This time last week I was on a coach with countless brilliant women, weaving our way through the Loire Valley with Sex and the City on overhead screens and brie sandwiches in our hands. It was as wonderful as it sounds – and this was just the coach trip to get to what became our home for the next few days…
Chateau de Jalesnes, which was transformed into the inimitable Château de Stylist
It is, of course, always an immense pleasure to be invited on any sort of trip. Press trips allow you to discover new places you otherwise may never have visited, whilst simultaneously allowing you to regress into a small schoolchild as one brave PR suddenly becomes responsible for every boarding pass, activity booking and dietary requirement.
This trip was different from the get-go though as rather than being guests of a tourist board or hotel, the bloggers on this little jaunt across the Channel were guests of Stylist Magazine.
Stylist have been working with Chambord to create a special issue dedicated to all things French and the purpose of this trip for the Stylist editorial team was to quite literally put the mag together – from writing features to shooting the fashion stories. The purpose for us lucky bloggers who were also invited? Simply to watch the magic happen. (And, admittedly, to enjoy more than a few French treats along the way).
Shout-out to Ginger Jar Food who fed us some of the best meals I’ve had in a long time.
It was the dream invite and I can safely say I’ve never been on a trip quite like this one, nor do I think I ever will again.
As well as us bloggers, there were competition winners and all the people you’d need to make a magazine come together. I’m not sure how many of us were there in total, but it was enough to fill an entire château and a few neighbouring gîtes. My head hurts a little when I try to think how hard the events team must have worked to have actually pulled it all off logistically.
We got up to all sorts on the trip, enjoying everything from cocktail making masterclasses to Life Lessons sessions from Freddie Harrel and Audrey Diwan. There were picnics, sunset drinks on terraces and even features meetings where we could all pitch ideas to the editorial team.
What I’ll remember most though are all the great chats that were had. I’ve probably never spent such a long time in the company of *so many* inspiring women and it was so nice to be able to talk openly about EVERYTHING, be it the realities of working for yourself or tears over Brexit. I came away feeling inspired by the women I’d met and hungry to work harder and do more, whilst also determined to make more time for myself and to re-assess what I really truly enjoy and to make those things more of a priority.
Poppy Loves, just casually making all your piano dreams come true.
Essentially, it felt like the whole ethos of the magazine came to life on that trip and I’m so grateful that I was invited.
I tried to vlog a bit whilst I was there, whilst also determined to not get distracted by vlogging as I wanted to enjoy every minute.
Hopefully the below will give you a bit of an idea as to how lush it was though…
The issue that was being made comes out on 12th/13th of July I believe and I cannot wait to see the finished mag.
Thank you so very much to Stylist and Chambord for inviting me and of course to all the kickass women there who really made the trip what it was. I started to list you all by name but there are so many and I just KNOW I’ll forget someone and my British politeness won’t let me make such an error. Perhaps this would be an apt time to follow some of the French Life Lessons?!