Note of Disclosure: This post was sponsored by House of Fraser
The Christmas period can often be quite stressful in the run-up to the big day, with crowded diaries, the stress of getting gifts and the office workload beginning to pile up. House of Fraser have kickstarted their new #BringMerryBack campaign, in an effort to keep spirits high during the darker evenings of winter shopping. Last week, they invited a group of bloggers, including myself, to attend a Christmas dinner in Searcy’s Champagne rooms at the top of The Gherkin. Having never been up The Gherkin before, I was more than happy to take them up on the offer and made my way, through bitterly cold wind, into the heart of The City to attend.
Dinner With A View
The dinner itself was hosted in the Perrier-Jouet room on the 38th floor of The Gherkin, overlooking The City district of London as well as Bankside and off into South/South-East London. Elegant festivity was the theme of the evening with a 3 course meal, champagne and cocktails served throughout the evening. “Elegant festivity” was the theme of the night, though there was a little Christmas cheesiness with some of the “Christmas classics” behind played into the room. Even at one of the highest points in London, it turns out you can’t escape Wham’s “Last Christmas”.
However, despite the decadence of the evening, the idea of “bringing merry back” was one that seemed to be part of every element. Being invited as a group of strangers, we were encouraged to take part in wrapping competitions and making our own cocktails. We got to know each other a little better and began getting into the Christmas spirit. By the end of the evening, we were laughing, sharing embarrassing stories, talking about the blogger industry and what its future was. We covered off our career ambitions, relationships (both good and bad) and even some of the more traumatic events whilst travelling.
I’ve been to a fair few blogger events in the last 3 years but this one was the first to feel truly personal. An event where the focus was on getting in from the cold, grabbing a drink and making new friends. Not in a forced “networking” manner, but in a way that encouraged genuine interest in one another.
Christmas Outfit Styling
With the event being one requiring smarter attire, I elected to go with a look that was warm, without being as formal as a full suit. With this in mind, I incorporated a knitted waistcoat with tailored trousers and double-cuff shirt to give the smarter elements that I wanted. I then build on this using a navy tie, black suede belt and black suede boots for a little more of a relaxed feel without losing the style of the overall look.
Ending The Night, Starting The Advent
At the end of the evening, we said our goodbyes and were offered a goody bag with some House of Fraser treats in, including a rather fine pair of slim jeans from Linea a bottle of Aramis leather “Classic Leather” aftershave, a jumper and a new washbag (all certainly useful for the winter season). Heading back out into the cold to Liverpool St, I felt like the event really had brought some merriment into the cold, dark evening and set me up for the start of the advent calendar.
As I said, it’s rare for these kinds of events to be so personal but, in this case, I certainly found myself remembering how I felt throughout the evening, rather than just remembering the luxury details…
Thanks for checking out the post and make sure to let me know if you have any questions about the event itself. A big thank you to the team at House of Fraser for inviting me along to the evening and for running such a fantastic event. You can check out their full gift collection for ideas and inspiration.