The Best of 2016 on Gin & Griddle

So as 2016 draws to a close, before we jump in to 2017, its time to look back and reflect on the best of the year…. I love writing these posts, remembering the great places, food and experiences; I’ve appreciated and that have stayed with me afterwards… Enjoy and let me know what you think!

best Brunch of 2016

Brunch has been a big feature of 2016 but actually my favourite brunch was not quite brunch – it was Le Drunch at The Marker Brasserie in The Marker Hotel. A relaxed vibe, Cocktails, amazing wings and a thoroughly enjoyable way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

best Afternoon Tea of 2016

The Art Tea at the The Merrion is very special. The Merrion’s Drawing Rooms are sumptuous and luxurious and exactly where you would like to sip on a glass of bubbly, enjoying all the delectable food and treats…

best Hotel of 2016

The standout hotel for me in 2016 was The Merchant in Belfast. The art deco guest rooms are gorgeous, the reception, bars, restaurants, setting – everything about The Merchant is beautiful.

BEST atmosphere of 2016

For the setting and experience, The Saddle Room at The Shelbourne really stands out, impeccable service, beautiful surroundings in the restaurant itself and the hotel. I loved everything about our very long and highly enjoyable lunch there.

BEST Alfresco DINING of 2016

A highlight of the summer was pizza and wine on the canal side terrace of Angelina’s. It’s such a lovely spot to sit outside, watch the barges, enjoy great wine and food, cocktails too.

BEST Cheese of 2016

Because, well, cheese deserves it’s very own category! The cheese board, well, trolley at Galgorm is the stuff of dreams. Beautifully presented, knowledgeable servers, great accompaniments.

best Michelin of 2016

I know Michelin stars are not the be all and end all but it’s still something worth noting I think . While on a work trip to Madrid I had the opportunity to dine at  La Cabra and it was superb. Michelin star dining doesn’t come much better than this in  my view.

Best food Provenance of 2106

Forest & Marcy on Lesson St. prepare carefully selected local Irish ingredients with excellent provenance. The dishes created are mostly small plates, that are seasonal and contemporary. The kitchen is open, the seating is all high stools & tables or the bar counter and I love it…!

and finally…. the Best overall experience of 2016

I though a lot about this and decided that for overall quality, experience and value the one place that really stood out for me was James Street South in Belfast.

James Street South is a super spot, fine dining but modern, contemporary & simple. It is part of a family of restaurants in Belfast with Bar + Grill, Hadskis and a Cookery School also. It’s classic food with local provenance.