New Year’s Eve 2022 Round Up

It’s time for the Bright Lights Big City New Year’s Eve 2022 Round Up!

As tradition dictates, my last post of the year is always a retrospective. It gives you the opportunity to look over my posts and pick out anything you might have missed and want to read.

Since I started this blog late 2016, putting this post together become one of my favourite things to do. There’s something quite cathartic about looking over the last year to help me look forward.

This New Year’s Eve 2022 Round Up, is the sixth post I’ve done containing all my blog posts, highlights, and intentions for the year ahead.

Grab a brew, and take a whistle stop tour of Bright Lights Big City’s past year!

It’s 31 December and time to wish you a…

Happy New Year!

Here’s to 2023, I’m excited for the new year for once. While I’m firmly in camp Christmas, and really don’t like New Year, I really can’t wait for a bit of a fresh start.

Thank You

Without you this blog doesn’t happen, and it fills me with joy that I’ve been helping you to discover Hampshire and beyond.

It will never not be an honour to know you’re finding great things to do and eat from my suggestions. I cherish the comments and messages you’ve sent sharing your new discoveries and experiences this blog has helped you experience . We all deserve to do fun things with our free time and I love it when this blog helps you to do just that.

THANK YOU for your support throughout 2022!

2022 Recap

2022 was a rollercoaster of a year! It started out as a very tough year and I thought nothing could trump 2021 and the loss of a family member. But 2022 came along and challenged that with a bout of food poisoning that lasted all year. And, I’m not going to lie, things got pretty bleak for a while but now I’m learning to live with it and recovering slowly.

Again, it’s not I’ve spoken about much online because this is a space for travel and great food and that’s why you come here. There are some incredible bloggers out there that cover these topics. The reason I mention it now is to act as a reminder you’re not alone, especially if you’ve been facing some challenges too.

But there was also some real highlights in 2022, a new job, lots of exploring and the joy of seeing a lot of live music again including Billie Eilish, Jacob Collier and Muse. Oh and not to mention an incredibly festive evening with Jamie Cullum as he performed his Christmas album and the Royal Philharmonic orchestra performing the music of Harry Potter.

Blog Progress

2022 was greatly impacted by my health and recovery and turned into a year of consolidation for Bright Lights Big City.

2021’s views and visitors were almost matched in 2022. Priorities were different and this is a great success considering my personal challenges. It also gives me fantastic feedback, room for further growth and clear goals for 2023.

New for 2023

I’ve not actually thought about this yet, the rollercoaster of 2022 hasn’t given me much thinking time. Ultimately I think I’d just like to go back to writing more consistently and building out my Hampshire content.

  • Remaining in place for 2023 is the monthly ‘Things to do in Hampshire’ post adapted introduced in 2022.
  • In 2022/23 I’ve started to go darker in winter and lighter in summer on my Instagram feed. I really like reflecting seasonality and I really enjoy it.

Year in Review

I try to pick a word for each year, for 2022 I set it as ‘growth’. And, well as I’ve explained already the year had other plans for me, so I’m going to stick to that word and hope it bodes better for 2023.

Here’s a look back at the highlights and posts in my New Year’s Eve 2022 Round Up, with some top Hampshire recommendations in it too.

January 2022
  • Drove up to Harry Potter: The Forbidden Forest Experience near Manchester for my birthday. It was magical!
  • Rode The Watercress Line on an LED steam train across Hampshire
  • Hampshire food recommendation: I had dinner at The Roasting Party in Alresford and the standard of food is so incredible here.
February 2022
  • This is the month I got sick and everything planned for 2022 got turned upside down.
  • Saw Jonathan Van Ness from Queer Eye’s stand up show
  • Visited Whitchurch’s Silk Mill for the light trail
  • Walked the Winchester Winter lights trail.
  • Visited Fishbourne Roman Palance ruins on the Hampshire border near Chichester.
  • Went to Brighton for a day trip and walked The Lanes.
  • Hampshire food recommendation:
    • Natty’s Jerk Kitchen opened a street food restaurant in Portsmouth and it is the best Caribbean food.
    • I had dinner at Baja Mexicali in Whiteley, Southampton and it was delicious.
    • I tried brunch at Kimbridge Barn in Romsey, a beautiful popular local spot with a good menu.
  • West Sussex food recommendation: Enjoyed a bouijie breakfast in a chalet at The Barn Little London in Chichester.
March 2022
  • Winchester Cathedral hosted Luxmuralis’ show Science and it was a beautiful transformation of the space with lights, projections and music.
  • Visited London several times for the Van Gogh immersive experience, The British Museum and top foodie pudding spot Humble Crumble.
  • Hampshire Food Recommendation: Lucky Lychee, Hampshire’s best Malaysian food got its own restaurant and it’s serving its sensational dishes in central Winchester.
  • Bournemouth Food Recommendation: Lead Out Coffee for a great caffeine fix and tasty light meals.
April 2022
  • The weather picked up and I nipped down to Bournemouth for a long stroll along the beach.
  • I walked the Winchester Water Meadows Walk again to make the most of seeing the beautiful Spring blossoms.
  • No posts in April.
May 2022
  • Visiting Micheldever Woods to see the most impressive bluebell display I’ve ever seen in my life!
  • Heading to Alresford for the Annual Watercress Festival.
  • Enjoyed Spring floral displays in Covent Garden
  • Headed to London to see Muse and Trombone Shorty live.
  • Tried London food spots Flat Iron, Shake Shack and Milk Train.
  • Hampshire Food Recommendation: Afternoon Tea at Chewton Glen – the most perfect slice of luxury.
June 2022
  • Went to Brighton to see Jacob Collier perform live. Of course, I spent more time in Brighton’s coffee shops before it.
  • Headed back to London to the O2 to see Billie Eilish perform.
  • I spent a magical mindful evening with Laura Brand aka author of The Joy Journal and a supper made by The Food Doula at my favourite place in Hampshire, The Yard.
  • Spent The Queen’s Jubilee in Frome, Somerset exploring for the first time.
  • Went to Cornwall on holiday, I think for the 7th year. I finally got tickets to Tarquin’s distillery tour, and returned to Prawn on the Farm to celebrate mine and Henry’s anniversary, Padstow and discovered Mexi-Kernow, a mexican takeaway near to Polzeath. Oh, and in Padstow we went on a sea safari to see Puffins for the very first time!
  • Hampshire Food Recommendation:
    • The Yard, for coffee, toasties and pastries galore.
    • Hearty pub food can be found on Southampton’s Oxford Street at The White Star Tavern.
    • The Rose & Crown Farringdon in the North of Hampshire for really great pub food and epic Sunday roasts.
  • Frome Food Recommendation: Burrito Boi for incredible Mexican a short drive from Frome’s centre.
July 2022
  • I climbed the O2 dome and was not prepared for the incredible views of London at the top.
  • A sunset dinner on Southsea sea front scoffing delicious caribbean food from Natty’s Jerk Kitchen.
  • Walking the Meon Valley and Forest of Bere as the lush greenery emerged for summer.
  • Going to Hampton Court Flower Show for the first time since going every year as a child!
  • The Nici Hotel opened in Bournemouth, and it’s a beautifully modern place to stay with a solid restaurant offering looking out across the sea.
  • Went to Portsfest, an arts festival in Portsmouth, and saw an orchestra play in a car park.
  • Hampshire Food Recommendation:
    • Refreshing foraged summer drinks and snacks at Proudfoot in Winchester.
    • Autumn House opened in Winchester serving up beautiful homewares and wonderful coffee, wine, deli bits and pastries.
    • Had cocktails and a charcuterie feast at the newly renovated and opened The Vault at Mettricks in Portswood, Southampton.
August 2022 & September 2022
  • August:
    • Went to Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place Festival at Chiswick House in London.
    • Saw Jacob Collier for the first time live in Brighton.
    • Visited some incredible coffee shops in Brighton including Pelicano Cofffee, Bond St Coffee & Trading Post Coffee Roasters.
    • Victorious Festival on the bank holiday weekend brought the wonderful Paolo Nutini to Southsea Sea Front for an incredible set.
    • Spent a day enjoying The Lost Words exhibition at Russell Cotes Museum in Bournemouth.
    • Hampshire Food Recommendation:
      • Unordinary Oat Milk opened in Hampshire and I’ve been drinking it ever since.
      • Hideout Coffee and Donuts for the best donuts ever!
  • September:
    • Went to London to see Parcels and Incubus.
    • I went on holiday to Jamaica and everything about it was just superb. It was my first trip abroad since the pandemic and the airports were still in utter chaos. It was so weird to be back flying again, after a tumultuous two years a total break was the perfect antidote.
August & September Posts…
  • No posts – Between sorting out my health and interviewing for a new job there wasn’t much time.
October 2022
  • I went on my first trip to Guernsey in the Channel Islands and enjoyed dinner at St Peter’s Port.
  • October is official spooky season and I went on many trips to pumpkin patches. Especially the Paddington tribute to the Queen at Sunnyfields Farm in Southampton.
  • Went to London to see the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra perform the music of Harry Potter in Concert. It was more than magical and really brought a different dimension to the film.
  • Went to the Mythomania exhibition by Ian Kirkpatrick at Basingstoke’s Willis Museum.
  • Hampshire Food Recommendation: Mermaids Coffee Shop at Universal Marina is serving up delicious coffee roasted on site and home made cakes too.
November 2022
  • Went on a tour of Southamption’s vaults with Experience Hampshire.
  • Enjoying drinks with pals at Gunwharf Quays.
  • Went to visit real film locations from The Holiday.
  • Hampshire Food Recommendation: The Talisman in Park Gate, after an extensive refurbishment and menu refresh.
December 2022
  • Saw real reindeer at Stewarts Garden Centre.
  • Saw the famous snow windows of Hartley Wintney.
  • Went to London to see Jamie Cullum perform his Christmas album.
  • Picked up a festive sheaf from my favourite Hampshire florist, Smell The Roses.
  • Picked up a Christmas Tree from a family run, local Christmas tree grower called J West in Titchfield.
  • Hampshire Food Recommendation: Enjoying a festive afternoon tea at The Elvetham in Hartley Wintney in Hook.

Here’s to 2023!

If you’ve made it here to the end of the New Year’s Eve 2022 Round Up, get yourself a well deserved drink and have a stretch. It’s a long old post. You’ve earnt yourself another cocktail.

If you want to catch up with the previous round up posts for each year, you’ll find them in the links below…

What have you been up to over the past year?

Have a Happy New Year!

Happy Reading ✌🏻

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