Wow! What a year it’s been!
It only seems like yesterday that we returned from our trip to Sicily, Piedmont and Paris and I was writing a similar post on the highlights of 2011. I though that as we got older the years should slow down but they just seem to fly!
This year has been a busy year for A Taste of Travel. One thing stands out and that is….the food! It’s been a feast!
We seemed to have eaten our way from one side of the world to the other!
 
Paris
First stop of the year was Paris. We were there to support a friend running in the Paris Marathon but we ended up in our own eat-a-thon!
Paris has some fabulous restaurants and we didn’t want to miss any so we started booking restaurants long before we arrived. We had some amazing meals and I can personally recommend all the restaurants I’ve included in 10 Fabulous Restaurants in Paris.

Kei Restaurant, Paris
Simplicity stars at Kei Restaurant

 
Frenchie in Paris
We even managed a booking at Fenchie!

 
Staying around the corner from one of the best food streets in Paris, Rue Montorgueilalways meant warm croissants, bread, cheese and fruit for breakfast. Stopping for pastries on the way home proved too tempting..as did the street’s Sunday Market which provided a lot of goodies for our celebratory marathon dinner.
Cheese from La Fermette in Rue Montorgueil
Cheese from La Fermette in Rue Montorgueil

 
Thank heavens Paris is made for walking and we were in a perfect position to pop down to Merci for a bit of shopping with a cause, head to Hermes to see the new shop…no shopping here!! and walk up to the Hotel George V to see the fabulous April flowers.
Champagne is always on the menu in Paris and this time we went straight to the source with a fabulous day at Billecart- Salmon. Champagne Anyone!
 
 
New York
From Paris it was on to New York. This time I had an excuse…we were in New York to celebrate my birthday and this meant 12 fabulous days of eating at some of New York’s best restaurants. Eating in New York  is a mammoth post that will give you an insight into my little black book of where to eat here.
 
View from Per Se, New York
The view from Per Se

 
Per Se was a perfect choice of restaurant for a celebration but for me, Eleven Madison Park will be the first restaurant I book when I go back!
Eleven Madison Park, New York
Eleven Madison Park: A beautiful room, exciting food and discreet service

 
I can still taste the duck at Momofuku Ssam Bar, the bagels at Russ and Daughters, the blueberry waffles at Prune…..list goes on! Brunch is a New York institution which we quickly adopted so the search was on for the best brunch in NYC.
 
Blueberry pancakes at Prune, New York
Blueberry pancakes at Prune

 
The days were spent re-aquainting ourselves with New York and working through my list of What to do in New York.
Walking the High Line, crossing the Brooklyn Bridge, visiting the 9/11 Memorial and finding The Cloisters: New York’s hidden museum were interspersed with enjoying New York’s famous food spots.
If you’re heading to New York, you’ll find a virtual mini guide on the blog with the posts that have been written on New York.
 
London
London was our time for catching up with friends and reminiscing of fabulous times together. It had been a few years since our last visit so it was great to walk the streets of this old and familiar city once again.
We did manage a quick visit to Kensington Palace but I was not impressed!
 
Kensington Palace 1-3
 
 
Melbourne
This year I have again, spent quite a lot of time in Melbourne. I love it here… I even enjoy Melbourne’s notorious weather! Two seconds after this photo was taken, the sky was blue and the sun was shining!
Southbank Walk in Melbourne
 
I also love Melbourne’s street art so I always pop down to Hosier Lane to see the ever changing street art  before stopping at  my favourite lunch spot, Chin Chin
Chin Chin, Melbourne
Lunch at Chin Chin is not to be missed!

 
We even managed to fit in a quick drive down the Great Ocean Road see the famous 12 Apostles. We certainly need to spend longer in this beautiful part of the country.
One visit coincided with a blogging conference and it was great to finally meet some of Australia’s other travel bloggers including Caz & Craig from Y Travel Blog, Nicole from Bitten by the Travel Bug, Annabel from Get in the Hot Spot, Jo from Zigazag Mag, Linda from Eco Traveller, Natasha from World Wandering Kiwi, Amy and Kieron from Don’t Ever Look Back, Brooke from Brooke vs the World and Tash from Jouljet. I also met Jan from Budget Travel Talk a couple of days later and then caught up with Doug from Fresco Images. Great fun!
 
Sydney
I used to live in Sydney, so with Melbourne just over an hour’s flight away, these visits provided a great opportunity for me to pop up and visit family and friends. There’s always friendly banter as to whether Sydney or Melbourne has the best restaurants but it’s fun eating in both cities to try and make a decision!
Instagram was great for taking quick snaps of the places we visited.
Sydney Collage
 
Broome
August is time to escape Perth’s cold winter….well cold for us!
We love feeling warm, soaking up the sun, catching mud crabs and finishing the day with sunset drinks on Cable Beach. It’s a complete holiday!
Cable Beach, Broome
Cable Beach

Sunset in Broome
Sitting on the beach, champagne in hand and watching the sun set is a great way to finish the day in Broome

 
This year we also played tourist a few times!  Low tide reveals a part of Broome’s history that is not well known and we loved taking the long, early morning walk out to see the remains of the World War II flying boats that were bombed by the Japanese.
Broome is also home to the world’s oldest, operating outdoor theatre. It’s quite an experience watching a movie here!
 
Jordan
I’m just back from Jordan where history and photography prevailed but food was not far from my mind…the stories are yet to be told on this wonderful trip but needless to say, the markets of Amman will feature heavily as they already have on Instagram and Facebook.
Fresh juice shops were everywhere, juicy, red pommegranates were piled high, the heavenly aroma of the spice shops were tempting and the selection of fresh nuts was overwhelming…. I loved the fresh pistachios! We became well known at Amman’s famous sweet shop,  Habibah…their knafeh is to die for as are the other sweet treats…we tried most of them!
 
Amman Collage
 
Petra, of course, was main reason for wanting to go to Jordan and I was not disappointed. It really is one of the wonders of the world but there is more to Jordan than just Petra….The ancient city of Jerash astounded me,  Wadi Rum looked like a moonscape from a balloon and yes, you can float in the Dead Sea!
 
Petra
The stunning sights of Petra

 
Travelling to Jordan with ‘The Giving Lens’ was a joy. I’ll be writing more about it in future posts but all I can say that if you are looking for a trip that combines photography, travel and helping the local community, check their web site for next year’s destinations. Thank you Colby Brown, Ken Kaminesky, Michael Bonocore and all the TGLJordan crew for a fabulous trip!
 
Istanbul
The Gaza strip flare up caused me to cancel my plans to visit Jerusalem but it did mean that I was able to spend a couple of days in one of my favourite cities, Istanbul.
Istanbul is foodie heaven and the highlight for me was a fabulous six hour foodie walk through the Beyoglü side of the city and returning to the Spice Market. Here’s a sneak preview!
Istanbul Collage
 
2013 will start with stories from Jordan and Istanbul whilst we enjoy the Australian summer. We’ll then head back to Europe where travel is exciting and food will, of course, always play a starring role!!
This year I tackled facebook….and loved it! It’s been a fabulous way of meeting you all and keeping in touch with everyone between posts. Together with Instagram, I’ve also loved being able to post photos as I travel.
 
The culmination of the year has been my inclusion on Go Abroad.com’s List of the Top International Food Bloggers. A very exciting early Christmas present and a great way to finish a very busy year.
Thank you all for your continued support and encouragement. I’ve loved chatting to you either through the comments on the blog or on Facebook. I’m looking forward to more chats in 2013!
My very best wishes to you all for 2013. May it be a happy and wonderful year for you and your families.
 
 What plans do you have for 2013?
 
 
A Taste of Travel will be taking a break over the New Year and will return on the 15th January. During this time, I will be posting on facebook and instagram…as wifi allows!!