Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Roundup

2012 has been an amazing year for us and we are still really enjoying keeping our blog. Seeing as we have always written the blog mainly for ourselves and our friends it's a constant source of surprise that other people are reading it! We are stoked that writing the blog has helped us make a few new friends so we are looking forward to more of the same in the new year.

Hosting Christmas in our new (first) home!
Throughout the year Bailey has very diligently maintained a list recording all the places we have eaten and ranking them in order of preference. As part of our roundup of the year we thought we would share our Top 10 meals of 2012.

Pan-Fried Sea Bream at The Wig and Pen
Just remember this is Top 10 MEALS - we haven't taken into account any return visits and HAVE taken into account how much fun we had at the meals (which may of course have been influenced by the friendliness of the staff, alcohol, the company etc etc etc!) - this is all about our overall experience!

Salt Beef Stovey at The Beagle
Top 10 Meals of 2012
Meal 10. Workshop, Clerkenwell, London
Meal 9. The Parlour, Chorlton
Meal 8. Ceviche, Soho, London
Meal 7. Bakerie, Manchester Northern Quarter
Meal 6. The Beagle, Chorlton
Meal 5. Mughli, Rusholme
Meal 4. SoLIta Bar & Grill, Manchester Northern Quarter
Meal 3. The Rose Garden, West Didsbury
Meal 2. The Spice Club, a secret location, North Manchester
Meal 1. The Wig & Pen, Sheffield

Peruvian Tapas at Ceviche
Now we don't really like to be negative but on some occasions a meal has failed to hit the spot for us in 2012. This has usually been because we've heard good things about a place and have walked through the door with very high expectations which on occasions had led to us feeling disappointed.

In no particular order, the restaurants that came in at the bottom of our list...

EastZEast, Manchester
Kosmos Taverna, Fallowfield
Room, Manchester

Although we feel really lucky to have been for so many meals, we didn't get the chance to hit as many of the places from our list (55 eateries in Manchester alone, more if you include the North West and the rest of the country!). So now that a time-consuming house move and an expensive Christmas is out of the way, we are looking forward to getting back to normal in 2013 - spending plenty of time finding out about new places and going for meals with our favourite people. Any recommendations or foodie gossip you have for us will be gratefully received!

Rare Breed Hamburger at Workshop
So that's all about eating out... what about eating in? Although we probably didn't cook as often as we would have liked to this year, we still managed to try some new things. 2012 saw Bailey cook and prep his first lobster as well as a brace of pheasants, to varying degrees of success! Suffice to say, lobster will be back on the menu... pheasant maybe not!

I had my first jam making experience and hosted my first afternoon tea party featuring our Clandestine Cake Club friends. I loved doing both and have done both things again since!

TigrĂ© Cakes, Carrot Cake Whoopie Pies and Mojito Cupcakes for our afternoon tea party 
The happiest cooking moment of 2012 definitely has to be the moment we upgraded from what was possibly the world's pokiest kitchen to a much more pleasant kitchen with full cat-swinging capabilities.  I can tell you that moving from a cooker with three hobs to six hobs has reduced stress levels immeasurably.

2012 has been such a great year that I'm sure it will be difficult to top. We are going to give it a good go in 2013 though, and it looks like it will be working our way through an ever-growing pile of cookbooks, taking on some more cooking challenges, getting away for some gourmet adventures and maybe even a foodie venture?! We simply cannot wait!

I am so pleased we now have a shelf for our cookbooks rather than them being piled up on a sideboard! 


  1. Replies
    1. Oh thankyou!! I have to admit I do too!!!! So much better than our old one!

  2. Your pad looks amazing! Jamie won't let me use fairy lights in our house.

  3. I am quite lucky that Bailey lets me get away with a lot of things like that. He drew the line at fairy lights in the shape of chilli peppers in the kitchen ("too kitsch") and also at bunting in the conservatory. I thought I might wait til he was out and put the bunting up anyway, but I think he played me at my own game as I can no longer for the life of me locate said bunting! Very suspicious!


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