In the early 20th century there lived a group of intellectuals, writers, artists and politicians known as The Bloomsbury Group who lived or worked in the Bloomsbury area of London…the group met on a regular basis to discuss art, literature, politics and philosophy. Fast forward to the early 21st Century and there lives a group of bloggers who meet on a regular basis…rendezvousing mainly to take pictures of food, create flat lays and drink cocktails…
And the location of today’s meeting of social media-obsessed minds was taking place at Dalloway Terrace, the gorgeous bar at The Bloomsbury Hotel, located in the heart of the famous seat of early 20th century intellect. The name of Dalloway Terrace was inspired by Mrs Dalloway, the eponymous character in the novel by Virginia Woolf who was the most famous member of the Bloomsbury Group.
Today’s event was actually a collaboration between myself and Dalloway Terrace; I had put together a list of some of my favourite bloggers, people who have come to mean a lot to me over the past two years, and invited them here today. We would be enjoying an afternoon tea at the gorgeous al fresco venue that has recently opened in historic Bloomsbury.
The space is absolutely gorgeous, the main terrace is like a secret garden with living walls of hedges creeping up the brick work of the hotel. Garden benches and wicker chairs add to the feeling of being outdoors, blankets are provided for when a chill hits the air and a retractable roof means you can even enjoy it if it starts to rain. In the evening fairy lights gleam through the leaves giving the terrace a gorgeous starry look; the perfect place to cuddle up for an evening cocktail. It was the ultimate venue for a blogging event with daylight flooding through and lots of perfectly Instagrammable details.
In keeping with the location and its previous inhabitants, we decided to create a literary theme for the day, which also perfectly reflected my own past as an English literature student. The Bloomsbury Hotel has its own fully stocked library and we borrowed some gorgeous coffee table books in order to turn our space into our own literary salon where we would discuss important world events, blogging and books.
Prizes were on offer for the bloggers that captured the spirit of the day most vividly on their Instagram, including a star prize of a night at the gorgeous hotel itself.
Soon the bloggers started to arrive. First Jess, who I’d worked with to organise the event, and who writes the inspirational luxury travel blog, The Travelista. Mina, to my left, was the first blogger to ever invite me to an event and has been a strong supporter of me and my blog ever since. Emma and Lauren, who have become really great friends and partners in crime over the past year and who I see on a regular basis. And on the far right, Honey, we’d read each other’s blogs for a long time and have got to know each other really well recently.
Katie was the first blogger I ever met and she introduced me to her boyfriend Ben who later started his own blog, Twenty First Century Gent. Ben and Katie are actually getting married in less than a month’s time and Mr S and I are really excited to come to their wedding in Devon. I met Mehreen last year, having always admired her photos, and we’ve been in contact ever since. We all got started creating our perfect captures, all of us finding great joy in living our lives behind a lens and making new friends while doing it.
The staff at Dalloway Terrace were wonderful; our glasses of their house champagne, Perrier Jouët, were never allowed to go empty…
Soon though, our afternoon tea towers came out, fully loaded with treats inspired by recipes from the 1920’s and 1930’s but modernised by the Bloomsbury chefs. Virginia Woolf herself claimed ‘One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well’ and at Dalloway Terrace, they certainly live up to her requirements.
With the quintessential English politeness of the 1920’s we started on the sandwiches loving the corn-fed smoked chicken in a hearty brioche bun, and eating the Cornish ham with relish. My favourite was smoked salmon rillettes served on Doyle Collection signature Guinness bread and we were generously supplied with more.
Scones were freshly baked with the choice of plain or sultana made with buttermilk and served with Devonshire clotted cream and preserves, which passed every blogger rigorous scone fluffiness test. To be honest, books weren’t the topic of conversation instead we heard about Katie and Ben’s upcoming wedding, Lauren’s planned trip to Barcelona, Emma’s latest London adventures and my itinerary for Japan as we snapped and tweeted away.
And finally the sweet stuff…around the table mini chocolate éclairs were nibbled on, spoons dived into lemon meringue mousse, cupcakes were delicately consumed and the mango and passion fruit dome was ideal as a palette cleanser.
Beside me, the glutton-free bloggers were also very happy with their selection.
The whole afternoon just flew by and we stayed long after the usual time designated for afternoon tea. Some of the bloggers had never met each other before and some went way back, but I can safely say we all left as friends with wonderful memories of a gorgeous afternoon in the sunshine on Dalloway Terrace.
A huge thank you to the Dalloway Terrace for asking me to collaborate with them on this tea and allowing me to bring together a group of people who have come to mean so much to me.
Our tea at Dalloway Terrace was complimentary and though I worked in collaboration with them my thoughts are independent.
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