First up, if there’s a blogger event in the north, I am on it like a car bonnet (do people still say that?!). I miss the north like you wouldn’t believe so I was very happy to get an excuse to venture up that way. I find that the events hosted in the north are less daunting, less filled-with-anxiety, and just generally less intense! I rocked up to the hotel and was like HIYA GUYS! I’M MEGA EXCITED TO SEE YOU! Whereas in London, I’d be like… Hi, I’m an awkward turtle, nice to meet you!

An Evening With Holland & Barrett

Myself, along with 5 other bloggers, joined Holland & Barrett for a small, intimate, bloggers event. We were treated to an overnight stay at the luxurious, beautiful, one-of-the-best-in-Manchester, The Midland – a 4 star hotel about 20 minutes walk from the train station. (10 minutes if you are tall, have long legs and take wide strides).

the midland hotel in manchester
The event was hosted by Holland & Barrett, and if like most people I’ve told, you might think “oh, Holland & Barrett. Ok, that’s a bit random’. From the outside looking in, the first thing you think of when Holland & Barrett comes to mind are probably vitamins, protein shakes and granola. Probably.

I know that from telling friends and colleagues about my weekend in Manchester, I got a bit of a funny look, but honestly, it was one of the best blogger gathering I’ve been to, it actually felt quite surreal. You’ve just got to think outside the box, and that’s exactly what Holland & Barrett did!

holland and barrett blogger event
It was initially pitched as a Bloggers Slumber Party but it was so much more than that. We each had our own rooms which was prepped with some awesome goodies from Holland & Barrett for us to try.
holland and barrett beauty products
We got Dr.Organic Morrocon Argan Oil hair products, CocoWhite, Scent Chips, a box of organic green tea, Dr.Organic Lavender Oil, Dr.Organic Snail Gel face mask (which I’ve been told is amazing, by the way!) an natural and organic bar of Simple Soap. All of which are free from parabens, organic and/or full of natural goodness. Hurrah! 
I’ve always been intrigued by Coco White so I tried those straight away! I also gave the shampoo a go aswell as the lavender oil. 
organic green tea
coco white teeth whitening

Then we went to get a relaxing spa treatment which was amazing, and if any of my fellow northerners are looking for a pamper sesh, I highly recommend a luxurious spa day at The Midland. If you ever get a chance to go, check out the relaxation room. (photo below)
the midland spa
Afterward our spa, I bonded with the other bloggers over the beauty counters in Selfridges (naturally), and then we got ready for the main event, our Holland & Barrett 3 course meal. Each course was cooked with products that you can buy from Holland & Barrett.

It was an extremely clever and creative way to show us how the products can be used to cook up an AMAZING (and healthy) meal. I would never have thought of popping in to their store to buy ingredients such as cider vinegar and pistachio powder! I mean, I shop in there to stock up on supplement tablets and maybe a packet of dried apricots to gnaw on, but this event has given me an insight and a different perspective in to the brand.

None of us knew what to expect but we had our own private suite and as there was only a handful of us, the evening was really chilled and we got chatting about blogging, beauty, sharing advice and tips over our extremely fancy meal. 
a healthy way to cook salmon

I had a Beetroot Cured Salmon Royal Fillet Of Salmon for starters. Doesn’t it look beautiful? It was wonderfully presented with the use of Meridian Natural Almond Nut Butter, organic beetroot juice, pistachio powder and apple cider vinegar on a bed of apple and celery. DELICIOUS!
a healthy way to cook duck

Moving on the main course, I had the Honey Glazed Duck Breast. It had so much flavour and it tasted to good!

When the starter came out, I was a bit worried that the 3 tiny looking courses weren’t going to fill me up but actually, the duck was surprisingly filling and the fact that there was quinoa and pumpkin seeds underneath the meat helped to fill my tummy.

The Holland & Barrett ingredients used here were coconut oil, Kallo low salt vegetable stock cubes, Keen On Quinoa, Neals Yard Wholefoods Pumpkin Seeds, Naturya Barley Grass Powder, and clear blended honey.

The dessert course was a ginger cheesecake infused with green tea. The green tea was the same fairtrade Clipper’s green tea that we got in our goody bags.
I struggled to finish this course because the main was so filling, but the cheesecake was delicious. It had organic crystallised coconut nectar, and crystallised ginger in it surrounded by mango sauce, pineapple and coconut powder. 
At this point, we were all sooo stuffed, we didn’t go as mad as we should’ve done over the macarons, blocks of salted caramels and turkish delights! But they must’ve known that bloggers love their macarons because we had a platter full of them!

Unfortunately, we really couldn’t eat anymore but not to let a macaron go to waste (it was a BLOGGERZ slumber party after all, guiz!), we wrapped them up to eat as a midnight snack. Of course we did.

blogger breakfast
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this and that it wasn’t too image-heavy or too long to read!
It was amazing to be part of this and I really enjoyed a super lovely weekend in Manchester!

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