Artist Residence Brighton Blogger Review

26 February 2017

Despite being a predominantly personal-style focused blogger, the types of posts that I enjoy reading the most are hotel reviews and mini restaurant write ups. Most of my days are consumed by the ‘New In’ sections of Mango and Zara, whilst simultaenously having a Net-A-Porter window open and trying to match up the pieces for the best high-end dupes - this is so much the case, that when I see a London hotel review pop up on my Twitter feed, I instantly click in. The nosey neighbour in me loves to see inside each of the rooms, relishing the decor and personality and adding each to my list of must-visits. That being said, it’s strange that I do so few of these reviews myself. The stubborn businesswoman in me simply doesn’t want to work for free, but the blogger and writer is dying to share each Insta-worthy detail and unique little quirk.

As such, this year I’m endeavouring to post more hotel and restaurant reviews. I’ll hardly be taking the place of Time Out and I doubt my write-ups will be hitting the desks of The Guardian, but hopefully they will be perfect if you’re looking for somewhere aesthetically pleasing that will rake in the love on social. They'll also be honest about the availability of milk in the room and the accessibility of mayonnaise at dinner time - you know, the important stuff.

Today we’re kicking off with a review of Artist Residence, the much loved and much shared gaff that overlooks the seafront in Brighton. K and I headed there a few weeks back for a long weekend to celebrate my 23rd birthday (still my birthday month, I’m not letting it go) and as soon as we decided on Brighton, I knew this is where I wanted to stay. From exposed brick walls to distressed wood and a neon-lit cafe/bar, it’s a blogger’s paradise and perfect for a few days of shameless snacking and napping. Price wise we got a decent discount because they were doing various constructions works throughout the hotel, none of which affected us in any way and very few of which we even saw. Having done a little bit of research today, for the same room and length of stay, prices vary from £200-300 depending on the month and availability. For a few night’s this is quite pricey, but split between two or as a treat, it’s well worth the cash money.

Now for the all important 3 B’s - bedroom, bar and breakfast. Despite the moniker of ‘Tiny Arty Sea View’, our room was not as a small as we expected. There wasn’t room for some spontaneous aerobics, but there was a little desk and chair, space around both sides of the bed and a full length mirror by the door. The double window looked out onto the Regency Square Garden and across to the sea, although this was slightly obstructed by the eyesore that is the new British Airways i360.

Nonetheless our little cubby hole was well equipped with faux fur rug, blanket, flat screen TV and a mini-fridge stocked to the brim. Local teas and coffees were provided and the milk came in a little carton as opposed to those useless sachets, which, for anyone that has ever stayed in a hotel ever will know make for two mugs of tea and nothing else. This meant we didn’t have to ring down to reception every time we had a cuppa to ask for more rations, which, as minor as it sounds, was a God-send. The bed was comfy, the room was warm and the decor was lovely enough to warrant many an Instagram snap - the only negative I can point out is that the bathroom door works on a slider system of sorts, and ours not being so tightly attached, it literally fell off the wall and onto a sleeping Keiran as I tried to sneak out of the shower without waking him up. Warranted, it was fucking hilarious at the time, but had it knocked him on the block, it might not have been such a lol moment.

Breakfast is included in every stay and can be enjoyed in the cafe on the ground floor, with a suitably hipster menu of pancakes, poached eggs and limitless lattes which means you won’t have to go scouring for that perfect brunch spot. The Cocktail Shack bar was an unexpected and surprising addition to our two night stay, and though the menu is pretty limited (think 6 or so unique cocktail choices and then your usual mixers, wines and beers), we headed down here each night before dinner for a well-enjoyed tipple or two.

All in all Artist Residence did not disappoint, and if I’m ever feeling a bit flush in the future, I might indulge in one of the Bigger House Sea View rooms which feature stand-alone bathtubs *dream*. If you’re heading down to Brighton soon or considering a mini-break but not sure where to go, I’d definitely recommend this as your base of action, especially if you’re looking to get some good content for the ‘gram.  

Book your rooms here:

Blogging Friendships: Are They Legit?

23 February 2017

Office Dynamics: being forced by circumstance to be friends with people that don’t even use Instagram. If you do - or have ever - made a living from spending your 9-5 in the traditional workplace, you’ll know that work friendships aren’t quite the same as your 13 year relationship with your bestie. You’ve all come from different directions and been thrown into the pit of hell, and you get on because a) life would be so much more stressful if you didn’t, and b) you all drink from a communal cup of misery that is 3pm on a rainy weekday. I’m actually very lucky in the sense that my office team is pretty small, and I like the people I work with as human beans, not just as fellow marketing bods. Even with that in mind we’re hardly rushing to book weekend getaways together - liking each other just means we can enjoy each other’s disastrous dating stories without having to feign interest to the point of bursting a blood vessel.

When your self-employed, your working environment is obviously very different. You’re either working from home/working from a coffee-shop/working from the back of an Uber whilst you promise your mates you’re literally five minutes away; there isn’t the same conventional set up, and so forging friendships within the same industry happens a little differently. For starters, every single one of my friendships blossomed from the blessed seed of the internet. Since we all operate within the digital world, we connect online first, trialing the friendship through a series of tweets and Instagram comments, trying to gage how well our personalities align and if we’d been able to talk freely about the gross things that we don’t share in our posts. Inevitably this comes to the “omg, coffee soon?!” suggestions (I am so, so guilty of this cliche) or accidentally on purpose bumping into each other at the same event, and BAM - you’re at second base.

Sunglasses - Ray Ban*
Boots - Zara

I think there’s a common misconception about the blogging industry that everything has to be sugar sweet, heartfelt and almost, to some degree, naive. In any other industry it’s entirely normal to have friends who are your friends simply because you do the same thing. In blogging, it seems that you must be genuine 100% best mates or you’re not being honest, and you’re filtering your life for the sake of a good Instagram picture. The truth is, a lot of us are mates because it’s cathartic and mutually comforting to have someone to share our experiences of the industry with, but that’s as far as it goes. We’ll post a casj cool selfie together at the latest coffee spot, but we’ll spend the whole time talking about work and not much more.

And there’s nothing wrong with this. You can’t be best mates with everybody you meet. You can care about someone and enjoy their company without drawing up a strict rota for regular hang-outs and declaring how close you are in every other blog post. There are lots of women in the industry who I’ve met and admire, and when we see each other we double-kiss and occasionally we’ll have a catch up over WhatsApp, but that’s as far as it goes. That doesn’t mean the friendship is fake, it just means that we’re both normal people, building work relationships and maintaining our out-of-work friendships alongside it.

I would say out of the many bloggers/influencers I’ve come across over the past few years, 2/3 of those have developed into genuine, “real life” friendships. We’ve bonded over our shared careers, but we’ve also shared intimate family histories, personal hang-ups and relationship woes together. We often get sick of talking about blogging, and end up talking about the weird things are bodies are doing or planning guilty pizza weekends together. The thought of sleeping together in the same bed is no longer gross, which, surely, is the true measure of a friendship.

But this doesn’t mean that every.single.friendship has to be the same way. For those who are blogging with the view of making it their sole career - or for those that have already made the leap into full-time - it’s simply not sustainable to be this close to everybody that we come across. And also, a lot of the time we might not like people enough to want to be that close. We’re all human beans with habits and hang-ups and histories, and just as with any other bod on the street, sometimes we just don’t get on. You can still admire someone’s success or someone’s work without wanting to embark on a two-week safari holiday with them, just as you can also not be into someone’s style and like them very much as a person (which is why it’s okay to unfollow people on Insta/Twitter without it being a personal insult).

Blogging is a business. As with any business, you can’t always like the people you work with, and you certainly don’t have to. You can have surface relationships without being fake, and you can also build deeper, meaningful friendships from a shared, common ground. As always, this blog post comes back to my core life philosophy of the moment: just do you, and don’t worry about anybody else. If you want to be mates with someone, then great, and if you don’t, hey, that’s great too. Blogging is often made out to be a shady, back-stabby industry (unsurprisingly so because it’s dominated by women, but hey, let’s leave those sexist misrepresentations for a later date), but it really isn’t. Be honest with yourself, avoid moany, passive aggressive Twitter chats and you’ll be surprised at how wonderful it can be, both in a personal and a business sense.

LFW Day Three (plus a cheeky hotel review)

21 February 2017

This is where I have to be honest about LFW. It really ended for me on Day Two, as on Day Three all I had on the agenda was a hotel stay and girl’s sleepover with Hannah. Hardly full-on LFW material, but nonethelesss I was still caught up in the *fashurn* (I wonder how many times I can write that without it becoming annoying. Probably a few times back) buzz and although I was tempted to travel in a hoodie and jogging bottoms, I did manage to pull together a very *me* outfit in time for our afternoon train into London. As you guys will have noticed, hats have most definitely become my thing. Although it won’t replace my one true love - the baker boy - this beret has been a more than welcome addition to my “shit, how do I make this outfit look more interesting?” wardrobe. Also it makes me look like Judy Funnie from Doug so, has to be a winner.

I also met up with Molly, one of the PR girls from River Island a few weeks ago and she kindly took me for a little shopping spree after some coffee and cake. Day Three was obviously a River Island day as I pulled out two of my chosen pieces, namely this exaggerated ruffle sleeve shirt and these blue wash Mom jeans - which, may I add, are exclusively petite and fit like a dream. If you have a big day of eating ahead these bad boys have a lot of give, which is exactly why I wore them to dinner the same day. Paired with an oversized blazer, low-heeled boots and the dream that is the J.W. Anderson Pierce bag, and my low-key LFW Day Three look was good to go.

Beret - ASOS
Shirt - River Island*
Jeans - River Island*
Belt - YSL* (sold out, similar here)
Blazer - Zara
Boots - Zara
Sunglasses - Ray Ban

Snapshot Moment: Malmaison London

The Malmaison London were kind enough to invite myself and Hannah for a stay and a spot of dinner (plus cocktails, of course - as we all know I cannot possibly function through a meal without getting a good cocktail Boomerang), so we spent the evening overindulging in Chez Mal (the restaurant) before heading up to our bloody huge room, full and contented, ready to binge-watch Cheaters and scoff at Judge Judy. As soon as we arrived at the room we were pleasantly surprised at just how spacious it was; the shower was literally big enough for three people to fit in comfortably, and the bed must have been a king-size, if not above.

The room was so lovely, in fact, that when Hannah headed out to the Mulberry show, I set up shop for a little bit of afternoon working instead of feeling like I must immediately find the nearest hipster coffee shop - which, as you know, is a pretty big deal for a cliche blogger type. The hotel is also like a 3 minute walk to the Barbican Tube Station so it’s super well-connected and only a further 8 minutes to one of the most Instagrammable brunch spots in London, The Clerkenwell Grind. If you’re looking for a hotel stay that satisfies both the comfort-seeker and Instagram-lover in you, then Malmaison London might just be the one.

© The Little Plum • Theme by Maira G.