Friendsfest, which is exactly what it sounds like, is currently touring the UK giving fans of the show a chance to geek out. Put together by Comedy Central to promote their daily repeats of the show, there was an initial run last year on Brick Lane featuring Monica’s apartment, but this year they are back on a much bigger scale to maximize on the interest the public have for this classic show. For £22 I headed to Chiswick Park last weekend to see for myself just how possible it is to fill a field with memorabilia about a sitcom.
If you mention ‘Margate’ or ‘Dreamland’ to any English person over the age of 50 you will see their eyes light up like a small child on Christmas Day morning. The seaside town and it’s amusement park is the epitome of the traditional british summer holiday, full of yellow sand, cold waters, rickety roller coasters and fish’n’chips. Dreamland has been the location of seaside amusements since the late 20th century, with the park officially existing from the 1920s. Popularity peaked in the 1960s and 70s, with new thrills drawing the attention of holidaymakers nationwide. By the 200s times had changed with most Brits going abroad for a week of guaranteed cheap sun rather than staying closer to home, and Margate fell out of favour and became a little worse for wear. Due to low attendance the park was closed for several years before a local trust purchased the site for renovation.
I visited Margate last year for the first time and discovered what an underrated gem is it. Despite it’s hipster cred of vintage shops, cafes and being in Lonely Planet’s Top 10 Places to Visit in 2013 it still remains firmly off the radar for most.When we saw that the re-opening of Dreamland included promises of late night funfair fun, live music and djs it seemed like the perfect opportunity to revisit my favourite little seaside town.
We rushed to Margate on the first train after work on Friday afternoon – dropped our bags at the hotels and clamoured to the shorefront and the entrance of Dreamland. I think it was just obliviousness that caused us to not really think about how busy it would be, but the queues to get into the site snaked from the park around sides streets and down the seafront – the whole town and more were there to see this iconic giants come back to life.
The ferris wheel and wooden rollercoaster creates a strong skyline for the amusement park, although these and a few other rides were unfortunately not open yet (Dreamland provided tickets to revisit at a later date as compensation). The attractions were imported from across the UK and underwent refurbishment along with the site itself – now full of modern but retro inspired graphics, infrastructure and seating areas. Other attractions include a Helter Skelter, Crazy Mouse, Carousel and Monorail.
Due to the retro theme of the park I opted for one of my favourite outfits from Collectif – three piece (cardigan, top and skorts) co-ords set covered in tropical birds, along with bright pink wedges. Luckily the evening stayed mild enough, although the sun didn’t shine quite as much as I wanted.
We only managed to get on one ride while we were there – the chair swing ride – which got up to surprising velocities. while we were soaring through the air Chas & Dave took the stage. Later on I caught Marina and the Diamonds on the main stage, while a swing band played through the evening at the pavilion.
Along with the rides outside, Margate Dreamland also have a renovated arcade hall and roller disco. Retro games were sourced providing an eclectic mix of weird and wonderful games.
Dreamland is a great addition to Margate, although there were a few disappointments on the night – long queues for drinks, limited capacity inside after 11, and of course a few rides being out of service. Despite these setbacks I’m looking forward to revisiting, hopefully for one of the upcoming club nights – as the park at night is truly magical.
I was lucky enough to be invited to Pandora’s recent blogger event hosted at Drink Shop Do on Caledonian Road to celebrate the launch of their online wishing tree – an interactive hub enabling users to tie special messages for loved ones on it’s branches.
Drink Shop Do is unique cafe bar near King Cross focused on DIY and crafting, and the event enabled bloggers the opportunity to create their own wishes through origami and sewing sessions. These messages could then be tied to the illuminated tree in the centre of the space.
Along with the activities there was also tasty cupcakes from the Hummingbird Bakery and plenty of fizzy prosecco served by the private bartender. The event was a great opportunity to talk to other bloggers and understand more about Pandora’s gift selection – they even gave us goodie bags with handmade rose chocolates and beauty products to make us feel extra special!
Tie your message on the Wishing Tree and who knows maybe someone you know will treat you to one of Pandora’s many gifts.
At my job I am lucky enough to work on some fun and exciting projects. We started collaborating with Thomas Cook Airlines in December on how to best highlight the Manchester to Las Vegas route – and one thing that dominated our research into social listening from the last few years was the prevalence of glamorous celebrity parties and the launch of Britney Spears’ residency at the Hard Rock Hotel. This cemented what we knew about Vegas; it is just as much a lifestyle destination as a travel one.Based on this we put together a blogger event, hosted at the Milton Club in Manchester. The theme was ‘Divas Glam Vegas’ – an opportunity for local lifestyle bloggers to enjoy the glamour of Las Vegas first hand.
I spent the first part of the night at the entrance welcoming the attendees to the event with one of our signature cocktails and a pack of Divas postcards featuring facts about Vegas. We also have a Divas Glam Vegas micro site with further information, including the lovely illustrations that were made for the campaign. Once inside the main part of the venue, attendees had the opportunity to take a chance on the roulette table, select from a range of treatments at the beauty station, or take some Vegas themed snaps in the photo booth.
We use Tagboard to present a live stream of activity on social media against our hashtag #divasglamvegas to the bloggers could catch themselves on screen just like divas do!
Our roulette table was a diva suitable pink and purple, kitted out with custom ‘diva dollar’s featuring our bespoke branding. The top earned for the night won a bottle of bubbly for their efforts.
The highlight of the night for me was our Britney Spears impersonator Michaela Weeks. She looked so much like the real thing and even treated us to a performance of Toxic on the bar!
Overall it was an amazing night full of great company. If you want to see more from the bloggers who attended check out the Tagboard below! Thomas Cook offer flights from Manchester, Belfast, Glasgow and London from £205 so being a Diva is pretty damn affordable.