grand hotel drinks

Reflections of 2020

Time flies and I imagine a few years from now 2020, the most roller coaster of a year, will be a distant memory. There have been lows but also highs.

looking back at 2020

The year started out with a mini-break to Harrogate. A beautiful staycation I would recommend. I made one of my most viewed IGTV’s on Harrogate and since have got more confident with videos.


We were lucky to get away and have a family break in Goa in February. I remember COVID 19 was being mentioned in the news but never did I think it would come close to the UK.


March followed and then came lockdown followed by months of being restricted on what we could do or where we can go. It was strange and I kept thinking it would be for a few months and we will be back to normal. I was very wrong.

Social Media, Home cooking & Working from home

Social Media has been a saviour. From Tiktok to Instagram, I have learnt so much and managed to connect with so many, some of whom will be friends forever. Facetime has been great too.

I started making cocktail videos (IGTV) on Instagram, which went down well with my audience. It was fun getting dressed up again and enjoying a cocktail or three. I worked with some great brands and made it on the Aldi website.

I discovered and tried making some amazing dishes that required technical skills. I couldn’t see my family over Diwali but decided to celebrate my own way. I got dressed and made some jalebi’s for the first time. Something that looks so easy but isn’t.

I really enjoy baking and the Twitter community has been great in encouraging us amateur bakers to try out different dishes and learn #Twitterbakealong. Like many, I jumped on the sourdough bandwagon too.

Working from home has become the norm. I missed travelling to London and seeing colleagues. Thank you technology though I still feel face to face conversations are so much quicker and effective.

I discovered the power of natural light and now know when the professionals said “natural light is the best”. Working from home has enabled me to do this during my lunch breaks.

Walking is so refreshing and you get to see so much more than driving. There are so many open spaces around me I never knew existed. I also discovered that being outdoors, even in the waters, is so good for my wellbeing.

Travel during COVID

Leicester was one of the last towns to come out of lockdown. Lucky for us, borders within towns were introduced and on July 18th, we came out of lockdown and were allowed to travel a bit further. We had an amazing road trip to the Isles of Scotland. I discovered some of the best seafood and beaches in Scotland.

west coast beaches

We had a mini-break in Cotswolds and Beaulieu too in August. Staycations are pricey but the UK has the most gorgeous views and places.

It almost felt like we had a bit of normality back for a while and we sneaked in another staycation in Eastbourne followed by a few days in Gibraltar. Somewhere I will definitely return to.

Eating out

As the hospitality industry was slowly opening up, many had offers to entice consumers and we enjoyed a BOGOF afternoon tea at Fortnum & Mason’s. Seeing London so quiet was heartbreaking. We also managed to get a lunch booking at Hambleton Hall and enjoy beautiful Michelin cuisine (normally you need to book several months in advance).

We got to see our nearest and dearest in August and enjoyed eating out to make the most of the Eat Out to Help Out. At the end of it I was ready to go back to home meals but it was a deal too good to miss and it was a perfect way to support the industry.

In the year Leicester, my home, had new openings and I couldn’t wait to get out there and try them out. Some managed to get a takeaway service set up and it was nice to have their dishes at home. Many smaller businesses started in their home kitchens too over lockdown and they offer the best meals. Takeaways are no longer just your local Chinese or Indian. We discovered the best authentic Italian takeaway in Leicester only 5 minutes walk from us.

Dining in something I really miss. There is nothing like catching up over some drinks and food with friends and family in a buzzing environment right?

2020 definitely had it’s up’s and down’s, more than any year. It has been testing but somehow it has come to an end so quickly too. The hardest part for me was not seeing family and friends as often and being able to just sit in a cafe and watch the world go by. I have however discovered so much and been grateful for a lot.