You know those articles that go round and round the internet, ’10 ways’ this, ’25 times’ that? The type of articles that we read on Buzzfeed, and then three weeks later pop up in our Facebook feeds via a ‘share’ from our parents? ;) Well, in my imaginary article, entitled ’15 ways in which you know your addiction to Netflix might be getting out of hand’, let me add the following as number 1 on the list- when you mention said streaming service so many times on your blog without even realising you’re doing it, Netflix themselves clock that you’re kind of a huge fan! ;) Because that, my friends, is precisely how I found myself in London on the ‘Netflix Catchup Tour’ early last week!
Netflix invited me and a few other bloggers and journalists up to London last week for a couple night’s stay at the sublime Brown’s hotel, to celebrate the release of Season Two of Mr Selfridge! The trip was a total whirlwind and full of so many exciting moments it’s hard to know where to start explaining it all!
I always find that getting the chance to learn more about companies I admire is my always very favourite thing about these wonderful press trip experiences. As a consumer, I suppose I tend not to think very often about the amount of man power and planning and technology that goes into making a service like Netflix available. I take it for granted, and forget that there was a time before we had quite *so* much content available to us at all times- seemingly endless choice, whole series at our fingertips, and intuitive suggestions of what we might like to watch or listen to or catch up on next. The freedom and control we have over our entertainment is pretty incredible, when you come to think about it! Remember when we used to have to consult the TV Times pages in the newspaper for scheduling? And when there only used to be four channels, and then, *GASP!* Channel Five arrived! I vividly remember watching my Mum tune in Channel Five on our telly when it first became available- the excitement was real, I tell you! ;)
The main focus of the trip was the fabulous Mr Selfridge series, and how Selfridge brought about radical changes in the way we shop that are still in play today. The weekend before the trip I thought it might be fun to sit down and watch a couple of episodes, so that I was up to date on the series. But one episode turned into two, and then three, and then by the time I got to London on Monday evening and settled into an armchair in Brown’s Kipling Room for our ‘silent screening’, I was on episode nine of ten! In fact, when the screening was finished and we were invited through to dinner, I’d just got started on the final episode of Season 1 and was, for probably the first time in my life, reluctant to go and eat! ;)
^^ Multi-tasking at the silent screening! Netflixing, and pre-Instagram editing. You know how it goes ;) ^^
On Tuesday morning, after a night’s sleep in the world’s most heavenly bed and then breakfast in the hotel, we were met outside Brown’s at 9am sharp by a row of vintage cars. They were some of the most beautiful cars I’ve ever seen (the old Rolls Royce ones especially!) and totally made me rethink my ‘I really don’t want a vintage car as wedding transport’ stance! Milly and I hopped into the back of the Rolls Royce (after snapping a few photos, of course), and were whisked away over to Covent Garden to begin our tour of ‘Mr Selfridge’s London’!
^^ The contrast between centuries old architecture and brand new buildings and shops and innovations is one of my favourite things about London, and so looking up at the huge billboards in Piccadilly Circus from the back of a vintage car was kind of a dream! ^^
The tour took us to some of the filming locations used in the Mr Selfridge series, and Lisa, our tour guide and an expert on Regency London, was on hand to tie in the fictionalised Mr Selfridge with his real life counterpart! We visited Lady Loxley’s household, the Theatre Royal on Drury Lane (where Mr Selfridge began his affair with gaity girl Ellen Love- the scandal!), and fans of the series will recognise the building above as the Selfridge home. Sadly it was an exterior filming location only- in a dreamworld, we would’ve been able to go wandering inside and perhaps get chance to snoop round Mrs Rose Selfridge’s wardrobe!
The tour rounded off at the famous Selfridges store itself, where we were whisked inside out of the chill for a few happy hours spent enjoying afternoon tea and a little shopping too. So you see, it was sort of the best! More photos to come tomorrow, because you didn’t think I’d mention an afternoon tea and *not* share photos, did you?
Fans of Mr Selfridge- are you as excited as I am for the release of Series 3? I’m kind of tempted to wait for it to be released on Netflix, so that I can set aside a weekend for watching the whole series in back-to-back episodes!
** Photos of me taken by Doug Peters.