2016 in Review | Bake, Explore & Eat

Manhattan from the ferry

2016 has been particularly difficult for a large number of both personal and global reasons, and to keep things slightly light as it’s that weird purgatory between Christmas and New Years I’ve decided I’m not going to talk much about the year itself. I’ve decided, instead, to talk through the things that made this year good, from the best things I baked, through to my favourite trips and places I got to eat. While on the subject however, I will say a couple of things; tell those you care about that you love them, and spend as much time with them as you can. Do as much with the time you have as possible, go see new places, experience different things and eat a hell of a lot of food.

Baking & Cooking

Chocolate & Cardamom Loaf

Camembert Bread Wreath

This year saw me win ‘Best Food Blog’ at the Bloggers Blog Awards, finally launch Cake Care Package, bake a cake that ended up being thrown into someone’s face in a Bullet For My Valentine music video, go on a sourdough baking day course at the E5 bake house, bake 3 different things all on Christmas morning and make enough brownies across the year to feed a small army (about 500+). My favourite bakes from the year, not including all the different varients of brownies, are as follows:

Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart

Garlic & Thyme Camembert Bread Wreath

Olive Oil Cake

Comte, Pancetta & Fig Mac N Cheese

Nutella Cinnamon Buns

Sriracha Peanut Soup

Travel

Fisherman's Bastion

Top of the Rock

Oslo Sculpture Park

Loch Beg in the rain

The big one this year was a trip to New York which I won through OpenTable after I talked at length about my love for London’s Food. It’s one of my favourite posts, not just from this year, but since I started blogging. I also started ticking off a number of my bucket list places from around Europe, taking in Budapest and Oslo as well as trips to Paris and Scotland. I’ve already got a few things planned for 2017, with a trip skiing at the end of January (Les Arcs) and Wrestlemania in Orlando Florida in March/April. I’m also intending to visit a bunch more places in Europe, hopefully including Croatia, Copenhagen and if we can afford it, Iceland.

Click through for the full post on each location.

New York (Part 1 & Part 2)

New York is a city that everyone needs to visit in their lifetime. It’s noisy, bustling and completely different to everywhere else you’ll have been.

Budapest

I still can’t get my head around how cheap our trip was, or how beautiful and historic the city itself is. If you’re looking for a budget break in Europe then Budapest should be top of your list, in fact, if you just want to visit an incredible city then go, whatever budget you have.

Oslo

We were very lucky there was snow when we went in November, but I want to go back either in proper winter when snow is more common or summer when it’s a sunny and green. It was expensive but worth the trip and I want to see more.

Paris

A whirlwind trip saw us take in a Euro 2016 game, some culture, the most ludicrous AirBnB and some tasty breakfast.

Glasgow

Finally spending some proper time in the city, rather than just passing through when I change trains, showed me that it’s a city with a lot to offer, from history through to street art and food.

Isle of Mull

With my parents living on the island I go up often, and you can see me talking at length about it often. I’ve got another post with photos from my Christmas trip going up shortly. There’ll be many more of these next year.

Eating Out

Transatlantic Tables Grain Store

Transatlantic Tables Grain Store

Patty & Bun

I ate out way too much, again, this year. It’s a year that saw Dishoom go from somewhere I enjoyed to a place I often ate at more than once a month, Buhler & Co become my favourite local coffee shop, SoDo take the crown as my top pizza in London and me eating entirely veggie for 3 months of the year.

Dishoom – London – Multiple

I’ve talked about them a lot, and I’m even going for NYE, but they are my favourite restaurant in London. Highly affordable Bombay cuisine they’re great for breakfast or dinner. What would I eat? Dinner: Black Daal and Paneer Tikka. Breakfast: Egg & Bacon Naan, Bottomless Chai.

Grain Store – London – Kings Cross

A restaurant with veg at the core of every dish (though surprisingly few veg options) it boasts an unusual cocktail menu and dishes which change from season to season.

Ninth Wave – Isle of Mull – Fionnephort

Fine dining on the Isle of Mull. All the veg is grown in their garden, meat local and seafood fresh. It’s not cheap, but worth visiting for a special occasion for one of their set menus.

Modern Pantry – London – Finsbury Square

Having been twice for brunch their options are refreshingly different to the wider London brunch scene, which centers heavily around avocado toast, with twists on waffles and various egg dishes it’s a venue I’d recommend considering for a weekend breakfast with a group. What would I eat? The Miso Waffles.

SoDo Pizza – London – Walthamstow

As I said above, it’s taken the London pizza crown. They opened up in Walthamstow a few months ago and are rarely quiet. They keep the menu small, source the best quality ingredients and put a lot of heart into what they make. What would I eat? The Lorena, or one of their ever changing specials, and the tomato garlic bread.

Bleecker Burger – London – Spitalfields

Still the best burger in London, I haven’t got much more to say about them. I’m excited to see their new restaurant open in Victoria in 2017. What would I eat? The Bleecker Black and Angry Fries.

Chin Chin Labs – London – Camden

Continuing to push boundaries with their liquid nitrogen ice cream. It’s super smooth ice cream, often bizarre flavours and diverse selection of toppings keep it at the top of the London dessert chain. What should I eat? A Burnt Butter Caramel Brownwich, one of the specials or go off menu and ask for a S’Mores-wich.

Club Mexicana – London – Multiple

Vegan Mexican food served up at a bunch of London’s favourite street food spots. They’ve quickly become a favourite across the city. Using jack fruit, tofu and other vegan staples to strong affect. What would I eat? To-fish Tacos and Vegan Cheese Fries.

This list could easily go on, and I could start adding in bakeries and coffee shops so I’m cutting it off here. I’m looking for new places to eat across 2017 so if you’ve got any suggestions then please fire them over.