Saturday, 28 July 2018

Life's a beach - Seaside In The Square Launch Event

Love being in the city, but long for the seaside? No problemo! This summer Southampton's got it covered! So grab ya bikini and ya pals and head on down to Seaside in the Square for some inner city, seaside fun! 

It isn't often that you can have the best of both worlds. This year, GO!Southampton has teamed up with local sponsors to create five sunny weeks (20th July to 22nd August), of seaside fun - right in the middle of our city centre.

GO! Southampton is our cities Business Improvement District. Minus the jargon, they are an initiative funded and led by local businesses. Their 5-year mission is to make exciting improvements to the city that will elevate our cities potential and make Southampton an even better place to live in, work in and visit. This incredible team, along with their sponsors (including Ikea, Orange Rooms, Decathlon, Mettricks & Sam FM) have made having your ice-cream and eating it too- a dreamy reality. 

Prior to the public opening of the beach, I was lucky enough to get invited to the blogger launch event. First up, we were given a private tour and got to roam the sands before anyone else! It was incredible to have the 480m2 space to ourselves! And the sun was definitely on our side.

(Image from the Southampton Blogger Instagram - @sotonbloggers)

Next we were ushered to the Orange rooms beach shack. The Hawaiian-themed outside bar serves both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, slushies, cocktails, mocktails and everything in between.

The shack looked incredible! Dressed with a gorgeous selection of flowers on the back wall, the spirits displayed on arrangement of rustic crates, mixed with golden pineapples, themed garlands and cute accessories.  Club tropicana- eat your heart out!

(Image provided by the official event photographer)
Each of us were lucky enough to be given a cheeky masterclass in making our own cocktails- a scrumptious mojito with a twist. Now for those who know me, the way to my heart is through a good mojito and in true Orange rooms style, this was delicious. Don't ask me why it was- get on down to the beach and treat yo'self to find out why!

Next to the Orange Rooms Beach Shack, you will find the Ikea Chill Out Area. This has three beach huts, each dressed with a different theme. You can also enjoy a fully turfed garden, with an outdoor seating area for when you need some time to chill away from the sand. 

This project is close to my heart and I will tell you why- as some of you may know, I am a Visual Merchandiser for Ikea, and this year our marketing team collaborated with Go!Southampton on this exciting venture. Three of our design team were chosen to design and decorate the three beach huts and chill out garden. After a lot of long days and iced coffee's, we could not be happier with the outcome. I am going to write my next post on the implementation process, so keep those eyes peeled!

The three beach huts each have a different theme- a 'Bohemian Chill' hut, a 'Coastal Relaxation' hut, and a 'Pastel Paradise' hut. Now let me spill the beans on these, I designed and implemented the Coastal Relaxation hut and my two talented colleagues at Ikea Southampton designed the other two. An incredible shout out to Go!Southampton! for the opportunity to be run wild on this project. I will be writing my next blog post on how we made this happen- keep those eyes peeled!

Bohemian Chill:
Long days deserve long chills, and this bohemian themed hut can most definitely accomodate. The aim of this space was to create a warm, nourishing space filled with textiles and soft lighting to make the occupier feel super cosy. It is also a space where groups of friends of family can come and relax together, have a drink, meditate, or just put the world to rights!

Coastal Relaxation:
This was the hut I designed and implemented. I wanted to create a serene, coastal hide out. I elevated a blue and white nautical colour palette with pops of mustard yellow to modernise the space. I wanted to bring a traditional seaside setting to the centre of Southampton. So kick of those flip flops, take a seat and enjoy!

Pastel Paradise:
The Pastel Paradise hut was created on an idea of beach babe, ice cream realness. This cute space brings you neapolitan, with a twist. Think ice cream, sunshine, and mix with a cosy floral aesthetic. This hut has soft sting lighting along with a floor lamp for when night turns to day. The textiles and furniture come from the same collection (Ypperlig by Ikea x HAY) which brings a touch of scandinavian modern design, to this seaside hide out.  

After the blogger event, the beach opened up to the VIP launch party which included more drinks, more music and more seaside fun. 

With more than 100 free activities, I am most looking forward to - the Aerodynamic Yoga classes, ALLL of the beach parties (gimme that mojito!) and the outdoor cinema viewings. Check out the full listing of programmes on the handy little planner below.
Click on the Calendar for a larger view
 It has been incredible being a small part of this project, and I for one cannot wait to head back to the sand to join in with some of the activities and events throughout the next five weeks! For all information on the project and events, click on the below links.

Sea you on the sand!

Orange Rooms:


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