2018 - a year of Edible Adventures in Review

Sunday 6 January 2019
Wishing a slightly belated Happy New Year to all my readers! I hope that 2019 will be good for you and yours and would like to take this opportunity to wish you health and happiness for the months to come. Lang may yer lum reek!

We had a fantastic fun filled festive season and for the first time in 14 years I wasn't hosting Christmas - which felt a wee bit strange. Instead we headed north to my sister's where we enjoyed fantastic Highland hospitality and great fun, food and drink. Twixmas was spent in Edinburgh then back to the North East for New Year at Stonehaven fireballs. After all that gallivanting I'm now looking forward to getting back into a routine and weaning myself off chocolate, cheese and alcohol. With the start of a new year it's time to reflect upon the year gone past and take a look at some of my edible adventure highlights and favourite posts and events from 2018...

Christmas 2018

January kicked off with the best science class ever. Blending our very own Gin with the Eden Mill Blendworks Experience at Macdonald Rusacks Hotel in St Andrews. A fun, informative and highly interactive experience that would be thoroughly enjoyed by any gin lover. Located within the historic 4 star Rusacks Hotel with views of the 18th green of the world famous Old Course and West Sands Beach.

Much to my daughters disgust we don't have a dog however this year we've been able to spend time with lots of 4 legged friends thanks to Borrow My Doggy. As a result I compiled a very popular post of over fifty dog friendly places to eat and drink in Aberdeen City and Shire. Cafes, Restaurants, Coffee Shops and Pubs where pooches are welcome

Cakes and culture went hand in hand in June when I raised £563 for Maggie's with an emotional and uplifting day starting at my kitchen table and finishing with a night time 10 mile walk. To see so many people coming together for such a great cause whist sharing fun and friendship and all that is good about Aberdeen was an amazing experience from start to finish. I can't recommend it enough and you can sign up now for the 2019 event which takes place on Friday 21st June.

Remembering the role, service and sacrifice of pipers during the First World War.
The whole trip was a fantastic and moving experience from start to finish and I was proud to be a small part of it and even more proud of my piper and drummers. 
Lest we forget.

A nostalgic look backwards and forwards at my links to the Scottish Women's Institute. My maternal grandmother Jean Benzie was a stalwart of the SWRI. Born in 1900 she was an active member for over 50 years. From the 1930s to the 1980s, she sewed and baked her way through Institutes in Turriff, Culter and Dingwall, along with holding various positions and participating in drama and singing events.

International Sunday Brunch at Fairmont St Andrews
A trip to St Andrews to celebrate my son's 16th birthday and enjoy a brunch like no other. The International Sunday Brunch at the 5 star Fairmont St Andrews Hotel is the only one of its kind in Scotland with an unlimited lavish buffet of continental charcuterie and international salads. A variety of entrees from the land and sea complimented by live cooking and carving stations. An impressive array of desserts, patisserie and ice cream completed the feast.

My top 10 quirky places and things to eat in London
A trip to London in August led to post with a collection of quirky places and things to eat in the capital from Borough Market to China Town. Avo-lato ice cream, bubble waffles, candy floss, cereal, hotpot, disco fries and more. I shared my personal recommendations for hipster places, meaty places, divine coffee, breakfast to die for and a fistful of Instagram worthy eats.

Ultimate visitors guide to the V&A Dundee
Dundee's V&A Museum was 10 years in the planning and having stepped through it's doors it does indeed live up to all the hype. What an absolutely fantastic addition to Dundee, Scotland and indeed the world. To help plan your visit I pulled together the ultimate practical guide covering all you need to know about it's offering and facilities. Be quick if you want to see the opening 'Ocean Liners: Speed and Style' exhibition as only runs until 24 Feb 2019

Homegrown Pumpkins have been popping up across Scotland, I've now visited 3 different patches to fuel my obsession. To help spread the word I did a bit of investigating to try and track down as many Pumpkin Patches across Scotland as I could, so no matter where you are you can pick up a pumpkin (or neep) for Halloween. 
I'll be updating the post for 2019 so you too can pick the perfect pumpkin.

It's not just its Neolithic origins stretching back some 10,000 years that Orkney has to shout about, there's also a fantastic food and drink scene which I experienced first hand on a press trip. Land and sea provides an abundant natural harvest and skilled producers and chefs turn those raw ingredients into fabulous cuisine. 2 whisky distilleries, 3 gin producers, beer, cheese, oatcakes, lamb, fudge, ice cream, bere meal and more. You won't go hungry on an Edible Orcadian Adventure.

Our big holiday was a trip to Orlando in October. For us it was all about a boy called Harry rather than a mouse called Mickey. So here's ten items to tick off your foodie bucket list on a trip to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure in Orlando. Eat and drink your way through Butterbeer, Pumpkin Juice, Smoked Turkey Legs, Corn Dogs, Dippin' Dots, Voodoo Doughnuts, Cinnabon, Pumpkin Pasties and Toothsome Milkshakes.

Lots of excitement in December when my sister Adele appeared on Kirstie's Handmade Christmas participating in the Gingerbread House Competition. She may not have come home with the trophy but she's a winner in my book - if only for having her Christmas tree up since September (when they filmed at her house) and flying from Inverness to Devon with 50+ bits of gingerbread in her hand luggage along with 23kg of hold luggage much of which was marzipan, sweets, icing and suspicious 'white powder'. Her episode is still available to watch online complete with bear doing it's business in the woods.

There were some really exciting new openings in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire this year along with a couple of fantastic foodie initiatives - namely Restaurant Week and Inspired Nights Market. We welcomed Vovem, Figment, Park Shop, The Old Pier, Sandman, The Spiritualist, Fresh Mex, The Pigs Wings, Mozza, All Bar One and The Fife Arms. Both restaurant week and the inspired nights market will be making a comeback for 2019 and I'll keep you posted on my social media with regards to any new openings - including TECA and Aberdeen Art Gallery.

My diary is already beginning to fill up with edible adventures in the coming months. Firstly a trip to The Grandtully Hotel by Ballintaggart, a family break in Oban with Hosteling Scotland and some sunshine with our Easter holiday in Tenerife. Thanks to all my readers and followers in the past year on the blog and social media. I really do appreciate every click, like, comment, RT and share and thank you for all your support in enabling me to continue to share my Edible Scottish Adventures with you.

May the best you’ve ever seen
Be the worst you’ll ever see;
May a moose ne’er leave yer girnal
Wi’ a teardrop in his e’e.
May ye aye keep hale and hearty
Till ye’re auld enough tae dee,
May ye aye be just as happy
As I wish ye aye tae be.

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