The last couple of days have been super Christmassy (even though we're still in the first half of November!) and what a lovely couple of days it was! On Saturday I was invited to the Ideal Home Show at Event City in Manchester to take a look at all the lovely Christmas goodies on offer, which was fitting as the date marked 6 weeks until Christmas Eve!
For those of you who have never been to the Ideal Home Show before, it's basically a huge event with Ideal Home Magazine, where shops and businesses from the home and food sector (so anything from record stores and lighting shops to sofa companies and hot tub sellers) take a stall for the duration of the event, and sell their products, sometimes at a discounted price! Event City is absolutely huge, so theres were hundreds and hundreds of stalls under one roof, split in to different areas such as Food & Drink, Christmas Decorations and Fashion & Beauty. Also in conjunction with the Ideal Home Show was the Cake & Bake Show which was on at the same time, and one of the highlights of the day (because cake!).
I spotted so many lovely gift ideas for Christmas from lots of brands I'd never heard of before, such as Tangy Melon who make some amazing scented candles which are completely Vegan and smell incredible! I also loved Flower & White who made incredible cakes, or 'Tweeners' - a muffin that is big enough for two - and beautiful meringues. Yum!
Throughout the day at both of the shows there were a number of 'theatre' spaces for various different things. The Argos Super Theatre was a cooking show where numerous celebrity chefs showed audiences how to make delicious food, often using products that could be purchased from stalls at the show. Bake Off winner Candice Brown took to the stage later on in the day but we had to dash off so sadly missed her!
There was also a stage for all things Christmas, where we caught a glimpse of a show where someone was demonstrating creative ways to wrap Christmas gifts, plus there were a number of workshops designed for children where they could have a go at making cake decorations or get involved in some Christmas crafts!
I was excited to see that there was a great mix of brands in both the shows, with upcoming independents and small businesses that were new to me, as well as bigger brand names and household favourites such as Oasis, Clinique, Reese's (yum), Dr Oetker and Argos.
One of the things I loved the most was the amount of options for lunch! There were some great places to eat, including the Greg Wallace restaurant, plus an area of street food trucks with some amazing food on offer. I knew exactly what I wanted to eat as soon as I saw it - La Raclette Swiss Cheese, on a pile of hot new potatoes. If you want to see what I'm talking about (trust me, you do) then take a look at my Instagram video!
I'm so glad I got to visit this event as it's one I've wanted to go to for a few years now but always had plans when the dates came round. It was a lovely way to get in to the festive spirit and discover some great new brands, eat delicious food and get some great gift inspiration!
Thank you Ideal Home for having me!
Did you get to visit this year's Ideal Home Show in Manchester? Which were your favourite stalls? Find out more about the next even here!