It seems a lifetime ago now that we were all talking about Brit Mums Live and what a fabulous time we all had and this is a post I have been meaning to write since then but life just went a little bit wild on me and I haven’t got round to it.

As you know I was at Brit Mums Live in a working role rather than a delegate one which was fine as I love being part of the Brit Mums team but I didn’t get to see all of the sessions I’d set my heart on or speak to all the people I’d have liked to.

However, Brit Mums very kindly put me up over night in the Hoxton Hotel in London and boy, it was worth all my hard work just for a night there.

Admittedly we arrived tired from our hard day on Friday plus the socialising with the Expat mums at the local All Bar One (it’s got to be done!) so in all honesty I walked through the buzzing reception area to collect my key and go to bed but let me tell you it was heaving. Music, trendy people and life. If I hadn’t have had a 7.30am wake up call and/or more energy in me I could have quite easily slipped into the crowd for another hour or two.

But no, I decided to get some beauty sleep so as to be ready for the next day and on arriving at my door – I saw this

Hoxton take away breakfast

Yep that is a little brown bag hanging outside my room in which they will put my breakfast once I’ve ticked my boxes – wow! Yes I did wonder if someone would nick my breakfast outside the door but I suppose in posh places it simply doesn’t happen.

The entire hotel is decked out in a comfortable urban leisure style and is breathtaking. I could live there. In their own words ‘The award winning Hoxton hotel is very much at home in its Shoreditch manor. With 205 Bedrooms, The Hoxton Grill Restaurant and 6 Meeting and Event Rooms, the Hoxton Hotel redefines the urban hotel experience.

With roaring fires, polished concrete, exposed brick and an eclectic mix of leather sofas it’s the insiders hang out away from hustle and bustle of Hoxton.’

On entering the room my fist glance went to the bed and I saw this

Hoxton scissor, paper, stone cushions

Stone. Paper. Scissors!!! How cool is that?

Could I fit them in my suitcase – no, I’ll settle for a photo then. In fact the room was just fabulous every where I looked there were gorgeous or interesting things to look at, all the cupboards were touch open so they look concealed (thank God they left the TV open otherwise I’d have never found it but on my snooping around I discovered this

hoxton safe

Head of Security Mr A L Ock – that made me laugh, I know it doesn’t take much but I thought it was cute and funny. so I filled in my breakfast bag and hung it on the door

Hoxton breakfast bag

and then before jumping on it, I hid all my trash out of view and took you this photo of the bed

Hoxton bedroom
…a whole double bed just for me! I didn’t take photos of the bathroom as all I could think about was sleeping by then but I did take one last photo because if I could have got it in my bag I would have done

Hoxton hotel wall etching

Isn’t it magnificent? Instead of pictures on the wall an etched wall painting of the Tower of London. Of course I was joking about getting it in my suitcase – I only had a trolley with me! But I found my stay at the Hoxton very inspiring, very comfortable and very luxurious. So if you’re in the area I would thoroughly recommend it.

Tell them Mari’s World sent you ;)

So S is for Scary, Stories and Supplies today for my entry in Jenny Matlock’s Alphabe Thursday now all I need is a monster aged 8 or over…..

Have you ever heard of 826 literacy project? I hadn’t until yesterday, quite by chance via Twitter and that gives me a fourth S today Serendipity but I digress dear reader. The 826 National is a nonprofit tutoring, writing, and publishing organization, set up to assist students aged six to eighteen with their writing skills, and to help teachers get their classes excited about writing. Work is based on the understanding that great leaps in learning can happen with one-on-one attention, and that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success.

Sounds brilliant doesn’t it? This is one time that I want to be 10 years old again!

Currently there are 9 centres dotted all over the USA and now, luckily for us, some very hard working people who you can read about on We Made This have secured funding from the Arts Council and The JJ Charitable Trust the author Nick Hornby jumped on board and Hoxton Street Monster Supplies –  Purveyor of Quality Goods for Monsters of Every Kind opened back in November 2010 for the delight of kids across the land and I WANT TO GO NOW! Only I need to be aged 8 – 18…even my best attempt at a monster disguise won’t let me get away with the loss of that many years!

The shop was established in 1818 and has been supplying Britain’s extensive monster community since. In fact you can find a whole range of Tinned Fears each containing a specially commissioned short story from authors like Nick Hornby and Zadie Smith, there is a wonderful selection of Human Preserves and a very handy Neck-Bolt Tightener amongst other necessary monster wares. The beadier eyed beast will note that the shelves of the shop conceal an entrance. A secret and well disguised portal that leads to the Ministry of Stories which has been architectured and designed in the smallest detail to feel really special and it certainly looks special.

The Ministry has already held numerous workshops which monsters both locally and from afar have given their thumbs up. The BBC themselves were suitably impressed and the journalist from The Guardian gave a glowing report. But let’s be honest – would you dare write a bad review on a monster supply shop? – not me!

So if you have some monsters lying around who need a little inspiration or a creative outlet to create the next Harry Potter then you really should rush down to this place…I’m going to kidnap my niece and nephew (aged 9 and 11) whilst they’re sleeping and leave my twins in their beds so their parents won’t realise, that’ll get me my ticket into the Ministry of Stories. How are you going to get in?

I confess to stealing each and every single photo from the We Made This blog and I am now on a 24/7 monster watch. Aaarrrrrrgggggghhhhhhhhhh