Friday, 11 October 2013

Christmas in October! John Lewis Christmas Event 2013:

I love Christmas - that's no secret - but last week I was hurled into the Christmas spirit much earlier than even I'm comfortable with!  The fast paced nature of retail means that the Edinburgh John Lewis Christmas event 2013 for press, suppliers and bloggers was held at the very start of October.  I was lucky enough to be invited, and headed along to The Bonham Hotel in the West End with Gillian, Jade and Lianne.

The boutique hotel's small function room was a lovely and cosy setting for the event, and the decorations made it feel like we really were all at a festive Christmas or New Year party.  John Lewis's Christmas theme this year is 'inspired by reliving Christmases past', which I can definitely get on board with, as memories of my childhood Christmases are some of the happiest I have!  Around the room were little displays of different John Lewis products, from a huge pile of toys (which the four bloggers were instantly drawn to - clearly we are all still big kids!) to clothing, homeware, drinks and beauty.

Of course, I couldn't resist the offer of some Edinburgh Gin tasting, and Jane (who runs Spencerfield Spirits with the help of her husband and family) was there to tell us more about the different flavours and ingredients used in their products.  The spiced orange infused Edinburgh Gin is a new addition to the range for the festive season, and Jane recommended drinking it with cider for a mulled taste.  There is also an elderflower flavour, if that's your cup of tea/gin, and a raspberry, which was definitely my favourite!  These can both be mixed with fizzy wine as an alternative to the traditional kir royale cocktail.  I enjoyed trying all of the variations of Edinburgh Gin, but I'm going to get my hands on a bottle of the raspberry flavour as soon as I can!  It didn't taste artificial at all, and would be a great addition to a whole host of cocktails.

There were some lovely pieces of crockery and homeware on display, alongside pretty Christmas decorations.  Even though I hadn't even begun to think about Christmas shopping at that point, the evening planted the thought in my head.  Maybe I'll be really organised this year and have it all done in advance!  Or maybe that's just clever marketing...

(Can you spot Gillian snapping some photos of her own in the reflection below?  I'm like the bloggerazzi.)

We spent quite a big chunk of time chatting to Donna from Liz Earle, who works at the Edinburgh counter in John Lewis.  Honestly, we were talking about this, that and everything for ages, but we did manage to learn a little about Liz Earle beauty line, and their special Christmas releases.  I've used the famous Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish cleanser before, but haven't tried any of their other products.  I thought the star shaped tin gift boxes were a really cute idea for a Christmas present.  They contain either a nail polish or lipstick, and afterwards the box can be hung as a Christmas decoration on your tree, or (as Donna suggested) even used as a candle holder!

I wanted to dive into this cosy, Christmassy corner and have a snooze!  There's so much going on, but everything is cute and fluffy, and I would be happy to have it all in my home for the festive season!  It definitely looked like there were enough pairs of warm slippers and comfy cushions for everyone.

After chatting for hours and sipping a few glasses of lovely prosecco, we bloggers headed out into the rainy night with an extremely generous gift bag from John Lewis.  It included some samples from Edinburgh Gin and Liz Earle, as well as some lovely Christmas decorations that I can't wait to add to my tree in December!  

I haven't cracked open the Edinburgh Gin yet, but I'm looking forward to a few special G&Ts in the near future!  I have, however, tried both of the John Lewis Colour nail polishes pictured above (from left to right - Candyfloss and Festival) and they both applied like a dream!  I especially like Festival, which is a sort of toffee colour when applied.  I probably wouldn't have automatically chosen it, but it's a nice neutral that I think I'll get quite a bit of use out of!

As you can see, I had a lovely time at the event!  We hoped that we might get a sneak peek at this year's John Lewis Christmas advert for 2013, but alas no secrets were given away.  Someone did mention that the cute little panda above is a new 'character' for this year, so maybe he will feature in the advert when it's finally unveiled?  If so, remember you saw it here first!

 I hope this post has inspired some (extremely early) festive cheer!  Don't worry, I won't be mentioning Christmas much again until December rolls around, but I might try to get some of my Christmas shopping organised early.  Are any of you super prepared, or do you usually leave things to the last minute (like me!)?

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