West End wonder in the delightful sunshine
Too cold for ice cream you say. Never! Especially when it’s the absolutely delicious and delightful Crolla’s on Byres Road.
This West End gelateria is the stuff of childhood dreams – filled with the creamiest ice cream, chocolate galore and mountains of sweets.
Their DIY stone cold creations is a must – a colossal ice-cream sundae made just the way you want.
There are so many important decisions to make. Choose from an endless variety of ice-cream, toppings – caramel, nuts galore, chocolate, tablet and more. And top it all off with fresh fruit and the sauce of your choice.
I go for a classic vanilla with heaps of chocolate bits, crushed nuts and strawberries to keep it (ahem) healthy. It’s all combined in a beautiful mixture of edible perfection topped off in more chocolate. Of course.
The result – dessert heaven. YUM!
Glasgow is set to have a last blast of heat before heading into autumn. Stay cool with Crolla’s tasty cool creations.
It’s been raining forever so we take shelter at the Grosvenor Cinema on Ashton Lane.
At this charming two cinema picture house going to see a film is a total experience.
From the well-stocked fridge in the foyer offering up wine, cider, beer and soft drinks, to the actual glass that they’re served in, it’s all class.
Movie-going in comfort and style
Curl up in the spacious seats and store your drink on the wooden sideboard, sit back and relax. If you want to get really cosy with a special someone, book the sofas along the back and snuggle in. It makes for a rather luxurious experience.
The Grosvenor understands it’s the little things – like comfy seats and not putting your audience through 25 minutes of ads and trailers that they don’t want to see. I’m delighted to only have to watch a few trailers then straight into the feature film. Hooray!
Although the film wasn’t as impressive as the venue, the cinematic experience was the best I’ve had in years – and all for 10pence more than the cost of a ticket at Cineworld.
So what are you waiting for? Get out of the rain and into the glory and goodness of the Grosvenor.
You may have walked past Siempre Bicycle Café many times. It’s easily done. After all, at first glance it simply looks like a small coffee to-go window. Step up, order and be on your way.
Fast, easy but unfortunately you’re totally missing out.
Brunch delights and bikes
Step through the door into the most magical little café. Actually, the most magical massive café. Siempre is a sprawling tardis of freshly made food and bicycle bits and bobs.
As the name suggest, you can indeed get bike gear, clothing and even bikes. Or you can sit down in one of their comfy spaces and enjoy scrumptious food.
We opt for the latter and are totally delighted by their scrambled egg and salmon on a toasted bagel, eclectic veggie platter and refreshing smoothies. The French toast is also tempting.
We’re totally charmed by their cuppas – that quite literally come with a smile…ok a moustache but still pretty cool.
And their extensive selection of hot chocolate is nothings short of impressive. Whether you like it super sweet or even spicy, Siempre has it covered.
Not only is does this relaxed haven offering up good food, the staff are also lovely. It’s the perfect place to whittle away a few hours.
So the next time you’re speeding out of the Kelvinhall underground, by-pass that to-go window and treat yourself to something tasty inside.
It’s dark, wet and sometimes feels like the weekend is never coming… so I introduce emergency cocktail Thursdays to beat the almost-weekend doldrums.
Our inaugural outing leads us to Hillhead Bookclub just off Byres Road. A perfect choice.
Room to breathe and explore
It’s a wonderful vast place with high ceilings and refreshing room to breathe. Even with its different levels, booths facing every which way and old fashioned chairs – it feels reassuringly warm and welcoming.
You can get up to all sorts of fun at Hillhead – everything from bingo on a Wednesday, vintage fairs on a Sunday and chowing down on delicious food any day of the week.
But we’re here with one objective – to explore the impressive cocktail menu.
Delightful drinks galore
We resist the tempting Book Club Punch served in an old fashioned gramophone and head straight for The Pomeranian. Delicious but over far too quickly. The Red Headed Stepchild is my favourite followed by the Colin’s strawberry Collins. A Vanilla Coke Float tops off our night as a shared delightful dessert. Mission accomplished – not a bit of melancholy remains.
Soul-restoring cocktails aside, Hillhead Bookclub is a comforting combination of conundrums. Ping Pong tables, dentist chairs, cocktails in tea cups combine for the perfect offering of ease and relaxation.
So shake off those winter blues, face the cold to take comfort in the warmth and wonder of the Hillhead Bookclub.
Our vintage shop adventures begin in Vintage Guru on Byres Road.
And we’re in luck because they’re having a fantastic sale including a £5 and £7 bargain rail.
But good finds wait for no one so don’t delay – amazing patterned swimming costumes, exquisite hats and dresses for every occasion and price range await you.
Next stop is Starry Starry Night on Dowanside Lane. But this is not a merely a vintage shop, it’s an experience.
Tucked away down the cobbled lane this glamorous retreat offers beautiful elegant clothes draped around the shop, hanging from every available surface. There’s anything and everything including hatboxes and a rail of furs. And I’m quite sure I’ve found the way to Narnia.
Especially for you
From there we visit De Courcy Arcade , the perfect collection of vintage shops all in one spot, including the Audrey Hepburnesque Just for You – overflowing with gorgeous dresses and my favourite shop -Miss Lottie Lou.
And there actually is a super-talented Miss Lottie Lou in this magical wee shop, working away on her sewing machine to create made-to-measure vintage masterpieces.
The selection of material and vintage sewing patterns to choose from is nothing short of impressive. Admittedly the thought of clothes that actually fit perfectly is blissful – even better, Miss LL works within your budget.
I could spend hours in this tiny shop looking through the jewellery, dresses and delightful trinkets and lace handkerchiefs still in mint condition in their original boxes.
As I walk back home from my shopping expedition, high on vintage – I somehow manage to rip my favourite skirt. But I don’t get upset. I get inspired and excited. Miss Lottie Lou are you ready to whip me up the perfect new skirt because here I come!
Enjoy a little West End wonder…
In this baltic weather, it’s hard to imagine sweating profusely. But that’s exactly what I’m doing… at Bikram yoga.
And if you’re thinking calm, ease and stillness, you couldn’t be more wrong. This is serious stuff. This is mind sharpening, body strengthening yoga done in an oven at 42 c.
There’s no prolonged meditation, no mantras and no rest for the weary because over the course of the next hour-and-a-half it’s 26-postures in almost continual-flow. And once isn’t enough – we do each posture (asana) twice.
Stretch, pull and sweat – a lot
I stretch my mind, pull my body and sweat like never before. Because in this extreme heat even the most refined lotus flower is gonna to sweat uncontrollably. Fortunately no one cares – in fact we’re all in this encounter together.
It’s all-over good for you
And just why would you do this? Well, it’s good for you. In addition to an all-over body workout, Bikram also works your cardiovascular system and internal organs. Yes, it’s intense. It’s challenging. But it’s also extremely energising – in fact I feel great.
If I could bottle the utter joy, sense of accomplishment and well-being I feel at the end of each class, I would. But I can’t so I’ll be back to (literally) extend my bliss. Their 20 days unlimited classes for £20 introductory pass is a great way to try it out. Classes run throughout the day and are for all levels.
So go on, get out of the cold and into the heat – boost your body, mind and soul.
I’ve been wondering past the glass doors for months before I finally realise it’s the entrance to the Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery. And so I decide it’s time to take a peek.
Wandering and discovering
Inside I find an eclectic selection of art, but it’s the Nomadic Landmass drawing by Stevn Klint that initially charms me.
It’s a vast geological line drawing with so much detail – it’s almost difficult to imagine the work and energy that’s gone into this impressive large scale pencil sketch.
The striking portrait of Fraulein Engelhardt by Marie-Louise von Motesickzy is equally as mesmerising. Fraulein’s heavy lids can’t help but draw me in. In fact I’d like to meet this woman, hear her story – I bet it would be a good one.
If paintings aren’t your thing, the Hunterian also has ample collections of objects from the Bearsden’s shark to a Chinese map of the world… and then some. Whatever your taste, the family of china skulls decorated with blue sailing ships is a must-see.
Discover art across the eras
Impressively, the gallery houses the world’s largest permanent display of the work of James McNeill Whistler, the largest single holding of the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the Mackintosh House – including reassembled interiors from his Glasgow home. Impressive and unmissable.
Scottish Art from 1750 to 1960 is also on display – so you can pick your favourite era. Post-war artist Joan Eardley is definitely mine. Her love affair with Glasgow, captured in her words and paintings, is reason enough to pay this gallery a visit.
So get yourself through those glass doors and discover the magic.
The wise and wonderful you meet in the West End Subway…