Happy New Year to my wonderful readers. I hope that you're nursing suitably champagne-addled heads today and are not doing anything of substance at all. I, for one, had a lazy morning and a champagne pick-me-up to start the day. As one should.
While in other years, I have spent New Year's Day reflecting on the past year, this year, I am very much looking forward. 2023 was full of wonderful dates and exciting adventures, and so I am manifesting at least double (triple, quadruple!) the fun for this year! With lofty goals for thrilling escapades in 2024, I've come up with a little bucket list, Morgan Freeman style, that I'll be ticking off as the year unfolds. Why not help me get through the it? 😉
1. Visit At Least Five Of My Wish List Restaurants
Oooh yes, there's an extensive list of restaurants I am desperate to visit. If you've seen my previous blog post or my Eats page you'll be all too familiar with that! I managed to tick off a couple last year (absolute yumminess at Hyde and The Ledbury), but it's ever-growing and needs some serious commitment to get through this year. Time to get hungry gents! If I had to choose five from the list it would be...
Core by Clare Smyth
Frog by Adam Handling
The Sea The Sea Chef's Table
But ideally more from the list. Preferably all of them please...quick before I find more to add.
2. Collect 10 Michelin Stars
Yeah...I know...I'm still on about the restaurants. Some of this overlaps, like Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester, but there's also plenty of Michelin stars I haven't remembered to include (mental note to pop The Library on there). We could even travel further afield and make an adventure out of collecting UK & international stars. How about a weekend sojurn to the coast to visit The Fat Duck? Or a European jaunt to Spain's Azurmendi. Or let's go all out on an absolute bucket-list trip to Peru, we can celebrate hiking the Inca Trail with a decadent meal at Central in Lima. What a dream.
3. Box at The Royal Opera House
I love the ballet, and discovered in 2023 that I actually quite enjoy opera too. Yes, I was fortunate enough last year to enjoy both from the enclosed comforts of a swish red velvet box at the Royal Opera House, and I want more more more of it in 2024. The 2024 season is looking rather fabulous too... Swan Lake is my favourite ballet of all time and it's on from March - June *hint hint*
4. Explore More Of Italy
Ahh Italy has my heart and soul. In 2023 I was lucky enough to be whisked away to Milan, Florence, the Tuscan countryside and Sardinia. I was truly living La Dolce Vita. I feel like there's still so much of Italy to explore, and I've been practising my Italian in preparation for more trips I'm hoping to come in 2024. I'd love a relaxing spa break on Lake Como, a sailing adventure around the Amalfi Coast, a sun-drenched villa in Puglia, or perhaps we could get one of those Michelin stars in Modena with a visit to Osteria Francescana. It all comes back to food after all.
5. An Exotic Couple's Holiday Somewhere Fabulous and Far Away
Picture this: we stroll hand in hand down a strip of white sand, waves of a clear aqua sea lap at our feet, a warm breeze catches my sheer kaftan and mermaid hair, we sip cocktails and watch the sunset turn the sky pink and gold before retiring to our room for romance. We're somewhere stunning like the Maldives, Seychelles, the Bahamas or the Caymans and you get to live this dream escape with me for an entire week or two... Or I could drag you along on a temple hunting adventure in Mexico, turtle chasing in the Galapagos or jungle glamping in Costa Rica. It all sounds good to me.
6. Romantic Cottage Or Treehouse Getaway
Adventure abounds in the UK, too, and I'd love nothing more than cosying up in a log cabin with a wood-burning stove and gorgeous bubble bath. How about a country escape in one of the treehouses at Chewton Glen, or a decadent cabin stay at The Lakes by Yoo, or a beautiful night under the stars in the beautiful forest hideaway at Finn Lough?