On Sunday night I got the chance to take my two best friends away from the craziness of our tech-driven careers and to surprise them with an evening of complete bliss.
I insisted on a technology free zone which ensured zero unnecessary interceptions were made to our conversation from the outside world. This created a truly beautiful environment in which we could catch up, reflect, giggle and dine together.
It sounds crazy but seriously think about it, when was the last time you put your phone down for 7 hours whilst with friends and didn’t touch it once? Like not even one feed scroll.
We live in a society where it’s worryingly normal to not go two minutes without sensing, seeing or searching for a notification from an electronic device and we don’t realise the direct and very powerful effect it’s having on the relationships around us. More so the attention we are giving to the relationships around us.
So Sunday was all about remembering how good it feels to be present with the people you love the most. Reminding yourself to give the people around you your time, for time is the most precious gift of all.
We hopped in a taxi to East London at which point the girls still had no idea where we were off to and what the night would entail.
We pulled up to the ibis Canning Town at around 3pm, we checked in and headed up to floor 3 where I had booked two hotel rooms with interconnecting doorways (obviously). Prior to our little getaway I had noted all of the girls favourite things, foods, drinks and pastimes and ibis had the rooms to be filled with them for our arrival.
Within 5 minutes of entering the room and putting our bags down we had all hopped into our matching pyjamas and fluffy socks with facemasks at the ready. Girl sleepover style-y.
We began the afternoon with manis and pedis from a mobile beautician who had been booked for us to enjoy. Whilst Lyds was getting her nails done, Lilly and I tucked into the hummus platter and dived into the bed of pillows beside her nattering away and catching up of life, love and everything in between. All the juicy details that the 5 minute voice note exchanges don’t cover between midweek meetings.
We rotated around until our nails were finished and there were no carrots left to be dipped.
The next few hours were filled withmaking our own pizzas, dancing, playing music and making our favourite cocktails with one of the ibis bartenders.
We did the latter on the ground floor of the ibis Canning Town where there’s a gorgeous minimalistic scandi style bar and restaurant. Perfect to pop by for a coffee alone.
By 8pm our tummies and our hearts were full and we snuggled up to watch The Bachelorette with our favourite treats back in our room.
Our girly sleepover and this whole concept was created in partnership with AccorHotels for their #FromTheHeart campaign which is all about ‘off-script’ and creating personal, heart-felt moments that will make a difference to guests.
It’s mad that it takes a campaign to make something like this happen, but after the joy and connection we felt together that evening, this campaign was simply the catalyst for many more special evenings to come.
I cannot tell how how refreshing Sunday night was and honestly how alien it felt, to put our phones away and to entirely indulge in eachothers company for the afternoon and evening. Like fully indulge.
The weirdest and most pleasant part for me was how slowly time seemed to go. I looked at my watch a couple of times throughout the evening and was so wonderfully surprised each time by how much of the night we still had left together. I felt spoilt by the amount of time I was having with my best friends and we fit in so many activities.
It dawned on me the amount of time we spend and waste on social media scrolling, checking emails and notifications, sending unnecessary messages and not being ‘present’. It dawned on me how wrongly we are dividing up our energy and time, and how obvious the link is between loneliness, isolation and technology. We seriously need to be careful.
Our stay at ibis Canning Town made me want to be more efficient with the use of my phone and made me want to put it not only down, but away more. The content feeling I snuggled up in the sheets with, after feeling so loved and understood by my best friends for a whole evening, was more powerful than any milestone of likes or comments on the internet. More wholesome than any amount of DM’s, followers or cleared inboxes.
This night reinstated for me what life comes down to and what we can’t be without. Human connection and actions #FromTheHeart.
I challenge you to put an evening aside with your friends, book a hotel room somewhere new, somewhere random or somewhere that you can all just spend some quality time together. Go for drinks, go to a concert or take a back seat like we did and catch up.
Whatever you like to do, make sure you do it.
Browse the AccorHotels collection here and see more of the campaign highlights on Instagram with #FromTheHeart.
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