Admittedly I’ve been admiring Ingram Wynd for a quite a while. In fact, it all started last summer on one of those rare sunny days when the lure of their patio was nearly irresistible. Unfortunately I managed to miss the 2012 four-day summer window and got rained out.
And although it was a cold crisp winter day that got me through the doors, their inviting surroundings and charming staff instantly made me feel warm and welcomed.
Victorian chic – without the stuffy
Mingling plush Victorian surroundings with the right twist of modern, this cosy bistro is a true gem. And their delicious food is the perfect fusion of Scottish fare and contemporary culinary delights.
Do have dessert
Their menu offers endless choice, but their beautifully presented (and tasty) haggis starter and cooked to perfection (fish of the day) cod in a tomato reduction is quite simply exquisite.
And do have dessert – because the mixed berry Cranachan with whiskied oats and cream is quite possibly the best in town. This food is meant to be absolutely savoured. And that’s exactly what we do.
Full up and completely contented, there’s no choice but to retreat to the down stairs salon – an elegant hide-a-way perfect for enjoying an after-dinner digestif and telling all your secrets.
A starter, two mains, dessert, a few glasses of wine and a gin later is a more than reasonable £30 (including tip) on 5pm, making the entire experience all the sweeter.
Like an old friend
Ingram Wynd has a wonderful familiar feel that will definitely draw as back time and time again. But don’t wait for summer – get out of the cold and treat yourself to absolutely enjoyable food in a chic yet comfortable locale.
The wise and wonderful you meet in the West End Subway…
Admittedly I have absolutely no idea what to expect from Vietnamese food – but I do know one thing. The Hanoi Bike Shop is serving up some of the tastiest, flavourful food in Glasgow. Created by food-loving travellers, it’s simply brilliant.
‘Street food’ served with a smile
This Vietnamese inspired ‘street food’ is absolutely delicious – even better, it’s served by some of the friendliest staff in the city.
Recommending one dish over another is nearly impossible – but the Sa Dau Phu Rau Tron (lemongrass marinated bike shop tofu), Ari Rich Coconut, Lemongrass and Lime Leaf Curry and Cha Ca Turmeric Marinated Coley (served with dill & crushed peanuts) are so fantastic, it’s wrong not to try them. In fact, I’m convinced they’ll make you a better person.
Star light, star bike
If you haven’t been yet, why? Because it’s an absolute must.
A charming interior is just another added bonus – downstairs is a cosy wee snug and upstairs is a magical paradise of colourful lanterns and bikes.
If the Hanoi Bike Shop is anything at all like Vietnam, then both my tastebuds and curiosity are intrigued.
And if your New Year lacked that spectacular something, then celebrate Tet (Vietnamese New Year) with mouth-watering food at Hanoi on Sunday 10 February.
Delighted that Trans Europe Cafe is soon to expand. Yum!
Our hunt for Chinese food served in cartons like ones in the Big Bang Theory has been a constant yearning for years – with no luck.
So spotting Wok to Walk was met with a ridiculous sense of excitement, including squeals. Perhaps choosing a place to eat based on what they serve their food in doesn’t seem the sanest decision I’ve made, but we need those cartons.
Three-steps to delish
Wok to Walk is admittedly a chain – but with a healthy, simple and straightforward concept. Their three-step menu allows you to select your base from a range of noodles or rice, then add in your choice of different meats, prawns and vegetables and finally finish with a savoury sauce.
Really the combinations are endless and completely up to your tastes. And unlike many chain restaurants, everything’s cooked in front of you in the wok. Minutes later your tailor-made meal is ready in the all-important cartons. And you’re ready to wok – enjoy it inside or take it to go.
The food is delicious – my Teriyaki infused concoction is heavenly but the Black Bean sauce and Sweet and Sour also get the seal of approval round our table.
Bursting with flavour, but not at all heavy or greasy. Even better, Wok to Walk doesn’t use any MSG. And as an added bonus, their orange juice machine just happens to churn out some of the best juice I’ve ever had.
Healthy, hearty and good
Four main courses and drinks come to under £28 – great value.
And while it’s not somewhere to spend a leisurely evening dining, with its simple, clean interior and hearty healthy food, it’s a great option for something quick and tasty. And their retro cartons would delight even Sheldon Cooper.
Yule is over but the fish is still fresh…
No self-respecting ice cream parlour would be complete without a delectable family secret recipe. Nardini Cafe is one of Scotland’s most loved, whether we know exactly how they make the delicious stuff or not.
It first set up shop in 1935 on the seafront in Largs and fortunately for us, turned up on Byres Road last March. Art deco design coupled with gorgeous ice creams like After Eight Mint to Ferrero Rocher – what’s not to love?
In addition to charming design and tasty ice cream, Nardini offers up pastries and the most must-have gooey good chocolate and beetroot cake.
We opt for an ice cream sundae – a first for my kids who are beside themselves with joy, although admittedly I have to gently put them off the Clyde Coast Extravaganza with 12 scoops of ice cream and 16 toppings. Their Raspberry Snowball Delight and Hot Fudge Nutty Nut Sundae do the trick and are still impressively huge with three scoops of ice cream, lashings of special sauces, whipped cream frenzy and snowballs and nuts.
Nardini’s vast menu is chocked full of choice. And possibly just as thrilling for my boys – you can watch your glorious ice cream dream being created.
Ice cream challenge
Prepare for a challenge as you will need to literally power your way through the layers of ice cream and toppings – and only the mighty expanding stomachs triumph. The sundaes are lavish and a bit more expensive at £6.95 or £7.95 a pop. However, one between two would be perfectly fine. They also have a children’s section on the menu -which we managed to miss – at £4.25 a sundae.
If the Sundaes are simply too overwhelming, you can always enjoy single or double scoop bliss. So go on, treat yourself to some the best ice cream in town.
Happy 2013! Yes it’s time to put down the chocolate, de-glitter and return to a reality that doesn’t involve a glass of bubbly around every corner. But I’m determined shake off the post-Christmas slump by trying something new. And not some painful unmanageable resolution like a strict diet or daily gym regime, but something fun, exciting and energising.
And just what might some of these soul-reviving goings-on look like? Well…
Come fly with me
You don’t have to slog it out at the gym in 2013 to have a happier, healthier you. We’ll be flying high at one of Ariel Edge’s intriguing aerial, circus skills or trapeze classes. Available for a variety of ages and abilities – even if you have spaghetti arms like us.
Get in touch with your inner muso and pick up that instrument (ahem ukulele) that you’ve always dreamed of playing. Need a little motivation – after you get into the groove, aim to join one of Glasgow’s most welcoming weekly jam sessions with Blochestra at Bar Bloc. All instruments welcome.
If you feel you’ve always had something to say, then why not sing about it with one of Glasgow’s many choirs – and if you’re thinking boring hymns, think again because choruses like The Arches (Thursdays 7-9pm) and The Power Cut Choir (Tuesdays 7-9pm) are eclectic, unconventional and ready to give you a charge. Hooray for the new hymnals of Blur, Erasure and the Talking Heads.
Singing not your thing but love to talk – what about in another language? Expand your vocabulary at a language course. You can sprechen Deutsch at the Goethe-Institut or parlez Français at the Alliance Française.
Strut your beautiful stuff
Put your dazzling looks to good use and strut your sensational self at the Glasgow School of Art’s fashion show. But don’t delay; model show additions are happening today at GSA noon – 5:30pm – new and experienced cat-walkers welcomed. You must be available between 4-6 March.
Make 2013 a good one
Whatever you do, have fun and enjoy every moment of the New Year – because time truly flies…sometimes on a trapeze.