Opinion Blog: Hotel vs. Blogger

Another week, another blogger-based drama.

Like any other blogger drama, this one started on social media.

What seemed to be an outrageous move by a hotel chain, led to not only the 'victimised' blogger herself filming a whopping 20-minute video in response to the 'upset', but also resulted in bloggers everywhere grabbing the online pitchforks.

But before I begin, I'll just point out that whilst I initially didn't agree with the way the hotel handled the email, it didn't take long to understand why they handled it the way they did.

I mean, there's the media coverage of their 'brutally honest' terms and conditions which first sets the scene for what tone you need to go for when approaching the place.... Not to mention the on-going 'bantz' on their facebook page - even giving potential guests some tips when taking ladies of the night to the hotel.

Browse their Facebook page for yourself here.

So, there we have it. Very quickly we have established the narrative of the brand and also discovered that they're a rather witty bunch, who don't take themselves too seriously.

Let's dig deeper.... The email itself:



A rather short and abrupt email asking from the start for a free trip in return for featuring the hotel. 

We won't go in to the ethics of indicating that no matter what the experience, she will still encourage people to book their accommodation....



Now... Let's see what we could have done better from the influencers point of view:


'Hi there,' - I feel like this is one of the worst ways to ever start an email. Whether it's to a brand, customer service emails or even your pet pig. It's just a bit too generic and shows little effort.

If you're a blogger, you'll know the online contempt around brands contacting you and not addressing you correctly, or by name.

When contacting a... y'know, person, behind the computer screen try something like:

''Good afternoon! 

Apologies for the impersonal opening of this email, but I couldn't find a direct contact for my enquiry. I do hope it's okay to contact you for my request. If not, please do let me know the best point of contact.'' 

Or something to that effect.

We quickly go through a vague introduction to a snapshot of moderately impressive stats. Then straight into the request....

Even at a glance, the offer of social media coverage in return for a free stay is devalued by the forward slashes. It makes it sound vague and non-specific. Like, are you offering all of these or the option of these?

Try bullet pointing your offering.

''In return for a complimentary visit to your amazing hotel, I would like to offer the following services:

  • Social media coverage: This includes instagram stories (to my XXX amount of followers), live tweets from my trip and also coverage post-stay.
  • A YouTube video: Usually this will be XXXX minutes long and feature XXXX and XXXX, similar to this content I produced for XXX hotel (link)
  • Follow up posts and media promoting my YouTube content for the stay.
If you had any other ideas in mind that have worked well before though, such as an Instagram takeover, then please do let me know!''

I mean, this individual was requesting a massive 5 nights stay 'for free' in the email. At least let the people know what they're getting for this cost to their business. 

You're looking at £100-£150 per night for the hotel in question.

If you're approaching a brand and have a budget, you could even suggest that you wanted to stay on set dates and let them know what you are working to. I've done this before and I've been offered 2 nights for free within my budget alongside a complimentary night in return for some social media coverage. At the least give the venue a choice for your request.

By stating the dates you are definitely visiting the city, indicates that you have planned most of the trip and also makes it quite impersonal to the hotel, as the immediate thought is that this is a blanket email.

We then go on to previous collaborations.

As you can see, the blogger has 'worked' with Universal Orlando last year, which was extremely beneficial for them.

If you are making bold claims, it would be advisable to back this up with context and examples.

For example, in what way did it work for them? Did they recieve an uplift in followers, sales, engagement, or was there a positive amount of social sentiment on the back of 'working' for them?

Maybe they even sent you an end of partnership update, with regards to uplift in actual bookings.

This is all relevant information that will attract the hotel to partner with you.

And that's the key word here: partner. 

Not 'work'.

As a blogger or influencer, most collaborations with brands are mutually beneficial and if somewhere or someone is new the situation and activity, it may be worth explaining that a little more and adding context and value to your offering.

You see, the key to being a blogger is marketing yourself.


And we all know that marketing is about emotional connections and personalisation.

We expect it when we are approached, so why would you not do the same for the brands you are getting in touch with.

It's a pitch at the end of the day, in an incredibly competitive landscape.


What could the hotel have done better?


So, whilst the approach of the hotel is not everyone's cup of tea, it's in-line with the brand ethos and tone of voice. A factor which should have been researched and taken into consideration if you really want to feature them.

Perhaps some kind of context to their response, by prompting people to previous news stories and their social media/brand image may have helped. As a lot of online users seem to be just looking at the post out of context.

It's also worth noting that they blanked out her blog, name and contact details, so the online attention has been fueled by the blogger/s.

Further to this they have now 'banned bloggers' from their establishment.

Which is clearly a sarcastic stunt (once again, in line with their brand) to fuel the fire for a reaction they wanted and are getting.  They cannot ID a blogger and I doubt they have the time or energy to research every name that is booked in....

But still, people have expressed outrage and drawn more eyes to their online presence.

Putty. In. Their. Hands.


The moral of the story?

In a nutshell, don't expect hundreds of pounds of products, payment or service from any business when it's taken you 3minutes to write an email on your phone. 

Fashion Blog: Your New Favourite Budget Fashion Website

I don't do these fashion blogs very often, do I?

After the success of my beautiful Leopard Print Boots over on Instagram recently, I couldn't help but choose some more swag from my new favouite budget fashion website LOTD

Taking to mostly the sale section, I managed to pick up the same 4 buckle ankle boots in black... And guess how much they were?

Just £10.

That's right - ten English pounds.



And they were worth every penny. The first day I wore them out I had no less than 4 people ask me where they were from.

One of which I awkwardly didn't hear what she said properly so just said 'THANKS BYE' as I walked past...

To save any more awkward replies, take a look at them online here.

I also picked up the mustard jumper from LOTD, which ended up being the perfect addition to this outfit, as it was absolutely BALTIC outside this weekend.



The Leopard Print coat was from Primark in the sale.

I don't know about you, but there's something about a leopard print coat that runs a find line between feeling super sassy and feeling a bit like a high class hooker? Maybe I just like them because each time I wear it there's a slight danger of it swaying the wrong way, who knows?

Either way, it was also a bargain at only £15.

I pretty much live in these coated black trousers, which are also from Primark. So there's nothing to report on there...

In other news, you may notice that my hair is sans-extensions in these pictures. On the 21st I'm heading to the hairdressers and having a bit of a style over-haul, so weaning myself off my beloved fake hair for now.

New year, new me, who dis and all that.



Shout out to Charl at GingerGirlSays.com who took these sassy street pictures for me. 
And a big up to LOTD for providing me with some gifted clothing and my boots for this post.

Food Blog: The Best Restaurant in Manchester?

Manchester is an absolute treat when it comes to places to eat.

From high street to high end, to chain restaurants and your little independents. No matter what your budget, or your taste, you can find something to eat within strolling distance.

One of the latest eateries to hit Manchester, which actually ticks a few of the boxes above is 1761 Restaurant.



Not only does it oooze a high end feel, but it is also independent and is pretty reasonable prices as well.

With a Manchester theme throughout, you are welcomed by the large bee on the door handles at the main entrance. As you step in to the restaurant you are led to your seat by incredibly friendly staff, and as you sit down you are instantly at ease as you peruse the Manchester themed menu.


''1761 Restaurant pays homage to Manchester’s great past. Drawing inspiration from the Industrial revolution and that warm Mancunian spirit which it so notably represents.''



On the menu you will find dishes inspired by the area. From cockles (and muscles, alive, alive oh!) to corned beef hash and Three Rivers Gin battered fish and chips, its British eating at its finest.


Everything has a slight twist, such as the Manchester Tart for dessert. Expecting a dainty pastry and classic jam and custard in, I was actually served a delectable version topped with coconut and served with a zesty ice cream.

My personal favourite from the dishes we tried we the 'frickles' - which are deep fried pickles. The texture perfect, with the crispy batter against the softer pickle center. Although saying that, all of the starters we tried could have been eaten again and again, as they were absolutely delicious.

I'd never even had a cockle before, as I assumed they'd be like eating little ears. But nah, I was wrong. The 1761 cockles, which have been marinated in some kind of salt and vinegar seasoning, were pesky to get on the fork, but satisfying once you got a mouth full of them.



For my main I chose a lamb shank, which is something I usually wouldn't have gone for. But the Polenta and Pine Nuts captured my intrigue and it's safe to say I will definitely be choosing lamb more often.

The meat melted from the bone and the lime pesto added a tasty twist on a classic.

A Manchester theme is not only prominent across the food menu, but you will also have a little lol at the names of some of the drinks, such as 'Our Kid' 'Tropical Oasis' and 'This is the Place' - all very delicious in their own right as well.


As mentioned, the prices are pretty reasonable. You will find the snacks and starters begin at around £5 and main courses will set you back on average £10-£16, with only a few stretching above that.

There's also an offer on for a free house cocktail with ever main meal purchased at the moment. The house cocktail includes the aforementioned Manchester Three Rivers Gin, so it's always good to support local businesses by grabbing a cocktail whilst having your main meal, isn't it.... *hiccup*


Beauty Blog: 2017 Top 9 Products


I keep seeing the Top 9 posts over on Instagram, but figured it would be a little better to show my Top 9 make up products of the year, rather than 9 pictures of my own face.

Throughout the year I've mixed up the products I've used. But don't all beauty bloggers anyway? With so many new and exciting products always coming out, it would be silly just to stick to the same old lipsticks, wouldn't it.... *wink*

Actually, saying that, I don't think I have discovered any new lip products that have blown me away this year anyway.

In no particular order, here are my Top 9 Beauty Products of 2017:



Primark Midnight Dusk Fragrance Spray

I still can't put my finger on what this smells like, but the rich Tonka Bean fragrance with Jasmine just ticks the boxes for me. I know it's essentially just a body spray, but it smells so good and is excellent at a quick smelly freshen up before you leave the house in the morning. It's probably my most used product of the year.

Dior Poison Girl Perfume

Speaking of Tonka Bean, I can't do any favourites list without including Dior Poison Girl perfume. Taking over from YSL Black Opium as my personal signature scent, I cannot get enough of this. Its just a shame about the price tag as this bad boy does not come cheap. It will always hold a place in my heart though.

Primark Tanning Water

I'm not sure why I've never heard of a tanning water before, but since getting this one from Primark I've not stopped buying them since. Well, specifically this one. I must be on my 3rd open bottle and have stockpiled 5 of them ready to see me through to the summer. It's so easy to use and a few spritzs when you get out of the bath ensures a hint of colour all year long.




Rimmel Concealer Kit

It was only recently that I discovered peach toned concealers are the best thing ever for disguising under eye shadows. I always thought it was a load of shit when brands pedaled that different colours of concealer could hide different things, but I was wrong. The peachy concealer in this set is great for daily use for hiding those pesky dark circles.


Bielenda Cleansing Oil

I've always been a fan of oils in my skincare regime, but this Bielenda Cleansing Oil I picked up in my Notino haul recently, is a firm favourite. Not only does it cleanse away all my make up, including mascara, but it also leaves my skin feeling hydrated due to the hylauronic acid and Argan oil in this one. Not only that, but it's SO affordable at around £5.


Maybelline Lash Sensational

I ALWAYS find myself buying different brands of mascara in the hope I will find *the one* but it turned out that *the one* all along was the Maybelline Lash Sensational. This is my 4th tube of this in a year and I use it every day. I've tried around 6 other brands this year and none have rivaled it! A tip for getting it cheaper is to keep an eye out in B&M as they often have it in for £3.99, rather than 8.99 you'd pay in Boots.

Dermacol Foundation

I've found the Dermacol Foundation to be so versatile since I've been playing with it and now I've been using it most days. You can use it alone for FULL coverage (and I mean FULL), or dab it on as a concealer. My personal favourite way to use it is by mixing a few dabs with my regular foundation and it just creates the most flawless finish. Amazing.


Primark Holographic Nail Varnish

I have so many nail varnishes that it's hard to choose a favourite. This holographic nail varnish from Primark is simply the best though. So cheap and such a pretty colour. Not only that but it can last a good 5 days chip free! I tried the other colours, but the pink one reigns supreme.


Charlotte Tilbury Eyeshadow Palette

Finally, the Charlotte Tilbury Instant Eye Palette is an unexpected favourite in my collection. At first I thought the colours were all so similar and I'd only end up using one or two from the set. However, I have found myself reaching for this almost every day! The taupe shade in the 'Day Look' trio is actually one of my favourite eye shadows ever now - which is unusual as it's not a colour I would have even tried before! The glitter shades also have a more intense shimmer than I realised they would in the pan and they are perfect for nights out. A total winner for me!


Food Blog: A Brunch with a Twist in Manchester with Zouk



When it comes to brunch, the options always seem endless, but the reality is that most places just do the same thing in a slightly different way.

Avocado this, poached eggs that.... You know what I mean.

But if you fancy brunch with a difference and just so happen to be in Manchester, then you might want to check out Zouk.



Tucked away off Oxford Road, you will find a little haven of traditional Indian, Pakistani and grill dishes, all prepared by freshly in the open kitchen.

Having visited Zouk several times before (both for a cooking experience and a general review), I knew to expect a quality dining experience. And I was not disappointed.

Zouk Brunch Menu

The Zouk Brunch Menu has a variety of Savoury Plates, Sandwiches and Desi Classics to choose from. 

Perfect to suit most tastes - especially if you love a little bit of spice to kickstart your day.

A Brunch with a Twist in Manchester with Zouk


I was tempted to try the sheep trotters, but I thought I would play is safe and go for the Zouk version of my all time favourite dish....The Bollywood Benedict. 

Whenever I go out for brunch I tend to opt for Eggs Benedict. I just love the creamy sauce teamed with a perfect poached egg.

The Zouk Bollywood Benedict took the concept of the classic and added a zingy tikka hollandaise sauce with a moreish turkey bacon. Not only that, but the spinach also made it  healthy (or so I'd like to tell myself)

A Brunch with a Twist in Manchester with Zouk

My only criticism is that the turkey bacon could have done with just a little more crunch.

However this didn't detract from the flavours in the dish itself and I'm still craving the sauce even now.

I can't wait to go back and eat my way through the rest of the Zouk Brunch Menu.

Drink Blog: Festive Ginspiration


Gin is the drink du jour for 2017 isn't it?


Personally, I've been drinking it since my student days, as it used to be the cheap option (and vodka always made me iller than a Beastie Boy). My tipple of choice was always the Tesco Value one with some Pink Lemonade.

How times have changed though? And now I have quite the collection of gins in my drinks globe.

Whilst perusing my collection, I actually realised that they'd make quite a good festive gift (to self) guide, as I have gins from such a range of flavours and prices.


So, Need Some Ginspiration? 


Hortus Gin from Lidl

If you're looking for a gin which is as good a quality as the big boys, then the Hortus gin range at Lidl is the one. It comes in at £15.99 for a 70cl, 40% Volume bottle and is available in a range of flavours such as Oriental Spice and previously a Summer variety.


The Lakes Distillery Gin

Hailing from the Lake District, The Lakes Distillery Gin comes in at a more premium option. The Explorer Edition of the gin weighs in at £39.95 for a 70cl, 41.7% bottle. In a distinctive blue bottle, the nose is Zesty orange citrus, coriander and cassia bark followed by hints of earl grey tea and cracked black pepper.




Brockmans Gin

At £10 cheaper than The Lakes Distillery Gin, Brockmans is around £29.95 for a 70cl, 40% bottle. The bottle itself is beautiful heavy, with a impressive cut glass design. This is one of my favourite gins (and Victoria can vouch for that after we drank an entire bottle between us in one night, whoops). This is a smoother flavour than most, with almonds and orange peels within the botanical mix.


Hayman's Sloe Gin

I used to LOVE sloe gin, but went off it for a few years after the smell of a cheap one really put me off. However, the Hayman's Sloe Gin has got me back on the sloe variety with it's nutty flavour and rounded plummy aromas. Having a few sips of this neat, with a squeeze of lime, is the perfect way to enjoy it.  A bottle will set you back around £20 for a 26% volume, 70cl bottle.



Flavoured Gin Liquers

Returning back in to the mix of gins in Hortus from Lidl with their new limited edition flavoured gins. For £11.99 they have a Rhubard and Ginger flavour and a Raspberry version. These are the perfect presents for Christmas and just so instagrammable. If you can't locate the Lidl version, as it keeps selling out, then check out the Edinburgh Gin one, which will cost a little more but is equally as delicious.


Three Rivers Gin Experience

If not of the above gins tickle your fancy, then take a look at the Manchester Three Rivers Gin Experience. Yes, it will cost you a pretty penny (around £95 to be exact), but you can mix your very own from the range of botanicals and equipment they have there. One for the list to Santa maybe? 

About Hello Terri Lowe


A UK Lifestyle, Food, Beauty and Music Blog, based in Staffordshire, you can also expect to see reviews of places around the country. Often spotted Manchester or Birmingham at the weekends, you can expect to see a little bit of everything from festivals to food and everything in-between. When not blogging, you can find me having a nice sit down with my cats, Stevie and Kitty, or enjoying a fine cup of coffee. Don't forget to take a look at my 'about' page if you're interested in collaborating on any exciting opportunities!


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e-mail: helloterrilowe@gmail.com


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