Travel, food and bucket list highlights of 2019

Glacier point overlooking half dome, Yosemite

Happy New Year and new decade! In true tradition, I am here to recap on some of my favourite things of the year (read: travel, food, cocktails and bucket list activities that have finally been crossed off!). What an awesome year 2019 has been. Full of wonderful memories, pinch-me moments (yes, Yosemite really is THAT mesmerising) and discovering countless of new delicious dishes, this year has made me feel even more fortunate about where I am at the moment. Like with everything, there have been some ups and downs as life likes to throw a little bump on the road sometimes. However, I’m one to believe life is about balance, and there’s always plenty of positives that counteract the moments we feel most vulnerable about. And 2019 has been full of of them.

Here’s a look back at our 2019 highlights. I hope you had just as much fun as we did!

Penguin rock, Joshua Tree national park

On the Brooklyn Bridge, New York City

Places we’ve travelled to in 2019

I didn’t think it was possible to beat our record of thirteen places visited in 2018, but we’ve definitely outdone ourselves this year. We went on countless flights, train rides and a road trip to explore no less than sixteen awesome parts of the world. Some of these we visited for the first time; others, we were drawn to again and pleasantly rediscovered. Here’s a list of the places we visited in 2019:

York city walls and York Minster

Battery Spencer view point and Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

Outside Universal Studios

Favourite restaurants, brunch spots and cocktail bars of 2019

Now, we went to A LOT of restaurants this year. So many I actually made a list beforehand so I could easily go back and include them in this little recap of the year. Some of them are fine dining; others, casual eateries but with the most mouth-watering dishes you can imagine. And there’s of course a couple of brunch spots we haven’t been able to stop thinking about. I’ve also thrown in a few of cocktail places for you to check out. Looking back, it seems we loved quite a few places in California, so I know we’ll be going back again!

  • The Butcher’s Daughter – for delicious plant-based dishes in Venice, Los Angeles
  • Yauatcha – a Michelin star dim sum house in London
  • Cinnamon Club – modern Indian fine dining set in the former Westminster Library, London
  • Nopa – for creative brunch, lunch, dinner and cocktails in San Francisco
  • Colapasta – rustic trattoria with hand-made pasta in Santa Monica, Los Angeles
  • Five March – excellent for sharing delicious dishes with a modern twist, in Glasgow
  • Every Cloud – for specialty cocktails and a witty menu with a story for each of them, in London
  • SLAB BBQ – this one is for the smoked ribs and brisket lovers, in Los Angeles
  • Sakagura – another contemporary Japanese restaurant in London, with loads of sushi and sake
  • The Little Beet Table – with organic, gluten-free dishes in New York
  • Bondi Harvest – for Aussie vibes and brunch in Santa Monica, Los Angeles
  • Meimo – with incredibly tasty Moroccan and Mediterranean dishes, in Windsor
  • Singl-end – a healthy café and bakehouse, excellent for brunch in Glasgow – Read our Singl-end review.
  • Taquería “El Castillito” – for the most authentic Mission burritos, in San Francisco
  • Lyaness (Formerly Dandelyan) – for swanky cocktails overlooking the river Thames, in London
  • Regina Pizzeria – look no further, they have the BEST pizza in Boston, New England and the whole of the US

Acai bowl at Bondi Harvest, LA

Ribs, brisket, mac n' cheese and collard greens from Slab BBQ, LA

Kitchen in Nopa, San Francisco

Top activities of 2019

The last year has treated me very well, and I have managed to cross a ton of things off my London and Travel Bucket lists. A huge thank you goes to Sam for wanting to experience these things with me (except ice-skating, his balance is terrible, so a shout-out to Lucy for joining me!). I truly believe doing them by myself wouldn’t have been half the fun it ended up being, and a trip to New York during Christmas wouldn’t have felt so cosy if it hadn’t been for Sam’s family. So thank you to everyone who’s made this year so spectacular. Here are just some of my favourite things that happened in 2019:

  • Going on a road trip around California (hiking Yosemite, seeing giant sequoias and a bear (!!!), visiting four cities and four national parks!)
  • Cycling over the Golden Gate Bridge (and getting sunburnt in the process)
  • Getting cold at the Ice Bar in London
  • Attending the Nutcracker ballet in London
  • Rollerblading along Venice Beach, Los Angeles
  • Ice-skating in Bryant Park, New York
  • Celebrating 100 years of Aperol at the Aperol Spritz big birthday social
  • Eating the best pizza in the US (in Boston!)

Rollerblading in Venice beach, Los Angeles

In front of the General Sherman tree

Cycling across The Golden Gate Bridge

  • Running like a lifeguard (Baywatch-style) on Santa Monica beach
  • Celebrating King’s Day in Amsterdam
  • Attending Secret Cinema: Casino Royale AND Secret Cinema: Stranger Things
  • Spending Christmas and NYE in New York, and seeing the ball drop in Times Square
  • Walking along the York city walls
  • Visiting Keukenhof, the largest Tulip Garden in the world – Check out our Keukenhof guide!
  • Watching the Boston Celtics vs Toronto Raptors in Boston

On The High Line, New York

Standing on York city walls

I wonder what 2020 will look like? Keep and eye out on the blog for more travel guides, food reviews and recipes, and remember to check out our twitter and instagram accounts to follow our latest adventures.

And as for the 2020 highlights? Let’s chat in 365 days and find out!

G. x

Do you like travelling as much as we do? The check:

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  1. Jane Palmen

    What an amazing 2019 you have had. So pleased to have been able to share some of your highlights with you! Really looking forward to seeing what 2020 holds for you (and hopefully I can share some of those highlights with you too!)


    1. blushrougette

      Thank you so much for leaving a comment, Jane! You only made 2019 better, I can’t wait to share more special moments with you in 2020! x


  2. Cai

    Great highlights for 2019!
    A couple of those I’d never done before and are on my to do list when I head to Boston, California and New York.


    1. blushrougette

      Thanks so much Cai! Both East and West Coasts are incredible – I couldn’t recommend them enough! x


  3. Claire

    What an incredible year! I can’t believe just how much you fit in.

    Here’s to a travel filled 2020!


    1. blushrougette

      Thank you Claire, I’m so excited! I can’t wait to explore more places 🙂


  4. Riana Ang-Canning

    Wow, what an amazing 2019 you’ve had! A California road trip is on my bucket list too. And celebrating King’s Day in Amsterdam is one of my favourite memories!


    1. blushrougette

      Thanks for your comment Riana! You should absolutely go on a road trip around California – it’s one of my favourite things of 2019! x


  5. Ash

    What an amazing year! The only place I travelled to was London


    1. blushrougette

      There’s so much to do in London, so you’ve definitely crossed a big one off your list! I’m lucky enough to call London my home, and trust me, I still find new things to do all the time! x


  6. Meaghan

    Loved this post – especially your run down of favourite places to eat and drink. So inspired!


    1. blushrougette

      Thank you Meaghan! x


  7. Nic | Nic's Adventures & Bakes

    What an amazing 2019 you had I have always wanted to do northen caflornina, and lovely pictures 🙂

    Nic | Nic’s Adventures & Bakes


    1. blushrougette

      Thank you so much Nic! There’s so much to see in California, I can’t wait to be back! x


  8. David Fowler

    Another fantastic year of travel and experiences. We trust 2020 will continue to be at least as exciting as 2019 and look forward to more reviews and fabulous photos.
    D & D


    1. blushrougette

      Thank you for the wonderful comment, David! x


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