Downstairs you’ll find beautifully laid out displays helping you to imagine how the items would look and feel in your home / garden. Upstairs provides a bustling Shopping Area. The exhibitors often treat you to live demos of their gadgets and in the food section there are lots of free tasters on offer.
Here are my picks from this year’s show:
I don’t actually like hot drinks, but I love the idea of hosting an afternoon tea party for my friends. These dishes from Burleigh reminded me of the plates that feature in a lot of The Londoner’s food posts, like this one!
How cute is this tea strainer set from Bettimay? They had so many different pastel variations.
I don’t even own a bulldog, but this cushion is adorable and really stands out in a crisp white room, so I had to take a picture!
I found these in a kitchen display from LV Interiors and loved the mix of copper and bronze against the green plants. I have a number of pots like these on my kitchen windowsill and had to hold back from buying some more!
These crates are probably my favourite find from the entire show – they were tucked away under a table but I pulled them out and had a proper ‘squee’ moment. I almost took one away with me to put my herb planters in, but unfortunately they were too heavy to transport on the train. They are from Culinary Concepts but sadly I can’t find them on the website – I have tweeted the company to ask if they can be ordered online.
I spotted this in the ‘Home for Life’ which is a replica house built inside the venue that you can explore. What a cute idea for organising your pencils!
I really want to redo our back garden this year and it would be amazing to have a nice garden table for summertime al fresco dining. This was set up on a balcony to show that you can still have a beautiful outside space even in an apartment.
N really wants to put a fire pit in the garden, so I took this photo as inspiration for him!
A trip to the show isn’t complete without drooling over the outdoor cabanas – one for the ‘if I win the lottery’ list…
Vintage / Shabby Chic
I came across this beautiful vintage shop downstairs. The prices were extortionate, probably because they were antiques. I still enjoyed a good wander around though as it was a treasure trove.
There was also a lighting shop with reclaimed items like this – instant love. This is the kind of thing I’d like to put in my lounge to finish it off eventually – I just have to get some blinds sorted and then a statement lamp like this is next on the list!
Food and Drink
I spotted this gorgeous display for Matt and Ben’s Proper Fudge – isn’t it cute? I had a sampler of the fudge and it was melt in the mouth – I tried chilli and chocolate, which works surprisingly well! As you know I’m also a sucker for packaging and theirs just said ‘buy me’!
Of course it wouldn’t be a LovedByLaura post without a bit of food now would it? I have been more adventurous with my food of late, so I went for a Moorish Chicken Wrap from the Pomegranate Authentic Lebanese Cuisine street food vendors. It was delicious but I’m glad I found a table to eat it at – very messy!!
You can pay extra for the show guide so that you’ve got a map at your fingertips, and it includes some recipes, money off vouchers and whatnot. However there are big maps on display anyway to tell you where you are and what’s on offer. The show guide tends to be full of adverts, so I say save your money (you can buy some chocolate instead!).
2. Go on a weekday.
There are VIP tickets on offer for about 3 times the price. If you are planning to go on a weekend, these could be a good idea as it gets very very busy. You will get priority entry and a VIP area. However, if you are going on a weekday you shouldn’t really need this as it’s a lot more relaxed. Unless it’s lunchtime there should be plenty of places to sit down.
3. Just say ‘no thanks’!
The exhibitors will try their best to entice you to their stand for a demo – especially anything related to hair and beauty. It is always a long sales pitch and they will drag out telling you the price tag for as long as possible, so unless you have limitless time and want half your makeup removed (I’ve been there!) just say no thank you, or tell them to get to the point or you’re moving on!
4. Don’t be pressured into buying.
Quite often if you show that you might be interested in buying something, you will be warned that they are almost out of stock and if you walk away you might miss out! Fair enough if you are spending less than a tenner, but it’s easy to be persuaded into parting with some serious cash for something that sounds wonderful at the time, but that you might regret buying later! Tell them firmly that you’re going to think about it and walk away. I promise that 90% of the time it will still be there if you do decide to go back!
5. Take layers as it can get very hot in there.
So what did I buy whilst I was there? Well as usual I bought a couple of gadgets for the kitchen – a garlic dicer and an airtight sealer pack for keeping food fresh for longer (I will be doing a kitchen post soon so I’ll include these!).
Has anyone else been to the show or planning a trip? It’s on until the 6th April at the London Olympia and I recommend a visit! You can find out more here.