Twelve Months Later

The little blog that could has passed a milestone; today marks one year since we tapped fingertip to keyboard and typed the first fateful words that would begin our blogging journey…

russell james alford patrick hanlon christmas party hats celebration family

It started as a humble pastime and diary to keep account of our eating and feeding – we wanted to taste and try restaurants, bars and food in general that we had never tried before, and we thought it useful to bring others on the internet, who were interested in the same, along with us in our journey. Our goal was to appreciate and relish in what we lived around and what lay undiscovered literally at our fingertips, and we still yearn for the same and have the original thirst for adventure that we set out with.

This past year has seen a huge change in our lives. We now live in a different country, we’ve somewhat swapped job titles, have a whole new city to discover (ten times the size of the one we left behind), have downsized from a house to a flat (but now happily live on our own) and have embarked upon a pastime which has become a treasured second job for both of us, and which is never a chore as it consistently fulfills and satisfies us, in equal measure.

Patrick hanlon russell james alford suit formal gastrogays party familyThe blog began from a bucket list. We picked 50 Dublin restaurants, cafés and bars that we wanted to try out in 2013, ones we had never been to before through one reason or another, and decided to simply write one post per place and document our experience: numbers one to 50, what we liked and didn’t, what we chose to eat and why, and overall trying to simplify or de-mystify for others who hadn’t tested these places but planned to. We wanted the content to be realistic, down to earth, a little humorous and, especially, useful or helpful.

Patrick Hanlon Russell James AlfordSince February 2013, mainly due to a lifestyle-shift in mid-2013 which saw us up and leave our home country to seek newness and challenge in London, the blog reflected that change by evolving into more of a food and lifestyle blog, filled not only with reviews but with our own recipes, features, photography and personal stories.

patrick hanlon russell james alford london view big benWe’ve spent this past year finding our feet with our blog. Sometimes we gave it lots of time, other times it went bare for longer than planned. We experimented with several layouts and certainly took our time getting more confident with photography and features. We’ve agonised over phrasing, worried about views and click-through, adjusted entire posts at the last minute and learned a lot about what works best for us and hopefully best for our readers. The story of our first year is somewhat identical to that of most other bloggers, we imagine; it’s all trial and error until you find your voice and then it’s mostly confident plain sailing – while always trying to better yourself and take on newer and greater challenges.

coffee jumper cute patrick hanlonKatie Crooks BBC russell james alford tube escalator selfieWe’ve lots planned for the next year, but we’re also equally excited about what’s not planned yet, what’s not been talked or thought about, what’s going to catch us off guard and what’s going to find it’s own way to us. Heaven knows we’ve had a lot come our way this past year that wasn’t planned or was very different from what we imagined, so here’s to being open to the unknown, to keeping your eyes on the prize, and to doing what you love.

Patrick Hanlon Russell James Alford

Patrick & Russell

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  • Michael Caul

    Happy Anniversary Lads!!

    • Thanks Michael! We’re gonna munch on cake and have too much wine. It’s only a sliiightly out-of-the-ordinary Thursday night for us!

  • Mary

    Happy 1st Anniversary Patrick & Russell, and cheers to many more.
    Mary & Tony