Well, I’m back to reality after an excellent 5 days at the Travel Bloggers Unite Conference in Rotterdam.
What on earth was I doing at a Travel Bloggers Conference I hear you ask? Well, that’s a long story, but to cut it substantially shorter I’d been asked to speak on a panel at the conference about creating content for Travellers. The idea was to get some input from outside the world of Travel Blogging. I found it interesting how much cross over there really was between travel and fashion. Some blogs are aspirational about designers and luxury, others are about the down to earth, every day sort of travel or clothing and still others are very personal. What I think is important in any kind of blogging, is knowing who you are writing for. If the answer is “Me” then that’s absolutely fine, but don’t be surprised if no one but you reads it!
Having said all that, of course, I’m not sure who that paragraph was for. Oh well, I hope you read it anyway! Rotterdam was a fascinating city, and I have a “Vintage Rotterdam” post planned for next week, but for now this is just a little about the Conference and my time there. Who am I writing it for? Well maybe this ones for me, and maybe nosey people who want to see what are probably just essentially holiday snaps!
I travelled over on the Stena Line Dutch Flyer Ferry overnight, which was bliss. A 3 course dinner, a comfy bed and I woke up in Holland. I’m not a great flyer, so it was ideal! We were accompanied by about 300 Chelsea fans off to the UEFA cup final who were rowdy in the bar, but you can’t hear them from the cabin. I was particularly fond of the doggy cam channel on the TV, where you can see the pets in kennels, which was cute!
Oh, and yes I did specially nautical theme my outfit in honour of going on a ferry.
❤ Beret – eBay ❤ Top, skirt and jacket – vintage ❤ Shoes – Chatham Marine* ❤
Our accommodation for the next 6 days was the brand new (as in opened on Monday, we arrived Wednesday) MainPort Hotel in Rotterdam. It was suffering a few teething problems, some worse than others, but the rooms were lovely. On arrival my mirror TV and whirlpool bath didn’t work (SUCH a first world problem) so a couple of days later we were moved, but the rooms were spacious and the beds comfy. There were also love eggs in the mini bar, how very Dutch. My biggest complaint with the room was NO KETTLE! There was a fancy espresso coffee machine, but I’m English and sometimes I just want a cup of tea (also you had to pay 3.50 Euros for replacement coffee pods).
On the first proper night of the conference Rotterdam Marketing threw us an amazing party at the Maritime Museum, where I wore the outfit from Mondays post. I also ate cow udder. It was a bit like corned beef.
I shan’t go into too much detail on some of the places I went and saw over the week, as I have a whole post on Vintage Rotterdam coming next week if you fancy a visit, so lets make this one largely about my trip as told by the outfits I remembered to photograph, I am a fashion blogger after all.
For the trip I packed exactly the sort of clothes I normally wear to travel in. They are comfortable but smart and pack well so they don’t need ironing.
Day One was a walking tour of Rotterdam and involved, I thought, cocktail making and wine tasting. Yet somehow I ended up on top of a very tall building in the rain. I am not at my happiest on top of tall buildings, sitting next to large bottles of wine is clearly more my comfort zone as you can see from the following 2 photos.
❤ Hat- Betsy Hatter Millinery ❤ Dress – TU at Sainsburys ❤
❤ Jacket – Vintage ❤ Shoes – Stylist Pick* ❤
Day Two was Panel Day. The panel I was on, about creating content, followed a fascinating talk by Gary Bembridge about a study he conducted into the sort of content travellers are looking for, versus the sort of content bloggers think travellers want.
I wore my Stop Staring dress that you’ve seen many times for the panel. I feel comfortable and smart in it, though I did have to fling a cardigan over the top as it was a bit chilly!
This photo of me in full flow about something is courtesy of Someone Once Told Me.
I found it really interesting to try and apply what I know about fashion and lifestyle blogging to travel bloggers. When the survey was being presented it seemed like common sense to me, but I’m not a big traveller. It would be interesting to do a similar survey in the fashion blogging world about the content people actually WANT to read.
On Friday night I let my hair down. I have no photos apart from this one, which is possibly a blessing, but it does mean you miss some exciting photos of my bumper bangs. I also conducted an impromptu vintage hair tutorial outside the pub.
This beer is 8%. I didn’t discover that till the next day, which was somewhat too late. Somewhere there exists a Dutch Man with some video of some late night dancing in a bar that’s not really used to dancing. I hope he keeps it for personal use, or runs out of space on his phone and deletes it entirely would be even better.
Day Three and Saturday evening was the big party in an amazing roof top venue. Free drinks, including Barefoot Wines, Stolichnaya vodka and a delicious concotion called Monte Scroppino, which was vodka, prosecco and lime ice cream. Serious Yum.
There was also a leopard print carpet in an old cinema.
❤ Dress – Swagger Joint ❤ Belt – ASOS ❤ Shoes – Jean Michel Cazabat ❤
❤ Hair Flower – Betsy Hatter ❤ Bag – Vintage ❤
Day Four. And on my last full day in Rotterdam, the sun finally shone. The place is transformed in the sunshine, and the fact that the city is a port is suddenly wonderful as harbourside cafes open outside bars to enjoy a beer in. That building in the background is the one I was on top of on day 1!
❤ Cardigan – Very* ❤ Skirt- Vintage ❤ Sunglasses – Ralph Lauren* ❤
I also went for a run that afternoon, it was hard work being so full of 5 days worth of beer and food, but I couldn’t turn down the chance to run across those wonderful bridges. My running top here I bought with some left over money on the voucher Zalando gave me to choose items for the Gatsby outfit.
And then, sadly, came Day 5 and home time. After some minor traumas with the Metro (I got stuck in a gate) and a very lovely man at Centraal who let us through the gates, and also let us off for the fact we had entirely the wrong tickets for our trip we were back on a ferry home.
This time an afternoon crossing, so we passed the time having dinner by a huge porthole and enjoying watching other ships go by and the lovely view to the horizon. We also had a cabin so we got to have a shower and arrive back home refreshed and clean, which isn’t something that happens very often on long journeys! If I were travelling to Europe again I would absolutely get the ferry crossing. It really made the journey part of the trip, rather than just a discomfort to be endured.
Todays travel outfit is bought to you almost entirely by Marks & Spencer, albeit via Charity Shops and eBay.
❤ Cardigan – M&S via a Charity Shop – ❤ Dress – M&S via eBay ❤
❤ Hat – Betsy Hatter ❤ Tights- New Look ❤ Shoes- Stylist Pick* ❤
And now I am home with an awful lot of washing to do and some lovely new people to follow on twitter and Instagram and be envious of their adventures.
As has become traditional when I go on travels I have bought you home some tat as a reward for making it through a post that is distinctly lacking in anything of interest or value. This time I have bought you some charming tiny blue and white china clogs. I don’t know what you’ll do with them, but I’m sure you’ll think of something. I’ll also throw in a miniature bottle of dutch vodka and some literature on Rotterdam from the information packs I was given, you can’t say fairer than that. Any comment on this post will enter you into the draw, which I’ll decide on Monday when the post about Rotterdam (hopefully) will be ready! As there is vodka in the prize I’m afraid you must be over 18 and based in the UK! Do feel free to comment if you don’t want the prize or aren’t eligible, just pop a note on it like (not an entry) at the end!