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December 2013

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2013 is almost ending and at the start we all (well… almost all!) of us made some resolutions for the year. Did you make any for this year ? Instead of resolutions, I tend to make a list of things I want to achieve in the year. That way, it doesn’t seem as forced and if I’m not able to tick them all off, they can just roll over until next year 🙂

This year, the list of things I wanted to achieve were pretty simple but rather affective, I ticked them all off my list. They involved:

  • be happy
  • get a pay rise
  • stop saying no
  • go out more
  • make new friends
  • take more chances

Next year? Well… I think I may just keep the same ones. What about you? What do you want to achieve in 2014? Do you stick to your resolutions? The infograph below gives you a little insight into how realistic or unrealistic our resolutions can be, do you agree with it? I’m surprised the weight related resolutions aren’t higher. After all, we do all gorge ourselves during the holiday season!

New Year Resolutions

 

Credit: Infograph courtesy of Farfetch.com

Ever since watching Scottish Ballet’s The Nutcracker last year, I have fallen in love with the Ballet. I’ve been a few times since and couldn’t miss the chance to see the latest production, Hansel & Gretel at Theatre Royal. I was invited, along with other bloggers to an indulgent day of Afternoon Tea and Mini Spa treatment at Blythswood Square Hotel before being whisked away to the Theatre to watch the show.

Eve Mutso, Remi Andreoni, Constant Vigier and Sophie Martin in Christopher Hampson’s Hansel & Gretel

When I arrived at Blythswood, my day kicked off with a Woodcutter’s Wife Cocktail. The hotel especially created the cocktail which is inspired by the childhood story. They combined  Martin Miller’s Gin with Amaro Nonino, fresh lemon juice, lemon curd and ginger syrup, candied peach pureé and a splash of egg white with crumbled puff candy on top (£9.75). Who cared that it was 11am and I was already drinking. It was a special day, after all.

We had time to mingle with fellow invitees before being taken to the private movie screening room within Blythswood (ever so slightly jealous of this!) to watch short “Making Of…” movies to gain a closer insight into what it takes to put on a ballet production of this scale. I loved seeing the creation of the sets, utterly beautiful on film and even better up close and personal at the theatre.

If the morning couldn’t get any better, we sat down to a Hansel & Gretel inspired Afternoon Tea complete with a beautiful display of sandwiches, fresh clotted cream scones and sweet treats such as gingerbread men, carrot cake and macarons (£22 per person). Everything looked too good to eat and the hardest part was deciding what to eat first. My sweet tooth took over and I just had to try the cakes first!

As we were tucking into our Afternoon Tea, we each took turns to get arm and hand massages by the lovely spa staff which was extremely relaxing. I definitely need to go back to the hotel to try out their spa in all it’s glory. I’ve heard great things about it. Who doesn’t love a spa day?

Before we were whisked off to Theatre Royal, we had the chance to chat to Scottish Ballet’s Principal dancer Christopher Harrison and Artist Constance Devernay with Christina Riley, Scottish Ballet Marketing and Communication Editor asking a whole host of questions about life in the ballet, costumes, their careers and productions. It was great having that insight into their lives and seeing behind the scenes rather than just attending the ballet (not that that isn’t wonderful in itself!). We also had the chance to see some of the outfits up close. The detail is utterly stunning.

 Scottish Ballet’s Principal dancer Christopher Harrison and Artist Constance Devernay with Christina Riley, Scottish Ballet Marketing and Communication Editor

Scottish Ballet- Hansel & Gretel Outfit

As time went on, it was nearly curtain time at Theatre Royal and we were whisked away with our very own pick n mix in true Hansel & Gretel fashion.

Unwrap a tasty new Christmas treat with the world premiere of Christopher Hampson’s fantastical Hansel & Gretel. A small town, all the children have disappeared. Plucky Hansel and Gretel embark on an exciting adventure venturing deep into the enchanted forest to find their friends.

This delightfully inventive brand new Hansel & Gretel takes creative twists and turns inspired by the Grimm Brother’s famous fairy tale – and the stories and imagination of the people of Scotland. A carousel of delicious treats from start to finish,Hansel & Gretel is full to the brim with magic and wit; with toys that come to life and a beautiful bewitching ballerina who is not at all as she seems. Scrumptiously surreal and with more than a sprinkle of festive magic – take an enchanting journey with Scotland’s national dance company this winter.

Humperdinck’s evocative score is performed live by the Scottish Ballet orchestra.

Source: Scottish Ballet

Bethany Kingsley-Garner as the Dew Drop Fairy in Christopher Hampson’s Hansel & Gretel

Eve Mutso and Company dancers in Christopher Hampson’s Hansel & Gretel

Sophie Martin, Constant Vigier and Nicholas Shoesmith in Christopher Hampson’s Hansel & Gretel

Eve Mutso, Sophie Martin and Constant Vigier in Christopher Hampson’s Hansel & Gretel

Sophie Martin and Constant Vigier in Christopher Hampson’s Hansel & Gretel

Eve Mutso and Constant Vigier in Christopher Hampson’s Hansel & Gretel

Constant Vigier and Sophie Martin with local dancers in Christopher Hampson’s Hansel & Gretel

Hands down, this was by far the best Scottish Ballet production I have seen. The set designs were mesmerising, the dancing  impeccable and the costumes were utterly stunning. It was a truly magical performance and I sat in awe throughout. I couldn’t fault a thing.

The Glasgow shows are now over but the production is touring various locations from next month. If you get the chance to attend, I would highly recommend it. I’m not just saying that because I was a guest of Scottish Ballet in this instance, I’m saying it because I’m 100% sure you will not be disappointed. It is breathtaking from start to finish.

Festival Theatre, Edinburgh · Wed 8th – Sat 11th January 2014
His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen · Wed 15th – Sat January 2014
Eden Court, Inverness · Wed 22nd – Sat 25th January 2014
Theatre Royal, Newcastle · Wed 29th January – Sat 1st February 2014
Grand Opera House, Belfast · Wed 5th February – Sat 8th February 2014

Note: If you love Afternoon Tea or want to spoil someone, Blythswood Square Hotel are offering the Woodcutter’s Wife Cocktail and Hansel & Gretel Afternoon Tea until the end of January 2014. It is delicious!

Photo Credit: Thank you to Andy Ross for the production photographs.

I have a love/hate relationship with winter, I love looking at snow but I hate being cold. That is where big chunky cardigans and sweaters (jumpers doesn’t quite sound right to me!) come in. Curling up on the sofa, fluffy sweater, hot coffee (or hot chocolate, if you’re picky) and a good ol’ Christmas movie sounds pretty good to me just about now.

Trouble is, it is hard to find ones that I really like, not to mention ones that don’t make me itch like I’m covered in fleas. Not a nice sight, is it?

I adore Cashmere sweaters, it is so soft and fluffy that you’d think you’re wearing a big blob of cotton wool. Granted it is rather expensive but it is also extremely good quality that it will last for years, unlike a £10 jumper from Pradamark (aka Primark). Not that anything is wrong with Primark, I do frequent the store for socks and cheap shoes.

One step too far is the new Marks & Spencers Cashmere Onsie for £199. I don’t get the whole onsie thing, but each to their own. Would you wear a Cashmere one? I also cannot fathom how the onsie can only cost £199 if it is pure Cashmere due to it being a rather luxurious wool.

Cashmere Onsie

For Christmas this year, my mother was asking for long sweaters. It’s always hard trying to figure out what to buy her every year so I’m glad when she rather bluntly tells me what she wants and sometimes while we are out shopping actually picks up a few sweaters and tells me she wants them before putting them back on the rack. Aaah mothers.

Sadly my bank balance won’t stretch to buying Cashmere this season but I have a few favourite picks above that I desperately want when my bank balance is more inviting.

Do you like Cashmere? Any favourites that you’ve seen in stores this year? Let me know 🙂

Glasgow is a magical city all year ‘round, but there’s something a little extra special about it at Christmas. From the frosty cobbled streets of the West End, to the lively winter wonderland of Georges Square, Glasgow boasts some rather special events come Christmas time, so make sure you take time away from scouring the shops and scoffing mince pies to check them out.

Christmas Cartel

Street Food Cartel

Street Food Cartel is every Glasgow foodie’s favourite pop-up, so when it comes around at Christmas time, well that’s just one awesome double whammy. A Christmas Cartel will take place over two weekends in December, the 6th and 7th and the 13th and 14th at cool West End warehouse, SWG3. Along with Scoop’s “Silver Bullet” kitchen on wheels, BKK will also be providing the festive eats with their Thai street kitchen. Set to be a very cool, very Christmassy, and very delicious winter warehouse party.

George’s Square Ice Skating and Hot Tipples for Afters

Glasgow on ice

So ice-skating is splendid ‘n all, but we’re rather partial to the hot toddy afterwards. Luckily for us in Glasgow, the two go hand in hand. Glasgow On Ice has arrived once again, under the twinkling lights of Georges Square. You and your beau can make a romantic night of it, by getting your Torvill and Dean on, or maybe join your pals and make like the Mighty Ducks instead. Cap off the evening by easing your aches and bruises with mulled wine or hot cider at cosy bar Browns – niftily located right on Georges Square. Handy!

Fest End Twist

Fest End Twist

West End Twist is a cracking club night every Saturday of the year, but throughout December, it’s even better. DJ Snafu will break out the festive funky beats for one storming retro dance party, with zero cheese and lots of Latin, motown and rhythm and blues. This Saturday sock-hop is sleigh-loads of fun, and this month the quiffs will be higher, the jeans will be tighter and the lippy will be redder. This is the perfect alternative Christmas party in Glasgow.

Spangled Cabaret Christmas

Spangled Cabaret Christmas - Christmas

Another quirky Christmas celebration will kick off in cool (sort-of) secret bar, The Flying Duck. This fun mish-mash venue has always got something weird and wonderful going on and Spangled Cabaret is one of its best-loved nights. The 20th December edition will be extra spangled will a carnival of cabaret talent. Performers on the night include Dolly Tartan, Kim Khaos and the Glasgow Glam Bangers along with a host of other salacious stars. This is going to be one wild winter party.

Movies at Blythswood Square

Blytheswood Movie Club

Square Eyes Film Club at the Blythswood Square Hotel is probably the most opulent cinema in Glasgow, from the tweed and tartan seats, to Prosecco and canapés for movie snacks. Lots of venues are showing Christmassy films over winter, but this is probably the most decadent setting to enjoy them. Get into the yuletide spirit with festive flicks throughout December. Our pick for the ultimate Scrooge-quashing movie? It’s a Wonderful Life on Christmas Eve. If this doesn’t warm your cockles, nothing will.

Note: Thank you to Design My Night for compiling this list of events running in December. I’m definitely going to a few of them!