A Glamorous Evening at #BonPrixOnTheRocks

November 30, 2016

This year seems to have been the one for fashion-based blogger events, and I for one am not complaining! They're pretty much the only time that I can get glammed up these days, and they're always a lot of fun. The event this time around was called #BonPrixOnTheRocks (I loved the name!), and was held in Leeds for bloggers from the surrounding areas. Before I had even clicked open the email, I thought - "What on earth am I going to wear?" I don't really own anything dressy these days; my wardrobe is quite casual, to say the least, and as mentioned, I very rarely get dressed up for an evening. However, my fears were unfounded; not only had I been invited along, but Bon Prix were going to supply a dress for me to wear for the occasion as well! As you can imagine, I was straight onto the party dresses section of their website, ready to hunt down that perfect dress.

BonPrixOnTheRocks event at the Malmaison hotel Leeds
Wine glasses at BonPrixOnTheRocks
Group photo of bloggers at BonPrixOnTheRocks

The event was held at the Malmaison hotel in Leeds city centre, which you may remember I reviewed last year. When we arrived, I noticed that the foyer and restaurant had changed a little, but apart from that, it was much the same. We were greeted by Jennie, and straight away we were posing on the steps to have a group picture taken by Matt, the photographer from Search Laboratory. It didn't take too much persuading - we are bloggers, after all! - and throughout the evening, it was wonderful to have someone to take some pictures for us. Afterwards, we headed upstairs to be greeted by Alice, who was in the event space waiting for us. The space was split into two rooms - one full of comfy seating, and the other all set up into a makeshift cocktail bar! This made us all very excited for the evening ahead. Not only we were going to spend time mingling with fellow bloggers, but we were going to be given a cocktail masterclass in making not one, but two cocktails!

Cocktail ingredients at BonPrixOnTheRocks
Cocktail glasses at BonPrixOnTheRocks
Cocktail ingredients at BonPrixOnTheRocks

Before I go into the event, I ought to tell you about my dress, hadn't I? I have to admit, I spent far longer than I should have on Bon Prix's website, going back and forth between options. There was one dress that I kept coming back to - the Organza Shell Evening Dress in Black*. I had never worn anything like it before in my life, so I was a bit concerned about being able to pull it off. However, at the time there was still a good month to go until the event, so I figured that I would choose that one, and I could always request a different one if I didn't like it. When it arrived and I tried it on, I loved it - although I needed to find the right shapewear to go underneath! - and started to plan what else to wear with it. I kept the jewellery simple and chose a gold bow necklace from M&Co, and a few gold stacking rings from Primark. The dress was screaming for a bit of Hollywood glamour, so I popped on some red nail varnish (on the bus - it was easily my worst paint job yet!), created a slightly smokey eye and applied some red lipstick. It's been a while since I went to town on my makeup, so my skills were a little rusty! I was really pleased with my dress; it was extremely comfortable, and it had quite a lot of stretch so it fitted nicely without bunching up too much whenever I sat down. I loved the cut-out back detail as well, which showed off a bit of skin but still allowed me to wear a regular bra underneath! I got a lot of compliments on it throughout the evening, and I felt like a princess. Now that I know I can wear a dress like this, I'll definitely feel more inclined to wear something similar again in the future - as and when the occasion calls for it!

Sassy Sapphire Frocktail at BonPrixOnTheRocksPretty in Pink Frocktail at BonPrixOnTheRocks
Bartender mixing cocktails at BonPrixOnTheRocksBloggers mixing cocktails at BonPrixOnTheRocks
Bloggers mixing cocktails at BonPrixOnTheRocks
Bloggers with Sassy Sapphire Frocktails at BonPrixOnTheRocks

After we had been topped up with champagne and admiring everyone else's dresses, it was time for us to make our first cocktail! We were split up into two groups; I was in the second group, so the first cocktail that we were going to make was the "Sassy Sapphire Frocktail", served in a tall glass and consisting of Bombay Sapphire, ginger beer, lime juice, sugar syrup and mint leaves. It was described to us as being very similar to a Mojito, but using gin instead of rum. We were first shown how to do it properly by the bartender, then we went up in groups of three to give it a try for ourselves. I'm not going to lie and pretend I'm any good at this sort of thing, but we were given help and guidance along the way so I managed somehow not to muck it up. The hardest bit was shaking up the cocktail mixture; you've really got to put your back into it, so it's really hard on the arms! The hard work was worth it though, as at the end we had ourselves a delicious cocktail each. It was one of those ones that I could have had two or three of without any trouble, it was that good! We all had a good laugh doing it, and I think the bartender was a star for putting up with us giggling, loud girls - patience of a saint, that one.

Canapes at BonPrixOnTheRocksCanapes at BonPrixOnTheRocks
Bloggers mingling at BonPrixOnTheRocks

We weren't just getting spoilt with drinks that evening, oh no. The restaurant at the Malmaison had laid on some canapés for us as well, to whet our appetite whilst sipping at our cocktails. Having eaten at the hotel before, I knew that the food was good and I was pleased to see that this was still the case. Sliders, calamari, bruschetta... it was all polished off in mere minutes! In between making cocktails, I got to catch up with some of my favourite bloggers and get to know some new ones, which is always great at an event like this. At the event, I assumed that there would be a few of us that had managed to pick the same dress - but somehow, everyone had managed to choose something different! Everyone looked amazing, and it was great to hear first-hand how everyone found the fit and quality. We also got to browse the latest Bon Prix catalogue, which showcased the new collection, and get to know the brand a bit better. We were also supplied with more wine (as if the champagne and cocktails weren't enough!), so we were well and truly looked after for the evening.

Bloggers mixing cocktails at BonPrixOnTheRocks
Setting orange skin on fire at BonPrixOnTheRocksSetting orange skin on fire at BonPrixOnTheRocks
Shot of Absolut Citron vodka at BonPrixOnTheRocks

The second cocktail that was lined up for us was the "Pretty in Pink Frocktail", served in a martini glass and consisting of Absolut Citron, Cointreau, cranberry juice and lime juice. This was appropriately named, as it was bright pink! This again required a lot of effort to get all of the ingredients mixed up, but the finishing touch was yet to come. To garnish our cocktail, we needed to light a piece of orange skin with a lighter, and then drop it into the drink. This was much more difficult than it sounds, as we had to flick the lighter on with the index finger rather than the thumb, hold the flame close enough, then drop it as soon as it caught fire! The look of concentration on my face in the picture above says it all. We all had varying degrees of success, but I'm proud to say that I got awarded with the compliment of "the best one yet" out of the group! I did catch the end of my finger with the flame, mind you... but it was totally worth it. This cocktail was a lot stronger than the previous one, and it went to my head pretty quickly! It didn't help either that we were encouraged to have a shot of Absolut Citron whilst making our cocktails, so it's not surprising that by the end of the night I was a bit tipsy!

Selfie props at BonPrixOnTheRocks
BonPrixOnTheRocks goody bags

This event was honestly one of the best ones that I've ever been to as a blogger. It was the right mixture of mingling and planned activities, so the evening flew by really quickly. I loved the fact that we could all see each other in our outfits, and see how each person had chosen to style their dress up. Bon Prix certainly seem to have something for everyone, no matter what your style or occasion, and all for a very reasonable price point too. Some other events that I've been to in the past have just had clothing on a rail to look at, but seeing the dresses on real women of all shapes and sizes was so much better than that, and a fantastic way to showcase the brand. At the end of the night, we were generously gifted a goody bag from Bon Prix to take with us too. This contained two miniatures of gin and Chambord, as well as a beautiful cocktail glass so that we can have a go at making our own cocktails at home! It truly was a wonderful event, and I want to say thank you to Search Laboratory and Bon Prix for the invitation. Be sure to check out Bon Prix's write-up of the event on their blog!

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1 comment

  1. It was lovely to see you - and you looked beautiful in your fancy frock! :D