I’ve been much better at writing up #MattTheTrips of late, including several American road trip posts from 2014-16, but last year was actually all about Europe. If we’re counting Scotland & Wales (which I totally am), I made it to eight countries in total, and snuck in a few London escapes too. I somehow ended up in Brussels three times, Edinburgh and Paris both twice, and returned to Copenhagen for Christmas, but there were also new adventures – most notably around the Dolomites and the Amalfi Coast.
The year kicked off with a trip to High Clandon vineyards in Surrey, a beautiful spot that I hope to return to in a sunnier season. Then there was a fun jaunt to Edinburgh to reunite with American pals, which also saw us spend a night in a secluded cabin on Loch Voil in the Trossachs. Wales came next – a whistle-stop weekend for a friend’s 30th where we stayed in a 17th Century Grade 1 Listed mansion called Treowen. The biggest holiday of the year was an epic beer-centred road trip around Europe with my good friend Tim (and several excellent cameos). We visited Paris, Dinant, Bonn, Cologne, Amsterdam, Bodegraven, Ghent, Zwevegem, Brussels, Bruges and more over 18 days. We made some great friends in the beer world along the way, many of whom cropped up again later in the year. I’ve still got a lot of content to share from that trip so keep your eyes peeled!
Then came our North Italian road trip in May – a truly magical drive via Lake Como, The Dolomites, and Lake Garda that ended with Arrogant Sour beer festival in Reggio Emilia and a rooftop wedding in Milan. The highlight of the trip, and indeed the whole year, was the time that we spent at Lago di Braies in the Dolomites – put it on your bucket list. At the start of summer a flying visit to Gutersloh in Germany for another 30th was followed by a second visit to Brussels where I caught up with friends old and new. Then there was a bit of a gap through to the middle of August when it all kicked off once more, first with our annual trip to the Edinburgh Festival, and then with an awesome couple of days in Brussels (AGAIN) for BXL Beerfest, and Paris (again) for another reunion (and lots of wine).
Almost there. Next up was a short but sweet trip to Vienna with Alex from East London Liquor Company, otherwise known as Matt & Alex’s Boozy Adventure. If you don’t know what a heuriger is, read that post. Then in October, I flew over to Naples to find my friend Mary and some sunshine on the Amalfi Coast – I aim to write this all up soon after five fun-filled days in Pompei, Sorrento, Positano, Praiano, and Napoli. Fast forward to December and there were two final trips. Firstly, we drove to Suffolk and back, via Audley End in Essex, to visit our friend Charles at Burnt Mill Brewery. Volkswagen were kind enough to lend me a car for the journey – fingers crossed there will be #vwescapes in the future. And last but not least, in a repeat of 2016, we spent a festive weekend in Copenhagen. Again, posts should follow soon, and one is already up here. Anyway, without further ado, here are 30 of my favourite snaps from all of those jollies. I hope you enjoy them too!
What’s in store for 2018? Almost certainly a return to the US, a weekend in Stockholm, possibly a road trip through Norway, and a few days in San Sebastian, for starters. Oh, and the Carribean. I hope that there will be more of Matt & Alex’s Boozy Adventures, and some #vwescapes too. I’m also going to focus a lot more on video this year, and who knows, perhaps a friend will buy a drone somewhere along the way. PLEASE. To finish, here’s a little film from our annual day-after-Boxing Day trip to Northampton to see relatives. If you’d like to my follow my video progress in 2018, subscribe to my YouTube channel here. Thanks for getting this far, and Happy New Year!