A couple of weeks ago I joined a few new blogging friends to complete my first challenge as a QBlogger for our local Queensgate shopping centre.
The whole QBlogger event was shrouded in secrecy
All I had been told was that we were to assemble (much like the Avengers) at Hotel Chocolat and await further instruction.
You know you are about to embark on something rather exciting when it starts with a very indulgent hot chocolate and an envelope with a wax seal!
Inside the envelope was a letter outlining my task for the evening ahead. I had to go shopping! Specifically I had to search the Queensgate shops for an outfit suitable for an evening dining with my Mummy friends. I thought about my Mummy friends and decided to look beyond the fact that we would be most at home necking a quick kebab (sorry ladies) in favour of a more civilised approach to the task at hand.
So, back to the hot chocolate. It was absolutely delicious and topped with an enormous amount of chocolate cream. While we all enjoyed our treat I took some photos of Hotel Chocolat’s gorgeous Christmas range.
I love the tiddly pots (tubs of chocolate buttons in dark, caramel or milk) and I will definitely keep them in mind for a treat for Moose the next time we come for a mooch in town.
I need one of these wreaths. Pistachio, white chocolate and cranberry. The perfect trinity of flavour!
This is just a small selection of what is on offer this Christmas at Hotel Chocolat – don’t get me started on what look like the best advent calendars ever!
The Queensgate shopping centre is undergoing some really exciting changes at the moment but it is all still business as usual. I really love how colourful the new seating is though I have to admit, I still miss the sunken seating outside John Lewis!
I had to get my skates on
To say I am not the most natural of shoppers would be a little bit of an understatement. I am afraid that I am the classic stereotypical Mother who really only spends money on myself when it is necessary. What I lack in experience though I more than made up for in enthusiasm! The opportunity to spend on myself guilt-free? Yes please.
The first hurdle I had to overcome was finding a store which stocked my size. With the current reshuffle of shops it is admittedly a bit of a challenge to find a lot of choice for larger ladies in Queensgate while sticking to a budget. It’s not that none of the shops sell clothing in my size, it’s more that it is pot luck finding it to be on the rack! Usually I get around this by ordering online and collecting my purchases from the store.
By this point I had 1 hour to complete my challenge. Luckily New Look has a brilliant curves range which I was really impressed with.
I managed to spot a gorgeous suedette jacket and a charcoal top with sparkly silver detail (to add the requested touch of glam) and both were well within budget!
For me Autumn and Winter should be all about comfort and that means choosing fabrics which not only look nice but feel great too. I found a gorgeous mustard chunky knit scarf in Primark which definitely fitted the bill.
By the time I had located the scarf our time was up! I couldn’t believe how quickly it had flown by and how much fun we had completing the QBlogger challenge.
Our evening wasn’t over yet though, we had to meet the other bloggers at Turtle Bay restaurant. I cannot pretend that the prospect of meeting at one of my favourite restaurants didn’t fill me with glee!
Upon entry to the restaurant Jaymee and I were welcomed by the lovely Becca and Leigh and I was introduced to the other bloggers present; Rachel from Helpless Whilst Drying and Laura from Loved By Laura.
A little after we arrived we were joined by Sabina from Deepin Mummy Matters
I just love the food at Turtle Bay so I was not disappointed to have so many lovely dishes to try. Pictured are the Just Jerk Platter and the Goat Curry with Festival Dumplings and Rice and Peas. Delicious!
Despite feeling incredibly nervous about my first QBlogger event it was lovely to meet everyone and have a good chat! Before we knew it was time to retreat back to our cars and head home.
I have to be honest, I really dislike being in photographs but I felt like I should show off my lovely New Look jacket so here is me looking aloof (it’s actually awkward more than aloof but I went with it), and a fence and some very autumnal leaves. You’re welcome.
I naively thought that my purchases would remain my own. Moose had other ideas and the morning after our challenge he immediately adopted my chunky scarf for himself. I have since negotiated its safe return.
Thank you so much Queensgate for an exciting evening and for making me part of such a fabulous group of people!