Exactly 1 year ago, I hit publish on my first official blog post on Binny’s Kitchen and it was a recipe for Stuffed Masala Aubergines with a spicy tomato sauce. It all started as a platform to share recipes of dishes I had been posting on my Instagram and over the last 12 months it has grown into something I could only have dreamed of.
I just wanted to say a massive thank you to each and every one of you who takes the time to read my blog (and to my parents for sharing all my posts so proudly, and to Yatika and Meera for their endless support as the bestest friends anyone could have) and I am so grateful to have you all on this journey with me.
Starting this blog was one of the best decisions I have ever made and Binny’s Kitchen has evolved from recipes, to include restaurant and bar reviews, events and travel inspired posts.
My biggest regret was not starting this blog earlier due to the amount Amit & I have travelled and the amount we have eaten out prior to the blog. It is important to look forwards and not backwards so I am re-creating new memories as well as including some posts about past experiences.
To commemorate the anniversary, I asked the lovely Ella Masters to create the illustration below for me. It has a Kenyan theme of course because that is where my heart will always be, and it has an elephant to signify the very special cause I support with all my heart, The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.
It is no surprise that my blog anniversary coincides with the same month as my wedding anniversary and last year we celebrated our wedding anniversary at Gymkhana and it was actually the first ever restaurant review I wrote. You can read it here:
We then celebrated both mine and Amit’s birthdays at Gymkhana in 2015 and it is only right to celebrate my blog’s first birthday there too so that is the plan for later.
Through the past year the highlights, of which have been many, have included making lots of friends, meeting inspirational chefs and role models in the industry as well as experiencing London and different cuisines which I wouldn’t have been motivated to prior to starting the blog. I hope that my blog inspires you to try those things too!
Highlights of the past year have been:
Making fellow blogger friends
Michelle, from http://petitetealover.co.uk and Sandra from http://cakeandwhisky.com are my blogging buddies. Our friendship formed at Le Meridien Piccadilly over afternoon tea and we have experienced so many events and restaurants together ever since.
Dates with the lovely Nessy, whose photography is truly inspiring. Check out her photography here: https://m.facebook.com/pages/Nessy-Samuel-Photography/567610629925103
I have met so many other lovely inspirational bloggers at events and some I still have to meet in real life, but the friendships made over the past year are truly special.
My current favourite bookmarked blogs to read (including Sandra and Michelle’s) are as follows and is not limited to the following:
Meera needs no introduction. She is not only my best friend but has a mouthwatering instagram feed and an amazing blog, with recipes which look amazing and are really good for you too. http://thefitfabfoodie.com
Jaime’s lifestyle blog with interiors I envy at http://www.angloyankophile.com/p/about-me.html
Angie’s luxury lifestyle blog which invokes a lot of wanderlust. She is also my source for restaurant reviews. http://www.silverspoonlondon.co.uk
Aftab’s blog, is so honest, amazing and inspiring to read. He covers everything from beauty, travel to food. My kind of blog! http://www.freshandfearless.co.uk
Vi Vian is my favourite Malaysian blogger and she also hosts supper clubs (I am going to attend one soon promise) http://www.vi-vian.com
Kacie, is a lovely lovely girl who I met at the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards. She is a Welsh blogger and she always has recipes and reviews that invoke a lot of hunger. If you are planning a trip to Cardiff she is your girl! http://www.therarewelshbit.com
Anu from Peachy tales is my Mauritian friend who I am hopefully going to meet super soon! Her photography is on point and she is such a lovely girl. http://peachytales.com
Harpreet’s blog is the number one stop for all things wanderlust! She tells her epic tales of her footsteps across the world and her photography is stunning. http://harpreetswanderlust.com
Jaini – A fellow David Sheldrick supporter and mummy to Mbegu, I love this girl and she inspires me so much!Her diary has amazing travel posts from Kenya and other countries too. http://jainisdiaries.com
Mel & John are an adorable pair who I met at an event at Bunny Chow and we all had a giggle as John could not fit in the kitchen, apart from one spot where the ceiling had a bit of a slot big enough for his head to fit into. One tall and one short and they have fabulous reviews and recipes on their blog. http://www.yummyfeed.com
Suji and I had been chatting on twitter and experienced Hoppers together and have a lot in common. She is lovely, inspiring and has a Sri Lankan background. http://mykitchenadventures.co
Curry For Change
Another big highlight of 2015 was getting involved in #CurryForChange with a charity called Find your Feet to raise money for a worthy cause. Pictured are Chintal, who makes amazing cakes and Nankhatai https://chinskitchen.co.uk and Tania, co founder of Chit Chaat Chai, soon to be a new restaurant opening in a few months.
Meeting and seeing some Inspirational chefs and foodies
Going to events, and restaurants, and even in my own work HQ, has allowed me to meet some truly inspirational chefs and role models in the industry such as Chef Vivek Singh, Mallika Basu, Asma Khan, Jason Atherton, Paul Hollywood and Michel Roux Jr.
The Cosmopolitan Blog Awards
I was so thrilled to be awarded Highly Commended in the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards and I could not have done it without you all voting for me. I am so thankful to Janki too, who styled my hair and did my make up for me on the night. Check out her Instagram account here. PS I know I look really short in the photo below :p
A big thank you to Amit
I cannot of course end this post without saying a massive thank you to Amit who has let me have the freedom to live my dream, has supported me endlessly, motivated me and encouraged me and bought me a Macbook and a Camera to help me on this journey.
He is also my plus one on many restaurant reviews and trips and having him believe in me is something I am so grateful for. He also doesn’t mind the evenings when I am out at blogging events and always helps me where he can (Instagram husband) so thank you very much Amit 🙂
So what’s next for Binny’s Kitchen? First off this weekend we are celebrating the blog’s birthday, followed by an upcoming trip to the Cotswolds and Mauritius.
I then have the UK Blog Awards to attend at the end of April and then a blogger trip to France in May. I look forward to sharing those experiences, as well as many more restaurant reviews and recipes with you.
Thank you for all your support so far and thank you for being a part of my blog’s journey.
Asante Sana 🙂
Lots of love Binny xx