• emmanuellegammage

A Week in London: Work and Play

I had the great pleasure of working at The London Toy Fair 2019 in Kensington Olympia. What is the Toy Fair? well, it's the largest toy, game and hobby trade show in the UK. More than 250 companies can exhibit their products to retailers and the media. It's the first chance of the year to get their toys out there.

I felt like a big kid! it was toys galore and I was so disappointed I couldn't take every single toy home. I'd never been a part of anything like this exhibition so it was really exciting. Basically, my role was managing the Content Creation Zone where YouTuber's and bloggers could use the space to film their videos about the Toy Fair, including videos like reviews and unboxing. I had the chance to meet lots of different people and understand what working in this particular sector would be like. It was really cool to watch the process that went into the event - from setting up, the press meetings, the production and presenting, the PR planning and watching YouTuber's create their videos.

Everyone I worked with was super welcoming and friendly. My confidence has definitely grown and I feel able to work in an environment like that again. I was so nervous beforehand, but it proves that pushing yourself to do something out of your comfort zone pays off! It was such a huge project and if you're not a part of it then you probably wouldn't know how much work goes into it - but watching it all unfold was something new and memorable to me.

Of course, I'll have to note the foodie places I tried too! I stayed with with my brother in the week and we went to Dip and Flip. It's a burger restaurant but all the burgers come with gravy - you'll need lots of napkins to tame the mess. I don't actually like gravy but the burger was delicious and so were the cheesy chips, I don't usually like squeezy cheese but wow. I wasn't super hungry so I'd definitely like to go back again and demolish it.

Mid week, the team at Toy Fair went to Cacciari's, an Italian restaurant. The room was full of candles and it was beautiful - it would be great for a date night. We had a range of starters like bruschetta, prosciutto and pomodori, grilled aubergine and garlic bread. I had pesto pasta for main and for dessert, another range including Nutella pizza, homemade cakes and tiramisu. Everything was delicious and I was busting full by the end of it.

While I was in London it would be rude not to visit my friends so I made my way to Egham on Friday morning and was greeted by Hefina and Saffron. We went for brunch first because we were starving. Hefina took us to her favourite place - Bar 163 and classic Emmanuelle, I chose eggs Royale. Again, it was a super pretty place with a little conservatory of fairy lights and freshly squeezed juice. Next, we travelled to Windsor to have a look at the pretty buildings and Eton school. Sadly, we didn't see the Queen but we did grab a few bargains in the Zara sale. The shirt I've wanted for ages and a camel coloured pair of trousers for just £15. We also stopped for lunch at a divine cafe called Madame Posh! It was filled with flowers, grand furniture and delicious cakes (hence the name). I opted for the cream tea and a pot of hibiscus tea. It was truly beautiful so I couldn't resist a little photoshoot.

We spent the whole afternoon enjoying Windsor and the food it had to offer. We got home and made fajitas (you know us) and had a little picnic on Hefina's floor! Saffron sadly had to leave us that evening but I got to share Hefina's amazingly comfortable bed.

I left for Newcastle the next afternoon but beforehand we had an hour in central London to grab lunch. Max was actually 20 minutes away but we didn't get to see each other, much to my dismay. I binge watched the whole series of Sex Education (10/10 recommend) on my seven and a half hour bus journey home and fell asleep as soon as I got home, excited to have a lie in the next day (today).

"Travelling is like flirting with life. It's like saying 'I would stay and love you, but I have to go; this is my station"


Enjoy these outtakes of photos...

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