Forgive me for the title, I just couldn’t resist. Also forgive me on the length of time it’s taken me to write this, uni assignments had taken over my life this past few weeks. Also grab a cuppa or a biscuit this one is a long post….
On Saturday 22nd March (yes, over two weeks ago) the biggest social event of the year in the Northern Ireland calendar took place, and yours truly had tickets to the amazing event.
I have been following the IN! Magazine Awards for the past few years and finally this year I toyed with the idea of actually buying tickets. However, I’m currently saving up for summer so I really couldn’t justify the spend. Then I noticed on IN! Magazine’s Twitter, they were doing a giveaway. ‘Sure there’s no harm in entering’, I thought. I ended up winning! The last, and possibly the only thing I’ve ever won, was a pair of slippers at a work raffle. I was pretty chuffed at that win, so just imagine how pleased I was to win the tickets to the Awards. Yep, some jumping about was done.
Then panic struck in. I was announced as the winner on the Monday with the awards to follow on the Saturday. At work, my contract days are Saturday and Sunday and with having the previous weekend off to head to Dublin (Read my post here), I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to be able to get the night off at such short notice. I tentatively rang work to check the rota and beg to get the weekend off. It turned out I wasn’t even scheduled to work that weekend. So with everything all lined up I was ready to go! I’ll do a separate ‘What I Wore’ post shortly with what I did to get ready so look out for that.
My date (my sister) and I arrived at the iconic Belfast City Hall to a Red Carpet entrance. It was a strange feeling having several photographers wanting to take your picture, It was a really nice touch by the IN! Magazine team and definitely made us feel very special. Living in Northern Ireland all my life and spending a lot of time in Belfast, you may be shocked to know I had never actually been in City Hall before. It really is stunning, with amazing staircases, that just screamed glamorous!
We carefully ascended the grand staircase to join in the drinks reception, sponsored by Absolut Vodka and Jameson Whisky. I made a huge mistake in deciding to drive with so much alcoholic beverages on offer. It was hard to decline all the free drinks. Absolut created Cosmopolitans for us and Jameson went for a traditional mix of Whisky and ginger ale (I think). There was a little mingling done although I did feel a little overwhelmed with so many big names in the room. We were then called to the Great Hall so the main event of the evening could begin, the food! Errrm and of course the awards could be announced.
We arrived at our seats with goody bags waiting for us, filled with samples and vouchers for local businesses. (Which reminds me I’ve a hair appointment and facial to book.) There was also a huge bottle of Moet & Chandon waiting for us too. We took our seats and waited for the rest of our table to join us. There seemed to be so much thought put in to the seating plan. I was sat with three other Northern Irish bloggers, Avril from School Gate Style, Nic from Strawberry Blonde Beauty Blog and Louise from The Real Elle Woods. Also at our table was fashion designer Lisa McCabe of Nor Lisa along with her date, Lauryn Hall of LSH Models and Promotions and the wondeful Janet Devlin and her plus one Aaron.
Our five course dinner was served while the awards were announced. You can check out who took home the prizes here. The food was catered for by Zen. The appetiser and starter weren’t to my food preferences but our main course, cocktail and dessert were absolutely delicious. I was too busy eating to take any picture of the food for you. (I don’t think I’ll ever be one of those people who photograph their meals. C’mon it’s just wasting potential eating time.) However I did take a picture of my cocktail (so that I could avoid drinking too much off it), I was so glad I saved my one drink for this (I was driving so only had half of the cocktail). Seriously, the most delicious cocktail I have ever had in my life!
Like all good award shows, there was of course an after party. It was held in the Zen Restaurant and I hear it was a fun night. Yep, you guessed it we had to give it a miss unfortunately. In my defense, I did have over an hour drive ahead of me. Don’t judge. Next year a hotel room will definitely be booked.
It was such a great night and so lovely to finally put names to faces! Especially with all the other bloggers. Thank you so much to the IN! Magazine team for selecting me as the Twitter winner! It was such a well organised evening and there was so much attention to detail. For anyone contemplating whether or not to go next year and not sure if they too can justify the spend; I found that it truly is great value for money. You are absolutely spoiled from the minute you walk through the door. I will certainly be back next year!
Have you ever been to the IN! Magazine Awards or a similar event? Will you be going to next years Awards?