The friendly faces you see in Glasgow…
Admittedly winter blahs make me feel blue. But I manage to shake it all off with a shot of Indigo – a wonderful boutique hotel in the city-centre.
Fluffy bathrobe bliss
Indigo’s vibrant surroundings instantly pick-me-up and their friendly, welcoming staff make the entire experience that much more perfect. But sometimes it’s the little things that impress the most – and the slippers and fluffy bathrobes awaiting us in our room are quite simply divine.
Changing my surroundings (even slightly) works wonders – particularly if those walls are decked out in the most beautiful wallpaper and that room just happens to have a stocked complimentary mini-bar.
Be my blue valentine
And Indigo obviously like a romantic because their V-day (£149) deal includes champagne on arrival in your room and a three-course meal in their Limelight Bar & Grill, conveniently located downstairs.
Winter is cold. Nights are long. So go on, banish those blues and treat yourself!
Admittedly running is not my favourite pastime. I do it – reluctantly – to offset my cake obsession.
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.
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.
If 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.
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!
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.
If you’ve ever wondered what it might be like to sit among Arcade Fire as they jam in their living room or questioned whether you could ever truly appreciate a banjo, you need to get yourself to Bloc to witness the wonder that is the Blochestra.
Every Monday something completely magical happens when a collection of musicians of all skills and all instruments unite to create the most wonderful fusion of sound. Quite literally right in the middle of the bar.
Ukes, flutes, a banjo – oh my
The variety of instruments and singers is impressive. Of course there’s the usual suspects like guitars, drums – and an extensive brass and woodwind section that includes flutes, a trombone and sax, to name only a few. Then there’s the more unexpected like a xylophone, a recorder and yes, even a mighty banjo – which incidentally sounds absolutely brilliant in their rendition of Feist’s 1234.
And just when you thought they couldn’t possibly fit another person or instrument, in walks a double bass.
Old favs and charming new discoveries
It’s an eclectic mix of well-loved tunes like the Cure’s Close to Me and lesser known but equally as mesmerising songs like Chicago by Sufjan Stevens – admittedly a new discovery for me. Just how did I ever survive without this song in my life?
It’s an energising, inspiring experience. And it’s completely free and completely open to anyone to bring along there instrument of choice and join in. Or, like me, sit in the midst of it all silently but happily absorbing it all.
But enough of me waxing lyrical – I’ll simply let the music speak for itself.