What is it really like on a bloggers food tour
It’s a cold rainy day in Bristol and I am so cosy under my blanket on the sofa, the thought of having to go out into the wet is making sad. But then I put it into perspective and think Food, Drink, Bloggers, yes, it is worth it so I get my lazy ass up and head for the bus into the city centre.
Once I am there its fine, the other bloggers start arriving and it’s an excellent way to network with some of the great influencers in Bristol. I am always a little apprehensive when I go to these events as still quite a newbie but I am always put straight at ease and have a great time. We are a friendly bunch if I do say so myself.
It’s a Sunday afternoon, we are a group of 10 members of the Bristol Bloggers and Influence Group doing a food tour of the new Indie development in Wapping Wharf. I did quite a bit of travelling last year and I wasn’t even aware that this new development has popped up, apparently, it’s been open since October and there are some great looking independent eateries.
The general idea about an event like this is for the bloggers to try food and drink, get to speak to the people that work there, get content for articles and of course take some fantastic photos which are going to make anyone want to eat the delights. But whilst the group were busy taking photos of the food I was more interested in how they were doing it as it’s still a learning curve for me so here is my behind the scenes footage.
It’s quite funny but the camera must eat first so when the food comes out everyone snaps away to get their perfect shot before we all dig in. We did get a few funny looks from other diners, probably a bit strange seeing 10 people with their cameras out taking pictures of the food, the surroundings even the tables.
It takes longer than a normal group to eat as we all have so many questions, are taking notes and generally just chatting about the whole experience.
Places we visited on our food tour
Our meeting point was Wild Beer. I am really into beer at the moment and love tasting different types so I was quite excited about this stop. We got to have a sample of beer and then some food was brought out to try. I went for the Hippy Johnny, it was hard to choose as there were such a vast selection so went with this one just because my dad was called John I didn’t realise it was 6.6%. I tried some of the other beers too and I must admit they were all delicious. I need to visit here again to sample more, they have a sampling session every month so I will try and get along to that.
The assistant manager Leonora was excellent and sat and interacted with the group explaining the products on offer and the history of the restaurant, she really made us feel welcome.
We were then brought out a few trays of food which was delicious. Fish and Chips, a fish platter, chicken tacos and tempura vegetables. The fish was so good, really fresh tasting.
We also got chance to speak to Caroline Harris who is the Spirit Public Relations for the Wapping Wharf and it was interesting to find out about how it came about and its future plans it really does sound like an excellent place for Bristol to have.
Some of the business are in shipping containers which is such a quirky idea I loved it. Anyone that knows me knows I love pigs so was thrilled to be visiting a place called the Pigsty. I loved the paper that the food was served on and was well impressed when the head chef Nick gave me some to take home, I was more interested in the paper than the food. I am only joking the food here was also divine.
I was a bit upset that they had ran out of scotch eggs which seems to be very popular Nick explained how they handmake them and had got through 70 in the last two days. He did try and save us the last one but when he popped out his other chef sold it – Oh well I will just have to go back and get one.
One of the bloggers did a live Facebook post so I couldn’t really get any decent pictures of Nick when he was discussing the platter that he gave us as her hands were in the way. That is one of the problems having lots of people wanting to take pictures you’re gonna get hands and things in the way so it’s also about being clever on the angles of the photos you take.
We were given loads of food to try here and I was gutted we had to hurry off again as there was still so much left next time I do a food tour I must remember to take a Tupperware box so I can have the leftovers.
We had a hot mulled cider and a taste of cider brandy here. Our host explained about the stock and was informative about the local ciders. We got a goody bag from here which was an excellent touch so even in a few days after the event I will still be thinking of this little shop when I open one of the bottles of cider.
John the co-owner welcomed us into this coffee establishment, gave us a nice little talk about the products and then gave some samples. I am unfortunately allergic to coffee and he asked what would I like instead and got me a nice gin and tonic with a blood orange. The cakes we had to try were amazing but I was starting to feel stuffed at this point so sneakily put a few bits of the millionaire shortbread (which was one of the best I have ever tasted) in my pocket for later. Unfortunately, someone stood on my coat in the next venue and squished the cake so I definitely need that tuppaware box.
Last stop back to the shipping containers this time to go upstairs to the chicken shed. We are all truly stuffed now but still eat the food on offer as it would be rude not to. This time we get to try chicken hearts which I have never had and was pleasantly surprised. Next was Chicken liver, again never had and these were delicious and of course their famous finger licking fried chicken.
What are the benefits for the restaurants?
The bloggers commit to doing some social media shout outs for the venues using a specific hashtag in this case it was #bbwapping. I scheduled my tweets so I could concentrate on eating the food at the time and will do some more tweets over the next coming days so there is a few days of exposure for the companies rather than it all being on the day of the tour.
My non-blogger friends are amazed that we get to have free food but if you think what an influencer can offer a company it a small investment for them to make
- Social media exposure
- As I said I am a newbie and still growing my followers. I currently have 20k social media followers with a monthly reach of 250k, think of this combined with 9 other bloggers who are much bigger and wider established than me and it’s going to be a huge reach
- Content for articles in publications
- I am not quite there yet but hopefully will be one day, some of these bloggers write for publications whether it be local or national it could provide content for a feature which is going to generate more business.
- Recommendations to other bloggers / travellers
- I am trying to establish myself as a Bristol Ambassador when my fellow travel friends are coming to Bristol I am asked where to go what to do and so it’s great when I can recommend places I have experienced. I am however honest and just because I have received something complimentary I won’t recommend it unless I truly believe it will meet my reader’s requirements.
- Content on their blog
- Could be featured in several blog posts that are relevant for example from this food tour I will be writing at least 3 articles and can now include the information in future posts.
- Will return with friends and family
- One of the other plus points is by giving a blogger a few samples to tantalise their taste buds would make them want to come back for more. For example, I loved some of the food that we tried on this event and I can’t wait to come back with my friends and get to try more. Next time I will be a paying customer bringing along other paying customers who will then recommend it to their friends and its then like a snowball effect.
- Inbound links
- Provide links in content which can help drive visitors to the company’s website. Inbound links can help improve SEO and google ranking so when people search on google the company is more likely to show up
- Influencers are considered the go to resource for their niche, their opinions are valued and taken on board
Want to work with Bristol Bloggers and Influence Group.
Bristol Bloggers and influencers group is open to working with local’s organisations if you want to get in touch please email firstname.lastname@example.org