Sunday, 29 November 2015

RECLAIM YOUR LUNCH BREAK WITH STYLIST MAGAZINE




After the huge success of Stylist's first-ever Reclaim Your Lunch Break Day in the height of summer, they returned this week with a plethora of events taking place on November 27th. This time round, there were more than 30 free events taking place nationwide - and everyone was invited.

I was invited down to this particular event by Twenty-Nine London who are a young global strategic communications consultancy dedicated to delivering a fully integrated 360 communications strategy.  They work with amazing people in the creative industries to tell stories for luxury and lifestyle brands, from the world of fashion, art, music, sport and beyond.


I love the concept, but right now the whole lunch thing in general is a bit of a sore point for me. I've managed to skip three of my weekday lunches this week due to being overworked or covering things that are taking place over lunchtime. It's not like a have a boss who is chaining me to the desk and making me starve, but as a freelancer with no real colleagues or people to help with the workload, I have no one to help me when I start to be swallowed up backlog and deadlines. I also don't have that concerned office mate on a desk next to me nagging and making sure that I've eaten. 

I think what this campaign is trying to do is remind us to take that lunch break - and not just a quick dart out of the office, the full hour we have well and truly earned. I remember when I was in an office situation it was all too easy to just nibble at your desk, do a swift bit of internet shopping, but not take time to leave the building and escape the stresses of the work environment. Even if you need to save money via a packed lunch I'm pretty sure it's sensible for your mental well-being to change your location when it comes to your break-time. The monotony of your working day can really get to you at times, so a simple change of setting to break up the day can do the world of good. 

 They put on an enticing spread for the guests, with canapes and french fancies. I only eat the pink ones, does anyone know if they actually taste different or is it a mind trick?



It's so hard for young adults to earn enough to create a life we have been brought up to believe is one an adult should be living. I feel like we are putting so much pressure on ourselves to try and get into a position where we are at least in pursuit of owning a property, that we are working ourselves into the ground. Our social time is being eaten in to because we now feel it necessary to work second jobs, create side projects or put in extra hours in hope of a bonus or promotion. Maybe the idea of using our lunch breaks to do something that we would have previously done after work is a way we can restore the balance somewhat. In theory I love the idea that I could add a new fun or life improving element into my daily routine, whether it be an art class, motivational talk, pilates, learning to crochet or playing dodgeball. Head to Stylist to see some of the amazing options they came up with.


The only quibble I have is that in using our lunch break for these mood inducing activities we are left with no time to actually eat our lunch. Some people work in places where the allocated lunch time is very rigid, so an hour fitness class will mean they won't have time to get any nosh. Next time they run this campaign ( I really hope they do it again) I'd love to see more and more options that combine eating food with another enjoyable feature. Perhaps destinations where they are serving us proper lunch food while we take in a performance, screening or talk. Perhaps some more opportunities to create food that we go on to eat for our lunch, maybe a half hour fitness class followed by a lunch curated to be healthy and in-keeping with the routine we have just completed.




So, back to the event I attended....
It took place in McQueens, London's premier florist, just a few minutes walk from Bethnal Green station. It's not the most glamorous of locations, but as soon as you step inside their HQ you are transported somewhere else. An amazing space where stunning nature meets an industrial design aesthetic, and a beautiful setting for an acoustic performance.


Set against a backdrop of stunning traditional and exotic flowers Molly Smitten-Downes and her incredibly tight band put on a stunning live performance. As well as performing some of her own incredibly catchy material we were treated to some fantastic covers of Daniel Bedingfield's 'Gotta Get Through This' and The Weeknd's 'Can't feel my face', which were impossible not to groove to. The fact that we had been enjoying 10% alcohol Two Bird cocktails
meant that we were feeling a bit less composed, and far more inclined to boogie. 


If you think you  recognise Molly, then you may well have heard her glorious vocals at Glastonbury or witnessed her get well and truly robbed in the Eurovision song contest. I can't say enough about this lady's talent, her voice was astonishly strong and beautiful, with the welcome bit of sexy huskiness coming in at choice moments. We felt very priveleged to experience her music in this compact and unique environment. Bands, session musicians, and back-up singers often do their thing with little acknowledgment, so I want to make a point of saying how flawless their contribution was too.












I had a little peak into the workshop area of McQueens and could see some stunningly beautiful floral creations being put together. It's no wonder it's the go to florist  for fashion shows, parties and weddings. I found myself vocalising what I would request for my imaginery wedding, much to horror of my boyfriend.



Rather than the usual goodie bag filled with some trendy water and unusually flavoured popcorn, we came away with this lovely orange rose courtesy of McQueen Flowers. Sure to brighten the desks of those who have well and truly reclaimed their lunch break with this charming musical interlude.  

Thanks for having us!! 

@mollysd 

www.stylist.co.uk

www.twentynine.london


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