I was ridiculously lucky to be asked to review the Ideal Homes Christmas After Dark event a couple of weeks back.
The standard show was held at the London Olympia from the 23rd November to 27th November; but the 24th had an After Dark night – a later opening time if you will.
With over 650 exhibitors the stalls were separated into eight categories: interiors and home accessories, food and drink, home improvements and outdoor living, homewares, fashion and beauty, Christmas decorations, technology and gadgets and the Christmas arcade. There were also seminars including tips on gift wrapping and a turkey theatre to help you create the perfect Christmas dinner!
It was the first year that the after dark hours had happened so I was excited to see what was in store!
I knew that me and hubby were to have a wine tasting session with the lovely Olly Smith (The TV Presenter and Wine expert) but I thought it would be in the main hall with the hundreds of other guests.
It actually transpired that once we arrived in the press office (ooo look at me!) there were a handful of people alongside Olly Smith all sitting on sofas glugging wine like it was water.
For my first Blogging event it was an amazing start to the evening! After polite conversations and feeling slightly awkward as I felt like a complete newbie, we made our way to the main hall to start what I love to do.
Shop and drink some more!!!!
We started looking at garden products and things for your home if you owned it- we rent so it was all pipedreams for us! But seriously how gorgeous are these garden units??
Next we found some bathroom bits and look how lovely that shower/bath is – it has a radio in there also!!
We went to look at some hot tubs as the MIL really wants one. The picture above of hubby shows how deep one of them were! I would drown standing up in it!
Having looked around the stalls we found some really good items.
One stall we came across I am still raving about now! Toothbrushing now does not need to be a chore and now it can be a fun game! Plop the handle onto a standard toothbrush, brush your teeth whilst infront of an iPad and challenge a parent or sibling to the top of the leaderboard! Playbrush is such a fantastic idea and something that we will look to get once Ben has teeth!
Fairytale Beds have a super cute castle bed that appeared to be ideal for bunk beds. They also have a camper van too! Check out their website.
Mu sold USB plugs, but these were the smallest I have ever seen and were also universal. Check out their website also.
(not actually being paid or asked to plug these brands- I just really love them!!)
After that we moved over to the Christmas section where they had a fair few photo ops and live music entertainment by three rather large breasted women with extremely low cut dresses singing Christmas tunes.
Having looked around at some more stalls we found this beauty! Definitely enjoyed pretending I was on the front cover! Unfortunately hubby wasn’t a great photographer and didn’t get the whole box in!
As we were about to leave I saw this double decker and could not leave without taking a quick snap!
I was given a goody bag below which included food sauces, pasta and some healthy snacks. I have also put together the items we picked up for Ben (plus our whisk which is incredible if you have RSI or arthritis).
One of the books we picked up was being sold by the author himself. He was very friendly and informed us he isn’t with a publisher but sells his books predominantly through Amazon and his website www.adamscloud.com
We picked up a personalised Christmas tree ornament which has all of our names written on it – even the cats (the guy drew little paw prints either side of their names which was a cute touch). Check them out here.
Entry to the after hours 2016 was £5 on top of a £13 day ticket.
I loved this night, maybe it was the initial welcome to free wine that made this mummy go giddy over all the stalls! But in all honesty I am not too sure what else the after dark hours does that is different to the rest of the exhibition? The way it was described made me think it was something extra that you do not get during the day, however it appears having spoken to many stall holders that it is just like a late night shopping experience.
Nonetheless, it would be perfect for a London worker who finishes work to still be able to go and experience a wonderful night full of Christmas decorations, gifts, clothes and beauty goodies!
I was asked to review this event in exchange for my honest review and being given entry for two does not alter my opinion in anyway. This review is from my own personal perception; given in good faith and has not been sponsored or endorsed.