Balloch,Bridesmaids and Brunch.

This weekend my pal Hannah very kindly came up to visit me. She actually only came up to visit in April so I was pleasantly surprised that she was making the journey up again so soon and, I’m not going to lie, I was mega excited to see her come Saturday morning!

Hannah had never been to Loch Lomond before so, as the weather was thankfully dry, I decided to take her up to Balloch on the train and show her Lomond Shores and the beautiful country park. We went for lunch at the Kilted Skirtie at Lomond Shores (I had a rather nice Haggis burger) and then had a wee ice cream from Thorntons – the Honeycomb Caramel Cup is to die for – before heading off on a walk around the village.

8642_10151523546602183_11266312_n

The Loch

1017486_10151525378157183_812358386_n

Me and Hannah

1044971_10151525378102183_1438647455_n

Balloch Pier

For a change, instead of going out for a meal and cocktails or whatever, we decided to stay in on Saturday night and buy some nibbles and just have a really chilled girly film night. I’m glad we did because I had an absolutely lovely evening. It was so nice to just be able to chill with someone and chat about silly things and it was just like when we used to live together at uni. Evenings like that are definitely the thing I miss the most about living with the girls. We also watched Bridesmaids which is one of my favourite films ever and always has me in stitches – if you haven’t seen it yet you really must!

On Sunday morning I decided to take Hannah up to the West End for breakfast. I’d heard really good things about a wee cafe on Dumbarton Road called Tribeca so I thought it was finally time to try it – it was definitely worth the risk. I opted for French Toast with maple syrup and melted butter which was just delicious. The portions were huge as well so, although it’s a little pricey, it was more than worth it. Hannah had a pancake stack with nutella and chopped banana that also just looked brilliant. Safe to say, I’ll definitely try and head down there again soon!

1044492_10151525378302183_1761921313_n

Breakfast of Kings

To walk off all that food, we headed to Kelvingrove Museum for a wee wander around the exhibitions. I’ve been to Kelvingrove before but I still enjoyed myself and there’s no denying that the building itself is pretty impressive. However, it was soon time to head back into the city centre and get Hannah safely onto her train. As always, I was very sad to say goodbye and wanted more than anything to just hop on that train with her. However, I’m actually in a really good mood at the moment – work’s going well and I’ve had some good day trips with the guys to Xcape and hydrotherapy – plus I’ve just booked tickets to Lancaster ready to celebrate Becky’s graduation. Absolutely buzzing for a BIG night out with the girls, it has been far too long!

Cocktail O’Clock

This week I was fortunate enough to receive a visit from one of my closest friends from uni, Hannah. The last time we saw each other was just before Christmas in Edinburgh so it was fantastic to see her again and finally be able to show her the sights of Glasgow.

We started off with a catch-up over tea and cake at Cup Tea Lounge, which is a firm favourite of mine, before heading over to my flat to prepare for the evening’s antics. I’d booked us a table at The Tiki Bar and Kitsch Inn, a bar/restaurant that (as the name suggests) is modelled on a tropical Tiki bar and specialises in exotic cocktails and Thai food. It’s a bar I’ve been meaning to try for absolutely ages so I was chuffed to finally get the chance to go and it’s safe to say I was not disappointed. The place itself is decorated in a really quirky, unique way and the food was lovely. Obviously though, the best bit was the cocktails with my favourite being a ‘Gin and Juice’ which is served in an amazing skull mug.

002

Cupcake time!

006

Sippin’ Gin and Juice..

010Pork Fillet in a Garlic Sauce with Jasmine Rice

After a few drinks at the Tiki Bar we then headed down the road to Hummingbird, another quite swanky cocktail bar in the city centre. Again, this was somewhere that I’d heard great reviews about but I’d always thought it was a little overpriced for my wee budget. However, quite brilliantly, they offer half price cocktails on a Friday night – bargain! We wasted no time in trying several different cocktails, all of which went down very easily – a bit too easily in fact!

016

Lovin’ life with our cocktails.

On the Saturday morning, I took Hannah for, what was quite simply, an amazing breakfast at The Willow Tea Rooms (another favourite of mine) before we headed for a wee wander around the city. As the weather was relatively decent, I took Hannah up to The Cathedral and Necropolis and then to the Gallery of Modern Art. The weather was so nice, we even managed to sit outside at Costa and enjoy a spot of alfresco people-watching over some ice cold drinks!

021

Smoked Salmon and Scrambled Egg Bagel

028

Inside the Cathedral

033

GOMA

034

Everything is prettier with sunshine

Even though it was only a flying visit, we packed a lot into the trip and it was just great to be able to spend some much-needed quality time with one of my closest friends. Of course, I had my standard moment at the station when I just wanted to hop on the train back with her and just be near all my friends once more but, on the whole, I’m actually still really enjoying life up here at the moment. Also, in just two weeks time I have another one of my Lancaster girls coming to visit for the weekend so that will definitely keep the smile on my face, even if nothing else will!

Screw the diet.

I realise that the past few blog post have mainly revolved around my postgraduate applications and interviews and such forth and I haven’t actually wrote about what I have been up to in Glasgow. Admittedly, I haven’t been up to a lot lately but I have been for a few lovely meals with the girls that I’ll briefly fill you in on!

Last Thursday, me, Rosie and Eujin headed to TGI Fridays at Braehead to spend our gift cards from work and have a much-needed catch-up. I love TGIs although it’s not a place a visit often at all, so it made a really nice change from the usual restaurants we’d visit. I had some gorgeous loaded potato skins to start and then a rather spicy Chicken quesadilla for my main. The highlight by the far though was the Ice Cream cocktail I had for dessert – so amazing! I had a great night and it was nice to finally unwind and relax with both of them, as it had been so long since the three of us had been together properly due to Christmas and everything.

734110_461482237245645_275055774_nMe and Eujin at TGI

The following Tuesday we decided to treat ourselves yet again and this time headed into Glasgow city centre for a trip to La Tasca for a tapas night. Luckily I had a 2-4-1 voucher so we managed to get four tapas dishes (chicken and chorizo paella, calamari,  meatballs and more chicken with chorizo in a creamy sauce) and two glasses of Sangria for £14 which is pretty good value. Apparently we saved £27 altogether which is just amazing really!  La Tasca is one of my favourite restaurant chains and, as with TGI, it had been ages since I last visited (or had Tapas in general) so again it made a nice change and I had an other lovely evening spending some quality time with the girls before we go our separate ways/they leave me up here!

408435_461482963912239_216790142_nMe and Rosie posing with our Sangria. 

001 (3)Tapas feast! 

This week I’m taking a break from eating out and actually doing some proper cooking at home – shock horror! My best friend is coming to stay tomorrow, if she can get here without too much disruption because of the bad snow in England (we have no whatsoever here, gutted!), so we’re planning a nice chilled out weekend full of DVDs and spending quality time together. Being the excellent host I am, I’ve decided to pretend I’m Nigella and cook some snazzy food which could be an absolute disaster. Fingers crossed it doesn’t all go up in smoke, literally!

 

Good Morning Vietnam.

A few weeks ago, Me and Rosie found a great hidden gem in the West End – The Hanoi Bicycle Shop, which is a great little Vietnamese restaurant, just off the Byres Road. I’ve never tried Vietnamese food before (although Vietnam is certainly up there on my list of places to visit) so I was keen to have something that little bit more exotic than Haggis! I opted for Pork belly slow cooked in anise and tamari with king prawns and greens and served with rice which was really really tasty. It was all very reasonably priced and they have a ‘street food’ menu which looks pretty appetizing so I’d definitely go back again and try something new. The place itself also had a really cool vibe, very relaxed and the staff were really friendly and helpful which is always a bonus. If you ever happen to be in the area and fancy something a little different I highly recommend it!

001

002

003

 

A wee visit!

This weekend was by far one of the best I’ve had in a while – my friend Nicole came up from Nottingham and we basically spent the whole weekend eating Haggis, shopping and consuming cocktails which was just lovely!

She arrived Friday morning and, once I finished work, we decided to get all dressed up and head into town for a nice meal out and a few drinks. I decided to take her to my favourite local restaurant in Glasgow, Ingram Wynd, so she could try some authentic Scottish cuisine  I opted for an absolutely delicious Haggis, Bacon and Onion Risotto to start and the catch of the day with garlic potatoes, veg and a Salsa Verde for the main course. Both dishes were excellent and Nicole really enjoyed her Mussels & Beef Haggis Olive as well so that was good. After this we headed to CUP Tea Lounge in Renfield Street so she could experience the chocolate cocktails there. Unfortunately they’ve just changed their menu for Christmas so the selection wasn’t as good (if you ask me anyway!) but I had a gorgeous White Chocolate and Chestnut concoction and a Strawberry Shortcake Martini so it wasn’t all bad! Also, Nicole ordered us some champagne as a pay day treat but the poor waiter tripped and spilt it all over my handbag which was a bit of a disaster – however they gave us the champagne for free in the end which was a bonus! We had a great night and a MASSIVE catch-up and it just reminded me of all the nights we used to have back in Nottingham 🙂

Me and Nicole

Starter

Main

Feeling Festive at CUP

Saturday morning was nice and sunny (thankfully!) so we decided to start our day with a wintery walk around The Botanic Gardens before heading down to the Christmas market for a cheeky drink to warm us back up – I finally had my first mulled wine of the season so I can now say it’s officially Christmas for me! We then headed into Prince’s Square for a look round the shops and a bite to eat. We ended up at Fifi & Ally which is a local cafe recommended to me by someone I work with. We had a massive Celtic sharing board full of salmon, smoked venison, beef, cheese and oatcakes which was just fantastic really!

Botanics

Lunch

After that it was time to hit the shops and begin the search for the perfect Christmas Party dress. I tried on quite a few but eventually found a gorgeous sequinned number in Topshop which is rather jazzy, although I have to wait until my parents come up and buy it for me as an early Christmas present. I’m so excited for the work party, mainly because I plan to get ridiculously drunk for the first time in over three months (shocking I know!). I’m also planning to get my hair cut and dyed ready for the event which will be a real treat. I’ve been feeling a bit bored of my ‘look’ recently so I think it’s time to go back to black for winter – how Amy Winehouse of me. However, I have been known to change my mind so who knows what colour I’ll actually end up with!

Anyway I digress. Saturday evening we headed back up to the West End to Ashton Lane and the famous Ubiquitous Chip restaurant. Obviously we couldn’t afford to eat in the main restaurant (£35 for a steak – ridiculous!) so instead we headed upstairs to the more relaxed brasserie area. We both opted for the Chip’s own venison haggis, neeps and tatties which was really tasty. The place itself also has a great atmosphere so I’d definitely go back again either for drinks or dinner. I’d also love to try the main restaurant as the menu did sound pretty special. However I highly doubt I’d ever be able to afford to dine there, unless I suddenly find myself a rich man – a girl can dream though!

At Ubiquitous Chip

As it was Saturday night we headed further down Ashton Lane to Vodka Wodka and Nude for a few more cheeky cocktails. I’d never been to Nude before but it was really good plus they did teapot cocktails which I just love!

Mad Hatter’s Tea Party!

Of course, I couldn’t let Nicole leave without experiencing a decent Scottish breakfast so on Sunday morning we traipsed through the rain to Oran Mor and had a massive fry-up complete with yet more haggis. It was simply delicious but so filling I didn’t need to eat again until about 7pm – probably for the best given the amount of calories I’d already consumed over the past few days!

Enjoying her first Scottish Breakfast!

Before Nicole left that afternoon we decided to visit two final Glaswegian attractions – the Gallery of Modern Art and the Willow Tea Rooms on Sauchiehall Street. I always enjoy a trip to the GOMA and luckily they’ve already changed the exhibition in Gallery 4 since my last visit so it was good to see something a bit different. The Willow was also as good as always although I could only stomach a pot of the house tea after that mammoth breakfast. However, Nicole had some amazing meringues with butterscotch sauce which I will definitely be trying myself soon!

GOMA

All too soon it was time for her to make her way to the airport and say goodbye to bonny Scotland. I had an absolutely brilliant weekend and it was just what I needed after a pretty quiet couple of weeks – it was definitely nice to have a little bit of Nottingham up in Glasgow if only for a wee while!

Fun at the Fireworks!

Last night was bonfire night and, as they don’t celebrate it in Korea, me and Eujin headed to Glasgow Green so she could experience her first Scottish fireworks display. We treated ourselves to a lovely dinner at Jamie’s Italian first – the one in Nottingham is one of my favourite restaurants ever so I had high hopes for the Glasgow branch and luckily it did not disappoint. I had a delicious Sausage Pappardelle while Eujin had a tiger prawn linguine that also looked pretty damn good. The restaurant itself also has a really nice atmosphere, all soft lighting and rustic looking, which really added to the experience. In fact, I think I may actually just prefer it to the Nottingham restaurant – high praise indeed!

Inside Jamie’s

Posing with my Sausage Pappardelle

After dinner we followed the crowds and made our way down to Glasgow Green. The event was much bigger than the ones I’m used to at home or at uni – apparently there were 60,000 people there which is just insane! They had lots of fairground rides and food stalls although I was disappointed to find that there were no toffee apples on sale for Eujin to try. The atmosphere was really good as they had some local radio DJs warming up the crowd for an hour before the actual display and everyone was dancing to all the music blasting out which was fun – gangnam style was a particular highlight as always! The display itself was also pretty decent, although it ended a bit abruptly, but it was still good to say entry was free.

Me and Eujin

Fireworks!

I love the onset of winter and starting to get all wrapped up in my warm clothes and seeing all the fireworks and Christmas lights coming on and generally just feeling all cosy and snuggling up with lots of hot chocolate and mulled wine and watching all the Christmas classics on TV. Even though this festive period will be a massive change as it’s my first one away from home I’m already rather excited for all the festivities I have planned up in Scotland – just think, it’s only 7 weeks today!

The Butterfly and The Pig.

Today me and Rosie decided to head into town and treat ourselves to a proper afternoon tea. We headed to the Tea Rooms at The Butterfly and The Pig, which is a really cool pub in the city centre. As soon as we walked in and saw how beautifully it was decorated, with lots of quirky crockery and ornaments, I knew we’d picked the right place.

Full Afternoon Tea costs £12.50 per person but it is more than worth it for the sheer amount of food you receive! On the bottom tier we each had four quite well-sized sandwiches- two with egg, cress and spring onion and two with ham, tomato and rocket which were lovely. An assortment of crisps added a nice quirky feel as well! The middle tier was where the magic happened – the cakes. There were 6 in total, including two large scones with cream and jam, a rather rich chocolate brownie, a slice of carrot and walnut cake, a cupcake and a portion of pistachio cheesecake. Just amazing but far too much sugar for me!  The top tier featured a rather exciting Scottish twist whereby we each had an oatcake topped with cream cheese and Scottish smoked salmon which was just gorgeous.

The Tea Rooms

Mismatched Crockery

Afternoon Tea! 

Once we’d demolished as much as we could physically manage (we had to have the last two cakes boxed up for us to take home!) we headed to the other side of the city and over to the Cathedral for evensong. I’m actually agnostic, so I don’t follow any particular religion  but I decided to accompany Rosie this week mainly so I could see the Cathedral but also because I’d never been to a service before so I was intrigued. The choir are wonderful, as is the Cathedral itself, so I enjoyed myself more than I thought I would. I actually felt really quite peaceful and enjoyed some quiet contemplation which made a nice change. While I wouldn’t necessary hurry back, it was an enjoyable hour and I wouldn’t rule out going again. I’ll definitely be back to the Cathedral soon though so I can have a proper look round, take lots of photos and also head up to the rather impressive Necropolis.

This week looks to be a very quiet one. Eujin is on holiday again (lucky girl!) so I’m alone for the week which means it’ll be rather lonely unfortunately. However it does give me a good opportunity to save some money and crack on with both my written induction and also a long-distance learning course I’ve signed up to through work, on the subject of equality and diversity. There’s both a workbook and end of unit assessments that need to be done so hopefully I can crack on with that and finish the first two units well before the November deadline. Over the next few weeks I also need to get my act together with regards to my postgraduate applications. My first deadline is UCL (University College London) which is 9th November – less than three weeks away now!! While I don’t actually want to move to London (yet!) I’ve reasoned that I should at least apply to all the universities  in case I don’t get offers from my top three choices (Edinburgh, Sheffield and Newcastle). Absolutely dreading the thought of having to write another bloody personal statement though. Also massively dreading the thought of rejection – but that’s a whole other blog post!

Previous Older Entries