Best of 2018

I was going to do a ‘top nine’ on Instagram, but as I saw on someone’s posts the most popular posts are not always your favourite posts. I’d like to reflect on my favourite eating experiences of 2018.

I’ve chosen my top nine eating experiences of this year. Based not only on the food, but the service, location, atmosphere and very importantly the company.

Nine
Fatto a mano, Hove
I’ve been here many times over the past year, 2018 wasn’t my first visit. But it’s made it to the list as a trip to Fatto a Mano always makes me happy, there is never any doubt that it’s going to be good! Here’s to many more trips to Hove’s best pizzeria! 

Fatto a mano review

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Eight
The Connaught Pub and Kitchen, Hove 
This is our local pub and has been since we moved to Hove nearly 4 years ago. It has changed hands a few times but it’s always been very good. I’d say it’s at its best right now. Especially when it comes to roast dinners. The one I had in November really was faultless. They do pie Thursdays, half price prosecco on Fridays and quiz night on Sunday. So many reasons to try it out!

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Seven
Beach bar on Castelldefels beach near Barcelona
This is a memorable meal for me as it was with a special friend who I don’t get to see too often due to distance. We have always shared a great love for food and started a blog together at uni. We found a cute chiringuito (bar on the beach) when we ventured out of the city. We were keen to find some seafood and we did. We had some delicious squid with garlic and parsley (Calamarcitos a la plancha con ajo y perjil). I’m pretty sure this was where we had our first sangria of the holiday, always a memorable moment!

This is cheating a little bit but I’m going to add another food experience from the same holiday here. We did a fantastic Paella cookery class whilst in Barcelona. It was so much fun learning from two wonderful women from Catalonia. We all got involved and enjoyed a delicious paella, sangria and crema catalana! I think it’s really important to discover authentic recipes from local people when travelling. But not to be scared to put your own spin on things when it comes to recreating in your own home. Gracias a Angels and Carmen for a very memorable foodie experience in Barcelona! For more info: Foodie!

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Six
VIP, Brighton
I’d visited this pizzeria before but this time was for my mum’s birthday. There was a group of us and it was a fun atmosphere with Italian staff, which is always a plus for me. Not only so I can practise the lingo, but so you can get some real advice on what they’d have. We had sharing platters to start which were excellent and pizzas or pastas for main. The house wine was also very good for the price. All in all a very enjoyable evening as it felt like a little corner of Italy in Brighton.

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Five
Osteria Monte Sacro, Roma
I had to include one of my meals in Italy this year. We went to Rome in April this year and enjoyed many meals with great friends. This one sticks in my mind because we had all Roman dishes. Amatriciana, la carbonara (no cream!) and the less famous (in the UK) cacio e pepe. All were with homemade pasta (spaghetti or other long varieties, I can’t quite remember!) All washed down with vino rosso della casa and many laughs with our amici reatini. (Friends from the town I lived in)

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Four
The Ivy in the Lanes, Brighton
I wrote a post about this very recently so I won’t go over it again. I had a thoroughly enjoyable meal here with my mum back in November. We were off to the Jess Glynne concert and so had an early evening meal. The ambience was lovely, the air of luxury was one we enjoyed.

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Three
Semolina, Brighton
Again, this is a very recent visit and one I reviewed just the other day. It was a memorable one for me as I’d wanted to try it for quite some time. I was delighted when the owners read my review and were very grateful for the positive feedback. I am aware that to be credible, it’s important not to be only positive about places but my visit to Semolina really was all positive.

Semolina review

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Two
English’s of Brighton
I first discovered this long established fish and seafood restaurant when I went on a food tour of Brighton of independent places (VIB food tour). English’s captured me straight away when we were treated to wonderfully fresh oysters and a glass of white wine. So when it came to our second year anniversary, we had to go there. We sat outside and had oysters to start, a sharing platter of seafood delights and fish dishes for main. A thoroughly enjoyable lunchtime celebratory meal.

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One
Murmur, Brighton
I will remember this one for a long time. It was a boiling hot Saturday during Pride. We’d watched the parade on the seafront and were in a very good mood. It’s impossible not to be after watching so much happiness and energy in the parade. We’d been down to the sea to dip our feet to cool down and wanted to enjoy a long lunch in the sunshine. We hadn’t booked and so had to wait a while for a table, it was definitely worth the wait. The lobster croquettes with chorizo and saffron mayonnaise are probably the best thing I’ve eaten this year! The view of the West pier and the chance to people watch is also a reason to experience Murmur.

2018 has been a great one eating wise and I aim to discover as many new places in 2019 as I can. (Unfortunately, there’s a limit to the food budget!) Most importantly I look forward to sharing these experiences with my nearest and dearest. 

I wish you all a delicious 2019!

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