Last week I was invited to Paris to attend the Efluent 5 International Blogging Conference which is hosted by French magazine Parole de Maman. They hand selected 15 UK bloggers to represent UK Bloggers at the event - I was pretty overwhelmed when I received my invite, later that morning I was added to a facebook group with the other invitee's and I couldn't get over the other amazing bloggers attending - some of my favourites!!
My day started early, with a train journey from rural Norfolk to the hustle and bustle of the big city. For saying I can be a nervous traveller, the journey was smooth, quick and easy. Chilling in St. Pancras waiting for the Eurostar, I mosied around the shops listening to the pianists. It was all rather festive! The once through security, I bumped into some of my fellow UK Bloggers; Alison from Not Another Blogging Mummy, Fran from Whinge Whinge Wine, Ciara from My Fussy Eater, Franca from A Moment with Franca then it was time to board the train.
I have done the Eurostar twice before, but when I was a child. I forgot just how quick it is and stress free! Before we knew it we had arrived in the beautiful city of Paris ready to head to the hotel, where we were greeted by the event organiser Sophie. I just want to say here, what an amazing lady she is. To organise 150 bloggers from many different countries must have been incredibly stressful, but she worked her magic and the whole event was pretty incredible!
After meeting and getting settled in our rooms, we were then whisked off to hair and makeup. This part was pretty surreal. Getting all made up for a River Cruise Dinner Gala along the Seine, it was all a bit of a whirlwind but I absolutely loved it. It was great to be amongst people who just get it. This blogging world can be a crazy one, and whilst my friends and family are incredibly supportive, it's not the same as chatting to someone who just gets the madness.
So after a boozy dinner and a boogie, it was back to the hotel (Saint James Albany Hotel) and head to bed.
The day of the conference, a pastry filled start and a brisk walk through the streets of Paris. I never truly appreciated the beauty of the architecture of Paris before, it's honestly such a mesmerising city. The event was on a fairly big scale. We had the opportunity to meet with brands such as Baby Bjorn, Kiddy, Dyson, Munchkin amongst many others - they all spoke fantastic English, despite apologising numerous times and it was really lovely to get to know the brands better and be introduced to new ones. Who knew baby perfume was a thing?
The evening was spent enjoying beer, good food, good company - and letting our hair down. Being a busy mum this is such a rare opportunity so it had to be done!
We were free to enjoy the delights of Paris. I awoke early and joined Karen from Mini Travellers and Laura from Tired Mummy of Two to the Louvre, one place I've never actually visited on my previous trips. Whilst yes, we had to do the iconic painting the Mona Lisa, it had some breathtaking exhibits which I would have loved to have spent more time exploring. Arriving early is key, we explored the Egyptian exhibits basically alone giving us the opportunity to take photos and take in the wonders of the Louvre.
Meeting up with Fran, Franca, Alison and Ciara we went for a wonder in search of some good coffee and food. We stumbled upon a cute little cafe, we chatted and relaxed before our journey home.
I had such a wonderful time in Paris, and felt I really connected with my fellow blogging pals. Looking forward to future meets!
Thank you for the whole team making us Brits feel incredibly welcome.
Mummy B xoxox