This morning, my twitter was all over the (admittedly adorable) John Lewis Christmas advert, which you can see here. This was timely, because this week I well and truly kicked off the Christmas season with a wonderful evening at John Lewis Exeter’s Christmas Press show.
John Lewis doesn’t do things by halves, so we were greeted with a very welcome glass of mulled wine. I caught up with fellow blogger Francesca and was finally able to meet India and Kelly & Gemma, which was lovely, and then we were whisked over to the fragrance department where the lovely Erica gave us her insights into the season’s most exciting fragrances.
For the ladies, she highlighted Cartier Baiser Volé, which I actually talked about on here a few weeks ago, and Tom Ford Black Orchid, which I have recently fallen absolutely in love with. It’s a spicy, not overtly-feminine scent that’s strong and powerful without being too overbearing – perfect to make a statement in the holiday season. For men, we sampled Tom Ford Noir, and Prada Luna Rossa. I liked them both but love the Prada especially.
Next up were candles. John Lewis have their own range of special winter scented candles – Winter Berry, Winter Spice and Frosted Pine – and all of them are handmade and contain real leaves, fruits and berries. What’s really cool about them is that after the candle has burned down, you are left with the outer wax shell, which then doubles up as a tealight holder.
Upstairs, we were treated to a veritable fashion show, complete with tips on how to achieve the perfect Bobbi Brown old-Hollywood glamour. They are currently booking make up lessons in store to perfect your Christmas party look so that’s definitely worth a look.
I absolutely loved that gorgeous glittery number Rita was wearing (Somerset by Alice Temperley) – I just wish I had an event that warranted such glamour. Hopefully one day…
This Damsel in a Dress fur coat was absolutely gorgeous, they insisted that everybody had a stroke and for good reason – SO soft!
After we had all lingered taking photos and lusting after all those gorgeous clothes, we continued on our way through the store to find out exactly where our models had been off to.
This little dinner scene was such a cute touch, not to mention hilarious. We were all offered a little aperitif, which I gladly partook in, and a sample of Christo di Sarano Panettone which was delicious. I could eat Panettone forever, except then I’d definitely never fit in one of those gorgeous sequinned dresses.
Our final demonstrations came from the technology department. I wasn’t really expecting to be too blown away by anything they had – I’m not super tech-y – but ended up coming away with a wishlist a mile long!
First up, we got to watch a bit of the Midnight Express – in 3D! I was totally won over by 3D TV, it was so cool and obviously we all looked a dream in our glasses.
Next up we all made ourselves comfy while the festively dressed tech guys showed us their various gadgets. We tried some seriously cool Sennheiser Momentum headphones – better than Beats, apparently – and they also showed us this “Lens Style” camera which is possibly the greatest thing ever. You can link it up with your smartphone/tablet/whatever and have it take pictures remotely (SO good for group shots you want everybody to be in), or actually attach it to your device and transform it into a real-person camera. I didn’t get a picture, but trust me it was good.
Finally, we went upstairs to the cafe for the grand finale. I’d heard rumours of “nibbles,” but Waitrose Entertaining had laid on an actual feast.
Safe to say Francesca, India and I did not hold back and may have gone for several trips back to the table. It would have been a shame to waste all that gorgeous food! Amongst my favourites were Heston’s Lapsang Tea smoked salmon, Heston’s puff pastry mince pies (SO good I may have had one and a half…I also tried the spiced shortcrust ones with tangerine sugar and they were also delicious), and some fab vanilla ice cream made out of coconut milk so dairy free! Drinkwise, I tried some alcoholic ginger beer which was nicely spicy and Otima 10 Port, which is the first port I’ve ever tried and actually liked – it’s so warming!
Having had our fill, we were ushered out, treated to some gorgeous little goody bags and I went on my way home! I can’t thank the guys at John Lewis enough for such a fabulous evening and safe to say I now have plenty of ideas for Christmas gifts…not to mention the all-important Christmas snacks!
(As a sort of disclaimer, I am actually currently working at John Lewis, but this time I was there strictly as a blogger and I solemnly swear my opinions are all my own!)