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A Stay In The Village Hotel Club Bristol For Bristol Fashion Week Festival

We like Bristol. It's a great city with so much to see and do and some fabulous shopping. So when we were invited on a press trip to Bristol to stay at the Village Hotel Club Bristol and cover some of the events at Bristol Fashion Week then I could hardly say no, now could I?

The Village Hotel Club Bristol is a newly opened hotel, a short drive from the city centre in Filton, and less than two miles from fantastic shopping at The Mall at Cribbs Causeway. 

We checked in quickly with the receptionist who was cheerful and informative. There was also a self-service check-in available too.

First impressions of the hotel were good. Everything was clean, modern, cool and contemporary.  I really liked the bright decor!

In the foyer, there is a Starbucks coffee shop, perfect for your morning Americano or mid-morning snack and also the Village hotel 'Pub and Grill' for all-day dining. We would be eating in the Pub and Grill the next day so more of that later.

Room review

Our room was a club room on the 5th floor and it really had the wow factor. Now I have to admit it wasn't the biggest room in the world but it made up for this in the decor, the room features and technology. 

A nice little welcome.

Firstly, how cool is this decor? I am not a fan of the beige and browns you get so often in a room so this made a refreshing change. 

Rather than some soggy biscuits, an apple was complimentary in the room (It would have been nice if we had two though).

The bathroom was super modern and included features such as electric blinds, a magnifying mirror with adjustable lighting and a huge rainfall shower.

I was pleased to see proper size bottles of shampoo, conditioner and body wash. So much more eco-friendly than the tiny bottles of toiletries you get in most hotels, with all the plastic waste. The ESPA products smelt lovely too. Other eco-friendly features include the half flush on the toilet and the ability to use the smaller shower head instead of the rainfall shower.

A quirky 21st-century feature of the bathroom was the privacy door. As the bathroom door is glass, at a touch of a button you can make the glass opaque so no one can see you. Such a cool feature. If you are not that familiar with the person you are sharing a room with though, it could be a bit of an issue, the sound from the bathroom does carry, so best to book a separate room. 

As there were so many interesting gadgets, there was a sheet in the room explaining these and how they worked. 

The room had a Tassimo coffee machine, Dyson hairdryer and an Alexa - Amazon's virtual assistant.

The Dyson was super quick at drying hair, which for £300 if you had to buy one, I would definitely want it to be! The Tassimo was great and came with a range of pods as well as sugar and milk for those coffee hits. 

The Alexa was a little temperamental. They are always like this though and we had fun asking it questions. If you said "Alexa, Ask Village...." and any questions about the hotel it would tell you the answer.  A nifty feature.

The TV was a massive 55inch HD TV and came with Sky Sports and movies as well as all the usual channels. You can also check out of the room on the TV which is useful if you are short of time. A Chromecast was another feature in the room, which allows you to stream from your devices but we didn't use this. 

If you want room service there is a menu available and you can order it from the Village Hotel app. The prices for main courses seemed average for a hotel, the starters were a bit more expensive than I thought they would be but the portions are large. 

Tribute night

So after freshening up, we started to get ready for the evening ahead - an Ed Sheeran and Beyonce tribute act in the hotel's function room. The hotel holds these every weekend and they cost £30 per person including a three-course meal. Drinks are not included but there is a bar available.

The room was nicely set out and the tribute acts were good.

Even though we are not fans of Ed Sheeran he did look and sound like him and got the crowd going, as did the Beyonce tribute, a very effervescent lady who had so much energy!

The three-course meal consisted of butternut squash soup with warm bread rolls, a roast turkey dinner and a raspberry and cream mousse. The starter was particularly good and for the price of the meal and entertainment, I thought it was great value.

So that night after being well fed and truly entertained we retired to our room and had a great night's sleep.

The next morning breakfast was included in our rate and was in the Village Pub and Grill. It consisted of a buffet breakfast with a choice of hot and cold food. It wasn't a hugely extensive breakfast but it suited our needs and included tea and coffee, long life juices, cereals, yoghurt, croissants and melon as well as bacon, sausages, scrambled eggs, mushrooms and beans. One of the bloggers we were with is gluten intolerant and they did have gluten free bread available as well as soya milk.

Leisure facilities

After breakfast, I went for a swim to work it all off. If you are staying in the club room you get the use of the leisure facilities for free. This includes the pool, a state of the art gym, and exercise classes. Mr W was very impressed with the gym and if you are a local I think the off-peak rate for a monthly pass is around £35.  If you have a regular room you do have to pay £5 for access to the leisure facilities.  Everything was clean, modern and high-tech and the leisure facilities are a huge plus point if you are staying here.

Les Mills event 

After checking out the pool and gym I popped along to the Les Mills launch event. Les Mills is a fitness programme that runs classes throughout the world. Their mission is to create a fitter planet and their classes from Body Pump, to Body Combat combine exercise to music. Every few months they revitalise their classes and create new moves to keep everything fresh so today was the launch of their new season of classes.

The class had so much energy that I really wished there were Les Mills exercise classes near me. Unfortunately, I live in a small town on the South Wales coast where the average age is 80, but I live in hope! 

Bristol Fashion Show Festival 

Then it was a quick change and a short ten-minute drive to the Mall at Cribbs Causeway for the Bristol Fashion Show Festival. This ticketed event was a lot of fun. As well as the tents that included beauty and style makeovers you got three  30 minute events - a catwalk show, a styling workshop and Caryn Franklin, TV presenter and broadcaster in conversation with some of the top UK fashion influencers. 

I was greeted at the entrance and offered a complimentary soft drink or glass of bubbly. A nice touch!

I booked myself in for a free 10-minute style consultation. I was asked which styles I like and was shown some of the new designs out this season. I think I probably needed to be more specific in what I wanted out of this session, as I wanted to be shown items I wouldn't normally wear.  If you wish to do this in future I would go for the more in-depth style consultation for 30 minutes at a small charge.

After this, I went into the beauty hall. There were makeovers, beauty treatments and hair being styled by companies such as Lush, Clinique and GHD. I had a mini makeover at Benefit which I enjoyed. 

I am a big fan of Benefit and have used a number of their products over the years so I was keen to see what they could do for my eyebrows. The makeup artist was really helpful in explaining how to apply the products and how to shape my eyebrows. I always struggle to get my brows just right and with the help of Gimme Brow volumizing eyebrow gel and Precisely My Brow eyebrow pencil, my eyebrows looked the best they had ever been. 

Then it was time for the first event, a discussion with Caryn Franklyn in conversation with Sonny Turner and Zoe De Pass, two fashion influencers. Sonny is an influencer that has curves and who celebrates body positivity, whilst Zoe is a London based content creator that works on changing misconceptions that being a mum doesn't mean you have to dress 'mumsy'.  

Anecdotally people seem to see influencers like this as a relatable side of fashion. Not everyone is a size 8 and 5 foot 10 and women want to see other people that look like them in the fashion industry. Caryn asked how many people there read blogs and almost all the hands went up. 

Sustainability and ethical fashion were flagged up as an area to watch. Caryn suggested that you ask your favourite fashion brand what they can tell you about their carbon footprint about their worker's conditions. When they are asked this on a regular basis it may make them realise people want change.

Next off, it was time for the catwalk show. I was impressed with the diverse range of models used, of all shapes, sizes and ages, with abilities and disabilities and with different skin tones.

Spring/Summer designs for 2019 I loved included Florals, Print Mix, New Neutrals and Going Wild.

The last session was a styling workshop where the founder of the Image Consulting Co, Emmeline Stevens talked about fashion to help you feel good about yourself.

The Bristol Fashion Week Festival was a fun event that was worth going to. I loved the interesting discussion with Caryn Franklin and the influencers about body positivity. This is one area that the fashion industry really needs to change, using models of all shapes, sizes and appearances to reflect society.
Tickets were priced at £15.50 with 50 pence going towards the Be Real Campaign that works towards changing attitudes to body image and putting health above appearance. This charity works with schools, individuals, businesses and public bodies. A very worthwhile cause.

So then it was time to head back to our hotel. 

Evening meal

That evening we met with the manager Mark and sales manager David for our evening meal. Mark and David were obviously proud of their hotel and David talked passionately about the work of Village Green and how the Village Hotel Club Bristol are starting to work with the local community and disadvantaged youths. I didn't realise that the Village Hotels support their local communities in this way, so this was a nice surprise.

So onto our meal. You can order your food on an Ipad provided, the Village Hotel app or at the bar - a great use of technology yet again.

We ordered hummus and Korean BBQ chicken tacos for starters. The tacos were good but the real star was the hummus which was topped with a delicious red pepper pesto. Served with tortilla chips it made a substantial starter.

Mr W had chicken peri-peri skewers next and I had the half pound burger. The skewers were good and the spicy sauce took the dish up a notch. Not for the faint-hearted when it comes to heat!

The burger was made with good quality beef, and although slightly overcooked came with a great kale coleslaw. Fries were lightly cooked and crispy and were excellent. 

Desserts available sounded delicious and included a baked vanilla cheesecake with strawberry sauce and a four-layer chocolate fudge cake with whipped cream. We were too stuffed to try any, unfortunately. 

So time for bed again, and after breakfast the next morning, it was time to check out. 

We enjoyed our stay in Bristol for the Bristol Fashion Week Festival. The Village Hotel Club in Bristol is a great hotel, close to the Mall at Cribbs Causeway and a short drive from the centre of the city. The club rooms are bright in design and technologically advanced. The leisure facilities in this hotel were some of the best we've ever experienced for a moderately priced hotel. Check out the video below that Mr W created for our dedicated travel blog Fly Drive Explore.

If you love fashion, I also highly recommend the Bristol Fashion Week Festival, which had a great body positive message.  I would definitely visit both the hotel and the festival again in the future. 

Let me know, what do you think of the Village Hotel Club Bristol? Would you visit the Bristol Fashion Week Festival next year?

* This was a press trip, I was not paid for the trip and all opinions are my own.

9 Essential Numbers That You Need To Have In Your Mobile

It’s great to always be prepared. In a moment of need, you’ll wish that you had these numbers already programmed into your phone. Save yourself some time, money and general peace of mind and take a look at the 9 essential numbers that you need to have in your phone.

Emergency Services

This goes without saying. Although you may know your country's emergency number off by heart it’s always good to know you have a backup in a fast-paced situation. Your emergency contact will put you in touch with the Police, Ambulance, and Fire Department.

Non-Urgent Healthcare

Feeling under the weather but think it could be something a bit more serious than a cold? Call your allocated non-emergency healthcare provider. Trained professionals are on hand 24 hours a day to evaluate your issues and symptoms. It can save you a visit to your GP, as they can recommend some over the counter products as well as giving great healthcare advice. In the UK the NUH has a non-urgent number 111 for help and advice.

An Out-Of-Hours Dentist

Tooth pain can sometimes sneak up on you out of nowhere, and can sometimes be unbearable. Make sure you have an emergency dentist on speed dial for those niggling dental issues that just can't wait until morning.

Your Bank
Nothing strikes panic into most people’s heart than the thought of a misplaced bank card. With card theft and fraud on the rise, make sure that you’ve got your bank’s ‘lost and stolen’ department on speed dial, to make sure you cancel the card as soon a possible to stop it from getting into the wrong hands.

A Locksmith

It’s been reported that the average adult loses more than 3,000 possessions in their lifetime. The one item that's at the top of that list? Keys. To take the pain out of the inevitable frustration of losing such an essential item, make sure you can quickly call a reputable locksmith company that can get you back into your home quickly.

A Plumber

Sink drains can be blocked and running baths can be forgotten. Having a trusted, local plumber easily on hand can help you being overcharged in an emergency situation.

A Vehicle Towing Company

Your car breaking down can be a huge inconvenience, and being stranded far away from home is no fun at all. Ensure you have your local recovery company available, to get you on your way. Or if you are a member of an emergency service programme that into your phone.

Your Boss

Everyday life can take the most unexpected of turns. Sometimes it's a delayed train, an unwell child, or absolute gridlock on your morning commute. Make sure you can contact your manager as soon as possible to let them know of your whereabouts and your expected arrival time at the office.

Your Neighbour

Being able to reach your neighbours in a tricky situation can be a lifesaver. As well as helping to keep you up to date with any general issues within your block or on your street, they may also be kind enough to take in delivery parcels while you're at work. Vigilant neighbours can also report on any unexpected activity around your apartment when you’re away.

Let me know have I missed anyone out? Do you have any suggestions for essential numbers to have in your mobile?

*Collaborative post