Thursday, 28 April 2016

Eat. Sleep. Repeat - Healthy Sleep with The Wool Room


Last week the Wool Room team at ZPR hosted a gorgeous breakfast at the Metropolitan Hotel where press were left lusting for their beds!

 Centred around getting a healthy sleep and to launch new research commissioned by The Wool Room, it was easy to see why wool bedding is the new must have.


The research results commissioned by The Wool Room with The University of Leeds found wool to be far better at moisture management than other materials, allowing for 43% more moisture transmission than polyester and a massive 67% more than feather down duvets. Put simply, it keeps you cool and sweat free stopping you from waking up! Under testing, wool was also able to reach the optimum temperature for sleep (35.1oC) and maintain it, unlike the others. Wool bedding is so clever; it can even regulate the temperatures of two separate people in one bed, meaning no more arguments!

The White Room in the hotel was dressed with deluxe pillows, fluffy bed enhancers and soft woolly throws lit by clean scented candles and bouquets to create a serene atmosphere. We also had a masseuse on hand to give everyone a relaxing head massage in between browsing the room and time with a nutritionist.


Whilst Chairman Jo Dawson and MD Chris Tattersal were available to talk all about the wool bedding, guests were able to help themselves to a healthy breakfast of wheat germ muffins, natural yogurt with bee pollen, quinoa porridge, muesli and smoothies galore.



We had a great turn out with the likes of The Guardian, YOU Magazine, Your Fitness, S Mag and Woman & Home attending and all leaving with a personalised wool throw… After all of that the team were in need of a good night’s sleep!

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Juicing with Stylist


This week we visited the lovely people at Stylist for a delicious juicing session with Lakeland, who made some AMAZING juices and smoothies for the whole team (and us, obvs) to enjoy.


 
First up was the Sage™ The Nutri Juicer™ Plus. This machine can do everything and we mean anything – even juicing whole apples so you don’t have to faff about chopping them up. But to keep it simple, but still impressive we made the ULTIMATE green juice with apples, celery, cucumber, kiwi, spinach and some mint to finish it off.

This went down very well and for those who were keen to get involved, there was the opportunity to have a go too.

We also brought along not just any Nutri Bullet but the new Nutri Bullet Graphite. This was my personal favourite, frozen berries, chia seeds, walnuts, almonds, agave nectar and whizzed together with some water for an amazing pink smoothie.



Two lucky people at Stylist got to keep a juicer each to make their own at home. See below for the two recipes we used on the day.


 

Berry & Walnut Smoothie

50g Walnuts

55g Almonds

430ml water

750g frozen berries

2 teaspoons maples syrup or agave

1 tablespoon black chia seed

 

Green Juice

1 apple

3 fingers cucumber

2 sticks of celery

1 kiwi (peeled)

handful of mint leaves

2 large handfuls spinach

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Halfords Spring Summer Press Show

 
1 fashion designer, 2 Olympians and the paparazzi - welcome to the Halfords Spring Summer press show!

 
We recently launched Halfords Spring Summer launches to media at a press show in the heart of Soho. We were joined by fashion designer Orla Kiely and Olympians Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Boardman and the event showed the best innovation in kids and adult bikes, Orla's new and exclusive print range, the very latest tech and brand new child car seats and travel.

 

Olympic, World Champion and Tour de France hero, Sir Bradley unveiled his range of children's bikes for the first time. The range includes bikes for toddlers to teens, such as balance bikes through to junior carbon road bikes. 
 
 

 

Adding a designer edge to summer, Orla Kiely revealed her exclusive range for Halfords, Olive and Orange by Orla Kiely. The collection includes beautiful Dutch-style hybrid bikes and tents each with a print custom-designed for Halfords. The range launches in store in May - perfect timing for summer festivals.

 

'The Professor', Olympian Chris Boardman showed a brand new range of Boardman Performance bikes and accessories, with several media test rides lined up for spring.

 

We were joined by media from Channel 4, The Sun, The Daily Telegraph, Evening Standard, Woman & Home, Daily Star, Heat magazine, ELLE magazine and many more...plus a few paps for good measure!

 

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

The first ever Fifty Plus Fashion Week show





It has only been four weeks since we launched the triumphant Fifty Plus Fashion Week show on the eve of London Fashion Week, Feb 2016 at the iconic Café Royal in Regent Street.




Launched by retailer JD Williams and in partnership with the London College of Fashion, the show could not have wished for a better opener with 70s fashion icon and former Vogue cover girl Marie Helvin. If this wasn’t enough, we secured the world’s oldest working supermodel, Daphne Selfe to lead the finale of our beautiful models all over the age of 50 to a huge round of applause. 




Fifty Plus Fashion Week attracted some of the industry’s most influential fashion writers along with a charming front row including Hilary Alexander, Jo Wood, Susan George, Angie Best, Jane Felstead, Anthea Turner and Lizzy Cundy among others.




You can view the full show below...enjoy! #50PLUSFW



Monday, 22 February 2016

WINE TASTING…YES PLEASE!


We were lucky enough to help host a wine tasting session with Waitrose, in aid of Valentine’s Day with the Cosmo girls at their office in Soho.



Alexandra Mawson, Wine buyer at Waitrose talked through all of the wines and suggested which food best complemented each of them.





We kicked off the evening with a best seller, the San Leo Rosato. This Italian sparkling rose has an aromatic bouquet, fresh fruity flavour and is a touch lighter in percentage at 11% which makes it so easy drink!
 
San Leo Rosato, RRP £10.49
 
Next we moved onto Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé, a well-known name in the champagne industry. Alexandra explained the history behind the company, actually founded by André Michel but it was his cellar master Eugene Laurent, who ran it with his wife, Mathilde Emilie Perrier. This champagne, with its distinctive bottle is perfect for showing off a bit to a loved one. It has delicious raspberry and red current flavours thanks to its soak-on-the-skin methods with the grapes.
 
Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé Brut, RRP £58.99
 
Moving onto white wine, the Waitrose New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc proved popular with the Cosmopolitan girls. Although this wine smells very sweet, it is actually very refreshing and zesty. It is crafted in the classic Marlborough style, with citrus and gooseberry flavours but with a twist of fresh mint.
 
Waitrose New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, RRP £7.99
 
Alexandra’s choice of Rosé was the Rustenberg Rosé. This South African wine is described as ‘round and fresh with red cherry aromas’, but it also has a slight spice on the palate which is a signature of this variety. We all agreed after trying this wine that Rosé definitely isn’t out of fashion anymore.
 

Rustenberg Rosé, RRP £8.99
 

For the red wine tasting we had the Yalumba Organic Shiraz, exclusive to Waitrose. Yalumba is Australia’s oldest family-owned wine producer, and this smooth Shiraz is its first organically produced wine. Although this red is light and fruity enough to be enjoyed on its own, it was beautifully complemented with the chocolates we had, which went down well, and a nice way to end the evening.
 

Yalumba Organic Shiraz, RRP £9.99
 
We hope you’ve learnt a thing or two about wine, we certainly have!
 

 

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

IT FEELS LIKE SPRING!



Our show stopping giant Easter egg certainly wowed guests at this year’s Hobbycraft Spring press show. The 5ft egg was embellished with hundreds of flowers to welcome and inspire over 80 journalists and bloggers, as we showcased everything Easter, Bridal and Spring. From chocolate Easter egg decorating to mastering the iced ruffle cupcake and making their own floral headbands; press had the chance to make and decorate an array of items which they could take home with them.



Our giant balloon installation was also a talking point, as it swirled its way from Easter, through to Bridal and into our summer fete.



Our new range of everything bridal to make a beautiful handmade wedding was a hit, especially the Cricut which is a new crafting machine which designs and cuts out anything you want- perfect for save the dates and invitations! The glitter tree also showcased how to create an uber glam wedding theme!


In our fete, personalised tote bags were a popular make, as well as learning how to crotchet and upcycle and of course the ever popular Tee-pee is back again this season to help customers create that festival feeling!



We’re now looking forward to planning our Christmas Hobbycraft press show- watch this space!

Monday, 25 January 2016

IT’S A TOUGH JOB BUT SOMEONE’S GOT TO DO IT



For the last couple of years, in the run up to the festive season, we’ve organised and run a wine tasting evening with a publication and this year, we had the pleasure of joining the Good Housekeeping team for a tipple or two - obviously our reasons for organising these event is strictly professional and our love of nice wine has nothing to do with it!
 
To help us get into the festive spirit and to share her wealth of expertise, Waitrose wine buyer, Cat Lomax hosted the evening which saw us and the Good Housekeeping ladies try a range of wines including fabulous fizz (our personal fave), beautiful rich red, a classic white but from two different regions and two delicious, but very different dessert wines.
 
 

 
First on the agenda were two reds; Cave de St Desirat St Joseph and Waitrose Reserve Shiraz, St Hallett which is ripe with red and black fruit, hints of spice with a smooth cocoa finish - this is a vibrant and rich red. A great reflection of the definitive nature of Barossa Valley Shiraz. It may be a cliché, but these wines are defiantly ones to enjoy with a delicious steak.
 

 

 
Next came the Markus Huber Gruner Veltliner and Tre Fiori Greco di Tufo, two classic sauvignon blancs, one of which was from New Zealand and the other from France. While they are both from the same grape, it was easy to differentiate between the two regions. Cat recommended that if we chose to serve either of these at a dinner party, it perfectly suits an aromatic Asian dish which packs a punch.
 

 


Then we moved on to fizz, tasting Nyetimber Classic Cuve and La Gioiosa Prosecco Superiore. The Nyetimber is made in true champagne fashion using traditional grape varieties. The result is creamy and rich with notes of brioche complimented with a refreshing citrus twist, we gave it a big thumbs up! The La Gioiosa Prosecco Superiore was beautifully floral and fruity, a refreshing, slightly dry prosecco with hints of sweet red apple.
 

 

 
We rounded off the evening with two dessert wines, Gonzales Byass Noe Pedro Jimenez and Domaine des Forges Coteaux du Layon Premier Cru Chaume. Both completely different in colour, taste and price.
While it was tempting to sit, chatting and indulging in delicious wine, the evening quickly came to an end, but our wines of choice for Christmas were chosen!
 

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Kirstie Allsopp's The Handmade Fair



Following the success of the 2014 The Handmade Fair, 2015 saw Kirstie Allsopp return with not one, but two craft filled weekends and we were lucky enough to support and attend both – from knitting and sewing, to floral headband making and upcycling furniture we are now experts* (*that may be a slight over exaggeration but we gave it a go!)

In September, The Handmade Fair graced the grounds of Hampton Court for the second year running and while the great British weather was up and down, guests enjoyed a weekend of crafting, shopping and indulging on a plethora of food and cocktail stalls.

The second Fair, The Handmade Christmas Fair took place in Manchester in November – just in time for Christmas! Hosted in the Manchester Central Exhibition Centre visitors were able to pick up handmade decorations, alternative Christmas trees and start ticking things off their Christmas gift lists with a range of stalls selling everything from alcohol and handmade perfumes, to handmade baby clothes.
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Thousands of visitors attended the Fairs showing just how much the craft renaissance has gripped hold of the Nation, as craft enthusiasts and lovers of all things homemade to join in the action and created their own masterpieces.  The Handmade Fair and The Handmade Christmas Fair brings together Britain’s best producers of crafting supplies, handmade items and artisan foods – this included the best brownies we’ve ever tasted!

Kirstie Allsopp’s The Handmade Fair, which is sponsored by Hobbycraft, is the only craft fair of its kind; mixing shopping with hands on crafting to deliver an unforgettable experience and if you didn’t get the chance to attend either of the events this year, you NEED to keep your eyes peeled so as not to miss out next time!