Monthly Archives: October 2011

Silent Sunday – 30 October

Happy Halloween….

Necropolis cemetery, Glasgow

Necropolis, Glasgow


Asia Style – it’s about good food

Sometimes good food isn’t about lush , grand architecture or even overly friendly service.   Simply it ain’t about the style.  Sometimes it’s only about the food – which is so good that the plain surroundings and muted service don’t matter.  And that’s exactly what Asia Style is about. Good food.


When you walk in, perhaps you want to immediately walk back out – but believe me you’d be a fool.   Besides, if it’s a Friday or Saturday night, chances are haven’t walked straight in because there’s typically a queue – doubters take this as a good sign. Even better – if there is a queue, it moves quickly and you’ll be at your table savouring sensational food shortly.

Don’t be put off by the décor – or lack there of, in this case simple is good.  If it’s all too much- at the very least get a take-a-way or regret it.

A smorgasbord of delicious choice

Asia Style’s Chinese/Malaysian menu is a smorgasbord of choice – really something for everyone.  And if you’re craving something like veggie chow mien, which isn’t on the menu, guess what – they’ll make it.  Or at least they did when I asked. 

Veggie spring roll at Asia Style, GlasgowBut sticking to the menu won’t be difficult.  There are so many amazing dishes (seafood noodle soup; ma po tofu and a gazillion flavourful beef and chicken specialities).  And admittedly some odd sounding things like the ‘1000 year old egg with slice pork porridge’.  Didn’t try that one.  However, I did try their spring rolls – and can confirm that they make the best (and biggest) I’ve ever had – definitely worth a try. 

Inexpensive, authentic Asian eats 

Dinner for two that included 2 starters, 2 main dishes and beer comes in just over 23 quid.  Nice.

Although at these prices students may want to claim it as their own, the crowd at Asia Style is as eclectic as the menu – families, friends, young, old, and I even spotted a guy happily eating on his own – you know it’s great when you’re dining solo! 

Tucked away on 185-189 St George’s Road (G3 6JD), it’s easy to miss but shouldn’t be overlooked!  Quite simply, it dishes out good, inexpensive, authentic Asian eats.


Hell-o-ween on wheels

Glasgow Roller Girls (GRG) – Hells Belles vs. Death Stars

I have no idea what to expect.

The women’s intraleague roller derby is about to kick off with aptly named home team Hells Belles against Death Stars.  Queuing outside Glasgow Caledonian University ARC gym  with the growing crowed, we watch the competitors wander in and out.  There’s a distinct dress code: shiny, sparkly hot pants, tattoos and badges.   Clearly I’m overdressed.

Sit here at your own risk

Glasgow Roller Girls at Roller Derby

Finally inside we pay (£6 for adults and free for children under 14  – hooray!) and make our way towards the seats – apparently at our own gamble.  Sit here at your own risk is taped to the floor of the benches we’re sitting on.  Unphased by the warning, my husband claims this danger bench is the best spot where we’ll be sure to see the most action as women gather speed and ram into each other. 

The track consists of three oval paths, inner for the referees, middle for the skaters and an outer path for the skater fallout.   And there’s a lot of fall out.  We watch the glistening Lycra-clad ladies do the rounds warming up racing round the track, barging and jinking through each other.  My boys conduct a slightly different warm up tucking into homemade cakes and drinks.   The commentator introduces us to the energy-charged ladies whose possible areas of expertise are reflected in names like Whisky Galore & Luisa Bruises.  And then the derby starts.

Thrilling, exhilarating, ride-on-wheels

Roller derby girls shove one another out of the wayI suppose the concept is rather simple – a sport played by two teams of five (I think) members roller-skating in the same direction around a track.  And yet, not that simple at all.  This is a contact sport.  An exciting, thrilling, exhilarating ride-on-wheels wrapped up in tight-fitting-don’t-mess-with-me-garbs.

The whistle blows and I watch gripped by the two teams on the track as one woman from each team works her way her way methodically through the pack to complete circuits of the track and score points.  All the while the rest of the team block, barge and charge each other to knock the opponent off course from their star-helmeted team mate.   Body pads and helmets are well used as skaters hit the deck all over the place. 

In a word this is fantastic.  I enjoy myself so much that along with my youngest son, I cheer (some may say loud whooping) for the home team Hells Belles – although my eldest is won over by the Death Star’s theme tune – Star Wars. 

Scoring is fast and furious at the end of each session; 15 to 5 becomes 15 to 30 which becomes 60 to 30, the lead changes hands frequently but the Death Stars beat our Hell’s Belles to a place in the final on the 12 November  against the Bad Omens.

Don’t miss the Monster’s Bash – halloween double header – 29 October

Get your heart-rate racing and add a different spin to your Halloween.  Check out the next match on Saturday 29 October – it’s a Monster Bash  with local and international games kicking off at 12:30pm.

Definitely not to be missed.


Silent Sunday – 23 October

A beautiful place in the stillness of early morning glow……

Clock tower, Ingram Street, Glasgow

Rain or shine getting to heaven’s a whole lot easier – in fact 3 enjoyable steps

I’m hiding under the huge leaves at the glasshouse at Kibble Palace  in Glasgow’s West End.  Adrenalin is coursing through my body because in this game of hide-and-seek  it’s clear that I am the prey.  When I see my two sons getting closer to my hiding place I fear my pounding heart will give me away.  I make a break for it and run.

But I’m no match for them and they quickly nab me. 

Rained out but not ruined

We attempt to explore the rest of the Botanic Gardens but unfortunately the weather is against us.  But we’re not defeated by the rain– and happily dodge puddles, racing down Byres Road to the quirky and wonderful 3 steps to Heaven – a shop boasting 3 steps to coffee, salads and ice cream bliss – though it’s clear where their true talents lie.

3 steps to absolute ice cream joy

3 steps to heaven shop front in GlasgowThis is no ordinary ice cream cafe, here amount beautiful sparkly cupcakes and delightfully coloured surroundings are the ice creams of all ice creams. Willy Wonky and Tom and Gerry have nothing on  Stone Cold Creations – a truly wonderful way to create the ice cream of your childhood dreams.  And that’s exactly what my sons and I do in 3 simple, enjoyable steps:

Step 1 – Select two flavours of ice cream
My youngest goes for a national favourite – tablet and fudge, while my eldest opts for chocolate fudge brownie and colourful puff candy

Step 2 – Add two mixing ingredients – the options are endless, sweets, chocolate, nuts, jellies, sprinkles and more.  Clearly not having had his fill of the sweet stuff, my youngest opts for even more tablet toped with white chocolate jazzes – obviously there are no wrong or right.  My eldest goes for a more eclectic flying saucer and marshmallow option.

Step 3 – Combine everything – but not just in any old way – magically on an ice cold slab of marble the ingredients and mixed, merged and transformed into wonderful concoction.  All the while wishful eyes watch in anticipation until the entire lot is presented in a beautiful ice-cream mash up masterpiece, topped with the sauce of our choice.   Of course my boys opt for even more chocolate.

Lick the plate good!

Silence descends on our table – a true sign of success, that and the fact that my eldest wanted to lick the plate.   Sugar and smiles, and all without totally breaking the bank – each creation comes in at just under £4.

Admittedly rainy days can be hard to take but into every soggy Saturday or Sunday some sprinkles, chocolate and glorious cold stone ice cream should fall.


Say aloha to Glasgow’s own slice of Hawaiian Kitsch with a Thai twist

The days are getting shorter and the weather has taken a turn for the even worse – but there’s still reason to feel alright if you’re heading to the Tiki Bar in Glasgow.

Tiki Bar Sign in GlasgowThis wee tropical hide-a-way at the end of Bath Street  is easy to miss – if not for the giant Easter Island head (Moai) guarding the outside entry.  And even then, if there’s no one  outside because the weather is the pits (which is quite possible), you could easily pass by the luminous green door.  But do open it to the most wonderful basement bar, turning out tasty Thai treats in extraordinary surroundings.

Dinner with friends – of the interesting variety

The décor is Americano meets island boy and has pin-up-girl daughter extrovert.   Buxom 1940s poster girls are interspersed with glowing blowfish lamps and the ultimate in geek chic, Mad Magazine’s toothy freckled-face boy.   The downstairs bar is a softly lit snug, comfy place.  And upstairs the open-space restaurant is like stepping into a friend’s house – if that friend happened to live in the 1940’s, loved to collect robots and interesting art and had a knack for making killer Thai food.

Clever kitchness, super staff and tasty cocktails

Tiki bar skull cup gin and juice drink

Cocktails with a twist

Adding to the wonder of this quirky place is their fantastic staff and dare I say even more divine cocktails .  And fellas, before you turn up your noses to girlie drinks, you haven’t had a Tiki Bar cocktail.  Not only are they delicious and packing a potent punch, but they are served in the ultimate glasses – my gin and juice came in a ceramic skull.  How’s that for manly.  Of course for the less daring, there’s always beer.

And then there’s the food  – absolute yum!  Top dinner recommendations would be starting with the king prawn tempura (£6.00), which should be renamed ultimate champion king of kings prawns, the crispy golden spring rolls (£4.80) or the oh-so-good Fish Cakes (£6.00).  And for a main you can’t go wrong with the divinely delicious tofu and vegetable red curry or the flavourful coley with three flavoured sauce fish dish (£10.20).  If after that you can muster a dessert (well done), do let me know what’s best!  I opted for more cocktails.

Shake off autumn cold at one of the hottest basement bars in town

So if you’re looking to escape looming autumn blues and shake off cold and constant rain, then get yourself to the Tiki Bar!   Cocktails reign supreme, are served in attention-grabbing glasses and the food is rock-your-socks off good but won’t force you to wonder home barefoot and broke!

And while, yes, technically their Thai cuisine may not be authenticly Hawaiian – there’s no denying that it is 100% fantastic!

 Although I’m totally getting ahead of myself – I’m hoping that summer 2012 will be a scorcher because incidentally the Tiki Bar also has one of the best outdoor areas in Glasgow and will give places on Ashton Lane and  the city centre’s Chinaskis a run for their money!


Silent Sunday – 16 October

A Scots Toast – minus the tea and jam…..

A Scots Toast

The Little Bird Market with big appeal

Vintage, craft, jewellery, trinket, clothing, cupcake, pretty, lovely, marvellous things heaven. 

Little Bird Market, Glasgow, ScotlandThat is how I would describe the utterly fabulous Little Bird Market at Sloan’s bar off Argyle Street (108 Argyle to be exact). 

I am literally like a kid in a sweet shop – well actually more like a kid in a cake shop because adding to the wonder is Mrs Sloan’s Cake Salon offering the most divine afternoon teas – dainty finger sandwiches, homemade scones and cakes served on beautiful china.

A treasure trove of local talent

Vintage and handmade clothes, jewellery, bags, accessories, cupcakes, stationery, cards, skincare, homeware and more.  This treasure trove shows off the talents of  local artists and specialises in the kinds of gifts that make people squeal with delight. Even better, it won’t make you shriek with pain because these treasures won’t break the bank.  

jewellery from little bird market, Glagow, Scotland

My fab finds at Little Bird Market

My only warning is that if you’re trying to buy for others – just accept that you can’t help but treat yourself.  It’s simply too good not to.  And at these prices why not.  Less than £ 20 later and I’m the jubilant owner of two fantastic rings (from the delightfully named hand over your fairy cakes), one vintage pearl and metallic broach (from love me again) and a vibrant, hand-crafted flower hair clip (from frayed at the edges).

Get yourself to the next event in November – or regret not going!

So if you haven’t been to the Little Bird Market, go – or regret it forever!   And if you’ve  already been, go again and spread the word.  I’ll certainly go back. 

The next event is happening on Sunday, 13 Nov noon – 5pm at Sloan’s Bar  (1st and 2nd floor) with another two events happening in December on the 4th and 11th, perfect for finishing up Christmas shopping or getting a little something special for yourself!

– T

AC/DC Factor

My sons have recently started to become interested in music.  And from the time they could talk, X Factor has been a viable path to fame.  But it’s time to counteract this fabricated notion of music.  And so we set off for the AC/DC  exhibition at the Kelvingrove.

It seems appropriate that Brian, Malcolm, Angus and the boys are taking up residence in the dark basement – their posters, programmes, album covers and personal letters cover the walls.  And yet this vault of memorabilia isn’t dark at all.  It’s buzzing with activity – their essence so strong you can almost smell them.  My boys are instantly transfixed by interviews and music glaring back from various TV screens, headphones clamped firmly to their ears. 

AC/DC Banner at KelvingroveAround us long-haired fans with leather jackets enjoy moments of their own.  A tribute wall covered in red messages: “ACDC shared my 40th birthday before I got MS, best day of my life”, “Highway to Glasgow” and “ACDC rock” to name but a few.  More than three decades onward, these rockers still evoke such passion from their fans.  The difference between legends and fleeting celebrity I suppose.

Music rocking and screaming its way into existence

Mouths ajar my boys watch the screen as AC/DC belts out Highway to Hell  from a 10 foot high wall to thousands.  The sound blasts out – and there’s nothing contrived here.  There is only raw energy, long hair, rangy bodies and passion stomping across the stage.  This music comes from people, not produced, styled and groomed but rocking and screaming its way into existence.

We leave the exhibition returning to the reality of the outdoors, eyes blinking in the light.  The boys loved it –  and so did I.  I remember when music meant something to me, and how I lived life through the songs I listened to.  I hope my boys will do the same.  

Admittedly they aren’t rock fans (yet) but the point is you don’t have to be to appreciate this amazing tribute to a group that have been raising hell and wowing the world for over three decades. 

Not to be missed!

And although AC/DC don’t have plans to stop anytime soon – the exhibit eventually will and is around till 12 February 2012.  It’s well worth the 2 quid ticket – so make sure you welcome your comrades home – AC/DC were of course formed by the Young brothers, Glasgow-born Australians.

– B

Silent Sundays – 9 October

Summer slips away …
but we’re still basking in memories of Kelvingrove in bloom

Kelvingrove Park, Glasgow Scotland  in bloom