The Best of 2016; Restaurants, Cocktails & Everything In Between

2016. What a year. The world really did change beyond our beliefs. But I mean it wasn’t all that bad right? Well okay it was preeeeetty shit, but Leo did finally win an Oscar. Anyway I’m not focusing on the extremities of this years events! 

The Best of 2016; Restaurants, Cocktails & Everything In Between

For me 2016 was the year I relaunched my blog, so its definitely been an adventure. Reflecting back, I’m rather proud of all its accomplished since May, bringing me new opportunities to taste London’s excellent restaurant scene and explore parts of the globe I hadn’t even yet considered.

So as I write my last post (tissues in hand with my second wind of the winter cold) before Christmas, I’ve decided to look back on my top moments…

Top Restaurants (in London)

I’ve done pretty well at ticking off some top spots on my list and trying out some newly opened places from Yosma to Tabun Kitchen. But three restaurants from this year have truly stood out as my best foodie experiences in the city.

1 | Andina, Shoreditch

Every mouthful that came out of this Peruvian kitchen was absolutely divine. If you want to try a different kind of cuisine without the risk of disliking it, head to one of Martin Morales’ restaurants. Andina in Shoreditch is a fine choice and does an incredible range of dishes including a hot spicy tuna ceviche and beautifully sweet poached eggs with corn souffle.

A Taste of Peru at Andina, Shoreditch

2 | Skylon, Southbank

My first ever bottomless brunch was spent with my Mum and Auntie celebrating a big birthday over too much Prosecco and excellent food. The roast was a hit and the starters were perfection. Skylon’s setting is also unbeatable with floor to ceiling views over the Thames.

A Sparkling Sunday Brunch at Skylon Restaurant; A Review

A Sparkling Sunday Brunch at Skylon Restaurant; A Review

3 | Ormer, Mayfair

My first soft launch of the year was at Shaun Rendes’ new restaurant at The Flemings Hotel in Mayfair. Bringing fresh Jersey flavours and sophisticated presentation to Ormer, Michelin starred Shaun served up a delicious menu featuring silky soft hand dived scallops. 

Fresh New Flavours of Jersey at Ormer Mayfair; Soft Launch

Other recommendations: Cinnamon Kitchen, Angler, The Little Yellow Door, Reform Social, OXBO Bankside

National Seafood Week at Angler; Restaurant Review

Top Restaurants (Outside of London)

As I become more and more addicted to beautiful food and trying new restaurants, my travels have simultaneously become influenced! My top three from the year are…

1 | The Shore, Penzance

Hands down the best food I’ve had this year was at The Shore in Penzance. This Cornish seafood restaurant owned by Bruce Rennie was outstanding, serving up quality fresh fish with exotic flavours from a simple yet irresistible menu. I wouldn’t be surprised if its on the list for a Michelin star next year.

Fresh Seafood at The Shore, Penzance; Restaurant Review

2 | Al Camin, Cortina

Coming in a close second is Al Camin in Cortina, a classic family owned restaurant in the Italian mountains. The food here was beautiful; traditional flavours presented exquisitely. 

Italian Alpine Cooking at El Camin, Cortina; A Review

Italian Alpine Cooking at El Camin, Cortina; A Review

3 | Nobu, Budapest

My first Nobu experience was just the other week in Budapest and it was just as I’d hoped. I can’t wait to share my full review with you in the New Year but as a quick preview, I present the tuna sushi that almost made it cry when it was over…

 The Best of 2016; Restaurants, Cocktails & Everything In Between

Other recommendations: Ha An Sushi (Berlin), Caracol Restaurant (Four Seasons Costa Rica), Robinson (Budapest).

My favourite cocktails of the year

Everyone knows I can’t help but order the craziest sounding cocktail on the menu. It’s got bacon in it? Send it my way. But not all of my top cocktails are thaaaaat weird. 

1 | The Botanic at Sky Pod (London)

Oh my basil. This was definitely my favourite cocktail of the year. A fresh yet not too tangy drink of Gin and basil accompanied by a small cup of sundried tomatoes, rosemary and pine nuts. It was like a picnic in a glass enjoyed in the beautiful setting of the Sky Garden‘s glorious bar.

High Expectations at Sky Pod Bar; A Review

2 | B52 at The Four Seasons Gresham Palace (Budapest)

Another cheeky preview of our trip to Budapest… after dining at Nobu we headed to the stunning Four Seasons Gresham Palace for a cocktail. Surprisingly for me, I chose a sweet milky sounding drink… a B52. Normally poured as a layered shot, The Four Seasons’ take on it presented a silky luxurious dessert mixing coffee liquor and Baileys with vanilla ice cream.

The Best of 2016; Restaurants, Cocktails & Everything In Between

The Best of 2016; Restaurants, Cocktails & Everything In Between

3 | The Hammersmith at Peg & Patriot (London)

Cocktails and cheese? Yes please. The Peg and Patriot in Bethnal Green serves up an incredible cocktail menu that changes with recent events or seasons. Back in May it was inspired by the tube map. The Hammersmith immediately caught my eye serving up a cognac, vodka and walnut drink… with a size of cheese. Oh yes.

The Best of 2016; Restaurants, Cocktails & Everything In Between

Best bars (London)

There are so many incredible bars in London I’m yet to try but so far these three are at the top of my list for the year…

1 | Sky Pod

A bar that serves up delicious creative cocktails to a skyline view is always going to win. As soon as I stepped out onto the rooftop of Sky Garden, I knew I’d be coming back. If the panoramic views over the city aren’t enough, the gardens, spacious seating areas and delicious menu to suit every taste will be.

High Expectations at Sky Pod Bar; A Review

2 | Secret Garden, South Place Hotel

The South Place Hotel is a beautiful hotel in Liverpool Street with various restaurants and bars you could spend days lounging in. My favourite of the lot is the Secret Garden, a beautiful terrace filled with tropical foliage that makes you feel like you’re on holiday even when its cold. During the Christmas season the bar is filled with festive decor, even snowing a few times a week!

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3 | Lounge Bohemia

One for the theatre lovers, Lounge Bohemia is a strange yet inviting bar for a relaxed over the top drink. Each cocktail has a story and is presented in a way that will make the most pessimistic drinker smile. My two drinks of the evening couldn’t be faulted… firstly a strong whiskey served with mini pancakes and blueberries (a Canadian Breakfast) followed by a salted caramel liqueur served in a seashell with salted foam and alcoholic ice cream.

Goodbye August, Hello September; Rebel, Cat GIFs and Blogger Goals

Goodbye August, Hello September; Rebel, Cat GIFs and Blogger Goals

Other recommendations: The Gibson, Reform Social, Dinerama

Travels

Oh gawd how to do a top three? Okay this one is less of a particular order….

1 | Budapest

I have soooooo much to write about my recent festive trip to Budapest that I can’t wait to share in the New Year! Apart from being with my man, I think the thermal spas, Christmas vibes and incredibly beautiful architecture just made this my favourite place of the year.

The Best of 2016; Restaurants, Cocktails & Everything In Between

The Best of 2016; Restaurants, Cocktails & Everything In Between

2 | Costa Rica

Costa Rica had been near the top of my travel bucket list so when I got the opportunity to go I thought I was dreaming! It was my first experience of flying in business class (which was amazing enough for me after leaving the backpacker lifestyle behind the year before!) but also my first time staying in a luxury tropical hotel. The destination was so beautiful and filled with so much culture that I absolutely will be returning to see more. I think seeing baby crocs in their natural habitat was pretty top… (baby sloths next time?).

Fine Steak & Popsicle Bellinis at The Four Seasons Costa Rica

Fine Steak & Popsicle Bellinis at The Four Seasons Costa Rica

3 | Cortina

Italy is one of my favourite places so returning for a winter break was wonderful. The chalet style town of Cortina surrounded by dramatic snow topped mountains was overwhelming and of course the food… oh man the food. I will also be sharing my experience in the New Year.

The Best of 2016; Restaurants, Cocktails & Everything In Between

The Best of 2016; Restaurants, Cocktails & Everything In Between

Other trips I loved: Cornwall, Lindos

Why Lindos Needs to be on Your Bucket List

Hotel Stays

For me a perfect hotel stay is not about feeling at home, its about being looked after, beautiful surroundings and a spacious sophisticated room. Being said this is not always found in the top hotels but can be discovered in individual boutiques and lesser known locations.

1 | The Four Seasons, Costa Rica

I don’t know how I can put anything other than the Four Seasons at the top of this list. Everything about this hotel was perfect. The rooms, the views, the food and the location. It was luxury at its best and I feel very lucky to have stayed there!

A luxurious stay at the Four Seasons resort Costa Rica

Fine Steak & Popsicle Bellinis at The Four Seasons Costa Rica

2 | Ambra Cortina, Cortina

The Ambra Cortina was a beautiful boutique hotel that really put their guests first. Aiming for 5 star luxury, every little detail was thought about from the individual decor to the silk sheets and power showers.

Luxurious Sophistication at the Hotel Ambra Cortina; A Review

3 | Hilton, Bournemouth

The new Hilton in Bournemouth has been designed by the incredible Ted Baker and his designs are apparent throughout. Not only is it a trendy hotel, but the breakfast offerings and service was fantastic.

A Designer Stay at the Hilton, Bournemouth; A Review

A Designer Stay at the Hilton, Bournemouth; A Review

Other recommendations: The Lindos Sun Hotel (Lindos), The Corinthia (Budapest), The Novotel Blackfriars – review in the New Year

Luxury for Less at the Lindos Sun Hotel

Theatre shows

I’ve seen much more theatre this year than I’d originally thought! And long may it continue that way…

1 | Harry Potter & The Cursed Child

INCREDIBLE. Go see it. #keepthesecrets

2 | Matilda

Man this musical made me cry. Perhaps because it was one of my childhood films but the acting and the production was fantastic. It gave me all the magic feels that I normally only get from Disney and was the first time I’ve been a part of a standing ovation where every single person was either cheering or wiping their eyes.

The Best of 2016; Restaurants, Cocktails & Everything In Between

3 | Book of Mormon

One of the funniest shows I’ve ever seen! I really didn’t think I’d enjoy it as much as I did but it was hands down HILARIOUS.

Other favourites: Guys & Dolls with Rebel Wilson, People Places & Things

Goodbye August, Hello September; Rebel, Cat GIFs and Blogger Goals

Other Experiences

Apart from eating, drinking and swanking around hotel rooms, I’ve done some pretty cool stuff this year! It was hard to narrow down but here we go…

1 | Friends Fest

Friends Fest was TOTALLY AWESOME (reference intended). Excitably swanning around the sets posing for pictures whilst making too many puns was a definite highlight of the year.

Goodbye September, Hello October; The Zoo, Treasure Hunts & FriendsFest

The Best of 2016; Restaurants, Cocktails & Everything In Between

2 | Outdoor cinema of Labyrinth at Belgrave Square

Following a delayed birthday treasure hunt around London that I’d planned for my man, I got us tickets to see his favourite film Labyrinth at an outdoor screening in Belgrave Square organised by Where Is The Nomad. Despite a slightly drizzly start, it was super cosy and seeing it on the big screen was a very special occasion.

Goodbye September, Hello October; The Zoo, Treasure Hunts & FriendsFest

The Best of 2016; Restaurants, Cocktails & Everything In Between

3 | The Tower Bridge Glass Floor

This Father’s Day I took my Dad out for a proper London adventure starting with a chance to explore Tower Bridge. Of course we loved walking over the glass floor over the Thames, getting the perfect spot for when the bridge opened up to let the ships through.

The Best of 2016; Restaurants, Cocktails & Everything In Between

The Best of 2016; Restaurants, Cocktails & Everything In Between

Other favourites: The Magic Circle, a girls weekend with my little sister, The Vuelio Blog Awards… among others!

The Best of 2016; Restaurants, Cocktails & Everything In Between

So that’s me! Signing off for Christmas. I’ll be back online on the 1st… revealing my plans for 2017 and my blog.

I hope you all have a WONDERFUL Christmas and see the New Year in style. Merry Christmas my lovelies

Eppie xx

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6 Comments

    • 23rd December 2016 / 10:42 am

      Amen to that Emma!

  1. 23rd December 2016 / 10:23 am

    WOW! What an incredible year of food and travel fun – really lovely to have met you this year! Looking forward to our next meal together in the new year!

    • 23rd December 2016 / 10:42 am

      You too Connie, I really can’t wait to see what the next year holds!

  2. 23rd December 2016 / 10:19 am

    What a wonderful year and it’s been awesome getting to know you!!

    • 23rd December 2016 / 10:43 am

      You too Angie! Merry Christmas!

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