There’s always big expos happening in London – whether it’s wedding fayres, fashion events, food shows or more – and one of my favourite venues for this is the ExCel, in the Docklands. There are loads of exhibition centres around London but I feel ExCel has the most fun and also some of the largest events in the city!
I’ve headed over there three times this year for a variety of shows and it is a great space, which is easy to get to, with plenty of eateries and bars nearby and is large and spacious inside, not claustrophobic when you’re looking around.
Grand Designs Live is a fantastic show – with its original show at Birmingham NEC this weekend. Whether you have a new house and you’re working out your full DIY strategy, you want to spruce up your home a tad or whether you just fancy seeing some innovative and random homeware, this is an enjoyable show! There were magical jellyfish shaped lampshades, VW camper van shaped wine coolers, in-house saunas and, my golden purchase, a real sheepskin rug *swoon*
For those looking for home advice, there were seminars led by celebs of the trade and demonstrations. And there were loads of practical bits, such as solar panel advice and home security (although I was nowhere near mature enough to take in such practical information!). My favourite bit was the food section though, with cheese, wine, chocolate and more… I left feeling inspired to be more creative in my home, cuddling my new rug and uncomfortably full…
Next up was the Pet Show! The original and larger Pet Show is at the NEC in Birmingham in November (keep at eye on ‘blogger and the geek‘ as she will be blogging about this!) but this show was just as fantastic in my eyes! I don’t have a pet but I am addicted to anything furry so I was very excited…
The best thing, I thought, was that they had little stalls for different breeds of dogs and cats – with live examples! You could stroke them and speak to their owners to learn more about them, which made the show really interactive and fun. Aside from this, there were lots of stalls with pet products, handy for those with pets, and pet parephenalia, handy for those addicted to – but without – pets (!) There were also talks on pet care, a bunny show-jumping competition (apparently it’s a Swedish thing?) and a big show at the end of the day with dogs dancing, doing tricks and random skills! I really enjoyed the show and would definitely go again.
The Cake and Bake Show was my most recent visit to the ExCel. With the Great British Bake Off just finished (yay Nadiya!!), it was very topical and a great time to continue to feed Britain’s current love of baking! The show is going to be in Edinburgh on 30th Oct – 1st Nov and Manchester on 12th – 15th Nov – so you haven’t missed your chance to go yet!
Coming in through the press door, a lovely man in chef whites held the door open for me and I didn’t realise at first that it was famous patisserie chef Eric Lanlard – who has made cakes for the Queen and the Beckhams! To make up for it, I went to watch one of his cooking demonstrations on how to make a Gingerbread and Chocolate Soufflé. *melts*
The show was great – there were LOTS of food stalls and tasters, demos and talks, and we even got to an icing piping masterclass, run by Dr Oetker, which let us ice cupcakes (not too well) ourselves! We saw some fantastic baking ideas and it has really inspired me to not just watch Bake Off but to get into the kitchen myself!
So, if you’re looking for some interesting events over the coming months, why not see what the ExCel has to offer. And if any of the events above caught your attention, keep an eye out for more info on them around the same times next year – or where you can catch their shows elsewhere in the country. With venues like this on your doorstep, you can satisfy your hobbies, all in one big space!