Following our weekend in Tuscany and our friends' incredible wedding, I flew to London for Social Media Week - a conference all about, you guessed it, social media. Rather fittingly, I decided not to lug my SLR around the city so apologies for the photo quality in this post but most of them are from my Instagram :)
The conference was incredible - interesting, eye-opening and inspiring - and in a world where social media cops a lot of flack, I found it so refreshing to spend a week listening to speakers from businesses and organisations who were using social media in inspiring ways for the good of communities, charities and businesses. There's no doubt that social media is re-inventing the way we communicate, market products and make decisions and I'm not ashamed to say that I love it. I find it absolutely fascinating. It's opened the world up for so many people and for marketers and content producers it's given us a new playground. But it's also important to remember that there's also a real-life playground outside, with real people who need real face time! The best thing about attending SMW London was that I got to spend time in-between seminars with some of my favourite people, in what is still one of my favourite cities in the world and a place that I'll forever call home.
I had a few hours of free time to fill every day and first on the list girl time with my Mama. I lucked out on the hottest week and we made the most of the sunshine to wander the markets of Spitafields before settling down on sumptuous couches at The Grocer. It's a great spot to escape the hectic-ness (I'm making that a word) of the city, and the comfy velvet sofas are positioned perfectly for a bit of people watching the animated market stall owners trying to sell their wares and trinkets to unsuspecting tourists and treasure hunters.
On Day 2 I ducked out of the conference at Happy Hour and wandered along Southbank (one of the best walks in London) past the brand new Sea Containers House and Mondrain Hotel which is firmly on the list for a visit for my next trip, and across Blackfriar's bridge towards Fleet Street. When you get into the lanes of Temple you find yourself transported back to the days of Sweeney Todd in the cobbled streets.
Re-emerging back into the modern world we kept wandering until opera music drew us into the glasshouses of Covent Garden. Settling down with a glass of fizz we sat back to enjoy the rotating line-up of incredible street performers.
Day 3 was about catching up with school buddies and I'm always comforted by the fact that years can sometimes go by without seeing old friends, life can take you in a world of different directions (literally) and yet you can click back into place over a glass of wine. We spent a wonderful eating at an authentic, family run Italian called Ida somewhere near Kensal Rise.
Tasty Tagliatelle, wine and the comfort of friends who fit like an old slipper. I loved it.
Day 4 welcomed Thirsty Thursday with drinks on the terrace of the BFI before dinner at an old classic - Pizza Express (how has that place not taken over the world yet?!) And all of a sudden it was the weekend and last but by no means least, I had to spend time with my bridesmaids and gorgeous Godson. I made this video of the 24 hours we spent together using Go-Film a new App which I am LOVING - but more on that in my next post!
There's also a full video from the whole week in Tuscany and London over on the video's page :)