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.
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.
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!