Monthly Archives: February 2012

February 29 – seize the (extra) day

Celebrate the people in your life, not fanfare and fandangos but time together – that’s what I’ll do with my precious extra day on 29 February.

Leap into something new

I’ll explore places I wouldn’t normally be drawn to like A1 Comics , a cavernous shop on Parnie Street full-to-the-brim with poseable action figures whose names I can’t pronounce and comics boasting  impossible, impractical busty women. My sons will check out the merchandise and admire the helpful staff who are old and cool enough to impress my eight and 11 year old.

Eat to your heart’s delight

Delicious cakes at Carluccio'sThen I’ll slip away from the dusty comic cavern to the fresh, bright lights of the recently opened Carluccios for lunch with friends.

There I’ll rejuvenate my soul with a glass or two of prosecco and choose from a fantastic selection of Italian dishes prepared to perfection.  Not forgetting to wander round the delicatessen to buy enormous, delicious cakes for later on.

Savour time with those you love most

Camera at Merchant City Camera ShopThe afternoon will leisurely unfold in the comforts of the company of my wonderful man and an exhibition at GoMA – followed by a poke around the Merchant City Camera shop . This wonderful wee shop has an impressive collection of camera equipment and beautiful vintage cameras, some that need a little coaxing to create pictures – but magical none-the-less.

Whatever you do – don’t cook!

The evening will bring friends and family together over food, memories and drink.  And Mother India take-away means fuss-free flavourful delights in the cosy comforts of home.

An extra day to savour and enjoy time with the people you love; there is nothing better.  The 29 February only comes once every four years so make the most of it  and do something different, delicious and delightful.

– B


Silent Sunday – 26 February

Glasgow – endless things to see and do.  The choice is yours… 

13th note tempting you with what's on in Glasgow

Shilla – the best mistake I ever made

We ended up here unintentionally.

After a mix-up with another restaurant, we find ourselves at Shilla* on 1138 Argyle Street. I don’t know anything about Korean food – and very little of the culture.  But one thing’s for sure – I’m hungry.  

The restaurant is small, inviting and the mezzanine is buzzing with people – a good sign.  Smiling waiters take us to our table.  Even though the menu is in Korean and English I don’t really know what I’m ordering.  I’m going for ingredients but not really sure what the end flavour will be.

The unknown never tasted so good

Delicious delights at Shilla - Glasgow's only Korean restaurantThe sensible thing to do would be to ask the friendly staff but that would ruin the fun.   Besides the proof is in the tasting rather than the guessing.

Our starters arrive in beautiful ceramic dishes.  My husband’s macho sounding Gun Man Do home-made fried dumplings – (£4.50) are delicate and delicious with a depth of taste that only intensifies bite-after-bite.

My Dak Go Chi chargrilled chicken skewers with chilli, garlic and spring onion (£5) – are the absolute taste-sensation winner of the night.  Flagged as hot – they leave a pleasant tingling in my mouth complimented by a rich, spicy caramelised flavour.

Flavorful food at Shilla in GlasgowThe sizzling Dak Gal bi Hot (£8.99) – chargrilled chicken, vegetables and rice main is like a Korean version of a light curry.  Delicious.

My Ccan Pung Sae Woo (£9.99) – shelled king prawns with sea salt and chilli is hot, spicy and abundant – and well worth sticky fingers.

Mammoth menu definitely worth exploring

And looking around at what I’ve missed – the rest of the gargantuan menu is certainly worth exploring.   Spicy broths overflowing with seafood, noodles covered in aromatic sauces and fresh sushi are just some of the other tempting delights on other tables.   And at £50 for two, including a bottle of wine, what’s not to love.

So go on try something different, extend your culinary range and discover your favourite at Glasgow’s only Korean restaurant!  It was certainly the best mistake that I’ve made in a long time.

*Sorry no website for Glasgow but check out their sister restaurant’s menu in Edinburgh to get an idea of what’s on offer.

Silent Sunday – 19 February

See paper in a new light at the Print Studio

Resonance - Jacki Parry at Print studio, Glasgow

The real Wonderland has colossal cake! Shape-shifting optional.

Alice may have grown up but her cakes are still magically delicious and her tea parties slightly twisted.  Well, that’s if Once Upon a Tart  has anything to do with it.

No ordinary café 

Once Upon a Tart, GlasgowThis quirky café  is tucked away from the bustle of Glasgow’s city-centre on King Street –  a refreshing new take on the average café.  Bursting with colour and character, it’s enchanted forest meets welcoming city-centre hang out.  Be prepared to be mesmerised by this magical  wonderland.

And there’s plenty of room to move – no sitting on top of your neighbour.  Really it’s the perfect place to tell your dirty little secrets over something soothingly sweet and sensational.

Cakes made out of childhood dreams – only bigger and better

Delicious cakes at once upon a tart, GlasgowBut don’t be fool because this café isn’t just a pretty place –  their amazing cakes are to die for.  Think of your childhood favourites,  now think even better and bigger because there is no such thing as skinny slices here.

And rightly so with amazing choices like lovely lemon drizzle cake, heavenly hot chocolate fudge cake and devilishly delicious bread and butter pud.  And at £3.60 a pop, they’re financially guilt-free.

Much more than cakes

And if none of these take your fancy – what’s wrong with you?  Fortunately pernickety is catered for  because there’s still waffles, porridge, scones, muffins, tarts, brownies and more to choose from.

The Tart also boast a broad breakfast selection and a hearty assortment of homemade soups and filling chunky bread sandwiches.

The perfect place to lose track of time

But be warned; leave a bread-crumb trail so that you can make your way back to reality.  Otherwise be prepared to lose all sense of time and be happily distracted by captivating surroundings and the most delicious, giantic sweet treats.  Really a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon (or any other day of the week – they are open till 5pm everyday).

Once Upon a Tart – go for the ambiance, stay for the tremendous cake!

– T

Sanity now – or at least for the next hour

I am claiming my hour of sanity.

Beauty Store in GlasgowTucked away off Royal Exchange Square is the Beauty Store – crisp white space, twinkling chandeliers and serenity in the form of soul rejuvenating beauty treatments.

At peace with the world

Instantly I’m at peace with the world – relaxed and for some odd reason whispering to the women as she leads me to my room.  Calming lighting, candles, potions and a comfy bed greet me – I tuck in under the duvet and wait for her return.

And then the magic begins.

Creams, steam and the machine – oh my

There are creams, masks, steaming, pressure-point massages and the machine – which makes slightly disturbing noises but gives the most amazing facial massage.

There are no deadlines, crisis to solve or mundane chitchat.   There is only the soothing sound of waves, total relaxation and rejuvenating creams and steam all working to soothe my face.

Incidentally my beauty therapist is a goddess – she silently and skilfully restores my inner peace and returns life to my tired face.   Is there any better way to splurge £45?  I don’t think so.

I don’t want this to end.  But of course it must.

Watch out world

I reluctantly return to reality.  But I’m a new woman – ready to take on whatever the day throws at me but this time with a fresh face and a smile.

Winter’s tough – relentlessly cold and callous.  Still, there’s no reason this should be reflected on your face or knotted up in your back.  So go on, invest in yourself and claim that hour of calm.

You deserve it.


Silent Sunday – 12 February

Sweet  Sunday goodness at Tapa Bakehouse….

Sweet goodness at Tapa Bake House, Glasgow


The perfect shelter from the rain – board games included!

It’s been raining, drizzling or threatening to spittle forever.  It seems.

I’m walking through Trongate in the late afternoon trying to find a place to escape the wet when I spy the Trans Europe Cafe  on Parnie Street.  Intrigued by the name, we go in.

Once inside the warmth instantly steams up my glasses.  But the very friendly guy working at the café instinctively offers me a tissue to sort myself out; he is delightful.

A cosy mishmash of worldly wonder

Delicious Cake at Trans Europe Cafe, GlasgowThe cosy welcoming café lives up to its name.  It’s a mishmash wonder where old bus seats function as chairs and walls are a jumble of maps and world-wide postcards. There’s pictures of old Glasgow with working trams –  a bit of inspiration for Edinburgh.

We settle in for a hot drink and cake ; the hot chocolate fudge cake disappears so quickly I can only assume my boys enjoyed it.  For me it’s all about warming up with peppermint tea – though the lemon & ginger and honey & vanilla are equally tempting.

Food, drink and play – all is right in the world

Games galore at Trans Europe Cafe, GlasgowBut wonderful food and soothing drinks are only part of this place’s charm.  An eclectic selection of games to play- from classic Connect 4 to Geografacts – are also on offer.  Really the perfect way to whittle away a winter afternoon and only £9.50 for three drinks and two pieces of cake.  Bargain!

Through the week Trans Europe Café is open from 10 – 5 and on the weekends they’re open till 10pm, serving up small but perfectly formed evening meals, all under a tenner.

I leave – reluctantly – out into the cold.  But their scrumptious sounding Sunday Brunch will lure me back again.  I can’t resist two of my absolute favs Eggs Benedict (£5.75) and Smoked Salmon bagels (£5.95).

Until we meet again…..

– B

It’s time to play the music; it’s time to light the lights

If you reminisce about a theatre run by an endearing frog and a chaotic cast of weird, wonderful and musically talented characters, then the Glasgow Youth Film Festival (GYFF) is a must.

Glasgow Youth Film Festival posterLast Sunday the GYFF got off to a lively start with the Scottish premiere of The Muppets.   Clearly widely anticipated, the place was as animated as Kermit’s theatre – a buzz with children and adults  who seemed equally excited.

Adding to the already electric atmosphere were the young guys and girls dressed as Kermit, Fozzie bear, Miss Piggy and Gonzo who playfully mingled with the crowed – and rightly so because they had lent a hand in choosing the films for this year’s festival on from 5-15 February.

Laugh-out-loud good

From the opening credits I’m hooked; I hadn’t realised how much I had missed Kermie and his energetic friends.  And it totally lived up to my childhood memories and more – it’s a laugh-out-loud, feel great trip down memory lane.  True to the original show, the film is filled with fantastic celebrity cameos and a brilliant new rendition of Am I a Man or Am I a Muppet  that will stay with me for days.

Muppets and much more

But the festival is much more than just The Muppets; it’s a fantastic offering of the best of films in a diverse and enticing programme.  There are films from Sweden, Bulgaria, Germany, France and Japan alongside the master animators Makota Shinkai & Hayao Miyazaki.   Pleanty of choice for the young and the young at heart.

Outside of the GFT, The Arches is showcasing short films from up-and-coming filmmakers; there’s live theatre performances, post- film discussions and master classes in film direction.

Glasgow Short Film Festival – not to be missed

And if this still isn’t enough Glasgow Short Film Festival has expanded to four full days and runs from the 9-12 February with highlights including the Scottish Short Film Award and International Film Award.  The films are being shown at the Centre of Contemporary Arts (CCA) and all you late-night owl film buffs can mix and mingle till 3:00am at the Berkeley Suite.

February is a cold, dark month so make the most of it and escape into the a bright lights of cinema.  Although I can’t promise that you won’t have mahnahmanah going round your head after a date with the Muppets!


Silent Sunday – 5 February

South Side splendour ….

Swans in Queen's Park, Glasgow