A great start to BlogTourCGN

Cologne Cathedral & Bridge in Cologne Germany
Image courtesy of imm Cologne

So as you all know from my previous post I have been out of the country for the past week taking part in BlogTourCGN along with 12 other design bloggers from the UK and the USA. In this post, I want to give you a brief overview of how we got on at the start of the trip and the adventurers we all had in Cologne. I feel so lucky to have been on this trip and to have met such a fantastic group of people. I really do think I have made some life long friends on this trip as well as having discovered some really great blogs along the way.

ICE connecting Cologne City and airport Cologne/Bonn
Image courtesy of imm Cologne

So the trip started for me last Saturday as I set off for London to meet Katie Treggiden of Confessions of a Design Geek. We stayed overnight in a hotel at Gatwick as we had an early flight then we flew straight to Koln/Bonn airport and got the train to the city centre. It was just a short walk to our hotel where we bumped into Veronika and Tim of Modenus and met some of the other bloggers who were on the trip and had already checked in. We had a couple of hours free to freshen up before we all met up in the hotel for a meet and greet and to go over our itinerary for the rest of the week.

German Sport & Olympia Museum Cologne

Once we’d all been introduced and had a clear idea of what to expect it was time to eat, so we all headed out for a short walk to the German Museum of Olympic and Sport where BlogTourCGN sponsor Blanco was hosting a dinner event. When we arrived at the Museum we were welcomed with drinks, canapes and a tour of the Museum, which was far more interactive than I had expected. Luckily though Alexandra Williams of Fun and Fit blog was on hand to volunteer to try out all the participatory activities such as the beam, weight lifting, cycling and whatever else the guide threw at us. When we finally sat down to dinner it was a great opportunity to get to know a bit more about our fellow BlogTourCGN bloggers.

Bloggers' Brunch with Blanco

We were up early the next morning as we were invited to breakfast at the Radisson Blu, again hosted by our generous sponsor Blanco, who gave us a brief presentation about some of their new innovations and gave us a preview of what we could expect to see at the show (more about this later!) Once we were fed and watered it was a hop, skip and jump across the road to the Koelnmesse exhibition centre for the first day at imm Cologne and Living Kitchen.

Koelnmesse Entrance East, Cologne Germany
Image courtesy of imm Cologne

We spent the morning getting to know more about our kind sponsors and their new product launches. First up it was Blanco and we got to see the products from the presentation in the flesh. The stand was very impressive and it was here that I saw one of my favourite products from the entire show (more about that later too).

Blanco's stand at imm Cologne 2013

Then it was off to a press conference at the Miele stand to hear all about the new Generation 6000 range of appliances (you’ll have to wait to find out about this too!) Dr Miele even gave a short presentation about the new range.

Miele Press conference at imm cologne 2013

Then we trekked through the exhibition halls over to the Axor stand to see the new Axor Starck Organic range that I first discovered in Berlin last September, remember? Philippe Grohe was on hand to run us through the new range and answer all our questions and the range was very well received by all the bloggers.

Philippe Grohe introducing Axor Starck Organic at imm Cologne 2013

After a short break for lunch a number of us attended the We Are Social Bloggers’ Summit hosted by Holly Becker of decor8 who was accompanied by an absolutely amazing panel of influential design, architecture, interiors and lifestyle bloggers. Can you guess what I’m going to say now??? Exactly, more about this later!

BlogTourCGN meal at the Brauhaus Fruh am Dom in Cologne

The first day in Cologne was nearly over but we had one last treat on the cards courtesy of yet another BlogTourCGN sponsor. The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) took us for a traditional German style meal at the Brauhaus Fruh am Dom. During dinner we learnt all about some of the exciting initiatives that the NKBA has planned for the future. It was a great evening and a lovely end to our first full BlogTour day in Cologne. In the next post I’ll fill you in on all the lovely things I saw at imm cologne and the trends I spotted. So stay tuned for more on BlogTourCGN.

[All images in this post were taken by Stacey Sheppard unless otherwise stated]

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