The blogger meet-up has been in my diary for a good few months now and suddenly it was here. There were quite a few bloggers (foodies, runners, healthy living, lifestyle, etc.) initially interested in the event but due to a myriad of reasons in the end it came down to nine of us (I think?).
It was a tough choice on the location of the meet-up as everyone lives all over the country (some in Scotland, Newcastle, some down South, Bristol, etc.). In the end London was decided as the destination after a group vote. I would have been happy to have gone up north but it would have involved flying there or staying over as I’m so far south, so London was a bit of a relief for me. Though I do still find it immensely stressful!
My train was at 11am as we were meeting at 1pm outside Camden Wholefoods (clearly the essential blogger meet-up location!). This was great as it meant I could still go to parkrun in the morning, though I’d have to dash off straight after finishing.
Running during the week had felt hard. I ran just over four miles on Wednesday and just over three miles on Thursday. The marathon definitely seems to have caught up with me. I need to write a post soon about my future running goal plans at some point…I’m in a bit of a quandary.
Anyway I took parkrun fairly easy, running with a friend trying to get him 23:30 but it was very hot and I think we both were finding it tough. It was OK but not as easy as I was planning considering I had a 10k the next day.
Photo credit to Kookie51
We were both just over 24 minutes so not too bad!
I dashed off and showered and ate breakfast in record time – the whole time cursing myself for lack of time. Why do I always put myself into situations where I’m constantly running late? It was a mad rush but I got to the station and didn’t miss my train – I even managed to get a coffee! Maybe I was being over-cautious, but you never know with traffic and trains.
London was heaving. It was the Gay Pride Parade which just compounded the usual London-weekend madness and the fact that it was a lovely (hot) sunny day didn’t help either. I was so concerned I’d get lost, or get the wrong tube. I’m just not good with navigating on my own! But I caught the tube and got to Camden perfectly fine and arrived pretty much on time outside Wholefoods to meet with Cat and Pip.
I’d never met them before in real life but I obviously recognised them from their blogs. I was very nervous…it’s such a strange situation to meet people you’ve been reading about on the Internet and hearing lots about their life but never having actually met before. They were both so lovely and friendly I was put at ease instantly.
Mary and Ceri arrived shortly after as well and we stood on the road just sort of properly meeting each other. Claire arrived a little while later too. Then we headed into the hallowed foodie blogger grounds of Wholefoods and picked up some pieces for a picnic lunch.
Yeah that makes it sound very easy but honestly I was so flustered and spoilt for choice that I must have circled that shop about five times. Sadly this Wholefoods didn’t have the amazing famous salad bar where you fill up a box of different bits and bobs from an amazing buffet bar and then have it weighed, but it did have so many take-away options and a Mexican stand that you could order a tostada or burrito.
It’s funny because Pip asked for a burrito but without the wrap and got basically an amazing looking salad, so both Mary and I (and I think Claire?) followed suit. And then another random girl asked for the same (we started a trend…). You just got piles of salad, black beans, guacamole, salsa and sweetcorn, cheese along with your choice of protein (I went for chicken).
I also picked up some watermelon and a chocolate cake pop.
We walked to a local park and sat on the grass enjoying the sunshine chatting and eating. It was quite amusing to see everyone whip out their phones to take the standard blogger photo of their meals before beginning to eat.
It was just so lovely to properly chat to all the girls but their were moments when it felt surreal. Like when Claire was talking about how her car got burgled and we all nodded away as we knew this had happened as we’d all read her blog post about it – despite none of us really having spoken to her in real life about it!
Then we headed off to the more…interesting parts of Camden to meet a couple more bloggers in the inSpiral Cafe where Cat had booked a table for us. (Side note: the non-London members the group followed like sheep as we literally had no idea where to go and were terrified of getting lost – though this could have just been me!)
Though it seemed there was a lot of confusion over this as no one seemed aware that it had been booked. Cat was amazing though. She fully took charge and sorted it out. You definitely need a good organiser and ‘sorter-outter’ like her in a group!
The menu just sounded incredible.: different raw food main meals, smoothies, juices, tonics, ‘activated’ almonds, fermented things, hazelnut cheese…We’re not in Southampton anymore!! Again I was in a state of confusion as to what to order and went back and forth between a smoothie, an almond ice cream shake and ALL THE FOODS.
In the end I panicked and just went for an almond cappuccino. It was delicious. Normally I’m an Americano girl with a splash of milk if I fancy it, but this was fantastic. The almond milk gave it a delicious flavour and they managed to froth it up nicely.
Lily and Laureen arrived and so we all ordered something sweet. Honestly the theme of this day was me standing in front of a selection of food and drink going “Argh I don’t know what to get!”. The raw cheesecakes sounded divine but they looked a bit dense and rich. It was so warm (read: sweaty) as well I wasn’t sure I fancied something overly chocolaty so I went for the crumble of the day.
It was pineapple and artichoke with a seeded crumble and a zesty ginger sorbet (which had melted by the time it arrived). It was delicious! I didn’t really notice the artichokes but it could have done with either custard or thicker (*cough* proper) ice cream but it was very nice regardless. Many of the other girls got cheesecake and I did have some food envy but I was glad about my choice.
I had a lovely chat with Lily about running and how expensive London is (£20 for a single gym class and £150 gym memberships!!). She also ran the London marathon this year so it was great hearing how she found it…just makes me look forward to running it next year so much!
To be honest, I had lovely chats with everyone – Mary about running and blogging, Claire and her adorable dog Henry, lots of chats about food and allergies, preferences etc…just good old nattering about life. It didn’t feel like a collection of people who had met via the Internet. It just felt like a group of friends…or “blends” as those cool Americans call them 😉
Anyway, I really hope it happens again (probably up north next time I’m sure!). It was a lovely day out. Though I must say, I was glad to get out of hot, smelly London afterwards 😉
Thank you to both Dannii (who sadly couldn’t make it) and Cat for arranging! 🙂
Have you ever met someone via the Internet? (Sounds rather sordid doesn’t it??)
Have you ever been to a raw food cafe or tried a raw meal?
Do you enjoy going to London?