Monthly Archives: November 2012

Ward off the cold with hmm hmm food

It’s cold – literally freezing.

And sometimes when the weather is nippy the only way to satisfy my hunger is with hearty fish and chips. But not the gloopy frozen variety – only fresh, crispy, cooked-to-perfection goodness will do.

Fish and chipsat Red Onion in GlasgowTucked away on West Campbell Street is the Red Onion  – a welcoming eatery with all the charm of a family-run restaurant without being dowdy in the least.

In fact, it’s deliciously contemporary with a menu brimming with choice.  Mouth-watering lamb tagine, tasty steak frites and creamy wild mushroom risotto are some of the temptations on offer.

But no matter how enticing, I’m set on fish and chips and that’s exactly what I get…after I warm up my palate with the flavourful French onion soup.  My main is fresh, flaky haddock paired with perfectly-cooked chips – all I hoped for and more.  And the appetising food is made all the more enjoyable by attentive, friendly staff.

Dessert is a must

hot chocolate brownie with honey comb ice-creamThe icing on the cake is the absolutely divine dessert.

Red Onion’s hot chocolate brownie with honey comb ice-cream is a must.  In fact, I’m convinced the world’s a better place because of it.

Three courses on the pre-theatre menu at just under £17 – not bad at all.

December is probably only going to get colder and certainly more chaotic as we head into festive pandemonium. So go on, take shelter from the outside and do something good for your insides – warm up in welcoming surroundings and treat your tastebuds to something utterly delightful.

– T


Tis the season to treat yourself

Parties, presents and people galore.  Oh my.  Manoeuvring around throngs of Christmas shoppers is now the everyday norm.   And even though admittedly tis the season to think of those you love, in the frenzied run-up to Christmas don’t forget to inject a little pampering into your own life.   And that’s exactly what I do.

I head off to the Savannah Day Spa with a friend  at the Menzies Hotel on Washington Street.  Our day starts with a tour of the place where we admire the jacuzzi, steam room, sauna and pool – complete with loungers to unwind on…because sometimes even swimming can be too much activity.

Essential relaxation – fluffy robes included!

After getting comfy in fluffy robes we’re escorted to the treatment room complete with soothing music and calming lighting with candles.  A little surprising – our initial treatments happen in the same room.  So, if you’re going with a friend make sure it’s a good one!

But our inhibitions are banished by an absolutely fantastic head, neck and shoulders massage – quite honestly the best I’ve ever had.  Next up is a facial, complete with head massage; I’ve never felt more relaxed.  And my friend is whisked away to get her nails done.

And after I’ve been thoroughly pampered I’m left to relax – perhaps a little too long.   I doze off for quite some time and find two staff outside waiting patiently for me to leave.

Ladies who lounge – and occasionally swim

Freshly shellacked nails at Savannah Day Spa in GlasgowIn the lounge I’m reunited with my freshly shellacked friend and her perfect nails.   We enjoy a scrumptious lunch that includes a glass of champagne and cupcake.  Totally chilled, the bubbles go straight to my head.

We spend the rest of our blissfully relaxed day wandering between the steam room, jacuzzi and loungers.  And I even give the pool a go – swimming a few lengths but nothing too strenuous of course.

At £39 (on Woucher – normally £91) it’s money well-spent.  Full use of the spa facilities, two mini treatments, champagne and a cupcake later, we are fully rejuvenated and ready for any Christmas chaos ahead.   So go on – check out some of the saving sites like 5pm, Last Minute and Woucher for an inexpensive guilt-free pre-festivities pick-me-up.

– B

Silent Sunday – 25 November

It’s beginning to look a lot like…

Christmas cheer in front of GOMA in Glasgow

Dashing through the…city

Admittedly running is not my favourite pastime.  I do it – reluctantly – to offset my cake obsession.

Santa Dash in Glasgow photo c. GCCBut the thoughts of running dressed as a jolly soul who is also partial to sweets suddenly makes pounding the pavement much less painful.

So, on Sunday 9 December, together with 2400 others, I’ll be taking part in the 5K ‘Santa Dash’.

And ho, ho, hold on there.  You can too!  Why, because frankly why wouldn’t you?   Even if, like me, you mostly detest running, there’s something quite appealing about dashing through the city-centre with a mass of other jovial red-suited folk.

Entry is only £15 (adults) and a fiver for the kids.  And yes, the Santa suit is included.  Bonus – especially as tis the season to be jolly. And what does Santa love even more than sweets and dashing through the…city?  Skating of course.   So, after the run have a free whirl on the ice rink in George Square.

Get on the nice list

Do it for charity, do it for the Christmas cheer or do it so you can happily indulge in an abundance of guilt-free sugar plums over the festive season.  And enjoy!

See you at the finish line for cake.


Take shelter from the showers in Offshore

It’s another soggy day – cold, wet and rainy outside.  But inside I’m taking great comfort sinking into the deep sofas at Offshore , snuggling into their warmth.

Bagel at Offshore cafe in GlasgowIt’s cosy and welcoming with an eclectic mix of mis-matched sofas and chairs.  It’s kind of like hanging out in your front room but never having to tidy up the mess.

Admittedly, I don’t have someone to make me Chai and bring me toasted bagels at home, but at £5.25 for both I can afford to splurge for the service.

Idle away hours in idyllic surroundings

If you’re looking to relax, Offshore is the place to idle away the hours. Their gigantic windows out onto Gibson Street are great for people watching. Open every day until 9pm, in the evening you can bring your own bottle for £2.50 corkage.  Not bad at all.  Paninis, toasties, soup and sandwiches and various vegetarian options are complimented by a range of teas, coffees and the obligatory homemade cakes and biscuits.

The woman sitting opposite me is enjoying an enticing looking drink while she cuddles up to her man.  Offshore’s that sort of place; everyone unwinds a little bit more when they walk through the door.

Coffee and culture

Offshore cafe in GlasgowOffshore isn’t just about cuddling and coffee – it  has its own culture to offer too.

Life Drawing classes happen downstairs in the gallery space on Thursdays 7-9pm; £10 a pop and basic materials are provided.  There are also exhibitions downstairs in the gallery – worth a look.

So why not escape the rain and swing by Gibson Street for a wee relax, spot of culture and a cup of tea all in one place.  Getting there is easy; it’s leaving that’s the hard part.


Silent Sunday – 18 November

Sweet tooth totally satisfied at Cottonrake Cattering Co.

Cottonrake cakes in Glasgow@cottonrake

Ignite your passion with Fuel

I so am excited.  And for good reason.  Fuel Festival is coming to Glasgow.  Fuel? Like  energy?  Like fire?

Well, kind of.

Fuel is a theatre-producing phenomenon made up of the talented Louise Blackwell and Kate McGrath.  They create intriguing, edgy, unique theatre with some of the most exciting artists around.  And they’re in Glasgow for a week at the Tramway from 20 -25 November.  If you don’t know them, it’s definitely time you were introduced.

Celebrating life in unexpected places

Treat yourself to the award-winning The Simple Things in Life, a  celebration of life in a garden shed.  Or if you fancy getting in (and out of) touch with your senses, try Ring – performed in complete darkness.  Go on a journey of sound via headphones amplifying intimate details of the room.  Who knows just where you’ll end up.

Black TShirt Collection, Fuel. Image c. Brian RobertsIf storytelling fused with imagery sparks your interest, then Inua Ellams is your man.  Black T-shirt Collection is a must.  This spoken-word artist’s ability to conjure up images and totally captivate with words alone is nothing short of impressive.

And this is only some of the many intrepid offerings.

Yes,  it’s easy to get bogged down in winter’s short days and long nights.  So all the more reason to  fuel your curiosity and set your creative soul alight.  Lots to experience and definitely not to be missed.

Fuel for thought.



Eat, drink and be merry – even if it’s not quite Christmas

If the High Street twinkling back at me from every shop window is anything to go on, the festive party season is already upon us.  Shiny frocks aside, it’s also the time of year I attempt to catch up with pals of all varieties.

If, like me, you have an assortment of special friends of varying and sometimes competing tastes, then here’s a few recommendations that will hopefully keep you going and in their good books.

Comfy chitchat

Malmaison cocktail - gingerbread manIf it’s a good natter you’re after without the toil of yelling over booming music in an overcrowded dingy space, then look no further than the elegant Malmaison .

Tucked away down the spiral staircase, the Malbar on West George Street is an oasis of calm – and has a rather impressive collection of cool cocktails like the irresistible Gingerbread Man. Dessert in a glass.

North Street merriment

For the more fun-loving, the Berkley Suite’s cosy red-hued upstairs bar is a nod to the era of art deco and their anything-goes downstairs is an interesting mix of music, ages and eccentricities.

And since you’re already in the neighbourhood – North Street’s Chinaski’s  and the Black Sparrow are great places to people watch and have tipple or two. They also serve food.  And if by some stroke of luck it’s not raining or happens to be warm winter night, pop round the back for a little outdoor stargazing and general banter in their gardens.

All-in-one fun

If you’re looking for the perfect combo of dinner, drinks and dancing, then the Brunswick Hotel’s Brutti Ma Buoni  is a must.  Fantastic staff, social crowd and you can eat, drink  and then conveniently go down stairs for a bit more celebrating and dancing.

Wherever you find yourself – be festive fabulous and enjoy!

– T

Silent Sunday – 11 November

Glasgow Green made for Sunday strolling

Glasgow Green

Glasgow Girls – unmissable and inspirational

Glasgow Girls photo c. citizens theatreThe crowd is buzzing with excitement in the jam-packed foyer of the Citizens Theatre.  We’re all eagerly waiting to see the Glasgow Girls, a new musical by award-winning director Cora Bissett.

And just who are these Glasgow Girls?

Seven inspirational teen activists from Drumchapel High School who in 2005 fervently campaigned against the dawn raids wrenching asylum-seeking families out of their homes into a detention centre to be deported.

But what drives a bunch of teen girls to hound politicians, take on the authorities like the Home Office and even challenge the Scottish Government?  Friendship.  Their friend Agnesa, originally from Kosovo, was one of the children facing deportation with her family.

Stand up for what’s right – spirit of Glasgow

It’s hard to imagine taking a hard-hitting issue like asylum and putting it into song but it’s pure (dead brilliant) gallus Glasgow.

And as I watch this sometimes harrowing, often inspiring story unfold, I see a microcosm of what makes Glasgow so special.  Not a shiny, glossy version but a gritty real representation of the spirit of Glasgow – a community galvanised into action to do right and protect its own, regardless of where people come from.

As I leave the show, swelling with pride, the anthem We are the Glasgow Girls fills my head.  Who wouldn’t want to be a Glasgow Girl?  Fighting for what you believe in and  driven to change people’s minds to make the world a better place.

‘We are all Glasgow Girls’

So go on, find out what the Glasgow Girls are about.  And you will probably discover that regardless of your age or gender, you are indeed a Glasgow Girl.  The show is on at the Citz until 17 November – but don’t delay, snap up your tickets, be inspired and have a fantastically good time.