool with a view to die for... I'd love to be able to swim in this luxury pool and look out over Japan as I relax & unwind. It's a movie that makes me lust over the Japanese culture every time I watch it - with friends like Mai Kuraki in my filofax, I should really look into it ; ) 10) Psycho The Bates Motel is, of course, one of the most memorable hotels when it comes to the flicks, although taking a shower in a motel doesn't sound like the most appealing thing to do when thinking about the iconic shower/stabbing scene I must say! This was actually filmed in a studio and there is no "real" hotel to visit in order to creep yourself out in the bathroom - a shame. But it is, however, said that Edward Hopper's "The House by the Railroad" was used as inspiration for the look of the iconic Bates house. MSF Miss Sue Flay logo Green Brush What's your favourite hotel-themed film? Have you stayed in a famous hotel or motel room? Do leave a comment below and share your thoughts, I'd love to hear from you! Or get in touch via social media through Facebook, Instagram & Twitter for a natter about life in general!

Friday, 20 March 2015

Cambridge Blogging Events - Cocktails & Mocktails

Last summer saw me visiting lots of different blogging events, but, they were all mainly in London - such as Blogcademy and the #BloggersFestival both of which were amazing events for blog geekery and networking. I came back from these events feeling more than inspired, however, life got in the way - work got super busy and my personal life became a little messy, so I took some time out and plotted some plans. And kept plotting and plotting... Cambridge Blogging Events - Cocktails & Mocktails It's now nearly Easter and I've still not launched my "Blog Cambridge" event - tut tut... However, Cambridge is getting very exciting and bloggers are starting to pop up everywhere, it's fantastic to see. Long gone are the days where all the bloggers in Cambridge knew each other and could sit around a table together to talk about this "mystical" blogging that nobody else seemed to understand - there's a whole world of new bloggers out there within every aspect of life you could imagine. Blogging is exciting and so is the community around it. I've been blogging for over 6 years now and I am not even close to tiring of it, it's a real passion, one that has made me truly amazing friends and partnerships and helped me through some awesome times, as well as the lower moments in life. I adore the blogging world. Cambridge Blogging Events - Cocktails & Mocktails Recently I visited the Cambridge Meet Up hosted by Phillipa at Clashing Time, where a room full of 50 bloggers got together to geek out, drink amazing non-alcoholic cocktails at Vodka Revolution in town and enjoy an afternoon of being pampered with goodies galore. Our stylish hostess did an amazing job of getting everybody together and of entertaining her guests for the afternoon, including guest speakers to help bloggers with SEO and social media advice, even the offer of local writing opportunities on offer to anyone wanting to review for a little cash. The goodie bag included brands such as Sniffy Wiffy, Hairy Jane, Lush, L'Occitane, Neals Yard Remedies, Belvoir, Lisa Angel, Jilly Jilly, Claireabellemakes, Chocolat Chocolat (my favourite chocolate brand in town, yum!), Kettle Chips and Coppa Feel. Cambridge Blogging Events - Cocktails & Mocktails Not only this inspiring event, I recently had an invitation to take a "plus one" to The Snug at the Grafton Centre in Cambridge last week for a cocktail making evening. This fantastic venue for affordable food & drink with a side of live sports on the TV is also the perfect place to go for a lesson in mixology. So off I headed on a chilly Thursday night with my lovely friend Kassia to join a table of local bloggers to sample cocktails, including a Lychee & Strawberry Mojito (my twist on this classic that won the "cocktail of the night" wahoo) and an Espresso Martini- my fave cocktail! If you book a cocktail making party at The Snug, you are also provided with fantastic platters, of which we got to sample - well, I say sample... there was almost a whole platter per person at this bloggers' night... not that we were complaining! Cambridge Blogging Events - Cocktails & Mocktails With a mix of meat or vegetarian platters, the mexican-inspired nibbles were delicious and I couldn't get enough of the little sweet pieces of chorizo or the mini quesadillas oozing with cheesy goodness. Oh my god they were actually worth going for alone... can you tell I hadn't had cheese for a while?! Here's a little video I made of the night, I think it'll do the event more justice than my words can do today... Just to be clear, it was The Snug at the Grafton Centre and not Lensfield Road (as I said in my video, oops!) - although that venue is also very cite (snug!) and has done me proud for previous events, so check them out too! Cambridge Blogging Events - Cocktails & Mocktails Cambridge Spotlight: The Snug (Video Postcard)  [youtube height="HEIGHT" width="WIDTH"]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fx1g0Z-SwXo[/youtube] MSF Miss Sue Flay logo Green Brush