My Top Five 2021 Favourite Places
🔝5️⃣. Next up on my look back at the year that wasn’t of 2021 is My Top Five Favourite Places. Not quite as limited on exploration as the year before, nevertheless the five were relatively easy to select.
There was nowhere new, but plenty of places revisited, one in particular was long overdue. Here are my 2021 Top Five Favourite Places 🌇
1️⃣ Sarasota, Florida
I’ve spent more and more time in this coastal Gulf city. Distinctly ‘non Floridian’ it has a vibrant arts scene, beachy atmosphere and an burgeoning food culture. The downtown of Sarasota boasts resorts and fine dining, but Siesta Key, Longboat Key and St. Armands Circle offers a more intimate, seaside ambience.
2️⃣ Kings Cross, London
Kings Cross reminds me of my 20’s. Early mornings trying to get home from Bagley’s or The Cross and long train journeys north to watch Charlton. I was very taken in by the area when I stayed around there in November. It has gone through enormous transformation and rejuvenated with new streets, squares and parks, homes, galleries, bars, and restaurants.
3️⃣ Napa Valley, California
This is my ‘happy place’ and I was fortunate to be here again in early December. Rolling hills and sunny skies draw you into one of the best wine regions in the world. Known for jammy Cabernet’s and rich Chardonnay’s Duckhorn Vineyards were our hosts, but walk me into anyone of the almost 500 vineyards and tasting rooms and I will be happy.
4️⃣ Miami Design District, Florida
I spent my birthday here in August. We had a great day trawling shiny architecture and high end stores. This was not a place to shop for a birthday gift on a budget, but we mostly stayed outside of the shops, and went inside the many bars and restaurants. This once dodgy backwater to the city is now its own fashion-forward destination.
5️⃣ The Valley, London
My first pilgrimage to SE7 since Covid was in November. My brother and I had long picked the Plymouth game, but that game suddenly grew in relevance as Plymouth sat top of the table, and Jacko had replaced Adkins and was unbeaten. Thomas saw the potential and helped fill The Valley and I was part of an almost sell-out electric crowd to see us play brilliantly to win.