A few weeks ago I was excited to receive an email from the lovely people at Jet2 inviting me to attend their bloggers Christmas party and before I knew it the day had arrived. All glammed up with party dress on, I caught a train into Leeds and found my way to Headrow House located in the upscale Victoria Quarter, home to the likes of Harvey Nichols and John Lewis.
The venue comprises a restaurant, beer hall and event spaces with our party taking place in a contemporary styled industrial chic room on the upper floor. On arrival, we were greeted by Emma and Frankie from the Jet2 marketing team who made us all feel very welcome and over glasses of mulled wine and mince pies we started to get to know each other.
Although I’ve been to similar events hosted by national tourist boards, these have all taken place in London so it was not only convenient to travel a short distance but also an opportunity to meet some other northern bloggers.
Introductions over, we were divided into two groups for some hands-on festive fun. First on the agenda for our group was a calligraphy/ brush lettering activity. We started by tracing over some letters and then tried to replicate them freehand remembering to use a thin, light upstroke and then a more emphasised thicker down movement with our pens.
Happy with our progress, we tried out our new lettering skills on gift tags and baubles whilst chatting to one another and having fun. Decorating the baubles was the most difficult with their round, shiny surfaces but with guidance from Phylecia who is an expert in this kind of art work, we all produced tree ornaments to be proud of.
Our action packed afternoon then continued with a cocktail mixing masterclass with the venue’s top bartender. We had the choice of making a salted caramel espresso martini, a margarita or a Merry Berry mocktail and as I wasn’t driving I opted for salted caramel as I adore this sweet and salty caramel flavoured combination.
In groups of five we were invited around the back of the bar and led step-by-step through the process of measuring out vodka and coffee liquor before adding sugar syrup and ice. It was then time for some vigorous shaking until a good head of froth had formed.
After pouring our cocktails into martini glasses and decorating the top with coffee beans all that was left to be done was to sip our pre-lunch drinks which were absolutely delicious and something I’ll definitely be trying out at home over the Christmas holidays.
It was then time for our festive buffet lunch and what a spread it was with a range of delectable meat, vegetarian and vegan dishes. I opted for some tender flat iron steak with horseradish and accompanied this with sides of Camembert and cranberry salad, sprouts with smoked bacon, pigs in blankets and flavoursome garlic dauphinoise potatoes. Whilst tucking in we learnt about each other’s blogs, how they had come to fruition and of their themes ranging from travel through to lifestyle, fitness and parenting.
After more mince pies and a cup of coffee we got stuck into our final activity of the day, a candle making experience combining fragrances of our choice centred around a Jet2 City Breaks destination. With the UK’s third largest airline flying from 10 U.K. airports to more than 60 destinations ranging from Reykjavik to Rome we were spoilt for choice. After much deliberation and fragrance testing I decided to create a Budapest scented candle containing citrus orange, cinnamon and pine needle pure essential oils.
Sitting around a trestle table with our equipment laid out in front of us comprising glass jugs of varying sizes, a pipette and thermometer it almost felt as if I was back in the school science lab about to start a chemistry lesson. Unlike school though, we were gathered in a cosy bar following instructions from Christian, the owner of a local candle making company.
We carefully measured out our selected oils, combined these together and then added hot soy wax which had been heated in a small boiler. Finally, we just needed to attach a wick into the base of a glass jar using sticky backed plastic to hold it still and then to carefully pour the liquid in, label our jar and leave to set for 24 hours.
That concluded our fun packed afternoon Christmas party which had definitely provided the sparkle to put me into the Christmas spirit. The time had flown by and it had been so nice to make some new friends whilst chatting, eating and drinking alongside learning new skills.
Holidays for me are all about looking forward to setting off with excited anticipation, the time spent away and the lovely memories I return home with. Jet2 also highlight that holidays should be about the experience and the creation of memories and that’s exactly what they created for us at their Christmas party.
A huge thank you to Jet2 for inviting me to their festive Christmas party and as always all views and opinions are entirely my own. If you’re like me and already dreaming of your next overseas trip you might find inspiration from the following links as package holidays can offer more protection in these uncertain times.
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