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December 2012

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If you couldn’t already tell… I love food. I love eating out. I love trying out new places and exploring what this city has to offer. So, when Peroni contacted me to try out their new free Vivi In Stile iPhone (& Android) app and explore Glasgow based on their suggestions, how could I say no?

The app showcases Food, Drinks, Design, Fashion & Events pin-pointing your location and providing you with a list of venues to “discover your city’s stylish side”. Glasgow, Liverpool, Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham, London and Bristol are featured within the Vivi In Stile Esplorare Tab enabling you to explore these cities… great if you are visiting one of these cities for the first time and have no idea what to do and where to go. As well as showcasing the above, you can read articles on Fashion, Design & Food focusing on Italian Culture and way of life. A great read!

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After an afternoon’s Christmas Shopping, I opened the app and explored what was under “Food” to help the indecisive me pick somewhere for dinner. I was in the City Centre so wanted somewhere close by. The app tells you how far away the venues are as well as giving you a Map to hunt it down! Along with the name of the venue, a description tells you more about the place to help you decide.

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After a few minutes of exploring the app, Rogano popped up. I was close by and decided it was about time I finally tried this infamous restaurant. The app described Rogano as “the very definition of luxury since 1935. Rogano is a Glasgow institution. With seafood at the forefront of their menu, it’s famed for classic food. Art Deco interiors and a never-ending passion over the past 77 years”.

When we got the menu, I had no idea what to order. I could have honestly ordered near enough everything on the entire menu. I settled on getting a main course of Chargrilled Venison Medallions with Fondant Potato, Haggis Pave & Sweet Garlic Jus. My mom who I brought along with me had the Grilled 28 Day Mature Fillet Of Beef with Pont Neuf Potatoes, Mushrooms, Tomatoes & Béarnaise sauce. Delicious! For dessert, I got a selection of Small Chocolate Desserts (Rich Chocolate Tart, White Chocolate Mousse & Chocolate Ice Cream… I think!) and my mom got Clootie Dumpling With Drambuie Custard.

Everything was so good and gave me a great introduction to Rogano. My parents have been to Rogano numerous times. My dad goes to the Restaurant & Oyster Bar a lot when he is over from Paris, both with my mom or with Oil/Shipping Clients. I can already hear the Venison calling my name back again! I’ll review the Restaurant in greater details soon, especially since I’m going to be at Rogano on Christmas Day as well!

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After Dinner, we popped into another find within the app, a place I have been to a good few times, Sloans for a quick Digestif before popping into the car & heading back home. A great night!

I’m going to start using the Vivi In Stile app a lot more… there are a bunch of Restaurants and Bars I haven’t actually heard of so I think it’s about time I explore this city! You can download Peroni Vivi In Stile Free for iPhone and Android so you can start exploring yourselves!

I wonder where it will take me next…

Last weekend, I popped my ballet virginity & I liked it. Lots.

Now don’t go thinking I was dressed up in a tutu à la Hyacinth Hippo, I was at Theatre Royal Glasgow to see Scottish Ballet’s latest production, The Nutcracker.

An enchanted dolls’ house, an evil governess, and a nutcracker who may just be a handsome prince in disguise – this winter, prepare to enter a magical new world…

Following on from the hugely successful productions Cinderella and The Sleeping Beauty comes a revival of The Nutcracker, a sweet yet deliciously sharp take on ETA Hoffmann’s original story Nutcracker and the King of Mice.

This fresh and vivid retelling of the famous Christmas story features stunning sets and costumes, breathtaking choreography and Tchaikovsky’s sumptuous score performed live by the Scottish Ballet Orchestra.

Since it was my first time, I honestly had no idea what the ballet would be like. Sure, we’ve all seen ballet dancers on TV & in Movies… but up close and personal is another thing entirely. Set to the beautiful music of Tchaikovsky, the performance was completely mind-blowing. Watching the dancers, you couldn’t help but get carried away watching with amazement at what you were seeing before your eyes. Magical is one word which I could use a thousand times to describe it.

At first, it was a little strange getting used to the fact that you were watching a performance where scenes were acted in utter silence. Choosing body language, expressions and of course dance to tell a story. A few scenes in, I completely forgot my “apprehensions” and was mesmerised throughout the 2 hour performance.

The Modern Adaptation of The Nutcracker featured visually exciting set designs throughout which were filled with an abundance of imagination. The sets combined with the incredible choreography of the whole company led the Opening Night’s performance to be an enchanting first time experience for me.

It’s hard to pick a favourite scene as I couldn’t fault a thing. However, the pieces that stood out the most to me were Nathalie Dupouy’s Arabian Scene and the utterly breathtaking grand pas-de-deux (oh I learnt a new word!) between principal dancers Sophie Martin and Adam Blyde on the night.

If you are looking for a new experience and have never been to the Ballet before or are a seasoned Ballet Goer, this is one production which you cannot miss. It will not let you down.

The Nutcracker is touring to Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Inverness, Belfast and Newcastle from December 2012 – January 2013. Below are the locations and dates… try make a performance if you are in the area!

Theatre Royal, Glasgow
8 – 29 December 2012

Festival Theatre, Edinburgh
8 – 12 January 2013

His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen
16 – 19 January 2013

Eden Court, Inverness
23 – 26 January 2013

Grand Opera House, Belfast
30 January – 02 February 2013

Theatre Royal, Newcastle
06 – 09 February 2013

Note: A huge thank you to Ann at Scottish Ballet for the invitation to the Opening Night and to Andrew Ross for the Photography.

Those of you who know me will know I love gadgets and technology, I was a little tom boy growing up & now work with all men in the IT Industry. I’d rather go gadget shopping than clothes shopping so when the chance to review a Quadrocopter came up from Paramount Zone, I had to get my hands on it. Once I received the Quadrocopter, it became clear that I wasn’t going to be the best person to review this amazing flying machine so who better else than a Geeky Aircraft Engineer in the Royal Air Force? My friend took on this challenge & his review is below…

Since this amazing piece of flying machinery rocked up on my doorstep it has barely been put down. As an actual aircraft engineer and all round geek, unboxing this product alone was enough to tick all my geeky boxes. The aircraft arrived immaculately packaged with the picture on the front to tease what was inside and hint at the high quality of the product hidden inside. I was, in all honesty expecting just the Quadrocopter, a remote and a set of overly complex instructions, much to my surprise however the box was FULL of technology lovers goodies!

Firstly I had a good look over the Quadrocopter, it’s simplicity in its best form, 4 motors, 4 micro gears and 4 blades (plus spares…I’ll invariably need these later!). The micro sized battery fits snugly under the canopy of the copter and in a perfect place so it doesn’t interfere with the flying.

Next, the remote….ohhh the remote! What a cool bit of hardware this is.

I’m sure if your about to hit buy on this, you’ve probably had one of those tiny barely controllable R/C copters with a frankly useless handset. This one, on the other hand is all kinds of cool. Well built, ergonomically constructed it has EVERYTHING you need and expect to find on a handset costing £100’s. It has a lovely backlit LCD display, which, in conjunction with the digital buttons on your handset does everything, from controlling your trim in each axis, percentage of throttle and shows battery life and radio reception. Very VERY cool! It even displays a little picture of the chopper on the display for you, how good is that! The handset allows for varying degrees of response for the amount of stick you give it, anywhere from 20% (for the beginners, like me!) all the way to 100% for some full throttle stunt flying, all with the click of a button. It even flashes red and gives you a reassuring satisfying beep when you get delusions of being Maverick out of Top Gun and hit the 100% setting.