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Not-So-Good Connection at French Connection Leeds #1 [Rambling]

Party time? Err... no.

I don't quite know how to describe my Wednesday last week. It's taken me ages just to put this post together because I'm still pretty bummed.

The day didn't exactly go according to plan... but it was still a lot of fun.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves. I'll backtrack a little and split this into two posts otherwise it'll be really long and who wants to do all that reading and scrolling? Catch the second part here with all the photos.

A few weeks ago, I won invites for myself and four friends to Leeds' French Connection Sketch-to-Store Style Challenge party (which was held on the 18th in stores across the country btw), and I was super-duper excited because I thought I'd be in uni this week already so it would have been extremely convenient and would have made up for my less-than-super-duper-fun summer. I didn't mention it of course, because I thought it would jinx it what with my crappy luck this year.

However, up until a few days ago, I'd been wrapped up in my duvet cocoon at home in Scotland, binging on Magnum Whites and waiting for the University Stork to come pick me up and carry me across mountains and motorways to the hall of residence I would be calling home for the next year. I'm sure you're wondering why on Earth I'm not there yet. It's a long story (if you've watched 21 or watched/seen the trailer for Runner Runner, it's something sort of along those lines sans the casinos and gazillions of dollars, sadly) and yet another testament to my bad luck this year.

Anyway, so I took the long, long train ride to Manchester last weekend to crash with my sister and her friend. I used that opportunity to get my new braids put in; always a fun way to spend an entire day. And then, on Wednesday, five of us got all dolled up and stuff, and headed over to Leeds on the train for the party.

I'd never actually been to Leeds before, so it was all set to be an amazing evening; partying with French Connection and getting to know what is supposed to be my new city already. What could possibly go wrong, right?

We got there, twenty minutes early and which is such a rare occurrence for me... and which also happened to be twenty minutes before the store planned to lock up for the day. Turns out they'd sent out an e-mail earlier that day saying the party at FCUK Leeds had been cancelled because they didn't have enough people.

I didn't get one and I've got push mail on my Blackberry, but these things happen, I guess...

And OK, I knew there wouldn't have been that many people applying for the Leeds one, which was why I chose that location. I never win anything non-academic/non-athletic so I figured my odds would be a lot better with a smaller sample space. But I didn't think they'd actually have to cancel it.

But alas, they did [sad face].

I tend to blacklist shops based on little things like, being given a snooty look by a shopkeeper or, you know, cancelling a party without giving at least twenty-four hours' notice. However, the customer service was pretty alright so FCUK have managed to save themselves from a lifetime lacking my patronage; aren't they lucky?

We're each supposed to be expecting £20 vouchers (which won't go very far on its own, but it's the thought that counts, I guess) and free goodie bags in the mail soon. But probably the best part was that they offered to buy us drinks that night. They offered dinner as well, but that was quickly retracted which was rather amusing to hear.

Fortunately, one of our friends was a Leeds-native so we put her in charge of picking the bar. And a few minutes later, we ended up at Browns Bar & Brasserie.

It really is the most adorable bar. It's got such a great ambiance with high-rise ceilings from which hung lamps, chandeliers, fans and woven plant baskets, with sturdy wooden coffee tables and comfortable couches in the corners. There were bar-stools along the bar, around a few tall end tables and the wooden ledge-tables nailed to the columns, giving it a laid-back New York-feel. I've never felt more like I was a Harvard graduate having after-work drinks with my Pearson Darby co-worker, Harvey Specter.

And on top of all that, there was a live pianist playing relaxing jazz music on a beautiful grand piano. He only plays at certain times so I guess, in some ways, we were pretty lucky that night.

We talked, we laughed, we Instagrammed, we tweeted... and one of my tweets got favourited by and a reply from French Connection which was pretty cool.

As you should know by now, I am such the party girl so of course, alcohol on someone else's tab could only mean one thing: it was time to get my Lindsey Lohan on.

No but, seriously, I really don't get alcohol. It tastes disgusting and only enhances whatever mood you're in so the whole "alcohol relaxes you" thing doesn't follow all the time. So why drink it?
Somebody, please explain this to me.

Anyway, Browns are best known for their cocktails, and since liquor and I are not the best of friends (yet?), I picked the next best thing; a rather exciting "mocktail" called the Diamond Fizz. It's a delicious mix of apple juice, elderflower, lime, pear and sugar with a bit of ginger ale. It is officially my favourite drink in the world and it only costs £4!

They've got quite a few branches across the country so if you haven't checked them out, you really should. You can check out the menu here (it's a .pdf file btw).

All in all, it was a pretty good night and oddly enough, probably the most exciting one I've had this month (man, I really should go out more). So I guess I should be thanking French Connection for making that happen.

Now, it's back to my cocoon with my laptop to start learning Python, hoping Freshers' Week wasn't as fun as I thought it would be now that I've missed it.

Sorry for the rather mopey post; I'm all out of ice cream smh. Hope you guys had a much better week though! xx


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