Happy New Year & Best of 2015
January 3, 2016

A belated Happy New Year one and all. I’m a bit late as I’ve spent a precious few days with Mr M on a lovely little break from the world.

As we leave 2015 and start 2016, I’m super-excited at the prospect of doing more, trying more, writing more, and learning more. Eat with Ellen has grown slowly but surely through the year, and it’s been fab to do something that I love and find that some people actually enjoy reading my ravings.

I’ve got plenty of plans for this blog for 2016, many of which will hopefully make it better and brighter for everyone who reads it.

But first, I thought I’d start the year with a quick look at some of my fave parts of 2015. It was packed full of thoughts, experiences and – of course – food. Here are some of the highlights:-

The Best of 2015


The year started with a humongous New Year feast at Cafe vin Cinq in Rugby.

A LOT of food was eaten and it kicked off a foodie January that saw us try Fiesta del Asado in Birmingham – part of the Lasan Group and a bloody good steak.



In Feb we headed off to the slopes, trying out skiing in Italy for the first time. I absolutely loved the skiing, and the icing on the cake was finding L’Ortiche restaurant in Sauze d’Oulx, a beautiful little place.

Back in blighty, we managed to squeeze in another fabulous foodie day that included a grand old meal at the Gilbert Scott, one of Marcus Wareing’s restaurants.



Another part of the foodie day in February was a knife skills cookery course at Jamie Oliver’s Recipease (now sadly closed I think), which I wrote about in March. It was the start of my attempts to get better at cooking. Watch this space in 2016…


I also tried my hand at baking for the work Bake Off. March was also the month I relaunched the blog with a new site, new style, and new slightly more serious approach. Start of a new era…


In April we celebrated my mum’s birthday by taking her for a meal at the Wine House in Lichfield. I also wrote a piece on global food waste, a subject I’m quite passionate about.

Desserts at the Wine House


In May I was invited to try Miller & Carter in the Mailbox in Birmingham to learn all about (and eat) steak. Check this out.

Steak served with onion loaf and balsamic glazed tomato, plus the almighty beef dripping sauce

Mr M and I also had some great food at my brother’s, including his homemade breakfast pizza – my first foray into a little bit of foodie videomaking.


In June Mr M and I tried our hand at Thai cooking at Chaophraya in Birmingham.  We made some lovely dishes and met some nice fellow aspiring cooks. In the same month we headed off to Cornwall with our friends where obviously food played a big part, including our stop at Gloucester Services, possibly the nicest service station I’ve ever been to.

Gloucester Services


July was all about blogging and beaches. I went to a little bloggers get-together at the Fuzzy Duck in Nuneaton which inspired me to write about the fun and frolics that happen when you get a load of bloggers in one place. And then it was off to Corfu for my sister-in-law’s 30th birthday. Lots of seafood and some lovely food discoveries including the fabulous Boukari Beach and Bioporos Organic Farm.

Mussels at Boukari Beach, Corfu


As our non-existent summer carried on, August saw me mulling over my relationship with food and giving anyone who bothers to read my blog a bit of an insight into what goes on behind all the pictures of yummy food. And then it was off to the opening of Nosh and Quaff in Birmingham for a nibble on these badboys.

Ribs at Nosh & Quaff, Birmingham


September. Month of my birthday. Month of Meatopia. And month of a lovely lunch at Restaurant Nathan Outlaw. ‘Nuff said.

Smoked bass at Restaurant Nathan Outlaw


In October, I was still lusting after our little seaside break in Padstow with this post about breakfasts of all breakfasts at Cherry Trees. I also enjoyed a little local gem, La Margherita in Rugby.

Magic mushrooms at Cherry Trees, Padstow


In November I made a little trip to Purnell’s in Birmingham to try the tasting menu. A whole nine courses of amazingness. I also wrote about Purecraft Bar & Kitchen in Birmingham, home of great beer and great food.

Tunworth cheese at Purnells, Birmingham


And so to Christmas. The festivities began with us trying out a Christmas cockerel from Fosse Meadows Farm, and continued with a lovely festive afternoon tea with my mum at Nook on the Square. We finished it off with Christmas Dinner at the Stag at Offchurch and a rather grotty illness from Mr M before heading into 2016.

Afternoon tea, Nook on the Square

Happy New Year!

And there we go. A fun, food-packed 2015 and plenty more to look forward to in 2016. After a lovely few days away with Mr M in the middle of nowhere I’m rested and ready for a busy start to the year moving house and moving on to the next chapter.

There’s plenty to look forward to already – you can expect to see more of our travels in their own little section on the blog, starting with our most recent minibreak to a shepherd’s hut in Wales.

And of course, the inevitable food adventures, including a lot more cooking. I’ve set myself a little challenge of cooking at least two recipes from my many (so far unused) cookbooks this year. Not much I know – that’s only 24 recipes throughout 2016 – but it’s a lot for me.

I wish you all a belated Happy New Year. Thanks so much for your support in 2015 and hope you’ll find the time to read Eat with Ellen in 2016.

Big hugs. xxxx


2 thoughts on “Happy New Year & Best of 2015

    1. Ah thanks, happy new year to you too! I know, I couldn’t believe it. It was the only time Jamie’s seen me completely lose the power of speech!

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