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The Bothy is a place that I had always heard good things about but never got around to visiting until Christmas Eve with Ross and his mother. Even though staff were rushed off their feet that evening, the food was delicious and the service was great. So when The Bothy asked if I’d like to try their newly relaunched brunch menu, it was time I made my way back to Ruthven Lane. Brunch is the best part of any weekend. Forget waking up before 9am, brunch is meant to be enjoyed after you’ve had a well deserved long lie, that’s why The Bothy serve brunch until 3pm.

Upon entering The Bothy, it feels like you are transported into someone’s house. The beautiful stone brick building has to be one of the prettiest locations in the West End of Glasgow. Cosy tables with sofas and upholstered armchairs adorn the dimly lit main restaurant alongside open fireplaces. In true Scottish fashion, the staff even welcome you in kilts, which is always pleasing on the eye, and are friendly to match.

The Bothy- The Bothy

After being shown to our table and offered drinks, I decided to try The Bothy Full Breakfast. Lori opted for The Bothy Vegetarian Breakfast. As Lori also has a nut allergy, she asked our waitress if her vegetarian haggis contained any nuts. A few seconds later after asking the chef, they confirmed that it was nut free. Thumbs up.

The menu also states that both breakfasts come with a fried egg, but we were actually offered a choice. I opted for poached and Lori ordered scrambled. I’m not a huge fan of fried eggs outside of my own kitchen so I’m glad we were given a choice. Maybe the menu should reflect that you can choose the egg of your choice?

The Bothy- Menu

We were starving so it was a welcome relief that we didn’t have to wait too long for our order even though the restaurant was packed full of locals or tourists alike either having brunch or ordering from the Braw Deal Set Menu.

My plate was overflowing with food, delicious looking food. I loved that both of our breakfasts came with a welcome surprise of some toast. You definitely need a good few slices of toast, especially to dip into beans and runny egg yolks.

The Bothy- Full Breakfast

The Bothy Full Breakfast comes with two Cumberland sausages, two pieces of smoked bacon, potato scone, Stowaway black pudding, beans, grilled tomato and my choice of poached egg. The Cumberland sausages were absolutely delicious. They were some of the best sausages I’ve ever eaten. High quality, flavoursome and no gristle. The rest of the breakfast was appetizing, but the sausages were the stand out for me.

The Bothy- Cumerland Sausage

Lori was equally as impressed with her vegetarian breakfast which came with vegetarian sausages, vegetarian haggis, potato scone, beans, mushrooms, grilled tomatoes and her choice of scrambled eggs. Lori loved the vegetarian haggis as it was not something you’d normally get in a full breakfast. I’m also led to believe that the scrambled eggs were light and fluffy.

The Bothy- Vegetarian Breakfast

The Bothy- Vegetarian Haggis

The staff were as friendly as I remembered and even though the restaurant was full, they were very attentive. Overall, The Bothy has to be one of the best places in the West End to get brunch. I loved what I had ordered so much that I’ve been dying to go back ever since and I think it just may be on the cards again this weekend. 

The Bothy also hosts live music acoustic sets from local musicians who entertain you as you dine. If you don’t fancy having brunch, you can also try their great value Braw Deal Set Menu with three courses for just under £15, you will be sure to get your monies worth!

Where is your favourite place for brunch in the city? What do you like to order? Are you more of a full breakfast or benedict type of person?

Disclaimer: I was invited by The Bothy as a guest in return for a review. Whilst my meal was complimentary, I was under no obligation to write a positive review and my comments reflect my true experience that afternoon.

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Last week I had the pleasure of having Breakfast with Arran Aromatics Brand Director Andrew Russell and Becky White PR at one of my favourite brunch locations, Cafezique, on Hyndland Road. A select group of bloggers were invited to learn more about the company, test some of the most popular fragrances and question the Brand Director over a delicious breakfast.

Arran Aromatics Summer- Cafezique

I have to admit that I did not know much about the company other than the fact they were based in Arran (go figure!) and that they did bath and body products. Other than that, I was blind to how diverse the brand actually was – until now.

Who are they?

It all started when Janet Russell and her husband Iain, a former nurse and policeman, bought a petrol station after they moved to Arran. Within the gift shop attached, they started selling homemade mustard and other condiments. The gift shop side of the business expanded into the Arran Mustard Company and Arran Provisions until it was sold at the toss of a coin in 1986.

Fast forward to 1989, Janet started making soaps and body creams in their kitchen which were inspired by the scents and landscape of Arran, an island they both loved. Arran Aromatics was then born. Their most famous and best selling signature Essential Collection blend – After the Rain – was created 15 years ago to capture the unique, fresh scent of Janet’s garden following an Arran rain storm.

Arran Aromatics Summer- Andrew Russell Brand Director

Fragrance Testing

Brand Director Andrew Russell, the son of Janet and Iain, spoke to us about three popular fragrances Citrus Shores, Eydis and Velvet Isle. The top, base and long lasting notes that each fragrances has and how long it took to develop each of them- approximately two years.

When you first smell Citrus Shores, it is incredibly refreshing and combines the scents of lemon, grapefruit and bergamot along with cassis. Velvet Isle is an evening fragrance with notes of ylang yang, lemon, orange and fig leaf.

As much as I loved those fragrances, my favourite had to be Eydis. With bergamot, citrus, rose and honeysuckle, as soon as I smelt it, I fell in love. So much so that I’ve worn it ever since being introduced. We were lucky enough to be given the three fragrances along with a matching bath and body product to take home with us and they have now become firm staples of mine. 

Arran Aromatics Summer- Eydis

Arran Aromatics Summer- Bath and Body

Fragrance Creation

Talking with Andrew was rather interesting as I know from my own point of view that deciding on a new perfume takes a few seconds. I spray the fragrance and if I do not like the initial smell, I’m instantly put off. When Arran Aromatics create their fragrances, they work closely with a perfumer on a mixing desk to get the perfect notes.

Fragrances are tested in intervals of 1 hour, 6 hours and 24 hours to determine how it develops. This determines how long lasting the fragrance is and helps perfect the initial smell that is make or break in the fragrance world. No matter how much you may like a fragrance, when it goes on your skin, it can smell completely different than on another person. Welcome to the wonderful world of chemistry.

Arran Aromatics Summer- Eydis Fragrance

With half a dozen fragrances under development currently, we were lucky enough to sample two- Citrus Rock and Delightly. My favourite of the two had to be Citrus Rock, as the name suggests its a wonderful combination of citrus and salt. It was very light and fresh. Defiantly a day time fragrance that I could see myself wearing in the future. Of course they are still under development and it will not be until next year that we will probably see them on the shelves.

After all the chat came breakfast. Cafezique is one of my favourite locations for brunch in Glasgow and it did not disappoint. I had a great morning learning more about Arran Aromatics, meeting a few bloggers I never had the pleasure of meeting before and catching up with those I do.

Arran Aromatics Summer- Breakfast

Have you ever used any Arran Aromatics product before? If so, what are your favourites? Let me know!

Note: Thank you to Arran Aromatics and Becky White PR for the invitation.

By now, everyone should be aware of the devastating earthquake that hit Nepal at the end of April. Tragically, a second major earthquake struck just two weeks after the first which has left nearly 8000 dead and thousands more injured. With earthquakes come aftershocks which can be as lethal. Schools and homes have been destroyed and the Nepalese need as much help as possible to not only help rebuild their infrastructure but to survive on a day to day basis. I’ve had the pleasure of working with a lot of Gurkas in Nepal in the past as part of my day job so it really hits home just how lucky we are and how they help support the UK. Now it’s our turn to help them, no matter how little.

Doing their part are Mother India Glasgow who are hosting a three course charity lunch this Sunday 17th May with all proceeds going to charity. For £18.50 per person (or £8 for children), you will be able to select from a set menu what you’d like to have for lunch knowing that your donation will go some way to help those in need. 

The menu consists of:

Starters

  • Ginger & Green Chilli Fish Pakora (a personal favourite of mine)
  • Chicken Pakora
  • Vegetable Pakora
  • Aubergine Fritters (these are delicious!)

Mains

  • Lamb Rogan Josh
  • Turka Daal
  • Butter Chicken
  • Malabari Prawn Curry
  • You’ll also have your choice naan bread and rice included. 

Desserts

  • Gulab Jamin
  • Selection of Ice Cream

For £18.50, it’s great value for money for the quality of food that Mother India produces and I have to commend them on donating all proceeds to charity. Hopefully more restaurants will do this in the future to do their part to help those at home and abroad. 

MotherIndia-HeadChef
Image Courtesy of Mother India

Are you planning on going to the charity lunch? Want to book a table? If so, call 0141 221 1663 and book. There will be two sittings 1pm and 3pm so hopefully it will be a full house!

Have you ever wished that you could experience a concert as a VIP? Well, with Clydesdale Bank’s Hydro Vault, now you can. With incredible unobstructed views of the stage, premium sofa seating and your very own Hydro Club butler, you could win the chance to upgrade your tickets and be well and truly spoilt.

Worried about the long queues at the Hydro? Forget about them. As a VIP, you have your own special entrance, given wrist bands and are escorted up to the Hydro Club by the concierge. A perfect night if ever there was one and I was lucky to experience this for myself last weekend while Ella Henderson and Take That were in concert. 

Opening for Take That, Ella Henderson, is one X Factor act that I loved from her very first audition. Her debut album is full of hit after hit. I knew her voice was good but I didn’t expect it to be THAT good. Showcasing songs such as Glow, Empire, Mirror Man, Yours and Ghost, I was blown away by how flawless her vocal was. She did not need any backing singers or dancers, she was sensational in her own right. I cannot wait until she returns to Glasgow so I can watch her in her own headline tour. After her opening act performance, I know it is one not to be missed. 

As good as Ella was, the crowd were here for Take That. The concert from start to finish was a Cirque du Soleil-esq spectacle. The show made full use of the huge walkway which wrapped around the arena ensuring that no matter where you were standing or seating, you had a great view. Sadly my iPhone battery died so I was unable to record any videos but the vast amount of photographs I took should make up for that!

Take That Glasgow 2nd May 2015- I Like ItJPG

As we were in the Hydro Vault, this meant that we had optimum viewing of the entire concert and having our very own butler meant that we didn’t need to miss any of the concert. We just needed to ring a bell and someone came to take our orders. Forget being squashed by the crowds or being overheated. We were in pure comfort. 

Mark, Howard and Gary entertained the crowds through a selection of Take That’s discography starting with I Like It then moving onto songs such as Greatest Day, Patience, Said It All, Could It Be Magic, Relight My Fire, Back For Good and having a rather welcomed encore featuring Shine and Never Forget when the entire arena lit up. Each song had a rather elaborate theme ranging from mime acts, Japanese samurai and geisha, shadow puppetry to day-glo under the sea. It was a colour explosion with flames, fireworks and a rather fetching bicycle thrown in for good measure. 

One thing for sure is, the recently departed Jason Orange wasn’t really missed throughout the concert. The three boys (can we still call them boys?) were full of energy, flamboyant colourful outfits and shockingly for Howard, his vocals weren’t too bad either. 

Do you want to win the chance to experience the Hydro Vault upgrade for yourself and up to four friends or win two VIP tickets for you and a friend to an upcoming comedy gig at the Hydro? Find out below how you can have the night of your life!

How can you win a VIP upgrade to the Hydro Vault?

Head over to Clydesdale Bank’s Hydro Vault website to enter the competition, for you and up to four people. Ensure you all hold valid SSE Hydro tickets to attend any upcoming event. As well as being in your own special VIP booth with unobstructed views and your very own food & drink butler for the evening, you will also gain access to the VIP Hydro Club. 

Want to nominate someone who deserves a special treat?

Do you know someone who deserves a VIP night out? Someone who has gone the extra mile for you or others? Pop over to Clydesdale Bank’s Centre Stage website to enter the competition and you could both share an unforgettable night at The SSE Hydro. You will win 2 premium seated tickets for you and your nominee to see one of Glasgow’s best stand up comedians between September 21st to October 5th and have access to the VIP Hydro Club.

Whoever discovered that by adding flour, eggs and milk together, along with a few other staple ingredients, you’d end up with round thick fluffy delicious pancakes is a genius. In fact, I wish he was my best friend. 

Blueberry Pancakes, Pancakes with Strawberries and Bananas, Pistachio Pancakes, Pancakes with Bacon & Maple Syrup. I love them all. Why can’t Pancake Day be every day?

When my boyfriend Ross told me that Bill’s Restaurant were opening their first Scottish restaurant, he told me how good the place was after visiting the Cardiff branch while living in Wales. After checking out the Bill’s Breakfast Menu, I instantly heard the pancakes scream my name. It was also the day after my birthday so calories do not count during your birthday week. It’s the law. 

Bills Restaurant Glasgow

We walked into Bill’s Restaurant without a reservation on it’s first week of opening, luckily we managed to get a table just before the breakfast menu ended and the lunch rush began. Within 10 minutes of sitting down, three large tables of girls arrived and I started feeling sorry for the kitchen. The restaurant was packed out. 

Ross decided to order Bill’s vegetarian breakfast consisting of poached free range eggs, tomatoes, hummus, mushrooms & guacamole, sweet chilli sauce, basil & toast with a side of crispy potato (a giant hash brown). Of course, I couldn’t really say no to the blueberry and buttermilk pancakes with banana, strawberries and maple syrup along with a side of streaky bacon.

Bills Restaurant Glasgow- Menu

Unfortunately, due to the amount of people entering the restaurant all at the same time, we had to wait a rather long time for food. No good when it’s breakfast and you are starving. However, they had only been open a few days so I can’t mark them down for that.

To help keep our hunger at bay, we ordered a couple of Bill’s green smoothies. They had spinach in them, as our waitress informed us. Other than that, I honestly have no idea. It would be good for the ingredients to be listed on the menu so that you can tell what you’re drinking before ordering. It did taste good, but instead of helping fill us up, it made us hungrier. 

Finally, our food arrived. First impressions? Full marks for presentation. It almost looked too good to eat, but quite frankly, we were that hungry that after forcing Ross to wait until I took photographs, we started demolishing our plates. 

Bills Restaurant Glasgow- Vegetarian Breakfast

I loved that fact that the vegetarian breakfast was like no other around the city. No vegetarian sausages in sight, instead, hummus and guacamole on toast. Even though Ross isn’t vegetarian, he watches what he eats, ensuring for the most part that his diet is healthy. So, it was a welcome change from the norm and one that was absolutely delicious. It is also a dish that I would quite happily enjoy eating myself.

Back to my pancakes, I was met with three rather large blueberry pancakes, with fruit scattered around the plate and a little jug of maple syrup. They were perfectly cooked, although the blueberries inside the pancakes were a tad on the sour side. That’s where the maple syrup helps counter balance the sourness.

Bills Restaurant Glasgow- Blueberry Pancakes with Strawberries and Bananas

The bacon that I ordered on the side, I have to admit, did not work with the blueberry pancakes. It was a strange combination of flavours. If the pancakes were plain, I’d have no issue but then again, the bacon didn’t come as standard, I ordered it as an addition. Next time, I’ll just skip the bacon. Due to the sheer size of the pancakes, I could only eat one and a half. Ross ate the rest. As he normally does. My mom says he has hollow legs!

Bills Restaurant Glasgow- Blueberry Pancakes with Strawberries and Bananas Half Eaten

Throughout our meal, staff were very attentive. Maybe verging on the side of overly attentive, especially when different waiting staff approached us over five times asking if we wanted more drinks, in the space of 15 minutes. It did get a tad annoying. 

Overall, I loved Bill’s. It’s a welcome addition to the city centre, especially somewhere that does brunch. I can’t wait to go back to try their lunch and dinner menu. I’ve already spied a few dishes that I really want to try. 

Have you tried Bill’s before? What’s your favourite menu item? Any recommendations?

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