Wow what a year 2016 has been, so much seems to have happened, globally as well as in my own world. I seemed to cram in a heck of a lot, with my bag pretty much never being unpacked, a busy festival season and of course, launching this blog! So I just wanted to recap the high lights of this year in a 2016 in review post and share with you some very exciting plans for 2017 too. So here goes….
I had my first experience of an immersive dining experience with Ginger line called “Chamber of Flavours”. It’s a secret pop up, with 5 different rooms that baffle all of the senses. Unfortunately I have been sworn to secrecy so can’t really say much more, other than it will blow your minds. Tickets for V2.0 can be bought here
Travelled to Marbella/Puerto Banus with Trimmer You Boot camp, and was put through my paces for a whole week! I’m not gonna lie, the first 3 days was hell but by day 4 I felt invincible. I met a bunch of great girls, who I’m still in touch with today as well as losing 10lbs. I would definitely recommend them, they cater to all fitness levels and it’s all based in a luxury villa with pool and spa.
No sooner were my feet back on UK soil, I was off skiing in France with 16 mates. We went to Les Arcs, which is the highest resort in Europe. The ski conditions couldn’t have been better, and the Après ski was some of the best I’ve experienced.
I also spent a weekend at the breath takingly beautiful Loch Lomond in Scotland at a traditional Scottish wedding, complete with Kilts, bagpipes and lots and lots of Whiskey.
I visited North East England and spent loads of time at the glorious beaches of the region eating ALL the seafood. The beaches of Tyneside and Northumberland really are a hidden gem.
This is the month I launched my blog, with my first post about how to get last minute Glastonbury Festival tickets. This was one of the biggest reasons I started this blog, to share my experience working in the festival and events industry to get into those sold out shows and to have the best possible experience. I’m happy to say, this is still one of my most read posts to date.
This is the month I also visited Dublin hanging round the city with the locals and then at a gorgeous little Airbnb cottage, by the sea at Dalkey. They were experiencing a bit of a heat wave in Ireland that week, so we were able to enjoy the beautiful beaches of Dublin and Wicklow at their best.
The last bank holiday in May saw the start of festival season, and I chugged up to Lincolnshire in my little VW Campervan for Lost Village Festival. It was a great way to kick off to the summer.
Next on the festival line up was Field Day, a two-day urban festival at Victoria Park in east London. The mud was hideous, but I finally saw Air play, which was a massive tick off the bucket list. And the bonus of living so close to the site was, I could get mud free and sleep in my own bed, definitely not the usual festival experience!
There was also GLASTONBURY! The highlight of the festival season didn’t start off so well, due to onsite ground conditions we queued for 8hrs to get into the campervan fields. Luckily we didn’t get stuck in the mud, but many people needed to be towed out. The week was a bit of a struggle, but Glastonbury is still one of the best events on earth in any weather. I drank gallons of cider, danced in the mud to Underworld, Madness, Chvrches, Adele and loads of bizarre sideshows. Followed by a much-needed night at Bath Priory Spa. Finally getting all that mud off, and chilling on the sunbeds in their beautiful gardens and starting to feel human again. A night at a spa is definitely a pro tip, especially for those super long festivals where you end up looking like you’ve slept in a ditch and been dragged through a hedge backwards.
British Summer Time at Hyde Park I saw Patti Smith and Massive Attack; this was the first night of the concert season. I’d never been to BST at Hyde Park before, but I was impressed with the festival style atmosphere, it was much more than just an open-air gig.
This month saw my first trip to Croatia, somewhere I’ve wanted to go for aaaaages, and it didn’t disappoint, it was even more beautiful than I had imagined. I was invited to try out the first ever Obonjan festival by a mate of mine from my club promoting days. It’s a mix between festival and chilled beach holiday, and I absolutely want to go back next year. And hopefully see more of the country too.
Next up was Copenhagen for a friend’s birthday, yes it’s an expensive city, which can put some people off, but it doesn’t have to cost the earth. Copenhagen is the happiest place in Europe, and I can see why, I totally felt like I could live there.
I hadn’t been back in the UK very long before I was back up to Scotland for another wedding, this time it was Edinburgh. I used to live in Edinburgh, so it feels very much a home from home. Even though it was a flying visit I couldn’t miss out on The Fringe Festival, I wrote about all the things you HAVE to do at the fringe and I think I managed to cram just about all of them into an afternoon, before getting on the train back down to London with a belly full of whisky & beer. Mind you, I wouldn’t recommend getting quite so smashed before a long train journey, it wasn’t my finest hour….
August was sooooo crazy that it was great to spend a few weeks in London, It was also my birthday month so I tried out the hottest restaurant in London right now: Circus. It’s a restaurant/bar/cabaret/circus/burlesque/club kind of place. They serve the most delicious pan Asian food and every 10mins or so the lights go down and there’s another performance. It has more of a nightclub feeling and was great fun. It’s really popular so getting a table is tricky, but if you book far enough in advance it should be fine.
I also sampled the afternoon tea at The Langham Hotel, famed for being where the trend for afternoon tea started. It was out of this world, and all the little cakes were like a work of art.
My blog post “How to buy Glastonbury tickets: plus tips and tricks to give you the edge” went viral, well It went viral in my eyes, I was getting 30k views a day in the lead up to the Glastonbury ticket sale. Which as a fairly new blogger just blew my mind!
I also went to the Annie Mac Presents day rave at Tobacco Dock London, Lots of great DJs played: including Basement Jaxx, Eats Everything & Monky. Hopefully AMP will do another tour of The Day Rave next year, so keep your eyes peeled!
I spent a week in Barcelona at the beginning of November; it’s still my favourite city in Europe. It has something for everybody; great architecture, art, food, beaches, parks, nightlife etc. and even in November the temperature was really nice. A nice little get away from chilly England.
I rounded off the month with a trip to Winter Wonderland Hyde Park in all its cheesy, but festive glory. It really got me in the mood for Christmas, as well as leaving me with a stinking hangover. Ha!
And here we are in the final month of the year just a few days before Christmas (I still haven’t finished my chrimbo shopping btw) and I’m sat in my mum’s house in Newcastle writing this, because I’ve moved out of my flat in London! So early December was very boringly spent chucking out loads of junk, and packing up the rest of my belongings to go into storage. 2017 will be the start of a new chapter for the Boyfriend, and me as we head off travelling full time!!
So what are the plans for 2017?
Well, first of all Christmas in Newcastle, then Hogmanay in Glasgow plus a whirl wind tour of other parts of the UK to catch up with F&F.
THEN back to London before flying out to Bangkok! I’m so excited to go back to Bangkok, it’s a crazy place from what I remember and I’m looking forward to exploring it more fully. We don’t have an itinerary after that, although I’m keen to head down to the beaches, maybe Krabi, Koh Phi Phi, and Koh Lanta etc? and up north to Chang Mai, Pai etc.
From there the rough plan is to go to Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos and possibly on to Malaysia & Indonesia… who knows. The world is our oyster! So if you have any recommendations for the South East Asia area, please let me know, I’d love to hear about places that are a little off the beaten path, great local restaurants or amazing festivals and parties not to be missed.
I will of course be blogging on the road and sharing my experiences, all the ups and downs of life on the road. I’ll also be working on my digital marketing business on the road too, so if you work for a brand or have a business that needs some help with social media management, website content creation or branding strategy (amongst other things) please get in touch. It would be freaking awesome to work with you.
I can’t say I know exactly when we’ll be back in the UK, although I’ve been invited to a few European festivals over the summer, which I’m massively hyped about. Especially after my experience in Croatia, there are some amazing new (and not so new) festivals out there now that are really pushing the boundaries.
I’m so excited about what 2017 has in store, and I cannot wait to share those experiences on Eat Travel Rave Repeat, it’s going to be an exciting year.
I hope you all have a fabulous Christmas and a fun filled New Years, what ever you get up to.