At the end of September, I went to London to attend #FBC15 which is otherwise known as Food Blogger Connect. It was my second year of attending and I looked forward to meeting blogging friends old and new. While in London, I stayed at the Novotel London Heathrow which was fabulous but I will tell you more about the hotel below. The conference started with a talk on recipe writing by Sophie Grigson who I have admired for a long time. I watched her programmes on the TV while I was at university and love her simple relaxed attitude to cooking. Although the talk did not give me as much recipe writing tips and tricks as I was hoping for, it was lovely just to hear Sophie speak and I would love to meet her for a cup of tea and a piece of cake one day.
The next talk was by Claudia Roden who I do not really know that much about. However it was good to hear about travels and inspiration for her recipes. I also enjoyed a talk by Lizzie Sibley from Pinterest UK and was surprised to discover that how I manage the pinning of my posts was actual the right way to do it. Other talks I liked were from William Reavell who told me lots about Adobe Photoshop that I did not know, Monica of SmarterFitter explained the confusing world of Google Analytics to us, and Urvashi Roe of The Botanical Kitchen taught us how to plan our blog content better.
As well as the talks, there was lots of time to catch up with my fellow bloggers including Sarah of Taming Twins, Julie of Julie’s Family Kitchen, Ellen of Eat With Ellen, Becca of Amuse Your Bouche, Sarah of Maison Cupcake, Jac of Tinned Tomatoes, Kevin of The Crafty Larder, Luca of Chestnuts & Truffles plus many more. While we were chatting, we were also eating fabulous street food from some of the South-East’s finest vendors. My favourites were Bit Bourbon Steamed Burgers who made amazing burgers steamed with Bourbon, Oh My Dog for their delicious hot dogs, Churros Garcia for the best churros I have ever tasted, The Pandan Bakery for their Malaysian inspired sweet treats, Crazy For Pasta whose pasta making machine I loved and their mushroom sauce was tasty too, Massis Tea for their different take on iced tea and Le Belle Assiette who gave us a taster of what it would be like to have one of their chefs cooking in your home.
Overall, I enjoyed the majority of the talks and debates plus the street food was excellent too. However the outdoor venue of the conference at the end of September was not the best. Sitting in a cold unheated marquee and trying to fully concentrate on the talks was hard going. I would like to go back to FBC again as it is a really great conference, however it needs to be held inside or at a different time of year. My vlog of the conference is below
Novotel London Heathrow
The Novotel London Heathrow is one of 11 London hotels that cover all of the city providing you the perfect place to stopover whether for business or pleasure. The hotel at Heathrow was 20 minutes drive away from Chiswick House and Gardens (where FBC was held) along the M4. This journey was sorted easily by Uber (see below.) Sarah of Taming Twins and I checked into the hotel at noon on the Friday (two hours before official check in time began) and although our rooms were not ready, they switched us to rooms that were without any fuss. We left Sarah’s car in the carpark which only cost £10 per 24 hours and went up to see our rooms.
I was very impressed by the size of the room especially the bathroom. The room looked onto an internal courtyard at the centre of the hotel, where the reception, bar and restaurant were. There was no noise at all from outside which is impressive due to it being next to the M4 and 1 mile away from the world’s busiest airport. The breakfast the next morning was superb. It was one of the best hotel breakfasts I have had. The staff were polite and friendly. I watched a bit of the rugby with a glass of wine on the Saturday evening and enjoyed the atmosphere. The reception area also had a children’s play area (not pictured) including game consoles, books and so on. When Thomas and Daniel get older and we do fly from Heathrow, I will quite happily stay at the Novotel as I know they will be well catered for.
I attended FBC15 on a buddy pass ticket. My stay at Novotel London Heathrow was complementary in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own. I was not required to write a positive review