This month Gin & Griddle turned 2. Such a quick 2 years filled with reviews and recipes, cocktails and wine, travel and fun. In the past year alone, the food scene in Dublin is really booming, new places, rejuvenated restaurants and bars, there’s hardly a week without something happening in the culinary world of Dublin. And as a food blogger, this is a great time to live here. New arrivals from hip (or hipster!) bars, eateries, gastropubs, pop-ups, fast food, fine dining with innovative and creative food, with a focus on provenance and locally sourced ingredients.
Looking back on the past 12 months on Gin & Griddle, there’s been 98 blog posts, over 33,000 visitors with nearly 53,000 views and a lot of tweeting – @GinandGriddle
The most popular blogs by views in the last year included The Old Spot, The Big Grill Festival, Green Man Wines, Fallon & Byrne, Afternoon Teas at The Conrad and The Westin, Drury Buildings, Beeftro and Saison, along with some Gin reviews including Dingle, Mayfair, Bulldog and Williams Chase.
And on that note, The Friday Gin Review will be returning soon, lots more Gins in my collection to talk about.
The blogs that were the most read or most popular are often different to my own favourites – these are the experiences I loved, the food I adored and the blogs I enjoyed writing in the last year…
Back in April last year I wrote about one of my favourite cities, Toronto and the wine region around Niagara on the Lake. It was great thinking back to the numerous times we have been to Toronto and Canada. And reading these posts again now makes me very excited for our upcoming holidays in June to Toronto and the wine regions around the lake. And we will catch the Honda Indy race while we are there too.
That same month I wrote about Berlin, while there for work I stayed on a couple of days, a really great city break in Europe. We had lunch at Facil, a michelin star restaurant, and one of the best meals I’ve ever had, simply stunning food in a beautiful setting.
Discovering the seafood platters at Super Miss Sue brought much pleasure last Summer! And one of our favourite ways to spend a sunny day, out by the coast, starting in Dun Laoghaire walk on the pier, get ice cream in Teddys, enjoy a coffee or a glass of wine in the many cafes and bars that dot the route along through Glasthule and Sandycove to Dalkey.
The new Brunch on a Sunday – proper Sunday lunch and Brookwood do a great one, the nicest roast beef, with cocktails and wine if you choose! The roast is served with all the trimmings, potatoes, vegetables, yorkshires and gravy.
At Ananda in Dundrum you can find the best tasting menu in Dublin; Sunil Ghai produces amazing Indian food in the kitchen here. They also do an incredible value early bird and really the best Indian food you will find , it’s stunning.
The wonderful Fish Shop at the Blackrock Market is more than worth a visit when it reopens this month. Recently expanding to be in Smithfield also… great fish & chips or fish burgers with super people running it and a place I loved last Summer.
October brought us to East Cork with a week long stay at Castlemartyr, amazing food at Farmgate in Midleton and Pat Shortts Bar in Castlemartyr village along with the restaurants in Castlemartyr Hotel itself. We are looking forward to a short return (only 1 night this time) to Castlemartyr in May for Litfest at Ballymaloe.
A post Christmas new year break to London was filled with foodie delights – amazing pasta at Toto’s Restaurant in Knightsbridge, a fantastic breakfast at Electric Diner and an all round great few days in London town.
Our stay at Hunter’s Hotel in February, a perfect 24 hour break, we loved every aspect of our stay from the coffee and scones, the real fire in the room, the quaint bar, the hot water bottle in the bed, the lovely staff…
I do love a good cocktail and sometimes a Bloody Mary is just the ticket. While I like a vodka based Bloody Mary, seeing as I’m all about Gin, the one on Gin & Griddle is with Gin, Beefeater Gin, and it lends itself very well to the flavours and spices of a Bloody Mary – served with an obligatory funky straw of course!
There’s been some baking and cooking also, the ever popular Sweet Potato Fries or a simple yet tasty Grilled Turkey and Halloumi Salad with Griddled Sticky Nectarine. For the finer weather coming, make smoothies and milkshakes, this Cherry Raspberry one is delicious. Treat yourself with Chicken Wings or a Chocolate Coconut Cupcake!
In my ‘Gin & Griddle is 1‘ post just over a year ago I included a list (part of a long list) of places I wanted to visit in the months that following, some new and some revisits, lets see how I did. First up was to return to The Greenhouse as it had been a while since our last visit. We made it back for a fantastic lunch in January.
Dined and drank at Peruke & Periwig, with the fabulous Kate of Kate’s Kabin. Etto was divine (the ristotto, wow!) and Meet & Meat is a great addition to South William Street. We made it to Bunsen for burgers and left disappointed. Great Chinese food at M&L was more than worth the trip, the dumplings, true love!
The places I haven’t made it to and are still firmly on my list are Ox in Belfast, The Tannery in Dungarvan, MacNean House & Restaurant, 777 and Las Tapas de Lola along with these new ones… lets see how I do in the next year…!
In Dublin, Restaurant Forty One, Ely (Ely Place), Sophie’s at The Dean, Amuse, Forest Avenue, Osterio Lucio. Two restaurants in Dublin on my list to return to are One Pico and Thorntons as it’s been a long while since I was last there. Further afield in Ireland (adding to the others above) – Harry’s Shack, Portstewart Strand Beach, Aniar, Galway along with a return to the Lady Helen at Mount Juliet.
There are also definitely places around the world I would love to get to, it may or may not be in the next year but no harm in having a wish list (and this is a high end wish list – there are plenty of other places I hope to get to also but that’s a whole blog post in itself!) – in London – Le Gavroche, in New York – Daniel, and in Yountville (Napa), California – The French Laundry !
Phew that was some blog post! It’s late but hopefully it was worth the wait and the long read. Thank you to all the Gin & Griddle readers and followers over the last 2 years, it’s been the most fun for me and I hope for you too. Here’s to more adventures – and remember, Eat, Drink and Enjoy!