Happy birthday Bristol Bites…a look back at my first year of food blogging…

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It’s hard to believe that I started this blog a year ago, with the original, obligatory “Welcome to the Bristol Bites blog!” post going live on January 20th, 2010. To be honest, I doubt anyone ever read the original post…and if that’s the case, I’m not surprised. I was completely new to blogging, only 5 months into my time in Bristol, and I didn’t have a clue. One thing that I can say with certainty is that I’ve learned a lot over the last year – about blogging AND Bristol – and I’ve had a lot of fun and met some fantastic people along the way…

January 2010 turned out to be a busy month, brought to you by the letter “C”. The cider festival and cheese festival allowed me to indulge in two of my vices…and managing to bag two places at the top secret Cloak and Dinner event made my month. If that wasn’t enough, I also managed to cram in a chocolate making workshop with Frances Cooley.

February gave me a little more time to think about the blog and what I wanted to do with it, and I decided that it would be great to do a series of profiles of local food or drink-related companies. First on the list was the lovely Kate from Lahloo Tea, and in the same month I headed down to Swinky Sweets on their opening day and returned with a number of cupcakes – purely for research purposes, of course…

March was more focused on publicising as many as possible of the great foodie events that go on in and around Bristol, one of which was Louise Barnard’s Secret Service Supper Club. I think it was at this point in the year that I began to realise that London’s not the only place with a thriving foodie scene…

April’s highlight was a series of conversations with Clifton’s Papadeli, which led to them providing me with a recipe to test that only used ingredients sold in their deli. I’ve made this a fair few times since then!

The calendar for May included the first Big Cheese Taste Off, held on the Grain Barge, and the opening of the Three Coqs Brasserie on Whiteladies Road. I think the fact that I went on a knife skills course at the Bertinet Kitchen in June slightly disturbed some of my friends, but the Bristol Wine and Food Fair and Grillstock in July gave them something else to think about!

Looking back at my posts, it seems that I was very quiet in August…which makes sense, as I was busy looking for a new flat! I definitely caught up in September, though, with a hell of a lot of posts, including a profile of the wonderful Layla Pegado.

October was definitely a month for over-indulgence. The second Big Cheese Taste Off, an evening at Papadeli for their “What’s In Season Supper”, Sam Leach’s fantastic duck heart dish at the Southville Supper Club and a great meal at Juniper meant many midweek late nights…and the chance to be on the judging panel for the Warburtons SW Young Baker of the Year competition was a great experience.

Surakhan and Rosemarino both opened in November (and Papaji’s relaunched), Mitch Tonks hosted a smoked salmon tasting at The RockFish Grill, and (most importantly) Bristol Cider Shop took its place on the Christmas Steps.

December was mainly a focus on a series of “Local Foodie Gifts” posts…but with a trip to Danielle’s Bishopston Supper Club, a trip to Ronnie’s in Thornbury and a great meal at Casamia thrown in for good measure.

And this year? Well, I’ve already managed to get in evenings at Côte and Bells Diner (I hadn’t written the review at the point of posting this…), with the Glassboat, Fishers, The Lido and, randomly, The Sportsman in Whitstable all coming up over the course of the next month or so.

……………….

Phew. Having written all that, I’m starting to realise just how much time I spent on the blog, on the associated Facebook page and on my Twitter account…and probably how sick my friends are of me talking/reading/writing about food. I apologise to all of you. On the plus side, though, it’s meant that I’ve met some fantastic people over the last year – not just those who work in the food industry, but people who I’ve come to call friends.

I’ve got some big plans in the pipeline for 2011, I just need to find some time to catch up on things and finalise details. In the meantime, I’m just going to continue to spend time (and far too much money!) on enjoying all that Bristol has to offer…and I hope that my second year of blogging will bring just as many great experiences and meetings as the last. 🙂

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