Over the past couple of days I’ve been sharing the fun I had in London, but obviously there’s a pretty big reason why I was there in the first place, the Amara Interior Blog Awards 2017.
When I was nominated for the awards I was thrilled and flattered, but never in a million years did I think I’d make it to the shortlist! Over 800 blogs were nominated, 45,000 votes cast and I made it to the last 6 in my category, Best Design Inspiration, that was good enough for me.
When my invite to the awards ceremony arrived it became a little more real and as the stars aligned, and it turned out I could actually wangle the time away to attend, my excitement grew, but with that my apprehension too. It was a bit of a daunting business, getting all poshed up and meeting people you’ve only ever seen in the imaginary world that is Social Media. Oh and my date was my Mum, which was either a super cool move or super super uncool, but hey, she deserves some fun, after all, I did gatecrash their City break and blag beautiful free accommodation!
The evening came, we left the house with more than enough time, or so we thought, and set off for The Design Museum in Kensington. But the tube took FOREVER and by the time we got to Kensington High Street station we were rather late. With no taxis to be seen anywhere we ran, fast, me taking my heels off and running barefoot along a dirty, grim city pavement, much to the amusement of those we rushed past, urrrgh. Arriving panting and sweating was not how I imagined the night to begin.
A few cocktails later I was just regaining control of myself when we were told it was time for the ceremony.
We all gathered excitedly in the auditorium, I had a sneaky glance around to see who I could spot. My mum was sat next to Deborah Barker, Editor-in-Chief of Homes & Gardens, 25 Beautiful Homes and one of the judges for the awards, she was absolutely lovely.
Sophie Robinson and Daniel Hopwood were hosting and their familiarity and funny chemistry really added to the evening, making it feel like we were all amongst friends.
So, I feel I should say at this point, all the while I was getting ready to go to London and then when I was actually at the awards, I not once even considered for a moment that I might win. I don’t mean this in a self-deprecating way, I was amazed that I was in the shortlist and that was more than enough for me…I was up against some seriously professional, established Blogs, so it was just a given that one of them would get it. You can see the shortlist here.
So, I’m sat there, looking around, feeling quite pleased with simply seeing my name up on the big screen when they read out the blogs in my category, then the reasons for the winning Blog were read out –
The Photography really shon out for the judges….knowledgeable and relevant advice…demonstrates itself as an authority on the topics it discusses…
I thought to myself, ok, well that definitely isn’t me then, I just take snaps on my phone! And then I look around to see if I can spot anyone else from my category, to watch as their name is called. Except Daniel Hopwood didn’t call their name, did he, HE CALLED MINE!!!!!!
You can watch the whole awards ceremony here, or skip to 28 minutes in for my category.
I just couldn’t believe it, and my face for the rest of the evening clearly showed my complete amazement that they had said my name!
I definitely felt a bit more relaxed and like I maybe belonged after that bombshell, so I got stuck in with the cocktails, as did my Mum, meeting some lovely people. I think my Mum did more networking than me though to be honest!
Post winning is a bit of a blur of faces and laughing and talking to sponsors and fellow Bloggers, I met some seriously lovely people, some I already follow and we ended up going out for dinner after. This proved more difficult than I expected in a big city, apparently eating after 11pm isn’t the done thing on Kensington High Street, but we found a place and filled up on burgers and more drinks.
Begrugingly it was time to leave and get the tube back to Liverpool Street, where we would catch a train to Stoke Newington. Except we’d missed the last tube that could get us to LS, so it turned into a bit of a drama trying to get home, all the while absolutely bursting for a wee, damn those cocktails, and hauling our mega heavy gift bags with us.
It’s quite an eerie thing, the contrast between a packed ride on the underground in the day and being the only ones in a carriage at night. We got as far as Kings Cross, where the train terminated and were a bit stuck. Rushing through the station, the only people there, trying to find an exit that wasn’t closed up, we finally escaped and found a bus stop. The number 73 saved us and we were en route to our beds. There was plenty of time during the bus journey for my Mum to inspect the entire contents of her gift bag!
So there we have it, I still don’t quite believe it, it still surprises me that anyone even reads my silly ramblings, but here you are and I thank you so much for your support and for getting me to this point, I couldn’t have done it without you guys.
A huge thank you to Amara and all the sponsors for organising and hosting and making everyone feel super special.
You can watch the Awards highlights here.