It’s that time of year again where I pack my belongings and head to London for the 2017 EE BAFTA awards. It was no surprise to me when La La Land picked up the best film award. For popularity and sheer quality alone that award was predicted months in advance. There were some incredible movies on this years nominee’s list. So before I go into the nights festivities congratulations to all the winners, all of whom are listed HERE.
The day started like any other, a cold and wet Sunday in Stoke-On-Trent. As I hopped on board the Virgin train towards Euston station the day started to have an air of class about it. About 30 minutes into my journey I receive a text from the chauffeur company to say my driver was waiting for me at the station. The moment we stepped off the train in London we were transported into the realm of riches and expensive lifestyles that only the rich and famous have the joy of living on a day to day basis. Thanks to the wonderful staff members at Blacklane chauffeur company, I had a pre-booked journey arranged and I was greeted by our driver Mohammed just outside of Cafe’ Nero. Mohammed escorted us to his beautiful grey Audi that was immacutely clean inside with free bottles of water provided for our enjoyment as we were driven to the hotel. The only negative I could say about this experience was the last minute text, no other confirmation had been emailed to me in regards to the journey so if for any reason a driver was unavailable I would of had no other method of transport to get to the hotel at such a last minute rush. It would be nice to receive the text or message a night before just to confirm that someone will actually be there waiting for you when you arrive, just to give you that peace of mind.
Mohammed was friendly, helpful and efficient and even let me have a picture with him outside the incredible 5-star hotel I had booked for the evening, the prestigious Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel in Knightsbridge. If you’re ever in London and want a luxury alternative to public transport then Blacklane provide an affordable and unbeatable service.
I walked through the lobby of the hotel and was welcomed with nothing but smiles and handshakes. I felt as if I’d known the staff for months by the way they were talking to me about the BAFTA’s, the work I do in terms of blogging and everything else they were asking me. I’ve never had that kind of service before and the attention I was getting made me feel very important. A member of staff behind the check-in desk took us into the lift and towards our suite. I had booked a Spa Suite at the hotel and couldn’t wait to see it. As we were escorted into the room I couldn’t believe my eyes; the room screamed quality. The bedroom and living room were huge, we had our own dressing room and the bathroom quite frankly took my breath away. One feature of the suite was the TV that appeared out of no-where as it rose out of a cabinet at the foot of the bed. I was like a kid at a candy shop playing with that TV for almost an hour! I made sure to make the most of this 5-star experience and once I came back from the BAFTA’s I was up until 4am in the morning taking in every section of the room and relaxing in my warm egg shaped bath watching the TV. It was a crazy experience!
Making the most of my stay at the hotel I had booked a table for two at the Rib Room. The triple A Rosette winning restaurant that was located on the ground floor of the hotel. Walking in there made me feel a million dollars. The decor was incredible, the service was impeccable and the food, oh my.. the food was nothing short of orgasmic as with every bite I felt like I was reenacting the Meg Ryan scene from When Harry Met Sally. I ordered the most expensive thing on the menu (It’s a once a year experience, why not eh?) and that was the Wagyu beef, 8oz of mouth melting goodness that came with steak chips and some lovely barbecue accompaniment. I’ve never tasted anything so damn beautiful in my entire life, oh..my…god, I never wanted it to end and once it was finished I couldn’t physically move after sheer ecstasy.
Once I’d had the meal it was time to suit up and head towards the BAFTA’s. The concierge at the hotel had arranged for a mini to drive me to the BAFTA’s meeting point free of charge. The hotel mini driving service is free to all guests (dependent on availability) and I was driven to the Science Museum to meet up with all the other bloggers and the lovely ladies of PR company M&CSaatchi.
The Royal Albert Hall was a sight to behold as we were standing in line to take our place on the red carpet. The feelings you experience are so overwhelming, especially for me working (albeit in a small way) in the industry. It made me feel a sense of accomplishment from 4 years ago stuck in a dead-end job. I dis-liked everyone I was surrounded by and I hated the job itself. Now I’m here, walking this red carpet surrounded by the industry greats. It’s something which I’ll treasure each and every year I’m invited for the rest of my life.
We walked towards the Royal Albert Hall and were escorted up the carpet when I spotted two lovely ladies who were struggling taking a picture with a handful of coats and handbags. Just before I had the chance to ask her if she’d like me to help, she already asked a friend who I was with to take a picture, I said in return if she would be okay to take a picture of us and just like that we had a picture on the red carpet. I’m not sure anyone else in our little group managed to get one taken! Thank you to the lady whose name will forever remain unknown for taking the picture, she looked so very familiar (either from TV or film) so I’m sure I’ll spot her on a screen sometime soon.
I actually forgot how much my hair was blowing around in the night’s wind, so a quick tidy up instantly after this picture was needed, my own fault for forgetting that much needed hairspray!
I also noticed on the carpet the EE BAFTA selfie robot that we posted about last week, an automated selfie bot that scrolls through various submitted selfies and has a star standing next to it to capture your very own Sheldon Cooper style virtual presence device selfie. At the end of the night EE tweeted me not one but two pictures with two of the nights stars. My first ever on camera interviewee Luke Evans stopped by for a virtual selfie with me as well as Hayley Squires (I,Daniel Blake) that made the night even more cool, take a look at both of the pictures below:
We took our place in the bloggers pen at the far left of the carpet and instantly it was no where near as exclusive as it was at last year’s ceremony. We were all hunched together with a bunch of fashion vloggers, the general public and competition winners. It was disappointing to not have our own pen like last year as it had room to move and the accessibility to get to the front of the barrier. This year we had to fight off hordes of people just to get a glimpse of celebs coming up the walk-way.
Other than the gaps in the crowd where I could record the videos like Noel’s wave above, I was restricted to holding my camera up as high as I could and shooting on the fly. This was annoying but hey, I was at the BAFTA’s. I’m not going to complain, but some guy with a video camera and a mic expecting to have interviews was majorly annoyed when he was put into a non-exclusive pen huddled with celebrity hungry fans. I’m hoping one day EE see my blog-post and give me some sort of VIP exclusive one to one junket style interviews and really go all out in admiration of my one-man army film blog. One can dream eh?
Thankfully Prince William and Kate, Nicole Kidman, Luke Evans, Penelope Cruz, Meryl Streep, Tom Holland, Hugh Grant, Tom Ford, Jamie Dornan, Mel Brooks ,Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone all came up our side of the carpet. It was incredible to see them in person and I felt lucky that I wasn’t actually on the other side of the carpet as I would have missed all of those incredible faces.
Once we had seen everyone go into the Royal Albert Hall we were picked up by pre-arranged taxi’s and driven to the exclusive members club at Soho House. Just like last year, where we were greeted with free drinks and posh food. It was cold as hell on the red carpet so being back inside in the warmth having a nice candle lit meal with the other bloggers was a welcome treat.
My stomach now full from the huge meal I had earlier now ha even more food inside it when we sat in the screening room to watch the ceremony on TV. I couldn’t physically move! I was weighed down by my food belly and sudden growth of man boobs from the extensive amount of meat I had consumed. I was in need of a very long sleep.
Once the ceremony was finished I went back to hotel, drew a bath at 1am in the morning and popped the TV on for a nice relaxing end to a wonderful experience.
There wasn’t a great deal on the TV at 1am in the morning so I left Celebrity Apprentice on and I really enjoyed it surprisingly, no doubt because I was in one of the biggest baths i’ve ever had the honour of bathing in!
The morning after, I woke up, headed off to Harrods in the morning and then checked out of the hotel. As I was coming out of the lobby, all of the staff members knew me by first name and I’m still not quite sure how. We all had a picture together to commemorate the experience at easily the best hotel I’ve stayed at in London.
A special thank you goes to M&CSaatchi for the invitation. A thank you also goes to Blacklane for the complimentary ride in exchange for this review and a final thank you to the Jumeirah Carlton Hotel for making this the most memorable (and expensive) trips to London i’ve ever had.