Out the other side

April 2022 blog post

The last four weeks have been a whirlwind to say the least. First of all, we took part in a ‘UK Entrepreneur’ panel (featuring Emily Maitis) for Startup Bromley. We also hooked up with iVerbalize to present a new ‘Be Inspired, Be Empowered’ event for women – watch this space for future events.

Next up we organised a VIP event to mark the launch of the new Life In Bromley magazine, welcoming both The Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Bromley. And finally, we took part in a Business Pitch, organised by Startup Bromley (and helped by Exclusive Visions) and are delighted to announce that we came in second place and awarded £1,000 to invest in Life In…Magazines. We’ll be using the prize wisely and announcing something exciting soon!

Taking stock

As far as we’re concerned, there are many perks of our job; reading the regular comments we receive on how the magazines have entertained and engaged people; receiving the first batch of magazines off the delivery truck; meeting and celebrating local people that have made a difference; and last but not least, getting first dibs on new launches, updates and developments, much of which we aim to share with our readers.

This month we’re delighted to let you know that The George Pub in Hayes is undergoing a full refurbishment and we’re super excited to see the finished result, not least because we’ve had a sneak peek at what’s to come! And to give you a glimpse, here’s the mood board that inspired the new look…

Mood board for the new-look The George in Hayes

The big reveal takes place on Saturday 16th April and promises a modern, stylish and contemporary setting. We can expect a warm and inviting atmosphere with wall panelling, illuminated display cases and luxury fabrics helping create a country pub feel with a hint of glamour.

And hand-in-hand with sophisticated yet relaxed surroundings comes a top-notch menu. If you’re planning on dining at The George, a broad range of premium grill dishes as well as a plethora of healthier and lower calorie options are available. Showcasing seasonal flavours, from Pan-Fried Wild Scallops with smoked Haddock bonbons to Buttermilk Chicken Brie & Bacon Pie, it seems there’s something to suit all tastes.

We’re excited about giving it a try – and no doubt we’ll be back on a Sunday when a traditional roast is on the menu – with all the trimmings!

Come what May

As well as the May Day Bank Holiday to look forward to (2nd May), there’s also the new April issues out now, which feature a whole range of interesting, entertaining and engaging features. Plus we’ve got some great prizes to give away this month – three amazing Chocolate prizes, a £15 App Store & iTunes voucher, not to mention a pair of tickets to Bromley Picturehouse.

And as we’re working ahead (and are about to send the May issue to press), you can also look forward to ‘Ask The Experts,’ with some great advice from people in the know. In our Life Hacks feature we reveal how you can cut costs at the cinema and control negative thoughts. Plus there are some great new products we’re showcasing on the Shopping feature – talking of shopping, we reveal why shopping local benefits you. You’ll be surprised!

As well as hay fever tips, local eco news, business networking advice and the new cyber laws you should know about, we also celebrate our new local hero in May, Fran Flin; take 5 Minutes out with Anton Du Beke who, would you believe it, used to work locally; and delve deep into Food Banks – what they’re all about and how you can help.

Make sure you don’t miss the latest issues – and if you can’t get your mitts on the hard copy, there’s always the digital issue to rely on – sign up here!

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

Winston Churchill

Coping with Corona

Coping with Corona

Well, the coronavirus came along and scuppered plans for most of us didn’t it? 

Our own plans for attending events and expanding the business got put on the back burner, but where we lost that contact with the outside world, we’ve made up for it in Zoom calls – counting at least five this month! Naturally, we’ve socially distanced ourselves and are working remotely and, dare we say it, very much enjoying this slower pace of life.

What we learned

We’ve taken the opportunity of the lockdown to broaden our learning – from baking and decorating, to decluttering and reading. And of course spending precious time with family – and that’s the silver lining of the lockdown right there.

It’s such an unusual situation that there’s no one right answer to how people deal with lockdown. For some, it’s a time of reflection and rest, and for others it’s a matter of keeping occupied and busy; if you’re managing to merge the two, then that’s great too.

Everyone deals with this differently – and we’ve got to remember that this isn’t forever. Think of the celebrations and get-togethers we’ll have with our family and friends afterwards!

A huge welcome

A huge thanks to Horton Builders and Cheryl Huggins who came on board as advertisers for this month’s issue. Horton Builders are based in Petts Wood and it’s business as usual for them, while Cheryl Huggins will be back up and running once lockdown is over.

As reported in last month’s blog post, we went to press for April’s edition in March (before lockdown), so we had a task on our hands in getting the April magazine distributed before lockdown occurred.

For May we’ve decided to launch an online magazine and the money that we save on printing will be ploughed into online sponsorship and promotion, particularly across social media. We’re hoping to reach as many people’s feeds as possible for May – and most likely the June issue also.

Out and about

It’s usual for us to cover where we’ve been ‘out and about’ throughout the month, but this month of course has been very different. Not counting the weekly shop and the three times weekly walks, we’ve managed to travel to the end of the garden and to the fridge quite a few times.

When we’re back to normal, there are a few things that need addressing; we had plans to launch in a second area and this has now been put on the back burner so to speak. We’ll have to rethink a second launch, rethink our digital readership as well as a few other things going forward.

The coronavirus has certainly made us all sit up and address areas of our businesses that we didn’t give a second thought before. And perhaps this is a good thing; having no choice but to address what we’ve put off doing in a long time. And while we’ve got time to work on these issues, it makes the whole process much more pleasant.

In terms of family and the wider community spirit – it’s been wonderful hasn’t it? So many people coming together to help one another. Let’s just hope that we don’t lose some of that kindness and calmness once lockdown is over.

Until next month – stay safe!

April: A busy calendar of events

April Blog

We’ve been going like the clappers this month and broke our record for attending events and networking with five in total. Well, okay…it was four events as we made a bit of a boo-boo on the first one.

We thought that there was a police meeting at Sainsbury’s Locksbottom on 3rd April and went down there to find out about the latest news, only to be met with blank faces. We realised that there was in fact, no meeting at all and we were both a bit flummoxed as to how we got hold of the information.

To this day, we still don’t know, but we have since discovered that Farnborough and Crofton police do occasionally hold meetings there. We’ve just got to get the right date next time!

Help for businesses

We also attended a speed networking business event held at The Glades in Bromley. It was interesting meeting different businesses, finding out what they do and also putting faces to names. Something that we do ourselves (which not a lot of people know) is that we promote businesses who work with the community.

This could be teaming up and raising money for a local charity, hosting a free community event for residents or even launching a new eco-friendly product or service. Our aim at Life In Orpington is to report on positive community topics that have a positive effect on the community as a whole. So if you know someone – anyone from a small sole trader up to a large national branch – who is helping the community in some way – please do email us to let us know.

One of our first supporters (in fact, they were the very first business that we met to talk to about our new magazine!), the Orpington Café and Record Store in Orpington High Street invited us to their launch party to celebrate its new evening opening hours and a new supper menu. They are now open from Tuesday to Saturday from 5pm-9pm, with Happy Hour (or rather, happy hours!) from Tuesday to Thursday from 5pm-7pm.

April Blog

Scott and his team put on a great selection of canapés and there was plenty of mingling and free-flowing drinks – it was a great night. It’s wonderful to see the Orpington go from strength to strength in delivering great customer service coupled with tantalizing dishes. Plus we love the décor – if you haven’t visited, you really need to try out the food – the poached eggs and avocado on toast is one of our faves, plus the gluten-free white chocolate and ginger cheesecake.

Meeting Jo Johnson MP (again)

Next in line was The DenCare Clinic in Locksbottom who held an opening event, attended by Jo Johnson MP who officially cut the ribbon. Whilst we were chatting with Jo, we cheekily suggested that he should have a go in the dentist seat – and he did – even managing to answer questions about local business issues.

We’ve met Jo before at the monthly FSB meeting in Orpington and he came across as down to earth, answering all questions put to him.

We felt a little sorry for him as he didn’t have time to enjoy the wonderful selection of sandwiches and cakes put out at The DenCare Clinic as he had to dash off somewhere for another opening.

But we stayed for a while after Jo had left and met some of The DenCare Clinic’s lovely customers who were all very complimentary about the service they received while under Dr Chandni’s care. And did you know that they also have a vaccination clinic? Great for getting the inoculations in if you’re travelling abroad and need them.

April Blog

Last but not least we attended the Cray Valley Business Hub Meeting held at the Nugent. It was really interesting to see some of the issues raised by local businesses – and no doubt some of these issues, such as queuing to get out of the parking area in peak shopping times, are shared by the public.

It’s great to see the Nugent take positive steps in combating issues like this, alongside issues such as communication and policing. We’re looking forward to attending the next one!

A challenging month

Aside from the numerous events, it proved challenging juggling the distribution this month as one of us was ill. But friends and family rallied together to help us out and we have managed to get all copies of our May issue out before the end of April which is amazing.

We’re now working on our June issue. It seems so strange working on an issue that is two months away and we always have to be mindful of what it should include. We’ve remembered it’s Father’s Day in June so we’re planning on focusing more on men for this issue, with some great prizes to give away.

Meanwhile, the May issue introduces the new feature of Technology and as usual is packed with things to do and see, community events and news plus a whole range of lifestyle articles for you to dip in and dip out of – and keep on your coffee table. If you’re wondering who the handsome guy is on the front – it’s the head chef at Thara Thai restaurant in Locksbottom.

We popped in this month to try out the food and we weren’t disappointed – it was delicious. In fact, we were speaking with one of DenCare’s clients and they said they couldn’t even get a table there one night it was so popular – and that speaks volumes.

We’re back next month reporting on what we’ve been up to. Please feel free to contact us if you want to nominate a local hero, offer feedback on the magazine or just have a chat with us about anything local or community-focused.