Despite it being December, I was treated to a ‘virtual ray of Caribbean sunshine’ on the 10th as I had the privilege to attend the inaugural Caribbean Bloggers Week London Meetup!!
The meetup was the culmination of a week long, global online blogger and vlogger event that was established by Ingrid Riley, founder of SiLiCON CARIB, the Caribbean’s leading Tech media and events brand that has been chronicling and showcasing how the Caribbean does Tech since 2007.
The event was held between December 5th and 10th and profile both emerging and established Digital Influencers as they shared their experiences and expertise. The event also saw the release of the ‘Status of the Caribbean Blogosphere’ Trend Report and the launch an official Caribbean Blog and Start Up directory.
As you can imagine, such a community is right up my street! As a PROUD British Jamaican blogger, I have been blessed by the community and the relationships I have been able to build as a result of my blog and thus was super excited to connect with the Caribbean blogging and vlogging peeps! The London meet up was organised and hosted by Ursula Barzey, a London based digital marketer and founder of the successful travel blog caribbeanandco.com and we convened at the fantastic Levi’s Caribbean Smokehouse in Westfield Stratford.
The venue was perfect and not only did I get to connect with some fantastic people, who create content about travel, lifestyle, beauty, fashion and genealogies and heritage (see below fro their IG posts and tweets)…
Hanging with @levirootsmusic at #CBWLDN today. Was a pleasure to meet you and hear how you made your biz dreams a reality. #CWB2016 pic.twitter.com/qc64OHkAkL
— Sarah & Terry (@LiveShareTravel) December 10, 2016
Fantastic #caribbeanbloggersweek event by @SiliconCaribe held at @levismokehouse yesterday! Met Levi Roots & some lovely bloggers, learnt about the menu, history & vision of the brand. Very inspirational event. Thank you to @barzey for hosting! #cbwldn #cbw2016 #leviroots #leviscaribbeansmokehouse #caribbeancuisine #instafood #lblogger #caribbeanblogger #food #foodie #chicken #caribbeanfood #restaurant #rastaraunt #foodblogger #westfield #westfieldstratford #london #eastlondon
Huge thanks to both @Steve_rest_pro and@levirootsmusic for opening their doors to us this morn. #CaribbeanSmokehouse #cbw2016 #cbwldn #blog pic.twitter.com/JXtMmi1PyD
— Lerease Sweeney (@LereaseTravels) December 10, 2016
Always a pleasure to learn and be inspired..Joy to hear from and meet #LeviRoots @levirootsmusic at his #Caribbean #Rastaurant #CaribbeanSmokehouse #Westfield #Stratford #CBWLDN #CBW2016 #caribbeanbloggers ##CaribbeanLiving #CaribbeanDiaspora #Jamaica #Vincy #ACUBIEN #Founder @gus.franklynbute #EditorInChief #bloggerslife #entrepreneurship #ACUBIENLifestyle #ACUBIENPeople.. Big Shout and Thanks to @barzey @Caribbeanandco #AndStillWeRise #foodporn #CaribbeanGastronomy #caribbeanfood #CaribbeanCuisine
Our #Caribbean bloggers event is in full swing! #CBWLDN #CB2016 #CaribbeanSmokehouse pic.twitter.com/jZP2h8rDLE
— Caribbean Smokehouse (@levismokehouse) December 10, 2016
I had such an incredible morning guys ! I spent half of my day tasting the menu of the @levismokehouse for Caribbean bloggers week UK. The man himself was present ,which added the achee time the saltfish of this unbelievable experience . He spoke to use about his journey and touch on self belief and advice from his grandmother made him the man he is today . The food and atmosphere was cool like ah good rum punch ! Put it this way !! The food was soo good! He might see me back next weekend !! Ps.if you want you see me munch and talk about how yummy the festivals and pretty much every was . Head to my snap chat . Locstyleda #CARIBBEANSMOKEHOUSE #CBW2016 #CBWLND
This man right here Uncle Levi Roots founder of#reggaereggaesauce and @levismokehouse #caribbeansmokehouse is such an inspiration and a good story of #blacksuccess and #caribbeansuccess. Was good to meet up and rate some of the great food you prepared this morning at #caribbeansmokehouse. Keep going my brother you have loads more left in you to get done and leave a lasting debt in this world. Keep flying the flag high. Hope to catchup with you again soon. #empowerment #createamazing #cbw2016 #cbwldn #businessgladiator
…and we also got to meet and hear from the main man himself, Mr Levi Roots!
Levi gave us the back story of his journey to opening his ‘rasta-urant’, both the challenges and the triumphs and what it takes to establish a valuable brand and how to scale a profitable business up! They were timely words for the end of the year and extremely motivating and encouraging!
We then had the opportunity to taste some of the food! Now, I have to confess, I had visited the venue for the first time earlier in the year and just had rice and peas and jerk chicken – I wasn’t adventurous at all and didn’t fully appreciate the range of food that is actually available! If you visit then you MUST try the array of options on the menu!
The venue also celebrated its first anniversary at the beginning of the month and Levi and the management team get an extra ‘big up‘ for paying their staff the London Living Wage, so you can be sure that the team are being treated as fantastically as the food tastes.
— beautypulselondon (@beautypulse_ldn) December 10, 2016
The Head of Operations Steven Phillips showcased the extensive offering. We got to try the ackee and saltfish, Bajan fish cakes, Martinique coconut chicken curry, patty with traditional coco bread and Levi’s famous jerk chicken based with Reggae Reggae Sauce. There was also Trinidadian ‘doubles’, chicken wings, roti and curry goat and Levi’s famous smokehouse barbecued beef, all served with portions of rice and peas, sweet potato fries and Festival…let me tell you, I was in heaven!!!!
Starters #CaribbeanSmokeHouse #CBW2016 #CBWLDN #LOVE pic.twitter.com/jq7D99QULD
— Raine (@creativityraine) December 10, 2016
Mains #CBW2016 #CaribbeanSmokehouse #CBWLDN pic.twitter.com/CnkTAMcwPd
— Raine (@creativityraine) December 10, 2016
If ‘yuh belly nuh full’ after you have had sampled some of the starters and mains, do check out the desserts, which include a Calypso rum cake, pineapple and chilli upside down cake and Levi’s ginger and pecan brownie which is served up with chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream (yum!!). You can then wash everything down with a cocktail or some rum punch!
It was a really wonderful morning, breaking bread with my fellow content creators (the cameras were out in full force)…
…and I am looking forward to meeting up again in 2017!