Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Spring into summer with Hobbycraft

Spring has already sprung here at ZPR as this month saw Hobbycraft host their annual SS15 press show at Homemade London. The crafty venue allowed us to present everything Easter from bonnets to biscuits and transformed upstairs into every bride’s dream as we showcased everything bridal. 

We introduced the brand new bridal range ‘Pastel Perfection Collection’, a gorgeous mix of on-trend pink and gold wedding accessories, all of which went down a storm, in particular the ‘Just Married’ bunting.  

It wouldn’t be a Hobbycraft event without some great crafting for everyone to get involved in and what’s nicer than decorating some cute Easter biscuits that you can take home with you? We had a great selection of biscuits but our personal favourite had to be the cheeky little pig!

5 o’clock saw the start of our evening of ‘Crafting and Cocktails’ where journalists sipped on wedding themed cocktails whilst taking part in a head piece making masterclass. Unsurprisingly this was our busiest part of the day and the venue had a real buzz about it.   

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Victoria Pendleton welcomes a new Cycle Republic

Double Olympic medallist Victoria Pendleton was on hand last week as we launched the flagship Cycle Republic store in London’s Margaret Street to national, lifestyle and cycling media.

Victoria almost stopped traffic with a photo shoot alongside her bright blue Pendleton Somerby, and she then treated media to a store tour, taking in bikes, accessories and clothing that are high on both style and performance.

Alongside delicious mini muffins, pastries and a pedal power operated smoothie bike (yes, really!), guests also heard about Halfords' new commitment to making its stores more female friendly with specially designed products and bikes – as well as news of a partnership with Breeze, British Cycling's women's network

Monday, 26 January 2015

The Beauty Studio by Superdrug sizzles in chilly Cardiff!

As the temperature plunged last week, superstar blogger and international model Ruth Crilly brought the hairdrying heat to a freezing St. David’s Centre.  Descending upon The Beauty Studio by Superdrug Ruth presented her new dry shampoo COLAB collection with a mesmerising masterclass for her fans. 

Supping champagne and nibbling canapés, beauty enthusiasts were treated to a store lock-in to watch a wave of hypnotic hair raising expertise as Ruth and her stylist crimped, straightened and backcombed their way through a range of styles to achieve catwalk ready hair using the fab new range.  We learned golden tips and an easy ‘how to’ with top styles demonstrated on both Ruth and her fans from “natural” waves to a chic modern beehive.   

After the show, guests were able to mingle with Ruth and take advantage of the Beauty Studio services with hair styling and manicures, all whilst shopping from brands exclusive to the store such as The Balm, Butter London, Love Your Skin London and Freeze Frame.

We must say Ruth was absolutely glowing in a demure Isabella Oliver dress following the announcement of her pregnancy, but ever the model she still rocked a pair of skyscraper heels!  Congratulations Ruth!

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

A cherry-picked press trip to Herefordshire

It’s not every day you get the chance to spend time with Heston Blumenthal’s team, a group of amazing distillers and the expert spirits team at Waitrose, so when the opportunity to take a journalist to visit the Chase Vodka Distillery came up, it wasn’t one we wanted to miss! On a cold crisp day at the end of November, we travelled with a journalist from the Daily Telegraph to rural Herefordshire to give them a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the new Heston from Waitrose Cherry Bakewell Vodka. We were taken round the farm and distillery by head distiller Jamie Baggott, who showed us how the humble potato is transformed through a variety of processes (one including basically making the potatoes into mash!) into the delicious Cherry Bakewell vodka. Inspired by the great British classic dessert, the vodka is made with local cherries and amaretto extract and really does taste rather nostalgic, not to mention very moreish! Throughout the day, we were accompanied by the fascinating Otto Romer, from Heston’s team at the Fat Duck, who told us all about how the relationship between Waitrose, Heston and Chase work and how Heston’s ideas become an actual product on shelf.

After our tour, we then went back to The Verzon Hotel, a gorgeous boutique hotel also owned by the Chase family. The hotel’s expert head chef created a selection of delicious Heston canapés for us to eat alongside cocktails made from the Cherry Bakewell Vodka. Expertly mixed by David Ashton-Hyde from The Crown at Bray, we were lucky enough to sample Cherry Espresso Martinis and Cherry Sours, alongside a Mulled Cider Fruit Cup and a Herbal Tea, made from Heston’s other drinks from Waitrose – his Earl Grey Gin and Mulled Cider – which are also made at Chase.

So now, when we have a go at some of the cocktail recipes this New Year’s Eve, we’ll be taking a moment to think about all the hard work, creativity and expertise that went into the making of the vodka and if that’s not a cause for celebration, I don’t know what is – cheers to that!  

Thursday, 27 November 2014

#Unlockaw14 – Christmas Blogger Evening at Superdrug

As Christmas creeps ever closer, finding that perfect gift is on everyone’s to do list. Last Tuesday we invited a few of our favourite beauty bloggers to Superdrug’s Marble Arch store for an exclusive shopping eveningoffering a taster of what Superdrug has to offer this year.

In keeping with all things Christmassy, guests were greeted by the ZPR team wearing their best festive headgear for the occasion.

With help from beauty specialists they had the opportunity to discover Superdrug’s exclusive brands, gifts sets and stocking fillers.

The bloggers were set a challenge: use the pre-loaded £20 gift card provided and tick off as many gifts from their shopping lists as possible. With personalised pink Christmas stockings in which to collect their gifts, our guests embraced the challenge with gusto, finding presents for teens to grandparents and everything in between.

Having hit their target of £20 our guests were asked to share their haul on their social channels, with the blogger who managed to tick off most on their shopping list winning the designer fragrance kit of their choice.

After hitting the high street, we gave our guests a bag of Superdug’s finest bath time goodies to take home and chill out with.

The event was a great success, and we’re looking forward to replicating the event with bloggers in other cities around the UK in the run up to Christmas.

Friday, 14 November 2014

All aboard the St Asthore!

It’s not every day you get to travel to Cornwall for work but a couple of weeks ago, I made the five hour journey to Newlyn, near Penzance, to join a team of Cornish fishermen who have been supplying Waitrose with sardines for 10 years. The reason? After decades in the doldrums, the popularity of Cornish sardines is on the rise, with sales rising by a fifth at Waitrose, so I was travelling with a journalist from the Independent on Sunday to give them a behind-the-scenes look at how these delicious fish are caught. 

We met Jeremy, the Waitrose fisheries and aquaculture manager, at the harbour, just as the sun was setting and were given a briefing by fisherman, Peter Bullock and then – it was time to set sail! 

Sardine fishing can take between two and seven hours so there was a certain amount of excitement met with trepidation as we set off! Peter explained that the reason we had to fish at night was because that’s when the slippery, six-inch fish congregate off the coast in vast shoals. After about an hour of being on the water, it was suddenly all actions go as Peter frantically abandoned the cockpit and, alongside his two colleagues, brought in a catch of around four tonnes, after 45 minutes of intense hauling of the net. The beautifully luminescent sardines were then taken back to shore and packed with ice. Within two days, they’d then be in Waitrose branches around the country – ethically sourced, high-quality fish that can be traced exactly to a single fishery. 

It was then back to solid ground for a meal in a local restaurant (with a main of local fish, of course) and then, back to my hotel – safe to say after all that sea air, I slept well!

Friday, 12 September 2014

#UnlockAW14 at Superdrug

Months of planning of planning and preparation came to fruition on Wednesday 10th September, as we hosted Superdrug’s autumn and winter media showcase at The Music Rooms in Mayfair, London. 

Invitations to the event included real keys, as guests were invited to head down and ‘unlock’ the new season at Superdrug. Attendees on the day stepped through an actual keyhole – very game show-esque – and explore everything new and exciting that Superdrug has to offer across its own brand and exclusive product ranges.

An own brand discovery zone allowed guests to get up close and personal with the new product in skincare, hair, personal wash, beauty accessories and oralcare. Attendees were asked to let us know their current beauty favourites in the Superdrug Swap Shop. Next week we’ll be sending alternatives to highlight the breadth and quality of Superdrug own brand lines, and hoping we can secure a few converts to the brand.

Exclusive brands including I Heart Makeup, Paul’s Boutique, Make Up Revolution plus Superdrug own brands B. and Studio were given areas in which to showcase their new collections. Some zones were manned by experts, including B. ambassador and celebrity makeup artist Cassie Lomas, on hand to talk media through the ranges. These experts also presented masterclasses, demonstrating new products and sharing ways to create some of the season’s hottest beauty trends. Guest presenters included TOWIE’s Lauren Pope, talking through her Hair Rehab range.

Christmas is edging ever nearer so also offered a focus for the day, with a selection of top ten edits to cover all gifting needs – Secret Santa, stocking fillers, children and fashionistas to name a few.

The event was a great success, with guests really getting into the spirit of the Swap Shop, exploring the product ranges and engaging with the masterclasses. Roll on next year!

Monday, 4 August 2014

GOSH AW14 Launch- The Sanderson Hotel

Last Tuesday over 60 gorgeous beauty bloggers took to the Sanderson hotel for the GOSH AW14 launch. The venue looked amazing with vibrant colours everywhere to match the new Las Vegas eyeshadow palette and products showcased on podiums so that guests could work their way around the room to admire each product individually. Prosecco and lychee lemonade were offered as thirst quenching beverages alongside yummy miniature sweet canapes which went down a treat! Sidsel Marie Bog, GOSH international makeup artist, joined us for the evening offering makeovers which gave the guests a chance to try the new products for a new AW look. Manicurists were also on hand giving mini-manicures using new ‘5 shades of grey’ nail polishes. Guests were transported from Oxford Street to Vegas with the click of a flash in our ‘Selfie Zone’ using fun props and backdrops. There was a great energy amongst the blogger community and the twittersphere was set alight with guests tweeting even on the night. Overall a top night, can’t wait for the next one!