Finally, the day was here. I’d been feeling nervous about the event since I joined Gina, Lyzi and Bee in organising it, and now it was happening! Gina, Lyzi and I spent 3 and a half hours on Thursday night after work wrapping all of the presents – if ever you need something wrapping, give it to Lyzi, she is the queen of gift wrap!


We got to the beautiful Birdcage and got to work organising ourselves, putting all the prezzies under the tree, sorting the tickets and team colours out and – well, you know, faff. Before we knew it, people were already arriving (to get out of the horrid rain – thankfully the Birdcage is a cosy little place)



One thing that I heard from so many people at the event was that they were in love with the Birdcage – I love when other people adore a thing I have recommended, and when I first visited, I knew it would be the perfect place for a blogger event. I mean, it’s bright and light inside, so perfect for photos. The cafe serves delicious cake, and lots of different teas and coffees, so suits most tastes. The vintage shop has a good selection of items (I saw a few big bags being carried home from the event, a good sign!) The bands that performed went down well too – I’ve heard from a few people that they had bought their albums before they went home!



Gina introduced the event and did the first two rounds of the quiz then handed over to me. Working in accounts, I never have to do any public speaking so I was SO nervous. I started off by telling everyone my own reasons for wanting to support Macmillan – I started to get a bit weepy as I was explaining all this up on the stage, so apologies if I sounded a bit weird!

The winning quiz team was made up of Ceri, Selina, Sarah and Maria, who recieved a Crown and Glory voucher and a voucher for a Neal’s Yard treatment which sound like the best idea to have for after Christmas!


I went to Broadmead on Saturday to look for a dress – bad idea, Christmas shoppers everywhere – and went into Primark as a last resort. Of course, I spotted this dress right by the entrance, and it was pretty much what I had been looking for. If you heard jingling in the Birdcage, it was probably me – I sewed tiny little jingle bells into the hem of the dress so I had a bit of a musical walk!

The reason why we chose to support Macmillan is because so many of us have been affected by cancer – both myself and Bee have lost family members in the last few years, and Macmillan are there to support the friends and family. None of us work for Macmillan, we just chose to do this, because we believe they do a brilliant job, and that as bloggers, we do have the power to promote something and raise money for a good cause. And with that in mind, let me just remind you about the JustGiving page that was set up –

Thank you to everyone who came – I wish I had had more time to talk to you all! – and to the wonderful brands and companies that provided us with the gifts to give to you all! I’m hoping we can make these meetups a bit of a regular thing – but as always, I encourage everyone to check out the bloggers map – I have seen a lot of comments over different blogs saying that people wish that they had more meetups near them: why not get a few people together and do something yourself though?

If you want to read more about other peoples version of the event, check out these posts by Gina, Bonny, Rai, Amy, Sarah, Michelle, Leanne, Paige Joanna, Hannah, Becca, Megan, Ceri and SJ …and if you’ve posted about it, please let us know! (use the hashtag #swbxmas on Twitter to find more posts!)

An extra special THANK YOU to Gina though, who did so much to make the event happen. Also to the Birdcage, who kept surprising us with things like the cups of champagne and the goodie bags. Unexpected, but very wonderful!

(Photos borrowed from SJ, Ceri and the SWB Facebook page, because I didn’t even take my camera with me!)

Review: The Birdcage

You’ve probably heard me talking about the Birdcage recently, partly because it’s my favourite new find, but mostly because it’s going to be the venue for the South West Bloggers Christmas Party (what a mouthful!).

I’m not really sure how I heard about the Birdcage – the only thing I can remember seeing before I visited was Jo’s blog post about the cafe having vintage copies of Playboy around – but I checked out their website. The concept sounded quite interesting – not just a cafe, but with a vintage shop and bands on in the evenings, so I stored it away in my brain. When Niki came back to Bristol, I thought it would be a nice place to meet, since it is very central. I didn’t realise how perfect a venue for bloggers it was until I got there though!

With the tag line “Yesterday’s clothing, today’s coffee, tomorrow’s music”, I’m not sure I need to explain what it’s all about, but inside the former bank, there is a large seating area, with a little stage at the back of the room for the muscians that perform there, then to the side of the cafe area is a small – but perfectly formed – vintage shop. The Birdcage is managed by a former manager of the Motel Bristol store, so you know the vintage is bound to be a good selection, and not just the musty remaints of a charity shop, with a pricetag thats been inflated.

So, it looks good. That’s not really the important part of a cafe though, is it? Thankfully, the Birdcage doesn’t just look good, it tastes good as well. They’ve got a huge variety of teas available, served in pretty mismatched china, and also do the usual types of coffees and hot chocolates with all the different flavours (I believe they’re doing white hot chocolates at the moment, my favourite!). They have some beautiful (and according to Lyzi, delicious!) cupcakes, but surprisingly, I haven’t tried one yet – I had a toasted salmon and cream cheese bagel when I visited for lunch recently, which was yummy!

I can’t wait for SWBXmas – just a few more days to go!

Latest from Instagram

This error message is only visible to WordPress admins

Error: No connected account.

Please go to the Instagram Feed settings page to connect an account.

Copyright © 2007 - 2019 and Hayley Constantine Howells · Theme by 17th Avenue

Copyright © 2019 · Amelia on Genesis Framework · WordPress · Log in