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Farewell to 2009! Another Year Over [Part 5]

Picture 357

And so, not so speedily to the conclusion, the final part of the 2009 roundup.

I left you mid-way through September, where I was now becoming firmly established at the market and enjoying the camraderie, meeting customers, and they liked the food. Fantastic and heart warming, it urged me to continue, given I had the time now in the absence of work. Some lovely people came back and told me how much they had enjoyed it. Long time readers introduced themselves, including one lovely lady that was visiting from the US. I really got a buzz from it, even when up at 5am. And folks, I am no morning person.

Covent Garden Real Food Market - Week 6

The year would not be complete without speaking of the Blaggers’ Banquet. Conceived one night at an Action Against Hunger launch, we proceeded to take over Hawksmoor, some weeks later, and cook and serve all of the food, took care of the drinks, had an auction, and ran the auction online for a month following.

It was perfectly imperfect. Perfect because the diners loved it, the food and drink was great, there was such good feeling and we raised a lot of money. We’re almost there, hoping to announce the total and hand it over in the next few days. Imperfect because we had little time to do it, lots of things were rushed and we made some bad choices. Hello ebay and paypal, due to become a nightmare for those working on the auction, especially poor Kavey. They cancelled our account at one point, which meant that we couldn’t auction everything that had been donated, but we did what we could. But, more about all of that soon.

Lunch at Iberica

What else? I had a lovely lunch at Iberica, but never found the time to blog it. Eat with your eyes – lots of photos here.

I went to the Koffman popup on the roof of Selfridge’s and thoroughly enjoyed it. Review here.

Pierre Koffman - Restaurant on the Roof at Selfridge's

Pierre Koffman - Restaurant on the Roof at Selfridge's

I had a fantastic time at Ham Class at Brindisa, Borough Market.

I did a market stall in Soho, and 4 days in a row at Covent Garden Real Food Market for London Restaurant Week. I managed it all, solo, coming out the other side of it a dash frazzled.

Picture 357

A brief trip to Portugal for the European Wine Bloggers Conference, a really interesting and fun weekend which I wrote about here. I met lots of new wine folks, and learned a lot from them. Portugal itself was a revelation, the people were so generous and warm, particularly on the trip to the Douro and some wineries, which I still need to write about. Life started to get really busy after this, and I have a number of posts to catch up on.

European Wine Bloggers Conference

Time started to whizz by, and before we knew it the Blaggers’ Banquet arrived in a flurry and was gone.

And, already it was December. Life was intense, there was lots going on, particularly lots of challenges, I felt I was barely keeping up. I made a comforting Gammon & Cabbage Soup with some leftovers, wrote about my beloved lahmacun, and had a great day at Covent Garden Real Food Market, sharing my stall with Sig of Scandilicious, which was a happy accident, the market was oversubscribed that day, so we shared.

I had some fantastic bangra sausages and chilli vodka and did a spot of Irish dancing with tuition at new supper club, The Civet Cat Club. I had a very good lunch with some excellent wines at the cavernous Galvin La Chapelle.

Lunch at Roast with matched Chapel Down Wines was a lovely exploration of English wines with some very English food, overlooking Borough Market.

My last day at Covent Garden Real Food Market came around, and it was a lovely one. A busy Saturday, with lots of cheerful festive customers, lots of friends popping by, and lots of prosecco. We did the market through the snow which was mighty cold, but very pretty. We finished the evening at one of my favourote spots, Terroirs, I really must blog Terroirs soon! I hope to go back to market this year from April. I will announce here when details are confirmed.


I had two lunches that I’ve yet to blog, a great wine lunch at Rousillon matched with McGuigan wines and a lunch at Alimentum in Cambridge.

Last recipes blogged for the year were Toasted Pita with Mozarella, Tomato, Onion & Roast Tomato Dressing and a delicious mulled wine.

And that’s it! Bye bye 2009, I can’t say I’ll miss you, we weren’t always friends. It’s taken me so long to finish this series, it was a lot of work, going through all of my photos, and tidying things up. I wanted to do it though, and I hope it wasn’t too painful for you!

2010 looks very cosy, and I look forward to settling into it. I am anticipating lots more cooking and a new camera to replace my stolen one (soon, I hope!). I plan to explore video, visit lots of new places here and abroad, and am anxiously awaiting investing in some new gadgetry, starting with a kitchenaid with some attachments, some sous vide gear and that’s just the beginning. I am excited and full of plans for food, travel, and fun.

Bring. It. On. I say, I am ready! What’s that you say, it’s already started?! Best get my skates on then.

Bringing the gear home from the stall




  1. I can’t wait to get the paypal money all transferred to AAH… such a great achievement and am so proud of it, yet so fed up of paypal and ebay. Paypal made me jump through so many hoops and then, after finally clearing the account, they set it back to restricted again having decided we couldn’t fundraise FOR a charity without being registered with the charity. Ebay didn’t cancel the account itself… but it suddenly stopped allowing me to load new items for auction. When asked, they muttered repeatedly about limits on new accounts but could tell me nothing about the actual numbers involved, how long it would be before we could resume or anything else useful. Sigh!
    ONLY it being for such a great cause kept me from tracking the people in charge down and doing them serious injury!

  2. Oh Niamh, what an epic end to en epic year – I don’t know how you found the time to do everything but you did and here’s to a rocking 2010!! p.s. curious to hear your thoughts on Alimentum – went in the summer with a group of uni friends and we had a dreadful meal there…

    • Hey Sig! Epic indeed, lots of culinary fun.

      I really enjoyed the meal at Alimentum, it was very creative and well executed. Sorry to hear you had a bad meal there.

      Thanks for the comment!


  3. gastrogeek says

    Wow! You’ve had such a culinary adventure, am totally inspired by how much you manage to get done – really looking forward to lots more foodie fun and games this year! X

    • Ditto! We will have lots of fun this year. Looking forward to pizza next week and Chinese New Year soon after. Fab stuff!

  4. I have been exhausted just READING about your year – can’t imagine how it felt living through it ;-) Here’s to 2010 – and I love that final pic of you!

    • Thanks Jeanne! You know, I am exhausted, and just relaxing this month. Thanks for the kind words on the pic, it’s of me leaving the market :)

Over to you! Your comments - I would love to hear from you :)