Time for a catch up

Wedding Slieve Donard - Pikalily Food Travel Blog

It’s been a busy few weeks for us as we got married over the Christmas holidays and then set off on a mini European break for our honeymoon.  As it’s been such a long time since we updated the blog, we figured it’s time to give you all a bit of an update on what we’ve been up to of late.

Pikalily is one year old

We recently celebrated one year online as Pikalily.  We initially set up this blog as a way to share our love of food and share some recipes, but as the site has evolved, so to has the content we want to share with you.  We eat out on a regular basis now and do our best to share our thoughts with you on places around Northern Ireland, especially popular eateries in Belfast and around Down.  We’ve lot’s of reviews still to share with you so hang tight.

We have also been doing a lot of travelling of late, and as we both love travelling, we have decided to start sharing our travelling experiences with you.  Expect lots of talk about Ireland, Spain and France over the coming weeks as we talk about some of our trips over the past 12 months.  We are also heading to Liverpool and Brighton in the coming months, and all being well, we’ll be visiting Berlin, so we look forward to sharing these trips with you.

All in all we’ve had a fantastic first year here at Pikalily and hope to go from strength to strength next year.  We’ve worked with some wonderful brands and have got involved in some great events.  We’re only starting out and the journey has been great so far, so thank you for joining us over the past year.  This is only the beginning though as we have big plans for the blog over the next 12 months.

Pikalily got married

As mentioned, we’ve only gone and got married over the Christmas break.  The date was Monday 29th December 2014 and the venue was the stunning Slieve Donard Hotel in Newcastle, Co. Down.  It was a wonderful day and a truly magical winter wedding.  A clear blue sky with snow covered Mourne Mountains for photos, and lots of family and friends to share the big day – we really couldn’t have wished for anything more.

Here’s a few snaps of the big day including the 8 tier cake that Helen made herself (that’s right, 8 tiers).  It was her own design as well.  We’ll share some more snaps when we get our album sorted but it was a truly special day.

Pikalily Wedding Cake

Our 8 Tier Wedding Cake

Clara Wedding - Pikalily

Celebrating with our niece Clara

Wedding Slieve Donard - Pikalily Food Travel Blog

The Toner clan at our wedding

Wedding Friends - Pikalily

Us with the lovely Neil and Orla

Food glorious food

As usual we’ve been busy in the kitchen (well Helen anyway) cooking up some treats over the past few months, and we’ve so many recipes to get sharing with you over the next few months.  We’ve also been busy dining out and enjoying food on our travels, so we’ll be share to share these reviews with you to give you an idea of some of the best places to eat in Northern Ireland.

We’ve caught the travel bug

After a few months of travelling around Ireland for work (with Expedia), and spending a few days around Europe for our honeymoon, it’s fair to say we’ve caught the travel bug.  Places we’ve visited recently include Derry, Cork and Waterford in Ireland, as well as Paris, Barcelona and Madrid for our honeymoon.  We have so much to share with you guys and can’t wait to let you know about our travels and give you some travel advice over the next few weeks.  The highlight of our travels had to be New Year’s Day in Paris followed by a trip to EuroDisney a few days later.  A truly magical experience.

We’ll be putting our travel stories up shortly but until then here’s a few snaps of our honeymoon including the odd selfie (we took a lot when we were away).

Champagne Paris - Pikalily Food Travel Blog

Honeymoon celebrations in our first stop, Paris

Street in PParis - Pikalily Travel Blog

Street from hotel in Paris

Arc de Triomphe - Pikalily Food Blog

Paris Selfie at the Arc de Triomphe

Tapas Bar Barcelona - Pikalily Food Blog

Tapas bar in Barcelona

Tapas Barcelona - Pikalily Food Travel Blog

Tapas in Barcelona

Santiago Bernabeu - Pikalily Food Travel Blog

Ready to watch Real Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu

So that’s just a snapshot of what we’ve been up to over the past few months.  As you can see, it’s been a busy period but we’re back home and settled again and ready to rock and roll in 2015.  Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates from the blog and regular stories from our food and travel adventures.

Until next time guys, thanks for reading.

Nial and Helen Toner


Welcome to Pikalily, an award-winning food, travel and lifestyle blog. We are Nial and Helen, a happily married couple from Northern Ireland, who share a passion for food and travel among many things. We became parents to our beautiful boy Lewis in 2017. Follow our adventures through the blog.