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London Town for the 2015 Mad Blog Awards

This weekend it was the 2015 MAD Blog Awards. It was a chance to get dolled up and party with some of my blogging besties and it was the most amazing 24 hours.  The most amazing 24 hours because I only went and won Best Family Travel Blog.  I couldn’t believe it and still can’t.  I bumbled my way through my short (very short) acceptance speech but what I really should have said is “Thank you, thank you so much to each and every one of you that took the time to vote for this blog, you have made this blogger very very happy indeed.”

I love writing it. I spend more time than I should commenting on social media and updating the world about our family adventures, but it has given me so much enjoyment and I love the special moments it is giving to my three Mini Travellers who are the inspiration for everything I do.

So what did we get up to in those 24 hours.

I ran for a train at just after 9 and met the truly wonderful Julia from Rainbeaubelle on the train from the Wirral into Liverpool.  We had decided to make a day of it in London and make the most of some kid free time to chat, eat and drink – basically the short summary of the weekend.


Apart from checking Twitter and Instagram throughout the journey to see what other bloggers were up to following the #madblogawards photos and updates, we literally did not pause for breath.  I have known Julia for not quite a year but feel like I’ve known her forever and love spending time with her.

We made our way over to Earls Court when we got into London as the very kind people at CityBase Apartments were hosting us at the Collingham Apartments in Kensington for the night.  We had every intention of spending the afternoon relaxing in the apartment, reading magazines, maybe even having a bath, just doing all those things you never get chance to do at home, but inevitably we decided to stop for lunch first, and a bottle of prosecco was ordered!

Caro from The Twinkle Diaries joined us in Zizi’s and once again we simply didn’t pause for breath. I love the new friends that blogging has brought into my life. Caro is another twin mum and was a finalist in the Best Home/Interiors Category. Caro is a fantastic designer, so why not pop over and have a look at the beautiful personalised book covers and papercuts she makes.



Sarah’s train got in slightly later, and after a quick wine (obviously) we made our way over to the apartment which was around a 5 minute walk from both Earl’s Court and Gloucester Road tube.


The apartment was in a beautiful part of Kensington in an old big house.  The reception staff greeted us warmly and it was nice to see a bottle of wine and chocolates on the table (not just for us we saw loads waiting on the stairs for the other guests).  The beauty of having an apartment for four friends to stay in, is the large lounge and fridge for the wine! We flopped on the couch for more gossiping and enjoyed the time to chat. I would definitely book an apartment like this when we come back to London with the kids, as having a separate room to eat and relax in when the kids have gone to bed makes for a much more relaxing stay than a hotel.

We suddenly realised that we needed to get ready as we had hair and make up booked at 4.30pm at the Royal Garden Hotel, the location for the awards!  Thankfully the two bedroom apartment had two bathrooms as well, so we managed to get ready quickly (ish).

We took a short cab ride over to the Royal Garden Hotel and made our way to the basement to join a roomful of excited women all having their hair and make up done!

It was such a treat to not only have my hair done but have my make up done too. I don’t usually wear a lot of make up at all, but was persuaded to have a red lip by the lovely lady from The Powderpuff Girls and I loved it.





Over the next hour, more and more bloggers arrived in the make up room and I had chance to meet the lovely Emma, Katy, Ting, Cathy, Elfa and many many more.  I always find at these events that you just don’t get time to chat to as many people as you’d like to, but it isn’t for the want of trying!

The event (read booze) kicked off at 6.30pm and the fizz flowed.  There was a photo booth, a chance to have photos taken with various friends and a real opportunity to let our hair down.  I caught up with Bon, Heledd and Jenny again (wonderful ladies) and met Katie for the first time (she was my dinner buddy) and she is just as fabulous in real life as she seems in her blog.

I also spent lots of time chatting to my fellow travel bloggers. It’s always lovely to see Nisbah from Five Adventurers and this time I got to meet Victoria from Globetotting and Nicola from GlobalMouse too.


Then came the awards, you can find out who won all the awards here, but I just couldn’t believe it when I heard my name being called out. Tottering to the stage in my too high heels from the table right at the back of the room, I mumbled some thanks.  It was such an incredible feeling, as was returning on Sunday to this from my eldest and flowers from hubby!  An incredible 24 hours! Thanks Tots and everyone who made the weekend what it was.

#madblogawards #smiles #love #daughter

A video posted by Mini Travellers (@mini_travellers) on

The Twinkle Diaries

Mini Travellers

Mini Travellers

Karen Beddow founded Mini Travellers in 2014 while doing what she loves most...going on holiday!

Mini Travellers is for parents looking for holiday ideas, destination reviews, days out and things to do with the kids. We also have family travel tips, activity ideas and all other things family holiday related. Take a look at some of our latest reviews for holidays and day trips in the UK.


  1. September 21, 2015 at 8:53 pm — Reply

    Congratulations again! Lovely to finally meet you and sorry we didn’t have as much time at dinner to chat.
    Cathy ( MummyTravels ) recently posted…Florida in photos – visiting the Gulf CoastMy Profile

  2. September 21, 2015 at 9:22 pm — Reply

    Ah I love this post Karen, such a lovely bloggin community we have. Huge congratulations again, I was so excited when I saw you had won…I was telling my husband, ‘you know Karen, with the three girls like our three boys!’ 🙂 Sounds as if you had a lot of fun and where you stayed looks amazing, I’m glad you all had such a great time xx
    Hayley @hayleyfromhome recently posted…Living Arrows {38/52}My Profile

  3. September 21, 2015 at 9:26 pm — Reply

    Well done lovely lady. You totally deserved to win and I am so pleased for you. Wish all the AAOB could have been there x

  4. September 21, 2015 at 9:43 pm — Reply

    It was a fab weekend and great to spend time with you all, and congratulations on your award it is very well deserved x
    Sarah Christie recently posted…My Sunday Photo, Paris, EpcotMy Profile

  5. September 21, 2015 at 9:44 pm — Reply

    Congratulations! It looks like the event was so much fun! I used to live right around the corner from Collingham Gardens and do miss the area. The apartment looks lovely and a great place to stay in as a group or family.
    Cindy recently posted…10 Tips: Waikiki with a ToddlerMy Profile

  6. September 21, 2015 at 10:08 pm — Reply

    Massive congratulations, Karen! So thoroughly deserved xxx
    Rachel @ The Ordinary Lovely recently posted…Autumn in the homeMy Profile

  7. barjerow
    September 21, 2015 at 10:27 pm — Reply

    Congratulations again,very proud of you. XX

  8. September 21, 2015 at 11:06 pm — Reply

    I am so, so pleased that you won an award Karen, you really do deserve it for all your hard work and it is just so exciting! Loved spending the weekend with you and the other lovely ladies, what a luxury to have a night away all together like that, it was brill! xx
    Julia @ Rainbeaubelle recently posted…The Mad Blog Awards, drinks and dedicationsMy Profile

  9. September 22, 2015 at 12:26 am — Reply

    Huge Congratulations again Lovely Lady! You all looked so glam and so glad you had such a great time. You have come so far and you absolutely deserved that award. I’m looking forward to seeing what big things are in store for The Mini Travellers 🙂 xoxo
    Maria Noell recently posted…Lulworth Cove, Family Camping Trip Pt.3My Profile

  10. September 22, 2015 at 9:54 am — Reply

    Sounds like a perfect weekend! And super congratulations for winning! It is totally deserved!!! xx #twinklytuesday
    Clare recently posted…My top 5 apps for pre schoolersMy Profile

  11. September 22, 2015 at 12:29 pm — Reply

    A wonderful night as ever, you look stunning and isn’t it a treat to be made up like that? Huge congrats on your win, the cherry on the cake! #Twinklytuesday
    Coombe Mill – Fiona Cambouropoulos recently posted…How to make A toilet Roll PigMy Profile

  12. September 22, 2015 at 6:03 pm — Reply

    CONGRATS!!!! So fun to see you in the photo booth!!!! You looked gorgeous xxxx
    brummymummyof2 recently posted…Time Stops For No MumMy Profile

  13. September 22, 2015 at 10:01 pm — Reply

    Karen I cant tell you how excited I was when I found out you had won. Such a worthy winner as you work so hard on your blog. Looks like you all had an amazing night and wow I love the apartment x
    Tracey Williams recently posted…From tween to teenMy Profile

  14. September 23, 2015 at 12:09 pm — Reply

    Oh congrats again lovely Karen. Couldn’t have gone to a more deserving winner. So happy to have finally met you! Look forward to our next shin dig xxx
    Ting at My Travel Monkey recently posted…Reviewed: Airbnb Apartment in Malasaña, MadridMy Profile

  15. September 23, 2015 at 5:33 pm — Reply

    Aah what an absolutely BRILLIANT experience — only made more brilliant by the fact I was with some of my blogging besties. The icing on the cake was that one of us won an award. SO proud of you — very well deserved. I am THRILLED that you won.

    Delighted to have you and the girls as my ‘colleagues’. We really are so very lucky. And thanks SO much for mentioning my little shop 🙂 xxxx
    Caro | The Twinkles Mama recently posted…Home Etc #19 — Home and Garden Inspired Blog HopMy Profile

  16. September 23, 2015 at 8:12 pm — Reply

    Many, many congratulations Karen! It was such a pleasure to meet you and I hope there will be more opportunities to meet up again in the future. What a fun evening it was, keep the champagne flowing! xx
    Victoria from recently posted…10 Things to do with Kids in the Bavarian Forest, GermanyMy Profile

  17. September 25, 2015 at 8:02 pm — Reply

    The whole weekend looks amazing! Super well done 😀

  18. September 25, 2015 at 9:27 pm — Reply

    It looks like an amazing weekend with some lovely ladies! Very well done and well deserved. I think you should make that red lipstick a thing – it looks great on you!
    Erin – Yorkshire Tots recently posted… review & £25 voucher giveawayMy Profile

  19. September 26, 2015 at 7:22 am — Reply

    Congratulations again Karen! So well deserved!! What an amazing 24 hours with a lovely bunch of ladies.
    Claire at Tin Box Traveller recently posted…Baking with foraged blackberriesMy Profile

  20. September 27, 2015 at 8:23 am — Reply

    It was so lovely to spend time with you Karen and congratulations on your win- very well deserved! It was a great evening. x

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