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!
 

Monday, 19 October 2015

Halfords puts Jodie Kidd in the driving seat

We recently worked with Jodie Kidd to launch Halfords’ winter motoring season, with a photocall at Jodie’s local Halfords store and Autocentre. Taking inspiration from “motoring chic”, Jodie even made the workshop look glamourous.



Underneath the glamour, and alongside the stunning shots, Jodie was called in by Halfords to help drivers know more about what goes on under their car bonnet by launching free Women’s Workshops with a half page of coverage in The Sun.


Jodie said; “My love of cars and driving is no secret, and over my years of racing I’ve learnt the mechanics of a car – I think it is so important for women to know how to maintain their cars and to understand what’s going on beneath the bonnet.”

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Waitrose Kings Cross

Last week Waitrose opened their exciting new store at Kings Cross. The branch, which officially opened to the public on Thursday 24th is part of the restoration of the Midland Goods Shed, first built in 1850 by the Great Northern Railway.

 
To celebrate this special opening, Waitrose invited journalists, analysts, key stake holders and neighbouring businesses to celebrate the restoration of the beautiful grade II listed building.

Guests were able to enjoy an evening of live music, fabulous food and to take an exclusive tour around the branch.

Kicking off the night was a performance by The Tailormade, who were crowned Gigs Champion 2014, following a five month search to find London's best busker. The second performance of the evening was by the YoYos, an acoustic covers band covering classic pop, rock, funk, disco and classy jazz tunes with a funky twist.

Guests were able to enjoy a fusion of food created by Jonathan Moore, the Waitrose executive chef and his team, and the team from the Waitrose Cookery School which included shredded beef with mac and cheese topping, butternut squash mac & cheese tartlets, sweetcorn soup with buttermilk topping, seaweed crackers with cured mackerel and for those with a sweet tooth there was an indulgent salted caramel with passion fruit and popping candy pop.

 
The new Waitrose branch includes a juice bar, soup bar, wine & tapas bar, and is the first Waitrose branch with a working beer pump, which will be supplied by Camden Brewery. The store is also home to the third Waitrose Cookery School offering classes such as Vietnamese Street Food, Thai Street Feast and a Soufflé Savvy course – to find out more or to book on to a course click here: http://www.waitrose.com/content/waitrose/en/home/inspiration/waitrose_cookery_school/about_us/kings-cross-cookery-school..html.

 

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

#MyDreamSuperdrug Press Day


On Tuesday 22nd September, the media were treated to a much anticipated #MyDreamSuperdrug press preview at Gallery Different in the centre of London, with a very special guest appearance from Pixie Lott to launch her new hair PAINT collection.


Pixie was the perfect model for her hair collection, flicking her blue hued locks whilst chatting with media.  The event presented new product launches including the exclusive Freedom makeup brand and Superdrug’s very festive Christmas gift offering complete with a sexy Santa to get pulses racing.


Showcasing Superdrug’s fantastic beauty services… we also catered for a few added extras suggested by our media friends when asked what they would like to see in their dream Superdrug store.  Our Tarot card reader predicted a busy day and didn’t disappoint with her readings.


Braiding, blow dry’s, eyebrow threading and a nail bar, the press were spoilt for choice with treats.  But also new for winter is a very popular brand new (and sparkling) service, the Glitter Lips application is perfect for the party season and costs just £3.  We also refreshed any rain soaked makeup with makeovers from Cassie Lomas from the Makeup Academy.   


Canapés were all vegan to complement our vegan and cruelty free B. Collection, some of the new products included B. Micellar Cleansing Oil and B. Radiant Overnight Mask.  But the new collection that really raised a few eyebrows and saw moustaches twitching is the B. men’s grooming collection featuring post-shave balm and a charcoal face scrub.  As well as news of the first shaving and barber services to be introduced in stores.



A wall of Christmas gifting was displayed to illustrate the abundance of products on offer, with beauty advent calendars being a popular choice for press.  Downstairs the healthcare team introduced the new optician’s service and provided some party feet treats.  Phew, after all that we need lie down!



Wednesday, 12 August 2015

After many months of preparation, Somerset House was a hive of activity on the 7th July when the Lakeland Christmas preview took place for the media. The day was kicked off with a presentation by Matthew Canwell, Lakeland’s Buying Director who chatted through key kitchenware trends for 2015 hi-lighting huge sales of spiralisers and the massive increase in sales of juicers, noting that healthy eating is only going one way and that is up. Matthew was joined by a surprise guest in the form of Heston Blumenthal who came along to launch the latest innovation from Sage by Heston Blumenthal – The Fast Slow Pro, which is a combination of a pressure and slow cooker which takes the guesswork out of cooking and ensures tasty, perfectly cooked results every time.

 
In the centre of the main room there was a gorgeous display of seasonal hampers set in a woodland scene, and this year Lakeland has put even more effort into producing some really tailored hampers from New You to Rise and Shine and one especially for the men in our lives. The rest of the room was dedicated to demos which included cold coffee, healthy eating and the ever popular Gerard Baker, the pickling and preserving expert who was a huge hit because of his vast knowledge and enthusiasm.
 
The spectacular gravity defying cakes certainly caught the eye of many, and Lakeland customers will be able to produce their own spectacular show stoppers from the end of October when the supports arrive in store. The bistro area was hugely popular serving bubbles in bubbles and lots of tasty treats that will be available from the end of August.
Eyes all turned in the afternoon when Davina McCall arrived for a photocall following the announcement of her partnership with Lakeland, she’s always been a fan and is a keen cook with her own book on eliminating sugar from your diet in 5 weeks. She looked stunning and even more glowing in the flesh, so she is living proof that eating well helps you look good, the Lakeland team loved chatting with her and she had many selfies and team shots taken with everyone.
 
 
Despite the glorious sunshine outside it was all Christmas lights and gifts inside with a huge array of gifts for every member of the family and some sensational decs to create a truly spectacular Christmas grotto at home this year.

Friday, 31 July 2015

Happy Birthday Beauty Studio by Superdrug

Last night we attended the first birthday of the Beauty Studio by Superdrug in Cardiff, and to mark the occasion the store hosted an exclusive #PamperParty with 10% off everything and triple points plus champagne, cupcakes and canapés whilst you shopped!



The store was buzzing as customers were treated to free beauty services and the latest products in beauty.  Since opening the store has shaped over 20,450 eyebrows with the Emma Watson brow as the most requested shape.  Nail technicians have painted 2,316 manicures with the best- selling colour option Revlon One Perfect Coral, and 23,125 lipsticks have been sold with L’Oréal Collection Exclusive Red the top selling colour for pouts!



The hair salon has also proved popular with the most favoured style requested being the big hair blowout inspired by the likes of Khloe Kardashian and a more subtle version inspired by Kate Middleton.  


Happy birthday to you Beauty Studio! x





Monday, 6 July 2015

Ola Jordan dressed to impress for Royal Ascot


We had the pleasure of attending Royal Ascot this year with strictly dancer Ola Jordan for a stunt with Coral to raise money for charity. 

Lovely Ola appeared at the Ascot main gate wearing an eye catching dress made from jockey silks by designer Ben de Lisi. 

The dress will be auctioned off this Autumn to raise money for the injured jockey fund and Coral also donated a pound for every retweet of the injured jockey fund’s picture of Ola in the dress, which was retweeted an impressive 1,500 times. 

Following the photo call we then had the honour of spending the rest of the day in the Coral box with Ola and the team enjoying the races and even winning a few bets ourselves. 

Extensive online coverage was achieved for the stunt including the Mail Online, Express Online and Reveal Online to name a few as well as the image making it into the Daily Mirror.