Winter in London means food markets galore! We’ve been hanging out at Winter Wonderland, the Southbank Centre and somehow managed to visit thirty restaurants this month. Since we’re at a time of reflection and review, here’s what happened at Halal Gems in the last month of 2016.

Our foodie friend Haloodie Foodie organised a seriously indulgent and intriguing test of the new menu items at Brioche Burger’s second branch in Walthamstow. Six burgers in one evening, plus sides and fantastic conversation made for an evening that left us full and yet wanting more.

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We attended a preview of Boondocks Cinema Club. Below Boondocks is a fantastic space – you guessed it – below the restaurant on Old Street. Watching Elf after eating Chef Bea Vo’s halal hot dog with chilli and mac and cheese was a great start to the festive season. Look out for their Cinema Club twice a month from January 2017.

Ruman has had the tough job of finding and trying the best hot chocolate in London. Her hot chocolate crawl left her on a sugar high most days, and you can see the results of her travels on our Instagram account.

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In an effort to stay on the healthy and narrow, we organised a sampling of the most ethical Christmas dinner in London. Redemption serves the healthiest food you can find in the city. Their slogan is Spoil Yourself Without Spoiling Yourself. You can see their new years detox offerings here and help yourself with those New Years resolutions.

In the final few hours of 2016 we went on a farm adventure, visiting Hill Farm and getting up close and personal with cows and sheep. We’re all about understanding where our food comes from, and seeing it at source and through the process of going from farm to fork was fascinating. As a culmination of the day, we had the pleasure of sampling steaks cooked up by Haloodie Foodie. You really can taste the quality difference when you’ve got the best meat, and the best chef!

Hot tip: For a breakdown of whats halal at London’s main markets this winter, check out our posts on Winter Wonderland and the Southbank Centre.

On a personal note, I spent ten fascinating days in a house in York with nine other Muslims this summer and the result was broadcast on BBC2 this month. Muslims Like Us was an intriguing show and caused some controversy, some love and some hate. Catch up with it on iPlayer.