#EastMidsBloggers Meet-up at Manhattan 34

28 August 2016

Getting to be part of the #eastmidsbloggers group is one of the best things to have come out of this blog. It's such a nice group of girls and its crazy to think the group has only been going since last year. I've met some really close friends now thanks to the meet ups and our group chats have always been great fun. Even though I've not been as on top of this blog, or reading anyone elses as much as I'd like recently, I was really excited for another meet up.

The latest event was organised by Emmie and a few of the other girls at Manhattan 34 in Leicester, a gorgeous cocktail bar. It felt a bit strange being in a bar at lunchtime, kind of like being a student again, but the atmosphere and decor was amazing and I couldn't resist sampling some of their amazing gins (and then getting made fun of by the bartender for taking too many photos of my drink).

We started the afternoon off with some drinks and an icebreaker, trying to find the owner of a 'fact' from the other bloggers in the room. I normally hate icebreakers but this one was really relaxed and it actually was a great conversation starter. I found the owner of my fact with the first person I asked and couldn't help feeling a bit smug but also a bit sad not to get longer to hunt, but I soon got involved in the detective work of helping everyone else try and identify theirs and learnt loads about the other bloggers in the room.

We were then treated to some inspirational talks from the girls behind Cool as PR and Blogosphere Magazine. I already work with pr agencies in my day job (and very ocassionally for this blog) so I didn't find the first talk as useful as others in the room, but its always nice to hear from agencies that like working with bloggers and value those with smaller audiences. I really loved the Blogosphere talk though, the story of how Alice got into blogging and then founded the magazine was really inspirational. The mag has a 'by bloggers for bloggers' ethos, and she ended with some really encouraging and inspirational words on taking chances on creative careers.

There were also guests from Bru, a local cafe which brought some amazing cakes for us to try (I'll definitely be visiting them next time I'm in the city) and salon Danique Hair on hand with their curling wands. I didn't get around to chatting to Danique much because I couldn't see myself really travelling that far in future just for a haircut so it didn't feel fair to take up too much of their time but the team had the most amazing hair I've ever seen and they did a great job styling some of the other bloggers.

After some more chatting and a chance to catch up with some of my favourite girls, it was on to the final part of the afternoon, the charity raffle, raising money for Rainbows Hospice and Bowel Cancer UK. So many brands donated amazing gifts to the raffle and we must have raised a lot for the two charities so it was a really lovely way to end the afternoon.

The girls had also arranged some amazing goodie bags for everyone who attended including treats from Lush, VitaCoco, No7, Covershoot Cosmetics, Matalan, Carex and Witch. I've not had a chance to try most of the products yet but I'll probably tweet some reviews once I do.

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