Something very exciting happened last month. The lovely girl who ran Bournemouth Bloggers, Freya, announced she was moving to London and she handed the day to day running of the network over to myself.
I have some really exciting ideas for the group going into 2018 but first of all I wanted to meet up with some of the members for a chance to chat about what they want from the network.
As Christmas is just around the corner, I decided it would be nice to make it a festive event and the lovely team at Level8 Sky Bar offered the perfect venue and the most delicious of afternoon teas to discuss our plans over.
For those who don’t know, Level8 is situated in Hilton Bournemouth, with views over the town available from their balcony.
I arrived early and set about taking some photos. Before long I was joined by the other bloggers including Brogan, Louise, Liz and Kirsty, and we were offered a glass of Prosecco to kick the afternoon off.
There were 11 of us in total, and we were sat in a lovely reserved area of the bar, in the comfiest of velvet green booths. I handed out some questionnaires I had put together to get a better idea of what people want from the group, and we chatted whilst waiting for the food to come out.
I’m not a huge fan of hot drinks but the others enjoyed English breakfast and jasmine teas. There was a huge selection of drinks available, which were included in the afternoon tea.
The staff were so helpful as well, happy to replenish drinks when needed and the manager of Level8 and one of the staff members even posed for a photo.
When the food arrived, I don’t think the staff had ever seen anything quite like it. It all looked so incredible that us Bloggers leapt into action to capture the perfect shot for Instagram.
An optional dusting of icing sugar (to replicate snow falling) is offered to finish off the display and we happily agreed, boomerangs at the ready!
After we had all taken plenty of photos, it was time to tuck in and oh my word the food was delicious.
I’m not actually a big fan of Afternoon Tea generally – not liking hot drinks puts me at an instant disadvantage, and I’m also incredibly fussy when it comes to sandwich fillings and cakes so I was a little nervous about the food at this event.
Fortunately, it turned out I had nothing to worry about. The festive afternoon tea included plenty for everyone including four sandwich fillings – roast beef and horseradish, turkey and cranberry sauce, smoked salmon and cream cheese and ratatouille (the vegetarian option).
I will admit I didn’t like the horseradish on the beef sandwich, but I really like the turkey and cranberry and ate a few of them.
Onto the sweet stuff – there were some totally gorgeous cakes on offer including the intricate apple and raisin tart gourmand, and the beautiful pastel macaroons filled with cranberry and fresh fruits.
My favourite was the chocolate orange dome, although it was a little rich and sickly. I didn’t try the Christmas pudding and red currant terrine but I loved how it came in it’s very own tiny Kilner style jar – so cute!
I filled myself up on the freshly baked scones – they were totally moreish and the locally produced clotted cream that came with the tea was delicious. I liked that there were plain as well as cranberry scones, as I’m really not a fan of dried fruits personally, and usually have to pick all of them out before I can enjoy my scone!
After we had finished eating (and taking lots of photos), some of the girls ordered Hot Chocolates and I drew the raffle for a Bayliss and Harding gift set, which Poppy won.
I had a fantastic time at the event (am I allowed to say that when I organised it?) and I’m looking forward to planning more meet ups in the new year.
Thanks so much to the team at Level8 for having us! If you are looking to treat yourself over the Christmas period I would recommend the festive afternoon tea – it’s available into the new year and is priced at £18 per person (with the option to upgrade to include a glass of Prosecco or champagne from £5 per person).
We were provided with a complimentary festive afternoon tea, however all opinions and photos are our own.