365 things that made 2017 awesome

It’s no secret that 2017 hasn’t been the easiest of years for me. There’s been loads of tough moments for me to go through.

Thanksfully, there’s also been a lot of small and big happy things.

As an exercise in mind- and gratefulness, over the whole year, I’ve noted down the top happy thing for each day of 2017.

And here they are – my 2017 shiny little moments of happiness!

365 things that made 2017 awesome ● Yearly retrospective ● Cake + WhiskyJAN.

1. Starting the year with a horizon of fireworks and a glass of bubbly.

2. Roasted onions, steamed potatoes + raclette cheese + hot oven = lazy raclette FTW!!

3. Super comfy new office chairs.

4. Finally stocked up on Earl Grey again!

5. Leftover Pizza Pilgrim’s pizza for dinner.

6. Home-cooked steak dinner with roasties and garlic aioli. (Garlic is my spirit animal)

7. Sales shopping, the grown up edit!

8. The best Chinese noodles at Xi’an Impression.

9. Colourful salads for lunch.

10. The flying carpet bit of Aladdin the musical.

11. Lunch at Ahi Poke & shopping with my sister.

12. Coconut cookies, skinny fries & good times with my bro’!

13. Tapas at my favourite place.

14. Slow dancing to Lee Fields & The Expressions

15. A lazy day at home and THAT Sherlock finale!

16. Chipotle’s guac’ & chips.

17. THIS salad!

18. THIS salad (again!)

19. Winner winner scallop stir-fry dinner (a loose adaptation of this recipe)

20. Beautiful seafood miso ramen for lunch, then pizza, Westworld & chill!

21. Pud’ & cocktails at Talli Joe with my fave

22. Steamed potato, melted cheese, smoked pepper. ’tis the little things.

23. Shooting some of my favourite photos to date of my favourite recipe ever (and getting to eat it all afterwards!)

24. British food quiz night at Roast restaurant with HotJoint! (Join their next event, it’s a lot of fun!!)

25. Finally getting my head out of the blog rut I’ve been stuck in for a while.

26. Exciting blogging opportunities opened up by Blogfoster (and catching up with blogger friends)

27. A well deserved early night!

28. *That* Kung Pao pork taco at Breddos Tacos

29. The ultimate breakfast of champions: Meatliquor’s Dead Hippie burger in bed!!

30. Chatting about any- and everything with my mum over the phone.

31. Delicious, warming (and super-easy to make!) Thai chicken noodle soup for lunch.


32. Making exciting weekend plans.

33. The scales finally making a little move in the right direction!

34. Pizza, Netflix & chill (classic Friday plans right there!)

35. The best kind of busy days: Falling in love with Spitafields all over again, lunch at Smokestak, The Mousetrap, Yautcha’s dim sums.

36. Risotto Milanese .

37. A fascinating night learning all about (and tasting!) Hudson whiskey.

38. Cheat’s chicken Satay for dinner.

39. Planning and impromptu trip to Munich (+ more chicken Satay)

40. Dinner with Michelle, Seetal & Raj at Honey & Smoke. Bloggers + mezze + cake = the best.

41. Winner winner dosa dinner!

42. NEW HAAAAAAAAIR (and possibly new flat?!)!

43. That feeling you get after a full day of decluttering. Also, S’MORES CHEESECAKE POTS!

44. Spicy pork belly for lunch & BRGR.CO #TheFounder for dinner.

45. Pizza + Champagne + comfy sofa! #WinningAtVday #YouCanKeepYour£70Menu #cheapdate

46. Lazy garlic bread (I just rubbed a clove of garlic on toasted bread, buttered it and called it a day) with buttersquash soup for dinner.

47. A rare quiet day at work.

48. Spring in the air (fingers crossed).

49. Lunch at Berber & Q’s Shawarma Bar.

50. Researching bank accounts + IKEA dreamin’ + Sushi dinner = Winning at adulting today!

51. Pizza & long overdue catch up with Vi Vian.

52. More food + catch ups, this time with Jess at Tang.


54. Pots & Co salted caramel & chocolate pots de crème

55. Surprise dinner at Lima (totally my kind of surprise).

56. Loads of candles, endless cups of tea, Satay chicken (again).

57. Started The Girl Before & I’m hooked!

58. *THIS* paleo granola. Lifechanging.

59. A very succesful late-night online shopping sesh (now the proud owners of a Dyson vacuum cleaner, a Dualit toaster & a cast-iron skillet…)

365 things that made 2017 awesome ● Yearly retrospective ● Cake + WhiskyMAR.

60. Salt water happy nails.

61. A night at the (Irish) ambassador.

62. Lunch at Som Saa.

63. Polpo‘s pork & fennel meatballs.

64. Cooking up a (middle eastern-ish) storm + afternoon spent chatting with friends over said storm and tea + triple rainbows

65. Leaving work early (and THERE IS STILL LIGHT PAST 5PM!!)

66. Grey’s Anatomy binge-watching.

67. Frenetic packing with a side of ham tortellini, tomato sauce & crumbled feta.

68. Dublin Day 1 – Loads of walking, robots & dinner at Forest Avenue!

69. Dublin Day 2 – Whiskey, books & rugby.

70. Dublin Day 3 -Brunch at The Fumbally, more whiskey, more walking and then some more whiskey!

71. Home sweet home

72. Date night steak!

73. Feasting on Medjool dates and Mella’s Fudge.

74. Starting to see the end line of our packing marathon.

75. When you find THE BEST bathroom cleaner EVER and you don’t have to scrub one bit! #thatmovinglife

76. Pinkberry frozen yoghurt for dinner.

77. Dinner at Oldroyd, brilliant as always (the rhubarb tart and bergamot posset desserts especially so).

78. Beauty & The Beast at the Screen on the Green.

79. Dinner at Tayyabs.

80. The BF bringing home Lucky Chip burgers (and fries, the guy knows me well).

81. Dinner at (one of) my (many) happy place(s). Duck leg + breast with wild garlic mash and custard tart, in case you were wondering…

82. MOVING DAY = SO grateful for naps & food delivery!

83. 12+h of sleep!!

84. Ah-mazing Buontalenti gelato from Badiani – only 4 ingredients but definitely worth crossing the River for!

85. All the Ikea / Bob the Builder vibes.

86. First hot cross bun of the season for breakfast!

87. Finally having black jeans back in my wardrobe!!

88. Garlic butter mushroom bun for dinner

89. Memmingen’s pastel houses and well-stocked bakeries.

90. The best of friends and ice creams in Munich.


91. Munich Day 2 – City walks, vodka-candy shots, photo books and endless giggles.

92. Munich Day 3 – Bavarian brunch + the gorgeous Pinakotek museum.

93. Bread for breakfast, lunch and dinner #mycarblife

94. Bed rubber foot pads. ‘Tis the little things.

95. Cream egg brownie baking.

96. Brighton Day 1 – The sound of the sea, walking along the beach & amazing peanut butter + caramel ice cream from Boho Gelato.

97. Brighton Day 2 – Shopping, photomaton pictures taking with my fave, vegan buddha bowl for lunch, ice cream, pizza + wine at Franco Manca for dinner.

98. Brighton Day 3 – Lazy day + impromptu picnic feat. incredible egg + wild garlic sandwiches from Silo.

99. Our new flat starting to feel like home.

100. Pasta, pizza and ALL THE CARBS!

101. Binge-watching Chefs Table.

102. A fridge full of Farmdrop goodies.

103. That long weekend ahead feeling!

104. Date night at home with the BF, wine and Arrival.

105. BRGR.CO’s mac & cheese.

106. Spring gnocchi + ALL THE CHOCOLATE!

107. Lunch at The Palomar + perfectly cut new white J Crew linen shirt.

108. When your fridge leftover come together in one random-yet-delicious salad bowl!

109. My mum being the most attentionate of people.

110. A simple home-cooked dinner.

111. Having 0 moving boxes left to empty!

112. Our cocktail-fulled housewarming party (finally!).

113. A voté! (fingers crossed)

114. Binge-watching ’13 reasons why’.

115. Clearing up my to-do list.

116. Pad Thai is always a good idea.

117. New Ipad = life changed!!

118. Luca’s selection of Britalian small plates.

119. Cinema with the Mr. (and a box of popcorn bigger than my head).

120. Buttery scrambled eggs for breakfast.



122. Booking tickets for Cuba (and somehow finding a direct flight that doesn’t cost the Earth!).


124. Packing, packing, packing (am I the only one finding it incredibly satisfying?)

125. Barcelona Day 1 – The light falling from into El Born’s small streets, tapas lunch at Bar Brutal, the views from Montjuïc, vermouth at Morro Fi…

126. Barcelona Day 2 – La Boqueria market, tapas feast at Jai-Ca and all of my favourite people under one roof!

127. Barcelona Day 3 – Escriba’s croissants, gorgeous weather, loads of walking and somehow, despite the fact that everything that could have gone wrong basically did (and then some), making it in time for our train back!

128. Burgers and laughing with Scott and the early-London-times gang.

129. Working from home + peanut butter chicken winner dinner!

130. Spring vegetable quiche (and strawberries) for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

131. Home made Pad See Ewe for dinner.

132. Kiln + Crosstown Doughnuts + The Piano Bar = the perfect Soho evening!

133. The Big Bang Theory’s finale.

134. Cycling in the sun & catching up on Masterchef Australia.

135. Best effort-to-result ratio dinner: trout en papillote + steamed baby potatoes + homemade tzatziki. Spring supper perfection.

136. The plumpiest, yummiest Medjool dates from Farmdrop.

137. Baby pink nails.

138. An early morning visit to New Covent Garden Flower Market.

139. *THAT* Grey’s Anatomy finale!!

140. Making progress on my to-do list + pizzaaaaaaaaa!

141. Shake Shack burgers + the sun being back in London (and hopefully here to stay!)

142. Winner winner marinated steak & Mexican corn salad dinner!

143. Treating myself to an after-work walk around Chelsea in Bloom.

144. Gin-masterclass at The Refinery with Simple Pool + The London Essence Co.

145. Tomato, mozza & home-grown micro basil – simple really is best!

146. The season’s first apricots.

147. -Finally- exploring the new ‘hood, culminating with a little wine-ing & dining at Noble Rot.

148. Tacos, ice cream & the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie.

149. Polenta orange syrup cake.

150. An unexpected working-from-home day.

151. G&Ts at Cinnamon Kitchen’s colourful Summer Gin Garden + impromptu dinner at Gunpowder.

365 things that made 2017 awesome ● Yearly retrospective ● Cake + WhiskyJUN.

152. The last of those parmesan & poppy seed biscuits for lunch.

153. PIZZAAAAAAA + House of Cards’ season finale. (No, YOU binge-watched the entire thing in less than a week!)

154. Fresh (super spicy!) Xi’an-style udon for dinner.

155. Juicy peaches from the food market + Ottolenghi week on Masterchef Australia!!

156. Garlic butter salmon a la The Londoner for dinner.

157. This red pepper tortilla (with some added chorizo) for lunch.

158.  Pastel blue nailpolish.

159. Putting ideas into words and words into actions.

160. That dirty, messy, DELICIOUS Dip & Flip burger (and cheese fries!)

161. Sunshine, cocktails & catching up with my my faves in Cambridge.

162. A clean home is a happy home!

163. Cycling in the sun.

164. The most delicate apple blossom, mastic & Bruichladdich whisky cocktail at Scarfes Bar.

165. Paella masterclass & all the bubbly at the Anna de Codorníu Terrace on the Thames.

166. Winner winner vegan dinner lunch (and my baby sister turning 20!!)

167. A weel-deserved post-cycling-and-grocery-shopping Callipo in the 30°C heat!

168. Sriracha mayo on e’rythiiiiiing!

169. London’s best pizza with my fave!

170. Probably the only time you’ll ever hear me say ‘God bless air conditioning’!

171. All the online window shopping!!

172. Homemade chicken teriyaki rice bowls.

173. A perfectly cooked steak dinner while binge-watching Mr. Selfridge + PAYDAY (FINALLY!).

174. Sales shopping & dinner at Temper.

175. The loooooongest night I’ve had in FOREVER & dinner at Vivian’s.

176. Errands, iced coffee & simple pasta dinner.

177. The smell of roast chicken (& the taste of crispy skin!)

178. Winner winner (budget) steak dinner!

179. Finally finding out who A.D. is.

180. The Diner’s garlic butter fries.

181. Breakfast for dinner #TeamAvocado


182. A visit to my beloved Borough Market.

183. Indulging my croissant cravings.

184. Satay chicken salad packed lunch.

185. A real taste of home via a tomato & mustard tart.


187. Kin‘s Bun Cha ??

188. Adding choc’ chops to this week’s granola batch #goodmove

189. Going to IKEA to buy boring grown-up things (a new toilet seat) and getting out with the prettiest carafe/vase, super cute cups and a set of bay blue bedlinnen.

190. Our new non-broken, non-gross toilet seat.

191. Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference White Choc’ & Raspberry cookies ?

192. First good hair day in a looooong time!

193. Onion-soup-style quiche for lunch!!

194. Back on the Once Upon A Time bandwagon…

195. Cointreau Fizz & dim sums to make up for the lack of fireworks.

196. Sneaky Domino’s dinner.

197. Vegetarian lasagna FTW!

198. Winter is back! #GoT

199. Our shower is fixed and a working shower is the best thing EVER!

200. Apricot jam in the making and it smells so goooooooood!

201. Vegan chocolate mousse ftw.

202. Friyay done right with burgers + fries + cookies + Les Misérables on the telly.

203. Listening to the rain whilst reading a book. And pizza.

204. Freshly coloured hair.

205. Walking back home and peanut butter cups for pudding.

206. Blackcurrant + apple bircher muesli.

207. Chicken Katsu!

208. Finally watching East Side Sushi.

209. Friyay G&T and my fave Bun Cha for dinner.

210. Mezze, robots, apéro and RuPaul binge-watch.

211. Breakfast and life catch-up with my fave.

212. Monday-appropriate pineapple fizz, ah-mazing oyster sauce & veggie noodles and Game of Thrones obv.


213. Winner, winner, grilled steak dinner!

214. The juiciest nectarines from Farmdrop.

215. Saviour face masks (this one!)

216. Mid-afternoon naps and burger diners.

217. Ordering half the menu at Som Saa.

218. Baked potatoes.

219. Cake for dinner at Cutter & Squidge.

220. Homemade lasagna.

221. Finishing Once Upon A Time.

222. Peach crumble in a jar.

223. Fort building parties are the best parties ❤

224. My skin miiiiiiight be on the way out of its recent breaking-out party.

225. Grey & rainy day calls for spiced lentil soup!

226. Tomato & peaches all day, everyday!

227. Scrambled eggs for lunch. #perksofworkingfromhome

228. The most delicious #NationalBurgerDay warm up at Ben’s Canteen.

229. Birthday dinner at El Pastor and my new shooooooooes!

230. Another Kin Bun Cha dinner.

231. Visiting the prettiest store in all the land!

232. Planning our upcoming Paris trip.

233. God bless Mario Badescu drying lotion!

234. Discovering the life-changing magic of the Mooncup (about time…).

235. Packing (yes, I’m one of those people who actually enjoy packing)!

236. Arriving in Paris, dinner at Verjus & *THAT* view of the Louvre at night!

237. Croissants, shopping & tapas with friends.

238. Ober Mama’s pasta (& tiramisu!), walks along Paris’ canals, drinks ‘en terrace’, giggles and gossips.

239. More croissants, exploring Montmartre and quality time with the best-est friends.

240. Just back from holiday & already planning our next (Cuban!) adventure!

241. Magic & cocktails!

242. Aubergine salad – always a winner!

243. The BF deliveroo-ing ice cream for lunch.


244. Cream cheese carrot cake? YES PLEASE!!

245. Autumn in the air and the first soup of the season!

246. Thin sweater & bare ankle weather.

247. Blackcurrant jam ❤

248. Fresh bed linnen.

249. Corn & tuna salad lunch.

250. M&S’ nduja tomato sauce is the bomb!

251. Polenta plum cobbler.

252. Booking all our Cuba accomodations (the holiday excitement is real!).

253. ALL THE DUMPLINGS at London’s Chinese Food Festival!

254. Banana bread porridge (aka my new favourite way to start the day!).

255. Making my first (super easy!) dumplings.

256. Binge-watching Gilmore Girl.

257. Getting new breakfast-spiration thanks to Food at 52, Sally Bee & Very Lazy!

258. Lemongrass & Coconut Panna Cotta for pudding!

259. Touring London’s City Hall & dinner at Madame D.

260. Finally making it to Malty St. Market.

261. Starting to get the hang of this whole working from home thing…

262. A visit to Paperchase is always a good idea!

263. Weekday brunch = ultimate working-from-home perk!

264. A potato-in-every-dish tasting menu is my kind fo tasting menu! Well done Idohan!

265. The boyfriend working from home.

266. The Little Viet Kitchen’s spring rolls.

267. Sunny autumn days are the best!

268. The Big Bang Theory season premiere.

269. So excited for the opening of pumpkin / squash soup season!!

270. Dinner at Darjeeling Express.

271. The first appearance of my signature sausage casserole on my table this season.

272. 100% obsessed with those white chocolate & raspberry cookies.

273. The best cure for SAD – cheese fondue, wine & giggles!

365 things that made 2017 awesome ● Yearly retrospective ● Cake + WhiskyOCT.


275. All-day snuggles before the BF goes to India.

276. Getting stuck into Dan Brown’s Origin.

277. Squash soup + apple & black pudding sausage rolls is what Autumn dinner dreams are made of!

278. Finally getting things moving in the right direction work-wise.

279. Make the most of Fry-day with chips for dinner!

280. London’s best ramen at Kanada-Ya.

281. #BloggersBoozyBrunch at The Avenue.

282. Absolutely obsessed with Nexflix’s The Good Place.

283. Soup, soup soup!

284. Buttered toast is my spirit animal.

285. Bluebird Tea finally landing in London!

286. The Mr.’s back (and he brought Leon’s meatballs with him!).

287. Catching up on fave TV shows (How to Get Away With Murder ftw)!

288. Another fabulous party at the Palace!

289. A Columbia Road house plant shopping and Reubens kind of day (the best kind!).

290. Finally getting our visas for Cuba sorted!

291. Spicy pork dumplings for lunch.

292. Another spicy pork dumpling lunch (can’t get enough of them!!)

293. Previewing the Autumn cocktail menu at TwoRuba.

294. Cocktail masterclass at Hixter Bankside followed by one of London’s best steak at Macellaio RC.

295. Smoking Goat’s spicy chicken wings!!

296. Deglet Nour dates ♥♥

297. I had forgotten how good The Collective‘s strawberry & mascarpone yoghurt is (now, how do we go about making it a permanent flavour?!)

298. Freshly baked apple turnovers.

299. Learning to make Koláčes with Budweiser Budvar.

300. Leftover pastries from yesterday’s masterclass for breakfast.

301. Absolutely OBSESSED with this sticky date porridge!!

302. Chicken and mushroom pie for dinner.

303. The odd satisfaction of a nearly-empty fridge.

304. Suitcases all packed and ready for Cuba!


305. Getting my nails painted in the prettiest shade of baby blue at London Grace.

306. That take-off feeling (and a really good in-flight meal!).

307. Cuba Day 1 – Gigantic casa breakfast, first steps in Havana and Ropa Vieja at El Cubano.

308. Cuba Day 2 – Lemonade at Montserrate Bar and time by the sea on the Malecon.

309. Cuba Day 3 – Taking in the views in Vinales.

310. Cuba Day 4 – Horseback riding through the Vinales Valley and swimming in the lake.

311. Cuba Day 5 – I’m always at my happiest by the seaside (especially when the sea is WARM!!)

312. Cuba Day 6 – Sea-swimming and fish soup.

313. Cuba Day 7 – The views on the car journey from Playa Larga to Trinidad.

314. Cuba Day 8 – Making it to the Parque El Cubano waterfall.

315. Cuba Day 9 – Seeing a quadruple rainbow over Trinidad (and finally fealing good enough to eat something other than rice)!

316. Cuba Day 10 – Mojitos & patatas bravas at El Cochinero, a tour of Havana’s Vedado in the cutest car, incredible jamon croquetas at La Guarida and the best night’s sleep at Animas 303.

317. Cuba Day 11 – Riding in a Coco taxi + binge-watching The Handmaid’s Tale on the plane.

318. Wifi everywhere (and late afternoon naps).

319. Not feeling the effect of jetlag!

320. Domino’s dinner.

321. Murder on the Orient Express with a cup of tea at Everyman Cinema.

322. A productive afternoon of Christmas shopping.

323. Christmas present wrapping round 1 & Christmas playlist building.

324. Tray roast salad for lunch.

325. Looking through our Cuba pictures.

326. Bread + butter pudding for breakfast.

327. I forgot how good (and cheap!!) Pizza Union’s mushroom pizza is!!

328. A spot of independant store Christmas shopping on Exmouth Market, followed by Patty & Bun burgers on the sofa.

329. An incredible impromptu dinner at Anglo.

330. Moving forward with our Christmas shopping.

331. First time watching Elf!

332. Breakfast at the gorgeous Balcon with Clarence Court, followed by a tour of London’s prettiest Christmas lights & windows.

333. My first ever hot pot dinner.

334. Basically living off easy-peelers and I regret nothing.


335. Bublé playlist & canapé prepping.

336. Festive cocktail fuelled-Christmas party.

337. Padella pasta & long-overdue catch-up with my fave human being.

338. The most efficient Monday I’ve had in a long time.

339. -Finally- being the proud owner of a pink, glittery deer head.

340. Pasta dinner.

341. Being reunited with the best mum in the world!

342. Christmas shopping with my mum & Christmas partying with my love.

343. Whisky cocktails & burger dinner.

344. Roast at the Quality Chop House.

345. Spinach baked eggs for dinner.

346. The look on my mum’s face after her first taste of my ultimate mac’n’cheese recipe.

347. Padella‘s simple tomato pasta – simply gorgeous!

348. Leftover pigs in blankets.

349. More of London’s best chicken wings with one of my fave people.

350. Lazy sofa day with all the Christmas movies.

351. Mmmmmh, noodle soup!

352. Prtty festive nails from The Little Nail Room, followed by a funghi pizza party with my fave.

353. Going home for Christmas.

354. Foie gras for breakfast #onlyinfrance.

355. The smell of my parents’ Christmas tree.

356. First taste of my version of Rachel Phipps’ gin-cured salmon and it’s a winner!

357. Christmas grocery shopping with my mum.

358. Cooking up the Christmas feast with the whole family.

359. My prettyyyyyyyy!

360. Little nuggets of self-improvment wisdom and raclette party.

361. Tea shopping, being reunited with Sephora and dinner with my grand parents.

362. Chateau road trip with the Mr. and the sister (+ French McDo and yet more foie gras ’cause I’m all about that balanced diet).

363. Catching up with one of my favourite human beings.

364. Cuban mojitos, Chinese takeaway and proving I’m still the Ticket to Ride master (any other addicts to this game around?)

365. A packed last day ahead – squeezing in as much family quality time (and couscous stew) as possible before celebrating the upcoming new year with friends!

Hoping that 2018 brings you and your loved ones as many happy moments as 2017 did! What were your highlights?

365 things that made 2017 awesome

Curried spinach baked eggs (V)

My favourite recipes have a few things in common:

  1. They look intricate but are actually deceptively easy to put together.
  2. They require few ingredients, and preferably some I already have in the fridge/cupboard.
  3. They feel indulgent but are actually good for you.

Such recipes are good to have around any time of the year, but especially so during the festive period.

When you’re already running around like a headless chicken, desperatey trying to get a present for everyone on your list, wrapping them all and writing Christmas cards whilst managing a busier-than-usual calendar, feeding oneself with good, nutrient-rich food often steps back in favour of a mince pie-based diet.

Curried spinach baked eggs (V) ● Easy brunch recipe ● Cake + Whisky

And yet I have hope these curried spinach baked eggs will bring some nutrition back onto the pre-Christmas table.

Curried spinach baked eggs (V) ● Easy brunch recipe ● Cake + Whisky

But truth be told, they are egg-celent any time of the year – and the day!

Quick & easy to make, they make for a filling lunch, a light dinner or an brunch dish.

And, they’re absolutely egg-straordinary if you’re trying to knock a (festive or not) hangover out of the park!

Curried spinach baked eggs (V) ● Easy brunch recipe ● Cake + Whisky

The recipe below serves two, so multiply as required according to the number of over-worked elves/colleagues/family members you need to feed!

Curried spinach baked eggs (V) ● Easy brunch recipe ● Cake + Whisky Curried spinach baked eggs (V) ● Easy brunch recipe ● Cake + Whisky


A very simple, very special dish – recipes don’t get much more egg-straordinary than that!

Curried spinach baked eggs (V) ● Easy brunch recipe ● Cake + Whisky

More festive yet healthy recipes

Festive Brussel sprout slaw (V, GF)

My favourite squash soup (VE, GF)

Christmas orange salad (VE, GF)

Curried spinach baked eggs (V)

Festive Old Fashioned Cocktail

The old fashioned is the classic whisky cocktail.

And you know me, there’s nothing I like more than putting a twist on a classic…

Festive old fashioned ● Christmas cocktail recipe ● Cake + Whisky

Especially when said twist happens to be a festive one.

I mean, there’s a very limited period of time when people (my boyfriend) won’t judge me for adding cinnamon and cranberry to any food/drink that gets near me. And I fully intend to make the absolute most of it.

Festive old fashioned ● Christmas cocktail recipe ● Cake + WhiskyFestive old fashioned ● Christmas cocktail recipe ● Cake + Whisky

The perfect festive mix of sweet cranberry syrup, zesty orange and warming cinnamon, this festive old fashioned remains true to its classic roots, but with a little cheer-y lift.

Festive old fashioned ● Christmas cocktail recipe ● Cake + WhiskyFestive old fashioned ● Christmas cocktail recipe ● Cake + Whisky

The perfect berry & bright tipple to go alongside a spot of tree decorating and Bublé singalong.

But you know the drill – don’t drink and drive, ‘elf and safety etc…

Festive old fashioned ● Christmas cocktail recipe ● Cake + Whisky


More (easy but life-changing) recipes to make this Christmas

Mulled-wine inspired Christmas martini (VE)

Turkey + cranberry sausage rolls

Christmas orange salad (VE)

Festive Brussel sprout slaw (V)

Festive Old Fashioned Cocktail

Sunday Roast at The Quality Chop House

Sunday roast is a big deal.

Especially when it’s this cold outside.

The best ones are made by your mother, obviously.

But if, like me, you don’t have a roast-proficient mum (and can’t bring yourself to do all the roasting yourself), I know just the place.

Sunday Roast at The Quality Chop House ● London restaurant review ● Cake + WhiskySunday Roast at The Quality Chop House ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Tucked away at the very end of my absolute favourite street in London, The Quality Chop House is a gloriously old school British restaurant with Grade II-Victorian-decor to match!

Sunday Roast at The Quality Chop House ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky Sunday Roast at The Quality Chop House ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Get a group of 3-6 together and book yourself a booth.

Sunday Roast at The Quality Chop House ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Order up a bottle of something nice (a lovely Côtes du Rhône in our case)…

Sunday Roast at The Quality Chop House ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

And tuck into the delightfully light smoked cod roe with pickled onion while you peruse the menu.

Sunday Roast at The Quality Chop House ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Especially delightful atop the Quality Chop House’s own sourdough, still warm from the oven.

The selection of starters is quite lovely, but on Sunday, it’s all about the roasts…

Sunday Roast at The Quality Chop House ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Belted Galloway beef (sirloin & brisket).

Sunday Roast at The Quality Chop House ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Tamworth pork shoulder with crackling and apple sauce.

(There’s also a vegetarian option and a fish dish on the menu).

Sunday Roast at The Quality Chop House ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

All served with all the trimmings and a selection of seasonal vegetables.

Sunday Roast at The Quality Chop House ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

And when at the Quality Chop House… add on a side of those confit potatoes.

You simply have to.

Sunday Roast at The Quality Chop House ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Pile everything up high onto your (already heaving) plate, top with a bit more gravy and tuck into your Sunday feast.

Try to save a little bit of room for pudding…

Sunday Roast at The Quality Chop House ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Sticky date sponge with Christmas pudding ice cream and pear, paired with the most exquisite Loupiac I’ve ever had.

Truly the most wonderful way to spend a Sunday!

The Quality Chop House, 88-94 Farringdon Rd, Clerkenwell, London EC1R 3EA

Make sure you book ahead – especially on Sundays!

More restaurant suggestions

My absolute favourite London place

A modern British food champion

For those days when you want it all (now you can!)

When only steak will do

Sunday Roast at The Quality Chop House

Mulled Wine Inspired Christmas Martini

‘Tis the season for Christmas parties & a little festive tipple!

Mulled-wine inspired Christmas Martini ● Christmas cocktail recipe ● Cake + Whisky

And in that field, things don’t get any better than a tangy Christmas Martini.

Mulled-wine inspired Christmas Martini ● Christmas cocktail recipe ● Cake + Whisky

I first tried them at the Borough Kitchen Christmas press do, and they immediately became a seasonal staple.

They are a modern take on traditional mulled wine and a real Christmas cracker of a drinks recipe!

Mulled-wine inspired Christmas Martini ● Christmas cocktail recipe ● Cake + Whisky

Super easy, quick and completely delicious, I have it on good authority that Mr & Mrs Claus enjoy a few of these on the run up to Christmas eve.

Just make sure you drink them responsibly… ‘elf & safety first, promise?!

Mulled-wine inspired Christmas Martini ● Christmas cocktail recipe ● Cake + Whisky


More festive inspiration & recipes

The A to Z of Christmas in London

Cranberry & turkey sausage rolls

Christmas orange salad (VE)

DIY Christmas bingo cards

Mulled Wine Inspired Christmas Martini

Hot Pot restaurant, Chinatown

I had one of the most exciting meal of the year at Hot Pot in Chinatown last week.

It wasn’t at a fancy, expensive restaurant.

But it was something totally new and that I had never done before – and when you eat out as much as I do, that’s something to celebrate!

Hot Pot restaurant, Chinatown ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

The first outpost of a 150-something-strong Thai-based franchise, Hot Pot specialises in… well… hot pots.

Hot Pot restaurant, Chinatown ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

The ultimate social eating dining concept, hot pot brings family and friends together around a broth-filled pot and a variety of toppings to cook in them.

Hot Pot restaurant, Chinatown ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Once you’ve chosen your broth from the 5 daily-made varieties and a few too many toppings from a 60-something strong list, all you have to do is sit back and relax.

All whilst nibbling on some fantastic Thai-style chicken wings and prawn toast (not pictured but absolutely delicious).

Hot Pot restaurant, Chinatown ● London restaurant review ● Cake + WhiskyHot Pot restaurant, Chinatown ● London restaurant review ● Cake + WhiskyHot Pot restaurant, Chinatown ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

When you’re doing that, the kitchen will get everything ready, pouring, crushing, peeling, chopping and mixing the many many ingredients necessary to craft Hot Pot’s signature broths.

Hot Pot restaurant, Chinatown ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Before you know it, a big steel pot of fragrant broth will appear in the centre of your table, alongside the freshest selection of toppings.

Hot Pot restaurant, Chinatown ● London restaurant review ● Cake + WhiskyHot Pot restaurant, Chinatown ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Pork, beef, fish, vegetables…

Moderation was never my strong suit, so we went for quite literally all of them, and I strongly recommend you do the same!

Hot Pot restaurant, Chinatown ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Then it’s time for you to get cooking by adding whatever toppings you fancy into the broth.

Hot Pot restaurant, Chinatown ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Add things one at a time or really go to town and put a little bit of everything inthere at once, there’s really no wrong way to do hot pot.

Plus, the more things you cook in the broth, the more layers of flavour you add to your initial broth, which means the more you eat, the better it gets!

Hot Pot restaurant, Chinatown ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

A meal that’s meant to be enjoyed at a leisurely pace, hot pot is all about gathering your favourite people around a table create delicious food memories.

Definitely the hot (pot) place to be this winter!

Hot Pot, 17 Wardour St, London W1D 6PJ

Hot Pot restaurant, Chinatown

Cranberry & turkey sausage rolls

Christmas is –finally– coming!

There’s less than 20 days to go ’til the most wonderful day of the year and -having been ready for it since the beginning of August- I’m so excited.

I’m not going to lie; part of it is because, for the first time ever, we managed to get a date in the diary to host our own little Christmas party. And we’ve managed to agree on said date early enough for all of your favourite people to not be already triple book, which means everyone was there.


Cranberry & turkey sausage rolls ● Festive canapés recipe ● Cake + Whisky

Which made things both very exciting and a teeny tiny bit complicated in terms of logistics, given that we hosted 15 people and only have 4 chairs. So yeah, Christmas-themed drinks and canapés it was!


Cranberry & turkey sausage rolls ● Festive canapés recipe ● Cake + Whisky

So this week, I’ll be sharing the snacks I made for our little festive get-together – starting with those amazing cranberry & turkey sausage rolls.

Cranberry & turkey sausage rolls ● Festive canapés recipe ● Cake + Whisky

Super easy to make and soooooo festive, they’re a party favourite.

No matter how many you make (there’s no such thing as too many), they’ll disappear in a flash!

Cranberry & turkey sausage rolls ● Festive canapés recipe ● Cake + Whisky


More festive inspiration

The A to Z of Christmas in London

How to cook Christmas dinner in an hour

DIY Christmas bingo cards

Christmas orange salad (VE)

Cranberry & turkey sausage rolls

The A to Z of Christmas in London

‘Tis the season to be merry from A to Z!

The A to Z of Christmas in London ● Cake + Whisky

A is for Afternoon tea

‘Tis the season to overindulge – and afternoon tea is the way to do so in style.

From a round up of all the classic festive treats at the Bulgari, to a creative, Dyptique-inspired spread at Hôtel Café Royal, a ‘Scent of Christmas Tea’ in collaboration with Penhaligon at The Savoy, a festive feast with a view at the Shangri La, or a slightly mad and definitely tipsy tea party at the Sanderson, the options are plentiful and so-oh-oh cheerful!

B is for Burgers

I love Christmas. I love a good burger. So obviously I LOOOOOOOVE a good Christmas burger.

Every single one of London’s thousand burger shop seems to have (at least) one festive special on this year but the strongest contender in my opinion is Ben’s Canteen‘s Xmas Turkey Burger.

With sage-brined & buttermilked turkey breast, Karma cola-braised ham, squashed stuffing ball, brie, bacon & chestnut mayo, mulled wine & cranberry sauce, buttered Brussel tops, it’s basically a full Christmas dinner in a bun.

And then of course, there’s the croquettes, the loaded roasties (!!) and the doughnuts with festive fillings…

More info & bookings

C is for Carols

From the traditional affairs in classic venues such as Westminster Abbey or St Paul’s Cathedral, to fun-filled Christmas Carol Singalongs, a festive Norwegian concert, and a variety of charity-led carolling events, a few hours of Christmas carols is a surefire way to warm even the most frozen of hearts into the holiday spirit!

D is for Drinks

This time of the year, mulled wine is absolutely compulsory, but there are a few other options worth considering as well…

Icebar London, the UK’s only permanent icebar, is the coolest spot for cocktails in town for chilled drinks (quite literally – cocktails are served in Icebar’s signature ice glasses!).

At the other end of the spectrum, Charlotte’s W5 Sipsmith terrace is all about cosying up. Complete with blankets, fairy lights and roasted chestnuts, Ealing’s own winter wonderland is all about the hot drinks – including innovative takes on traditional Negronis and Espresso Martinis – all made with Sipsmith Gin.

The A to Z of Christmas in London ● Cake + Whisky The A to Z of Christmas in London ● Cake + Whisky

E is for Elf (and other Christmas movies)

In the mood for some festive big screen time? One of those cinemas got you covered!

So pack your bag with mince pies and festive popcorn (Irish coffee, mince pie, brandy butter, mint choc… so many possibilities…) and let the magic of seeing a movie you know by heart at the cinema begin!

F is for Fondue

Looking for a fun festive do? Give the gift of cheese-sharing this Christmas season!

With dozen of winter-themed ephemeral restaurants popping up in the run up to Christmas adding to London’s already strong melted cheese scene, fondue is everywhere – from Broadgate’s Winter Forest, to Soho’s St Moritz, Spitafield’s Androuet, Shoreditch’s Walluc, Southbank’s Jimmy’s Lodge, Dulwich’s French House, Camden’s Cheese Bar and many, many more…

G is for Gelato

Christmas Cake, Panettone, Gingerbread, Speculoos, Stolen, Advocaat (the Dutch answer to eggnog) and even Roquefort & pear – the Christmas flavours at (my favourite!) ice cream parlour Gelupo is celebrating some of the best Christmas flavours from the 6 original EU countries.

Quirky flavours, pro-EU stance and an excellent reason to eat ice cream all year round – not your classic Christmas things but some I can definitely get behind!

H is for History

Want to learn more about Christmas past? The Geffrye Museum’s festive exhibition explores festive traditions in Britain through the ages.

Every year, the museum uses seasonal decorations, lighting, greenery and music to showcase how Christmas has been celebrated during different eras in English history, and explains the origins and meanings of Christmas traditions such as Christmas stockings, cards, crackers and kissing under the mistletoe.

FREE entry – more info

I is for Igloos

Baby, it’s cold outside! Which is the perfect excuse to head to The Sipping Room and warm up in one of their six giant pop-up igloos!

With toasty touches, including electric heaters, sheepskin throws, hot water bottles and Aran jumpers, festive cocktails in abundance and a delicious menu of festive-themed canapés (yes to pigs in blankets and stilton + walnut tarts!), the igloos are the perfect Christmas party hotspot!

Info & bookings

The A to Z of Christmas in London ● Cake + Whisky The A to Z of Christmas in London ● Cake + Whisky

J is for Jumper

Christmas Jumper Day is the perfect opportunity to dig out your favourite festive sweater.

Ugly or whimsical, with fairy lights, baubles, snowmen and Christmas tree, on December 15th, thousands of people will be donning their most wonderful woolies – all for a great cause.

So what do you say? Ready to make the world better with a silly jumper?

More info & sign up

K is for Kew

One of the most beautiful places in London all year round, the Kew Gardens are even more so in the rundown to Christmas.

Every evening from 22nd November until January 1st, as twilight falls, the Gardens light up with over one million twinkling lights, illuminating heritage trees and buildings and the magic begins.

Fairy-tale meets fantasy in a world of singing trees, larger-than-life flora, ribbons of light, giant baubles, and a flickering Fire Garden. The Palm House leaps into life with a dazzling show of laser beams, jets of light and kaleidoscopic projections.

Little ones can catch a glimpse of Santa and his elves at the North Pole village and enjoy a vintage fairground ride. Not so little ones can warm up with some mulled wine or hot chocolate and toast marshmallows around the fire.

And if that doesn’t put you in a festive mood, nothing will, really.

More info and tickets

L is for Lights

My favourite London festive tradition is to take a walk around the city to see the lights.

More often than not, it will mean facing the crowds, but it’s well worth it as each year, London seems to cover itself in decorations more impressive than the year before.

2017 favourites so far include Carnaby’s carnival-themed installations (so different and SO cool!!) and Covent Garden’s giant mistletoe, but there’s a lot more I want to explore before flying home for Christmas!

M is for Mince (pie and everything else!)

Mince pies are the Christmas-sy equivalent of Marmite.

But love it or loathe it, as soon as Halloween’s past (and sometimes even before!!), they’re everywhere.

On the counter of every coffee shop worth its name and next to every hot drink served to you from Nov. 1st, obviously, but as the years go by, there’s more and more mince pies in disguise across the capital.

In croissants at Paul, doughnuts at Crosstown, cheesecake, ice cream, flat white, gin… there’s enough fruity goodness to get your 5-a-day in mince pie form the entire festive season!

N is for Nutcracker

Set on Christmas day and filled with cheerful decors and magic, The Nutcracker is the quintessential Christmas show.

This year, London’s top music and ballet venues all have it on their festive program – from the Royal Opera House, to the London Colliseum and the Royal Albert Hall.

The Royal Opera House’s production will also be shown in local cinemas across the UK on December 5th.

O is for Ornaments

Choosing a new ornament to add to your collection each year is a brilliant Christmas tradition.

London’s best selection are to be found at Liberty’s ever-so-fantastic Christmas store on the 4th floor of their flagship Oxford Circus store.

Alternatively, Etsy local pop-up markets are bound to have beautiful, locally-made options too!

The A to Z of Christmas in London ● Cake + Whisky The A to Z of Christmas in London ● Cake + Whisky

P is for Presents

Present-shopping (and wrapping!) is one of my favourite pre-Christmas activities, but it can be quite daunting if your nearest and dearest are on the notorious ‘difficult to shop for’ list.

Some of my personal favourite shops to hit when the gifting inspiration is low: Fortnum & Mason for the foodie types (I love their jam/tea/biscuits), Botanique Workshop and Oliver Bonas to treat the women in your life, Anthropologie for quirky home bits, We Built This City for London-themed-and-made knick-knacks and J Crew for the cutest socks and most gorgeous knitwear.

Oh, and TKMAXX’s wrapping papper game is very, very strong this year, in case you were wondering!

Q is for Quiz

Festive trivia at the ready!? You’ll definitely need it to triumph at any of the incredibly cheerful pub quizzes taking place in the capital this month!

R is for Races

Maybe it’s just for good fun & charity, maybe it’s linked to the extra calorie intake (see ‘mince pie’), but London is especially obsessed with all sorts of quirky races around Christmas time.

There’s the world-famous Santa Run, where thousands of people dressed as Father Christmas raise thousands of pounds for charity each year. There’s the Great Christmas Pudding Race – the most festive of obstacle races. And then there’s the Peter Pan Cup, where brave outdoor swimmers compete in the icy waters of the Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park on Christmas morning…

All welcome spectators and should be a fun addition to any festive calendar!

S is for Sauna

Dreaming of a Scandi Christmas? Southbank Centre’s festive calendar’s got you covered!

In December, they’re hosting a whole lot of Nordic inspired events as part of their Wintertime festival.

Think fondue in a snow globe, mulled wine, ABBA singalongs and a full-on Finnish sauna on the rooftop, complete with a sauna expert showing you all the ropes!

Info & bookings

T is for Tree

Christmas trees are everywhere in December, but the most iconic one is the gigantic one on Trafalgar Square. It’s actually a present from the people of Norway in gratitude for Britain’s support for Norway during World War II, a tradition that’s been going on since 1947.

Usually over 20 metres high and 50-60 years old, the tree is selected from the forests surrounding Oslo with great care several months, even years, in advance. The tree is felled in November during a ceremony in which the Lord Mayor of Westminster, the British ambassador to Norway and the Mayor of Oslo participate, before being brought over to London and decorated in traditional Norwegian fashion, with vertical strings of lights.

This year, the lighting ceremony will take place on 7 December 2017 in Trafalgar Square at 6pm.

More info

The A to Z of Christmas in London ● Cake + Whisky

U is for Urgh

As beautiful and magic as it is, Christmas time in London can also be incredibly upsetting.

The crowds, the queues, the wait time… none of those are on anyone’s wish list.

Be mindful of this when planning your festive activities. Get up early if you want to hit Oxford Street or Covent Garden for a spot of shopping. Book restaurants activities and events whenever possible.

And if it all gets too much, there’s always Amazon & Deliveroo #justsaying…

V is for Volunteering

As much as present buying is good for the economy, Christmas is really all about giving – and there’s no gift more precious than the one of time.

If you want to volunteer this festive season, The Londonist has put together a helpful list of the volunteering operations taking place over the festive period that could use an extra hand…

W is for Windows

Another Christmas time favourite of mine – doing the round of store windows and oh and ah at the creative displays put up each year for shoppers’ enjoyment.

The usual suspects for the title of best Christmas windows include Liberty, Fortnum & mason, Selfridges and John Lewis. that being said, I must admit that this year, I’m especially taken by Hackett’s magic-themed ones!

X is for Xmas day

The most wonderful time of the yeaaaaaaaar!

(and a great day to see London zombie-apocalypse style as pretty much everything’s closed and most people have fled the city!)

Y is for YOU!

With all that Christmas cheer in the air, the many Christmas parties making their way into your agenda and the never ending to do / to buy / to pack lists to keep track off, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.

So make sure you save some time aside for yourself and relaxing ahead of the always-wonderful-but-oh-so-tiring festivities!

Z is for Zigzags

The ones you’ll invariably do in streets and shops as you spot pretty little (and bigger) things you want to take a closer look at.

Don’t fight it – in the end, every little helps when it comes to increasing your daily footsteps to allow for one more mince pie!

The A to Z of Christmas in London ● Cake + Whisky

This blog post was written as part of this month’s #travelinkup, where we unwrapped another fun topic: Festivities. Do you love them, hate them, put up with the season? Anything goes! Want to join this cheerful edition? Pop your post up over the first week of the month (the 1st – 7th December 2017), add it to the link up widget found on Adventures of a London KiwiSilverSpoon LondonFollow Your Sunshine or The ZRW.

The A to Z of Christmas in London