Summer In Somerset with Weekend:IN

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the Weekend:IN Summer event at The Shed, a stunning converted barn deep in the Somerset countryside.

Having attended the same event, for bloggers and independent brands, back in November (which you can read about here), I knew I was in for a treat and my goodness me, a treat it was.

The location was absolutely beautiful and the barn (a property that's available to hire through Sawdays) was the perfect setting. We were greeted by this incredible floral display put together by Wilderness Flowers who, like woodland fairies, had worked their magic throughout the house and bedrooms.

Wilderness Flower Display

Now I have to be honest and say that as excited as I am to go to things like this, I'm also usually nervous too as, most of the time, I don't know anyone there! Needless to say I had nothing to worry about as the day was spent in the company of the most warm, funny, creative and inspiring women. All bloggers, writers, stylists, artists photographers and the type of company I love to spend time in.

The day was made up of three sessions, all designed to introduce us to some brilliant independent brands that had also been invited along. The first of these was a styling challenge with an introduction from Seven Boot Lane. I've been an admirer of this Bath based footwear brand for some time, so it was such a treat to see the shoes in the flesh and see some of the boots from their new collection. I definitely have my eye on a pair of ankle boots for the Autumn!

The challenge was to style a summer inspired image, with the help of some props including swimwear from Beija London, Turkish towels from Hammam Havlu and an array of colourful homeware from MAik London. I spent a while poolside (yes this place had a pool), precariously walking around the edge with my props and camera piled high in my hands.

When a butterfly fluttered past the pool house window I held my breath, waited patiently for him to land on my flowery sandals and enjoyed the most photogenic prop Mother Nature could send my way!

The Shed Sawdays Somerset

After a good laugh and chat over a delicious lunch we enjoyed our second session of the day which was pom pom headdress making with eyewear brand Ollie Quinn. Now I love anything crafty and am partial to the likes of a spectacle so this was SO much fun. We all enjoyed making our headgear (glue gun injuries aside - OUCH!), who knew pom poms were so easy to whip up!

Like all the brands involved in the day,  Ollie Quinn is independent with creativity and great design at it's core. As well as sunglasses they also offer prescription glasses and shades and have a new store opening in Cardiff in August - I can't wait to pop in!

Everyone made something true to their own character and style and we had fun taking photos with an amazing choice of sunglasses.

Our final session was lead by YAWN, a sleepwear brand who hit the nail on the head with a relaxing end to the day. We were all kindly gifted a beautiful pair of their pyjamas, each pair beautifully made with a hidden detail to tell the story behind the design. Once we'd all got changed we were invited to share how we like to relax. For some it was in front of the telly, for others it was on a walk, at kickboxing or reading. I said that I like to get outside in the garden and dead head flowers...honestly, if I ever needed confirmation that I'm nowhere near my early twenties anymore!

YAWN's motto is "pyjamas on, phone off, kettle on" and that's pretty much how we ended the day. Asking a bunch of bloggers to switch their phones off was a bold move but it worked, we relaxed over cups of tea, bowls of sweets and played games. It seems that the quickest way to get to know the REAL blogger you're spending time with is to play Cranium or Taboo with them! Inhibitions went out the window and competitive streaks were in full force!

As you can see I was having so much fun I forgot to take any more photos so you'll just have to imagine the sugar induced hysteria!

I drove away that evening having satisfied my craving for creativity, learnt about some awesome brands and made some lovely new friends. Who knows when we'll meet up again in person but, as is the way in blog land, until then we have instagram!

You can see lots more photos from the event, taken by the hugely talented Sophie Carefull, on the Wknd:IN Instagram page here and by following the Wknd:IN hashtag here.

A huge thank you to Olivia for inviting me along to such a well run, beautiful and fun event and to all the brands that were involved and contributed to the lovely goody bag that I took home. I look forward to sharing more from these brilliant businesses again soon.