What a whirlwind. I have just returned from a quick overnight visit to London that was jam packed with fun, adventure and inspiration. It was one of those pinch-me experiences where I sort of had to step back from it all, take a breath and really embrace how lucky I was to be afforded this absolute treat.
I am a member of the Netflix Stream Team here in Ireland. That basically means that I keep you all up to date with Netflix news and what we are enjoying. In return Netflix give me a free subscription to the service and some quirky gifts and opportunities along the way. This was one of those. A very unexpected offer came my way and thankfully I could make it happen largely due to my mother being able to re-structure her work week so she could mind Billy at different times that usual. Mammies always save the day don’t they?
I was one of five Irish bloggers on this trip. Where Wishes Come From, Confessions Of An Irish Mammy, One Yummy Mummy and Saucepan Kids. Jolene from One Yummy Mummy travelled on a later flight but the rest of us met in Dublin Airport for our adventure. As nice as the airport is, and as wonderful as the company was, we didn’t quite plan to spend the entire day in Terminal 2. Our flight was delayed by three hours and it was a bit of a pain in the bum because it shortened a trip that was already short by nature. We were in the care of the very lovely Nicola Watkins PR. She is a PR Guru and looks after the Netflix PR in Ireland.
We eventually took off and it was a very enjoyable flight. Prosecco was had, laughs were in abundance and it was clear that this was going to be a really great experience. There is a lot to be said for great company isn’t there? I had been in touch with all of the girls on some level before but didn’t quite know any of them very well until this trip. At about 10pm we arrived at The Mondrian Hotel which is situation on The Thames. Holy Mother Of Holy Saint Hotels. This is the nicest hotel I have ever been in. I couldn’t believe that I would actually be laying my head upon a pillow here. The lobby felt like something out of a movie. Lanterns everywhere with Jo Malone scents sifting through the air. People coming and going as hotel workers wore cleaner crisper shirts than I had ever seen in all my life. It was a definitely case of “who am I?” and how did I get so lucky to end up here. We checked in to our rooms and it was a mad dash to dinner in the hotel. The Sea Containers restaurant was fancy, expensive and a truly amazing culinary experience. I have never tasted Lamb as beautiful. It was like butter. Total melt in the mouth and just cooked to perfection. I was a little bit disappointed by the dessert but he glass of crisp white wine distracted me immediately. It was a real experience and I’ll remember it fondly.
It was about midnight when we made our way back to our rooms. Naturally I had to partake in some selfie taking. I’m not even sorry. The room was full to the brim with good lighting opportunities. I was actually raging I didn’t think to bring my video camera to record a Youtube video with the stunning backdrop of the hotel room. I may have come across a little tipsy on camera so it was probably for the best.
The next morning began with a breakfast fit for a queen. It was sublime. I’ve never been at a breakfast buffer that had sourdough. I’m acutely aware of the fact that my relationship with sourdough bread has reached new levels of obsession. Toasted sourdough, real butter and silky smooth scrambled eggs. Like would you actually be able?
Then came the real fun. The Netflix event was kicking off at 10am and was just a ten minute stroll from the hotel. We pottered along the banks of The Thames and watched the various locals, business people and tourists pass by. It was supreme people watching. One of my favourite things to do. The weather was beautiful as I always recall it being in London. We passed the studio where This Morning is filmed and I had visions of telling Holly Willoughby how fabulous she looked. Or handing her a nice morning coffee? Yeah, that never happened.
We arrived at the event location and it was an immediate sense of excitement as the big red door opened. The location was a renovated Violin Factory that actually featured on Grand Designs. The architect in question actually lived in the house and it was a sight to behold. It was out of this world. The house that kept on giving. Such an interesting shape where walls would suddenly become doors in to hidden rooms. Light was in abundance and it was incredibly modern yet still had a homely feel. The kitchen was incredible and I dreamt about filming recipe videos in this amazing space. We were greeted with Netflix inspired coffees, pastries and introductions to the Netflix team from the UK, Paris/Italy and everything in between. Everyone could not have been nicer. These people work hard and they are the most down to earth and welcoming bunch you could ever hope to meet. They talked to us about their favourite shows, our children and London Life. It was a casual morning of chats and previews of Netflix content.
In terms of content I found myself being most excited by the kids stuff. There is Netflix Original Series on it’s way this August. They have secured the rights to The Beatles Music and the characters involve a host of very famous voices. Beat Bugs will come our way in and it has the most incredible myriad of animation, music and voice-overs. This is really going to appeal to the entire family.
A close second was Wordparty. A show aimed at Pre-Schoolers. Educational, bright and a Jim Henson creation. Billy is going to love this one.
We watched a new episode of Stranger Things and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I can be a real pain to watch TV with because I generally steer clear from anything too violent or sad. It just triggers my anxiety. This is something I would have typically avoided and yet I found myself really enjoying the episode and wanting to watch another. Netflix gave me food for thought about the little boxes we put ourselves in. It has made me feel a bit more open minded about the content I am going to start watching. I definitely recommend this one.
Then came the afternoon’s activities and oh my God where do I start. After a delicious lunch we were split up in to different groups and took turns experiencing different “rooms”. Every room had a theme connected to a Netflix show and an activity for us to do. We made bunting in the Wordparty craft room, created Terrariums (like a little garden in a jar, so adorable) in the Beat Bug garden and drank Champagne and ate indulgent chocolates in the Me-Time room. The highlight for me was lying on a hammock on this incredible London rooftop garden sipping champagne. Another pinch-me moment for sure.
Netflix really know how to spoil a girl. The food, company and day’s activities just left me speechless. It was one of the most adventurous and inspiring days of my adult life and it gave me the excitement and sense of fun that resembled my childhood. I’m really grateful for this.
Netflix is bigger and better than ever. It is now in 190 countries and churning out original content to meet the demand associated. It is an honour to be part of the stream team and I look forward to the journey.
Thank you Netflix for one of the best experiences of my career and my personal life. See you soon!