Retrospective: Looking Back On 2012

It is around this time of the year retrospectives are commonplace, and I thought I’d write a post to add my own to the pile. I thought it would be nice for me to look back on the incredible year I have just had (I started it walking through the Kentish Countryside on a village walk with my best friend, and I’m finishing it in my Los Angeles apartment, a completely different world away), and to link back to some of my favourite and landmark posts from this year for some of my newer readers to peruse, that they might have missed! 



1. While I did one or two mini features before, my vist to The Natural Kitchen on Marylebone High Street became my first ever ‘Places To Eat In London’ feature which went Bon to become my most popular, and my favourite blog feature. | 2. This brunch trip to Tom’s Deli on Westborne Grove in Notting Hill started off my mission to eat in every restaurant lining the fashionable street. | 3. I attended culinary school with Oral B which was the most incredible experience. | 4. The first outfit post featuring my then new Hobbs handbag which readers have come to recognise me by in the street in Central London – apparently the bag is why they know for sure it is me! | 5. The first photo shoot for Pilgrims Nook Holiday Cottage, my family’s business I do the PR and marketing for. We opened in April! | 6. The first of many, many weekends wandering the lovely and fashionable streets of Notting Hill.



1. Celebrating Rachel Phipps’ 3rd Birthday with miniature cupcakes from The Primrose Bakery. | 2. Learning flower arranging at the Jane Packer Flower School in Fitzrovia with Yardley London. | 3. Sophie Hulme A/W12 at London Fashion Week, my favourite presentation from the season. | 4. My second trip in as many weeks to my newly discovered favourite cupcake bakery in London, The Primrose Bakery in Primrose Hill. | 5. My first trip to another one of my favourites, Ottelenghi’s in Notting Hill, on a terribly snowy day with my best friend Kathryn. | 6. Experimenting with street style photos for the first time around Somerset House at London Fashion Week.



1. I discovered Blitz Vintage Department Store just off of Brick Lane, just about the only place I enjoy vintage shopping. | 2. An amazing brunch at The Riding House Cafe – somewhere I really want to go back to. | 3. My mother, who hates being photographed, makes a cameo on the blog modelling a new Jaeger bag that I was quite envious of. | 4. My first ever trench coat. | 5. An absolutely incredible evening spent in the flagship Tiffany & Co. store on Bond Street where we were let loose and allowed to try on all the jewellery! | 6. My first meal at the brunch spot I always recommend to readers who are visiting London and email me for recommendations; Granger & Co. in Notting Hill.



1. My first ‘Places To Eat’ post outside of London, featuring one of my all time favourite restaurants  Thai Time in the Kentish town of Sandwich. | 2. One of my favourite outfit posts from 2012. 3. I discovered an incredible little Tuscan restaurant tucked away near Liverpool Street Station I urge Londoners to go check out. | 4. I got my first pair of Sperry’s, the ultimate driving shoes (that I passed my driving test wearing!) | 5. I wrote about one of my favourite go to dinner dishes for a crowd, Mediterranean Roast Chicken. | 6. I got my first Whistles dress, which is big for me as I had wanted one for years! 



1. I planted up some beautiful flower pots which were in full bloom all Summer (this is a DIY post!) | 2. I had my first experience of Brazilian Barbecue (something that was to be repeated at home many times over the Summer) at Cabana at Westfield, Stratford City. | 3. We had some beautifully hot days in London in May, and I visited Somerset House for the first time when the London Fashion Week tent was not up! | 4. My favourite brand collaboration from 2012 was with French designer resale site Vestiaire Collective here I got my hands on and styled this beautiful See by Chloe bag I had been coveting since I street styled it at London Fashion Week earlier in the year. | 5. I attended the iFabbo Conference on my last day living in London and got some great blogging tips. | 6. The first outing of I think my favourite Summer dress I have ever owned.



1. I discovered what has to be one of the most stunning views in Europe, Cap Frehel on the Cote de Amour in Brittany, Northern France. | 2. I posted my first recipe from my French kitchen (I have a home there), my favourite dish to cook with my Daddy, Hot King Prawns in Garlic Butter we make copious amounts of every time we’re in France. | 3. Even though I had known I was moving to California since December of 2011, and I knew my destination was Los Angeles since April, I finally announced that I would be moving to Los Angeles in September. | 4. I featured one of my favourite restaurants to eat in in Northern France, Le Cancalaise. | 5. In England we celebrated a beautiful Queens Diamond Jubilee weekend and I put together a special post and photo shoot in celebration at Pilgrims Nook Holiday Cottages. | 6. I had the most incredible evening of seafood tapas in Whitstable  at Williams & Brown.



1. I posted the only French Food Photo Diary of 2012, my favourite place in the world for amazing food has to be France. | 2. I had an amazing lot of fun styling and shooting this amazing riot of brightly coloured American candies for Cyber Candy. | 3. I posted my last ‘Places To Eat In London’ post of 2012 with what has to be one of the best Mexican meals I’ve ever had, at Taqueria on Westbourne Grove in Notting Hill. | 4. I finally found a maxi dress that was not longer than I am tall. | 5. I started doing recipe posts for Rachel Phipps in earnest. | 6. I discovered the amazing results if you mix alcohol with Innocent Smoothie and pour them into ice lolly moulds!



1. I invented the triple chocolate chip marshmallow fluff filled cookie, which vanished pretty quickly the morning after my leaving party! | 2. I found the best pizza base recipe ever. | 3. I started to experiment with wearing prints. | 4. My last outfit post shot in England of 2012. | 5. I did a bit of a simple redesign of my childhood bedroom to make it a bit more of a grown up space. | 6. Another recipe collaboration invention with my father. We grow our own tomatos so we have a glut to use up every year, so we invented this incredibly easy and delicious bruschetta recipe.



1. I packed up all my stuff and moved to Los Angeles, posting this ‘What Is In My Handbag’ post for the flight as my last every post published from the UK. | 2. I posted my first ever post from Los Angeles about the things I loved about living in the city so far. This picture is of Royce Hall where I took Early Shakespeare last quarter, I took on my first ever visit to the UCLA campus. | 3. I made a pilgrimage to Sprinkles Cupcakes on my first ever trip to Beverly Hills; it is the worlds first specialised cupcake bakery! | 4. My first trip to Santa Monica beach and pier. | 5. I visited my new favourite stationary store, Sugar Paper, Los Angeles for the first time. | 6. I discovered how amazing fresh pressed juice in a mason jar is.



1. I shot an outfit post by the iconic lamp posts during my visit to the Los Angeles County Museum Of Art. | 2. The perfect Sunday morning spent at the famous Melrose Trading Post flea market on the corner of Melrose and Fairfax in Hollywood. | 3. I spent an afternoon practicing my photography shooting skaters at the Venice Beach Skate Park. | 4. I started experimenting with and practising pasta salad recipes, the only practical thing for a UCLA student to take to campus for lunch every day, in my opinion. | 5. I invented my new favourite chicken soup recipe. | 6. I posted my most popular recipe post of all time; Chocolate Covered Frozen Banana Pieces.



1. I posted one of my all time favourite Student Supper recipes, Freeze Ahead Red Lentil Ragu. | 2. I had my first ever, totally incredibly mind blowing experience of Korean Barbecue in Los Angeles’ Koreatown. | 3. I made a pretty tissue tassel garland that now lives above my bed. | 4. I shot one of my favourite LA based outfit posts of 2012 right before going to see Skyfall. | 5. I enjoyed delicious French pastries from the Bouchon bakery in Beverly Hills after the Smitten Kitchen cookbook signing. | 6. I visited the most amazing perfume store ever, Lucky Scent’s Scent Bar in West Hollywood.



1. My Smoked Salmon Latkes with Lemon & Caper Soured Cream New Years Day Brunch recipe; my favourite recipe post on Rachel Phipps this year – it also became my first ever post to get featured on Tastespotting – what an honour! | 2. I had the most amazing chocolate ganache cupcake I have ever tasted when I visited the newly opened Los Angeles branch of Georgetown Cupcake. | 3. I managed to capture the taste of Christmas back home in England with my Orange & Festive Spice Biscuits.

I hope everyone had an as amazing 2012 as I did, and here is to 2013 and Have a great evening ringing in the New Year tonight! I have a feeling 2013 is going to be another amazing year; I have so many projects coming up, and I’m moving back to England at the beginning of the Summer, most likely in June (for those of you who have been asking), and I’m moving back to London at the end of August/ beginning of September.