It's Over.

posted on: Wednesday, 28 August 2013

One of my first meals of the trip, in Istanbul

Claire Ptak's Violet Cakes

Ballymaloe Farm in Ireland was a highlight, as was this super cute donkey duo

So long Europe!

Istanbul, Paris, Berlin, Barcelona, London and a driving trip through Ireland, 31 books, and 90 cups of Climpson & Sons coffee. It appears it's time to say farewell to my European jaunt.
All that's left is a 24 hour flight back to Brisbane, and three months of great memories. Here's a look at my top moments:

Highlight: Spending a week at the Ballymaloe Cookery School in County Cork, Ireland. Michael Pollan, whose book I picked up at Ballymaloe, talks about how he used to outsource so much of his cooking to others, that he decided to set himself an assignment to reconnect with home cooking. At Ballymaloe not only did we enjoy devoting lots of time to making everyday things from scratch, the farm was amazing, the cottages were charming, the ingredients used were the best available and ample time was provided for sitting down to long meals with our classmates. Heaven.

Lowlight: Although I spent a lot of time getting zen thanks to Brendan's yin yoga class at Stretch London Fields, my yogic breathing almost imploded when I was seated next to a nightmare diner in Mind Your Manners. Hopefully that was a once in a lifetime experience.

Coolest Interviewee: This is a tough one because Andrea Kolb - who owns Abury in Berlin, a not-for-profit that unearths incredible fashion around the globe - and Claire Ptak who owns Violet, Jamie Oliver's favourite cake shop in London, are both super interesting, successful and generous with their time. It has to be a tie.

Favourite story: I name checked it early on when I discussed My Food Style, but the bustling Italian pasta joint in Bologna still remains my most fun food story. What can I say except Italians do it better.

Most mentioned on the blog: Incredibly, the most mentioned business on Food Style is not food-related! The Little Sage written by Helen Thomas, a favourite blog of mine, is mentioned three times in Food Style Q&A interviews. Maybe good writing is even better than a good meal?

Most unexpected moment: The response to my recent article The White Stuff about how I gave up sugar has astounded me. I'm so excited that two of my heroes, Sarah Wilson and David Gillespie, read my article and chose to tweet it to their followers. Although my friends and family cannot be convinced, it's been read and discussed by many people in Australia and around the world, proving that quitting sugar is cool!

Special mention: I'd like to thank my sister Morag for choosing to live on the best 'food' street in London, my eating kindred, Rebecca Maxworth, for the ultimate tour of Bristol, my Foreign Correspondents, Gus and Vic, for keeping me in the loop while I've been away, and my very own dad for saving the day when my good-accommodation-radar malfunctioned in Ireland.

So long Europe!

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