Saying goodbye to another year – the end of 2017

As 2017 comes to a close, I wanted  to put together a quick post about some of the high points of the year from a personal perspective.

Lanai Island Maui

Travel

In terms of blogging trips, Hawaii (both Maui and O’ahu) was our big trip of the year. We also went to Paris with two of our friends, which we’ll be posting about in the New Year.

Paris Eiffel Tower

Easter coincided with our Anniversary so we spent it together up in Sheffield where I went to University. It was great showing Liv some of the sights and even a brief rainy trip to the Peak District but a lot has changed in the city since I graduated back in 2012.

Sheffield day out

Sheffield day out

Liv took a trip to Rome for work and managed to take in all of the major attractions on what was a flying visit.

I didn’t make it to Albania but I did have the first guest travel post in 2017 on the capital city Tirana.

In August we went to a few cool places for Liv’s birthday – we were able to tick off Swingers Mini Golf in London, visit Duck and Waffle on the 40th floor of the Heron Tower and also enjoyed a meal at Babylon Restaurant in Kensington Roof Gardens (which has confirmed recently that it is set to close).

For my birthday in November we also took a day trip to Guildford so Liv could show me her uni campus and the rest of the town. We also then discovered our new favourite local restaurant in Richmond, Treviso,  which is a great family-run Italian restaurant.

Guildford views

I took a trip to Liverpool to meet up with my mate who lives up there and also went to Manchester for The Warehouse Project which I do every year. I was able to see rapper J Hus, Annie Mac, The Heatwave, Toddla T and Donae’o.

Reviews

It seems like I did quite a few food reviews in 2017 starting off with Fork Deli, a cafe near King’s Cross.

We also got cheesy at Ben’s Canteen in Clapham trying out the cheese toastie collaboration with Grill My Cheese. I also loved trying out the tasty Italian thin-crust pizzas at Pizza Union in the summer and having three courses of pub grub at the Royal Oak in Twickenham at a table with some other great local bloggers.

Caribbean Food Month brought some of our great cookery skills out of the woodwork and we also carried on the Caribbean vibes at Levi Roots Caribbean Smokehouse too.

Wet wipes at the ready

Meeting other bloggers

I met Elliott from Music Football Fatherhood which has gone from strength to strength this year! I also got to meet John Sennett who started the #ILiveItIBlogIt campaign with a load of other great creators on a walk in Richmond Park. In 2018 he’ll also be embarking on a series of great challenges for a number of charities.

Blogger events included my first ever hotel launch at the Moxy Hotel in Stratford, a PRmoment talk on Partnership Content with Theo Baker and Robin James and a focus group where I met Sophie from Sophie on Track and Vicky from Being Tilly’s Mummy.

I loved going along to the Flight Night of whiskey and rye at Jackson and Rye and of course attending World Travel Market for the first time. There were a few bloggers I met on the day, but it was really great to chat with a few of the guys below at the Travel Massive and Traverse events.

Liv and I were also lucky enough to go along to the Vuelio Blog Awards and although LOOKDWN.com wasn’t nominated this time, hopefully one day we’ll be back!

Music and culture

As well as Warehouse Project, we both saw Drake at The O2 which was great fun. It was definitely the year of Stormzy as well but we haven’t yet seen him live after missing the impromptu gig at Croydon Boxpark.

We did catch a free pop-up concert with Giggs headlining the Timberland Flyroam event outside the Mayor of London’s City Hall – although Sadiq Khan didn’t make an appearance!

Year of gigs and Giggs

A few weeks later I also went along to see J Hus again at his headline show at Brixton Academy which although I’m a Londoner, was the first time I’d been to the venue.

I wrote a poem called Colourful for Black History Month one morning when I woke up in the middle of the night and Liv also took me to see some excellent ballet and contemporary dance at the Royal Opera House. Definitely try and catch some Hofesh Shecter if you can!

I didn’t get to see much theatre in 2017 but was thrilled when my cousin took me along to see Barbershop Chronicles as an early Christmas present.

It was also the year of seeing more football. Thanks to my mate Josh who is now back in London, I was able to see all of Arsenal’s foray into the mighty Europa League including the Cologne match with German away fans invading the home stands and some empty games in the Carabao Cup!

Personal achievements

I was on BBC Radio 5 Live discussing the many internships I’ve done and advocating paid internships over unpaid ones.

Swimming in the sea with dolphins in Hawaii just months after actually learning to swim for the first time was also a really proud moment. I also rode a horse for the very first time in Hawaii!

Floating off O'ahu

If you missed it, I posted about why I  started blogging and why I continue with it but I think my blog will take a slightly new direction into 2018. More on this in a later post!

I wrote about blogging and having a full-time job on All Things Prank and also did a Guest Blogger Q&A for Lucy at The Travel Journo.

Getting some good engagement on my post about the need for honesty and integrity in blogging. Bloggers using bots or playing the follow/unfollow game on social media combined with the Instagram algorithm caused a lot of annoyance in 2017.

Other

  • I started uploading my panoramic photos to the blog – which I’ll be updating regularly.
  • My Mum graduated with a Master’s Degree from King’s College London and the whole family was so proud of her!

Mum Graduation

  • We also visited the Paternoster Chop House aka the First Dates restaurant (without any cameras around though).
  • I took my brothers to see some Lego sculptures created as part of the Art of the Brick DC Comics exhibition which was great for them as comic book fans.
  • I moved to a new office building for work, but it felt like the end of an era after working near Victoria and St James’s Park for nearly four years.
  • I also got to visit the Houses of Parliament for a tour this year which was a great insight into UK politics and I was at the event for Crossrail laying the final piece of track in the tunnels for the Elizabeth line.

Roll on 2018!

~ J ~

LOOKDWN

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3 Comments

  1. January 4, 2018 / 6:44 pm

    Thanks for the shout out. What a brilliant 2017 you had. Keep up the good work and hope 2018 is an even better blogging year for you!

  2. January 4, 2018 / 10:12 am

    Wow! You had an amazing year! First of all, well done Mum. What an achievement, I bet you are so proud of her and what great role model for you!
    The places you visited sound so amazing, especially Hawaii! I’m not jealous at all!! haha!
    I am glad you sent me your blog link, it’s hard when you follow so many people to keep up with everyones blog. I will definitely be checking yours out more often for the travel updates and food posts!
    All the best for 2018 I hope you have another fantastic year!

    Pinar | beautybakingbella.com

  3. January 4, 2018 / 7:54 am

    Sounds like you had an amazing year with so many great experiences and outings. However is lovely to hear that your mum graduated with a Master’s Degree from King’s College London what a great achievement for her congrats.

    Happy New Year.

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