So the conference is over. It was my first experience of the food bloggers connect conference, and a great experience it has been. From meeting many great people from all backgrounds, to trying weird and wonderful foods that get you returning for more. This year the conference was held in the beautiful Chiswick House in west London. It was rather convenient for me, as Chiswick is my hometown and my most favourite place to be. Considering it was the end of September and the English weather bows to no one, the whether so absolutely perfect! Beautiful sunshine for the full 3 days (bar an hour of concerning clouds which soon passed).
If you are a food blogger, weather it is focused on health, restaurants, baking, or reviews on penny sweets, this is the place for you. You get to meet other bloggers to whom you can share stories, ideas or just make new friends. On top of meeting many great food bloggers, you can take part in the fantastic workshops, sit in on inspirational talks and snack all day on great food that will lure you in with the smell alone.
The first day is always the most nerve-racking, especially if you are new to the world of food blogging and have yet to make any contact or friends.Looking back it seemed silly for me to be so nervous, as everyone was so friendly! The bloggers and the staff were all so welcoming, and there was plenty of other people who has never attended the conference before. To get the weekend started there was a fantastic recipe writing talk with Sophie Grigson, who of course has so much knowledge to share! Just listening to her stories throughout her career was very inspiring before we even got onto the secrets of recipe writing! From then on there were guest speakers from all over, from Claudia Roden on her life researching food, to Catherine Connor from Apsire Photography Training, showing us how to build strong business relationships.
Now onto the food! This was an event where you needed to arrive hungry if you wanted to try everything that is on offer! There was food suitable for everyone, whether you are a fan of hotdogs with as many onions as possible, roasted squash and sweet potato with fluffy quinoa, or you have a huge sweet tooth, in which case Pandan Bakery had that covered! There were 2 tasting sessions both lasting 2 hours, so there was plenty of time to try everything. Hopefully the pictures speak for themselves!
Day 2 got started with a workshop with food stylist and photographers Lucy Harvey, Emily Jonzen and Ria Osborne. There is nothing like a live demonstration from professionals to really get the creative juices flowing! Now I’m pretty new to photography, and any artist flare I have comes from my days in college quite a few years ago. Photography was just something that I just never gave myself a chance to get into, and so I stick to pen and paper mostly. However, I have now decided to jump into the world of photography! This workshop offered tips and tricks that at first appeared simple and basic, but after a live demonstration, really showed you how you bring your photos to life, with a bit of colour here and some extra lighting there.
One of the most valuable talks I attended over the weekend was Pinterest 101. I had convinced myself that I knew everything there was to know about Pinterest, as on the surface it appeared pretty straight forward. However, thanks to the lovely people are Pinterest, after 1 hour, it turned out that to start with I knew nothing! I made a list of everything I needed to change about my Pinterest account, as it turned out I wasn’t really doing it right!
Back to the food, and this time we got to enjoy Mexican wraps, authentic Indian curries from Coconut Chilli, fresh soups and of course more cakes and pastries from the delicious Pandan Bakery! I could describe each dish in great detail and I remember them all so well, but I’ll let the photos speak for themselves! Deciding what to try first seemed to be the biggest issue of the weekend!
The third and final day! There appeared to be more food to try on the final day, clearly saving the best til last! After starting the day learning from Mary-Denise Smith and listening to her share her wisdom in writing, I immediately felt the need to run home, start up my laptop and get writing! By this point it was only 11am, so my enthusiasm needed to wait! I next enjoyed hearing from David Bez about all of his publishing success! His amazing recipe book Salad Love is full of so many exciting salad recipes, and everyone of them looked delicious!
Finally, to round this awesome weekend off, everyone was given a goodie bag full of gifts and tasty treats! I had been told that The Food Bloggers Conference had a reputation for handing out huge goodie bags, and this was no lie! I am so glad I didn’t have far to walk, because it was pretty darn heavy.
To sum up, the weekend was amazing and I will definitely be returning next year! Check out the food bloggers connect website for lots more details and I hope to see you there.