Thursday, 26 February 2015

Travelling Alone In Paris

Angelina Paris (1)

After yesterdays scheduled work in Paris for the 6 friends theory, I woke up the next day and found myself alone in Paris. Dan was due to join me around 11pm that evening because of work, so until then I was a travelling alone in Paris.

Before I went, I found the prospect of being alone in Paris rather daunting. What would I do with mself? How would I get around? I don't speak the language? What if I was lonely? I had as million questions in my head about being alone in a foreign city. Yet strangely enough, I took to the city like a duck to water- I loved it. And I loved being alone here. 

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Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Judging the 6 Friends Theory in Paris

Mercure Hotels 6 Friends Theory (12)

Last week was a rather exciting week for me. I hopped on the Eurostar and went to Paris for the first time.

I had been invited by Mercure Hotels to Paris to be on the judging panel for their 6 Friends Theory competition- A 7 weeks around the world trip based on the 6 degrees of separation theory. 

Arriving around mid day local time, it was straight into a taxi and off to the hotel as there was work to be done. Paris sightseeing would have to wait. 

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My hotel was literally around the corner from the Arc Du Triomphe (Mercure Arc Du Triomphe Wagram) which was just the perfect location. If anyone knows Paris, then you'll know that the Champs-Élysées is also a stones throw away.

The hotel was modern, sleek but had that cosy vibe to it still. Whilst smaller than standard UK rooms, that's very common in Europe.

One thing I have to mention, is that over my 5 day stay, I used reception so much. To book restaurants, call taxi's, ask general advice and phrases- they were amazing. Nothing was too much trouble for them. 

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Plus on arrival there was a little gift and note awaiting on the bed for me from the Mercure team.

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My first French Chocolates! Oh they were dreamy- and soon devoured. 

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After a quick freshen up, it was back into a taxi and off to the W&Cie offices, a advertising agency in Boulogne-Billancourt, a commune in the western suburbs of Paris.

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I just loved the quirky design features they had all over the office, with my favourite being the brand periodic table. It shows that if a brands logo is designed well then all it should take is two letters to recognise.

How many do you know? 

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Even the toilets were pretty awesome. 

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But I wasn't there to admire toilet signs all day, I was here to sit on the judging panel of the 6 friends theory competition. 

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The 6 Friends Theory competition was open to anyone around the world with the aim of taking one lucky winner around the world with the final destination being to meet an Aboriginal from the Bundjalung tribe in Australia, in order to prove that they are only 6 degrees of separation away from each other!

Over 300 people entered which for a trip of this scale is a huge amount, as people like me who work couldn't possibly enter.

Beforehand, the entrants were whittled down, with those who couldn't enter on technicality grounds eliminated- seriously people entered who didn't have passports! Then those who's videos were not to the high enough standard were eliminated to eventually leave 10 candidates.

It was these 10 that I would scrutinise and help pick a winner, changing someone's life basically.

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We were presented with the 10 candidates profiles for us to briefly look over, before we sat down to watch their entry videos.

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There was one finalist who was from the UK, Lavinia Giare. Doing it for us Brits!

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Each entrant had to submit a video no more than a minute long on why they should win. The video's we saw shows such creativity and some were so well put together and edited, it blew my mind.

I had gone in with the mind set that I wanted someone who genuinely wanted to go out into the world and discover what was out there. I wanted someone who would be amazed at what they saw and found, so as I watched the videos, this was on my mind.

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We also got to hear a skype interview they'd had a few days earlier with a couple of the judges (due to the all over the world entrants, live skype wasn't feasible).

This gave great insight into the character of the person, with some surprising us all, for good and for bad in some cases.

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Then after we had watched all the videos and skype interviews, it was down to the discussion and decision making.

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The other judges were Gills Deleris, the founder and director of W&Cie. Daniela Pistone, Content and Social Media Director of Accor Latin America. Jean Francois Julian, the 6 friends theory film director. Sonya Rossiter, Markting Director for Accor Asia Pacific. Isabelle Musnik, Editor in Chief of Influencia (One of Frances biggest magazines) and me, Laura Hyatt, Blogger.

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I get very animated in discussions. Never a wall flower.

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We debated for hours, with sheets that were supposed to help guide our discussions. I think this was the only sheet I wrote. I'd much rather talk...

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Finally we came to a consensus around 6:30pm which was very exciting as we knew that we'd just changed someone's life by sending them around the world on a money can'y buy trip. I definitely got this buzzy feeling, and to be honest I've had it ever since until now just holding in the winners name. Not that you know her obviously, but it's just very exciting for me to be able to finally share with you who is going to go experience the world.

So I'm not going to hang about. The winner of the 6 Friends Theory is...



Ludovica Loda! Congratulations girl.

She will travel around the world for 7 weeks, being constantly filmed, as Mercure are going to make a online mini series of the travels, so make sure you check it out in a few weeks time. Don't worry I'll post the links on my facebook page.

After a couple of glasses of champagne to celebrate, the judges disbanded, and I headed back to my hotel to rest and sleep well, as for tomorrow I had my first proper day in Paris...

      
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Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Spa Night at The Rosewood London

Rosewood Hotel Spa (4)

My usual idea of after work activities consists of either eating or drinking. Dan, my boyfriend, often asks me what my hobbies are (he's very into having hobbies). I instantly reply back, blogging and eating and drinking. He questions the later two.

So in a bid to broaden my horizons, I popped down to Senses Spa in The Rosewood London's Hotel. Probably not the out of work activity Dan had in mind, but then I never did learn to listen well.

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The Rosewood London is just the most glorious hotel in Holborn. Regal, elegant, yet everyone is super friendly there. I blogged about their restaurant- Holborn Dining Rooms- and bar- Scarfes- too as I do think this hotel is fabulous, and seeing as it is my 4th time visiting, I think you can tell its a big recommendation from me.

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However frequent my visits, I had never been to their Spa before. Hidden in the depths of the lower ground floor, guarding the entrance are these thick heavy metal door, rather like a palace chamber I imagine.

Yet inside, is a calm, tranquil space. Light years away from the madness that is Holborn at rush hour.

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After a few minutes to just sit and 'be' with a peppermint tea, it was time to enter the spa area.

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Once you enter, you are led to the dressing area by a very peaceful woman who bows and does those gliding hand actions (I almost wanted to say Namasté, but I was scared she thought I was taking the mick).

I loved the little touches, including hairspray for use. They know what women want. 

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I had decided to go for a facial as I have to admit I am probably the worst at looking after my face. Bad Laura. 

So a little pre-facial selfie, and then it was time to change. 

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Outside waiting for me was my lovely beautician, who led me to one of the treatment rooms. I slipped off my robe and lay down on the oh so relaxing and heated bed.

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Sense Spa use their own blend of oils and facial products, which you can also purchase there.

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I'd never had a facial before, so I didn't know what to expect, but boy was it just so relaxing. The mixture of the warm towels, the long caressing strokes along my forehead, the feeling of the moisture just sinking in. I think I could get a bit addicted to facials.

My skin had that gorgeous tingly feeling afterwards that gave me a big smile all night long.

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Time flew far too fast for my liking, but then there is no rush here, and you are encouraged to use their steam and sauna rooms, as well as the relaxation lounge.

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Tea and lemon water free flow, but even better is you can order a few cheeky cocktails to be sent down. 

Cocktails, whist relaxing in a spa? Oh heaven. 

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Spying a free bed, I lay down and closed my eyes. But don't worry, I put the time to good use- I thought of things I could do for that hobby. 

252 High Holborn,
London, 
WC1V 7EN, 
United Kingdom

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