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Afternoon Tea at the Mercer Street Hotel in London

On Saturday I attended my first blogging event in London. It was organized by my sweet friend Selena, one of the first bloggers who I connected with after making the leap across the pond. She planned a lovely afternoon tea at the Mercer Street Hotel in the Seven Dials area of Covent Garden so that we could all meet each other and connect in person. Of the nineteen bloggers who attended other than myself, I “knew” eleven of them via their blogs, and so shouldn’t have been nearly as nervous as I was, but when you’re rubbing shoulders with a bunch of people way more talented at this blogging thing than yourself, it can be a little nerve-wracking. And then there’s the fact that I showed up late. Way to make a good impression right off the bat, Sarah.

Lucky for me, this group of bloggers were some of the nicest girls I’ve ever met. They were completely willing to forgive my tendency to chatter on and on in an attempt to hide the fact that large groups of people make me painfully shy and anxious, and a few of them even laughed at my terrible jokes. Bless their hearts. I loved being able to meet new friends and also put faces (and voices, too!) with the blogs I’ve grown to love over the past six months. But before I start getting into that, I want to share photos of the tea itself.

We were given our own private room, separate from the hotel’s official restaurant, for our event. We all sat around a long table with a gorgeous spread of sandwiches, scones, and pastries stretching the full length of the table. It was all beautifully presented, and I must admit, I enjoyed photographing the delicacies even more than actually eating them.

Afternoon Tea At The Mercer Street Hotel In London

Afternoon Tea At The Mercer Street Hotel In London

Afternoon Tea At The Mercer Street Hotel In London

Afternoon Tea At The Mercer Street Hotel In London

I feel a little sheepish that this was my first afternoon tea in London and I didn’t even drink any tea. I was so engrossed in conversation that I barely touched any of the food either. I don’t believe I was the only one, because at the end of the evening our trays of food still remained practically full. We didn’t waste any, though. Bags of goodies were sent home with us, much to the delight of Cory and Lexie.

Prior to this event, I’d had the opportunity to meet only two of the other bloggers in person, but it appeared that many of the other bloggers had already met each other before through other events and blog conferences. For them this was a reunion, and unlike those uncomfortable family ones where no one wants to talk to each other, the many conversations going on between everyone at our table explains why they put us in a private room in the first place. Bloggers can write, but we can also talk.

Afternoon Tea At The Mercer Street Hotel In London

Afternoon Tea At The Mercer Street Hotel In London

Afternoon Tea At The Mercer Street Hotel In London

Afternoon Tea At The Mercer Street Hotel In London

Even after four hours of chatting, there were so many people I felt like I didn’t get adequate time to talk to, and some I didn’t get to speak with at all. That was my only disappointment of the evening. Everything else went off without a hitch. My favorite part was leaving feeling like I’d made some real friends, the kind you’d get together with outside of organized events. Although I do hope there’ll be more of these kinds of evenings, too. (At the very least so I can have a second chance to improve on my mingling skills!) It was a great afternoon that extended into evening, and I must thank Selena again for putting it all together and the Mercer Street Hotel for putting up with us!

Mercer Street Hotel: Website
Address: 20 Mercer Street, London WC2H 9HD

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  • Ashley | Domestic Fashionista
    November 22, 2013 at 5:10 PM

    Such fun! Glad you got to meet a little community of local bloggers! It really takes blogging to a beautiful new relational level! I have to admit I have said some pretty ridiculous things at the meet ups I have gone too! Much better with my words when I have time to re-read, write, and think about before spewing it! lol! ;)

    • Sarah Shumate
      November 23, 2013 at 9:05 AM

      I think that’s true for everyone! I figure if people really like me, they’ll forgive my awkward moments! ;o) Too bad we can’t say something in public and then quickly backspace when we realize how silly it sounds! :o)

  • Robert Wareham
    November 19, 2013 at 5:41 PM

    I’ve just catching up on a few blogs and have been reading about this over on Tina’s blog! As I said there, it’s a little strange looking at these photographs and recognising so many people – I can’t imagine how strange it must’ve been to be there! But it does look like great fun! :)

    • Sarah Shumate
      November 20, 2013 at 9:58 AM

      It was a bit weird – it sort of felt like there was no need to introduce ourselves even though we were meeting for the first time!

      If you don’t mind hanging with a bunch of girls, I heard talk at the tea of having a photography outing in London early next year for bloggers. You should come!

      • Robert Wareham
        November 20, 2013 at 12:34 PM

        I’m totally down to hang out with the girls! haha. Particularly if it was for a photography outing. Partly because I enjoy photographing pretty much anything; partly because your photographs are incredible and I’d like you to teach me your secrets!

  • Emmymom
    November 18, 2013 at 7:56 PM

    Oh yea!! Glad you were able to go to a blogger meet up! And yes bloggers sure can talk :)

  • Tammy Chrzan
    November 17, 2013 at 11:40 PM

    I’m so sad that I missed this. I know that I will eventually catch up to you and a few others and I can’t wait for that day! This tea looks amazing and the food too… and look at all of the absolutely gorgeous women that you had the honor of holding company with! You’re so blessed!
    As for me, I actually have 5 minutes to sit down and I’m very excited about that, as one of the first places I headed to was your blog, I’m going to nose around all of the posts about Paris.
    I hope you had a great weekend!
    Tammy

  • Katrin
    November 17, 2013 at 6:53 PM

    This is so cool! I would love to meet other bloggers someday. I am happy that you had such a great time and made some new friends!

  • Anna
    November 16, 2013 at 5:22 PM

    Such lovely pics and such a lovely recap. I imagine even if I had been there the whole time it wouldn’t have felt like enough time! Can’t wait to do it again properly this time and if you or any of the girls are ever in the South of France there will be croissants ;)

  • Mrs. Match
    November 16, 2013 at 9:43 PM

    Oh what a blast!! I am dying to meet another blogger, much less a whole room full. How FUN!

  • Mandy Southgate
    November 16, 2013 at 8:09 PM

    Oh wow, I’ve just realised that I didn’t drink any tea either!! It was such a lovely afternoon and I’m so sad I didn’t get a chance to chat to you. Hopefully we’ll get another chance to chat!

    • Sarah Shumate
      November 17, 2013 at 3:59 PM

      I didn’t realize at an afternoon tea that you don’t actually get to CHOOSE your tea. That was a surprise to me. I’m pretty particular about mine. :o)

      I’m sure we’ll have an opportunity to meet again! I’m hoping these events become recurring ones!

      • Mandy Southgate
        November 17, 2013 at 8:32 PM

        We had a stunning afternoon tea at the Aubrey Restaurant at The Kensington Hotel where you got to choose between about 30 teas!

  • Miwa
    November 16, 2013 at 1:05 PM

    A blogger tea party? Sounds like so much fun! And you don’t look at all nervous or anxious! I know I’d be waaaay too nervous at an event like this ;)

  • Alex, Denglish Speaker
    November 16, 2013 at 3:08 PM

    Ah too much fun – I wish I lived in a city big enough for blogger meetups. What a great first go at it!

  • Bonnie Rose
    November 16, 2013 at 2:32 PM

    Oh yes. I did not have any tea, and I only ate a little while there trying to just eat ‘something’ because it was my first meal of the day with my commute that morning. I love TEA! I feel so bad that I did not. I did manage to get a coffee thanks to Gina, since she was making herself one. But then with having to move seats it got left to get cold. :( Oh well, you know what, as much as the food looked amazing i really enjoyed most getting to talk with everyone! I cannot wait to do it again! x

  • Charlotte MacDonald-Gaunt
    November 16, 2013 at 7:17 AM

    Sounds like a wonderful event I’d love to join you next time :o). Xx

  • Danielle E. Alvarez
    November 16, 2013 at 10:37 AM

    Sounds like such a lovely afternoon! I can’t wait to connect with the London blogging community next year :)

  • Caroline
    November 15, 2013 at 8:03 PM

    This looks like a wonderful meet up – cakes and good company, what more do you need? :)

    I’ve done something similar with my blogger friends. Isn’t blogging great?

    Caroline x

  • Nicole
    November 15, 2013 at 5:46 PM

    How FUN! A couple of things-you are GREAT at blogging! Don’t sell yourself short! And two…is that a cute outfit I spy??? ;)

  • Macey
    November 15, 2013 at 8:24 PM

    You all look like movie stars!
    I’ve always wanted to do an afternoon tea in London…high tea or something? Jealous.

  • Ashlee - I'll Love You Forever
    November 15, 2013 at 8:17 PM

    I love this! Looks like so much fun. Glad you were able to attend and put your mingling skills to use. You are beautiful.. always looking amazing!

  • Sammy @ Days Like This
    November 15, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    Great photos Sarah – you definitely did better at me in that department. Your smile just lights up the room! x

  • Keith Wynn
    November 15, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    Sounds like such a fun time!! I hope someday we have a blogger’s event here in Kentucky :)

  • Janelle Halfpenny
    November 15, 2013 at 12:11 PM

    Such a great afternoon! Love those photos!

  • Sara Louise
    November 15, 2013 at 11:41 AM

    This event made me sad I don’t live in London! My real life buddy, Sarah B was there and I wish I was too.

    • Sarah Shumate
      November 15, 2013 at 2:40 PM

      I wish you could have been there, too! You could have been the fourth Sara(h)! :o) Which blog does Sarah B write?

      • Sara Louise
        November 15, 2013 at 2:46 PM

        The Experience Collection, she’s the other Texan :)

  • Rebecca
    November 15, 2013 at 3:34 AM

    How Fun! What a great time getting to meet some of your favorite bloggers in person! The food looks amazing, and it looks like every one had a wonderful time!

  • Ella
    November 15, 2013 at 2:54 AM

    Looks amazing!

    Ella

  • Jacintha | Urban Pixxels
    November 15, 2013 at 8:43 AM

    Hahaha, yes bloggers can talk too! It was such a lovely afternoon and so nice to finally meet you in person (although I think in the future we should avoid standing next to each other on photos :-). Hope to see you again soon!

    • Sarah Shumate
      November 15, 2013 at 11:14 AM

      I agree – we can only take sitting-down pictures together from now on! The photo on Bonnie’s blog was hysterical! :o) Looking forward to seeing you again soon, too!

  • Jenn
    November 15, 2013 at 2:54 AM

    This looks like such a fun time! I love seeing everyone’s recap on this event :)