Events

Tick Tock Unlock

Last Saturday we rallied the hungover troops for a different kind of adventure. On the corner of St Vincent Street & Hope Street lies a secret door that leads to rooms of puzzles and problem solving. Our first challenge was finding the place – I’ll solve this first one for you & tell you that it’s above Martha’s. 

  

Now, all I knew about what we were doing was that it’s a group activity that can take up to 6 people per room and that we would be using teamwork to get out of the room. They start you off with a background story then you use a series of clues to find your way out of the room in an hour. 

  

Once inside, we had a ball trying to work them all out. Teamwork is key here as one person might find part of a clue whilst someone else is holding the answer to the rest of it. The game would be ideal for a team building exercise or work night out, but I’d also recommend it for hen & stag do’s. They told us that they have been popular with families travelling to Glasgow and looking for something a bit different too, just make sure the kids are old enough to understand what’s going on- I’d say nine years old plus. 

  

We escaped in 57 minutes – hooray! – but if you don’t manage it in the hour I’m told you can play on to get the rest of those niggling clues solved. Staff are watching you on a screen so can help you if needed. 

  

After getting all Sherlock Holmes, you can get dressed up with their selection of props and take some group photo momentos of the day. It is priced at £14-£16 per player, depending on how many are going into the room and takes about two hours in total. They have two gameplay rooms so if you have a bigger group then you can split into two teams and play consecutively. 
I went along with five friends and the feedback from everyone was that they loved it & want to go back to do another challenge. We thought it would be refreshing on a hen or stag to have something other than going straight to the pub to get the day started & that it would be a good ice-breaker for people that don’t know each other too well. Miss Marple watch out, because I’ll be back to Tick Tock Unlock soon! 
 

Disclaimer: we were given a complimentary game in return for a blog post but all views are honest and my own. I’ll happily pay to go back. 

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The BBC Good Food Show In Glasgow

In October we went along to The Good Food Show at the SECC to find some new loves. Camera issues delayed this post but better late than never! In 2015 it will be running from the 6th to 8th of November so ask it off work now just to be sure.

The queen of baking, Mary Berry, was there doing cooking demos so the first thing I did was stand transfixed watching her make something lovely. Paul Hollywood didn’t even get a look-in with me… There’s definitely something about Mary.

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I managed to catch blogger Emma from Food & Drink Glasgow on the interview stage before more gin samples. I felt a little bit proud to see my local, Drygate, (all the way from Dennistoun) at the show and couldn’t turn down an Outaspace Apple ale sample.

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They had some non stick pans that actually looked amazing, and if we weren’t about to just move house, we would have bought a set. My in-laws bought some at the show last year and they actually do what they say. We settled on some saucisson instead…

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The sheer volume of produce that I wanted was just too much. I can’t wait to go next year (not in the middle of a house move) and buy bags of lovely things and boozy Christmas presents.

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At the back of the theatre there was the BBC Good Food kitchen, where you could pick up freshly cooked lunch to really make a day of it.

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Mr Hollywood was signing copies of his book. There was a long queue of ladies as you can imagine.

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C’mon the Highlands!

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Venison is a lean meat that is fairly healthy – need I say any more?

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Some of the stall holders had used interesting decoration to draw people in – this veggie sausage stall was one of my favourites.

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The boss of the meat world was there with a selection of black pudding, bacon, sausages and white pudding.

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All in all, we spent the best part of a day here. You could easily go for breakfast and stay for lunch or do all-day grazing. I admit that I thought most of the producers wouldn’t be local but I was wrong & found several local producers that I’d never heard of.
If you get your tickets early then they include a ticket for the super theatre to see the celebrity chefs. See you there in November.

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October In Glasgow

Wow – what a busy weekend this one is! I’m currently in Inverness to attend the wedding of two of my good friends but there is lots going on in Glasgow in my absence. Since I’m not there to write about them I thought I’d share some of the local events that are on this month in case you’re sitting at home bored…

Eats From The Streets
Glasgow Fort shopping park is hosting a street food weekender with a street food village outside of Argos. Each weekend will see 5 different vendors with an emphasis on local.
Shopping and eating-ok then!
My favourite Breaking Bread will be there cooking up a storm, as will Nusou, Scotland’s pick for the 2014 British Street Food Awards.
If you can’t make it to The Fort this weekend then they are also running it on the 1st & 2nd of November, the 29th & 30th of November & the 27th & 28th of December.

Furniture Pop-Up Shop
The first ‘furniture pop-up shop’ is set to take place in the West End of Glasgow on the 11th & 12th of October, basing itself in the quaint Willow Bank Bowling Club situated just off Byres Road. The FPU team are inviting the public who are interested in home ware, textiles & furniture to come to the inaugural event – there will be something for everyone’s taste.
The event is great for budding designers to use as a platform to showcase their work & I’m all for finding new pretty things!
If you can’t make it then the next one is scheduled for the 6th & 7th of December.

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The Soda Shop & Cocktail Emporium
I love a pop-up and this one is running from now until the 27th of November, 5pm until midnight every day.
With live entertainment every Friday & Saturday, I’m excited to try their extensive list of sodas, cocktails, milkshakes & hard shakes (booze & milkshake…yum!). The sodas are made from a fountain on-site at the point of consumption so they’ll be super fresh. 9 weeks to go as many times as I can, challenge accepted.

568 Dumbarton Road, Partick, G11 6RH

That’s all I’ve got for now but keep an eye out for updates if anything catches my eye… Have a great October.

It’s Giveaway Time!

I have 3 pairs of tickets for the Glasgow BBC Good Food Show to giveaway! The tickets are valid on Friday the 17th or Sunday the 19th of October at the SECC in Glasgow.

To enter all you have to do is share the competition post (or RT on twitter) & like Girl Around Glasgow on Facebook/ follow me on twitter. Alternatively, you can comment below to be in the draw for free tickets.

Get me on Twitter @girlaroundglasg or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/girlaroundglasgow

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I missed the show last year & was gutted afterwards because so many people were raving about it.
This year there are over 130 exhibitors with tasters selling the best this country has to offer.
They have a producers village that can help with your discovery of speciality food and artisan produce alongside an eat well pavilion. This will be geared to teaching you cooking methods and foods that can be nutritional beneficial.
After your good behaviour, head to the bakes & cakes village for a treat.

In the supertheatre you could watch Mary Berry, Paul Hollywood, James Martin or Tom Kitchin cooking dishes live and sharing their best tips. Or if you’ve always wanted to ask your favourite chef a question then you can catch them at the interview stage.

There’s even a BBC Good Food Kitchen that will serve you up a delicious lunch using recipes from the magazine for a small fee.

I’m looking forward to eating my way around the SECC and coming home with some goodies!

Someone will take the crown of Glasgow’s Best Deli (c’mon Celinos) and win a free stand at the show – something that Billingtons of Lenzie had the honour of winning last year.

So remember that all you have to do to enter is share the competition post & follow me on Facebook or twitter. Alternatively, you can comment below to be in the draw for free tickets.

I’ll draw the winners on Wednesday the 1st of October.

Good luck!

UPDATE!!

And the winners of the giveaway (chosen by picking out of three hats, one for each of twitter/wordpress/Facebook) are…
Fie Heath (Coffee & Confetti) on wordpress
Dolly Roger on twitter
Myra Miller on Facebook

Please e-mail your names & addresses to girlaroundglasgow@gmail.com so I can send the tickets out!!

For those of you who haven’t won you can get 20% off if you book your tickets by Sunday quoting WW20

Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games

I would like to start by saying – Glasgow, I could not be prouder!!

Out of everybody that I’ve spoken to on the topic, we had no idea how much the Commonwealth Games was going to affect the city. We weren’t expecting the ridiculous underground queues to be quite so big (use the shuttle buses people), so many people to be milling about in the city but most of all we never expected to feel so much pride. There was a point during the opening ceremony that I was scared that we could pull it off after a massive dose of clichés on my telly. Alas, I needn’t have worried. After all, People Make Glasgow.

 

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I went to two games sessions – athletics and diving – and enjoyed them both even although I’m not particularly sporty. Contrary to what I had heard we found it relatively easy to get to Hampden. The shuttle bus queue was cleared in ten minutes and it was a fast journey. The athletics was action packed with up to 4 events going on at the same time. We had excellent seats in front of the high jump, discus throw and hammer throw. We were also treated to watching the long jump, 100m, 400m and 1500m.

Bobrownicki for Scotland

Bobrownicki for Scotland

We got a train to Edinburgh to watch the mens 1m and womens synchronised 10m diving. Wow, it was crazy hot in there and we ended up eating ice-cream even although it was raining outside. The diving was fascinating to watch, especially the synchronised dives. Such skill.

 

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I spent much of the two weeks working but, any time that I wasn’t in work, I was off exploring the pop-ups and events that were around the city. My highlight was definitely the Merchant City Festival. They host it every year but this year was bigger and better than I have ever seen. Every road was crammed with stalls & food places and there were a couple of stages with live music. Notably, the Brunswick Hotel/Brutti Ma Buoni had a big stage, a BBQ style grill and bar stalls that we spent a couple of nights at. If they do all of this again next year then I think I should ask for that week off and take advantage. The weather behaved too so it felt like we were in a different city!

 

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Pop-up restaurant The Fish Plaice on Trongate went down a storm. This unique place fused Scotland’s freshest catch with live DJ sets under fairy lights. We tried to go a second time but the waiting list was massive – surely a sign that they should become a permanent fixture?! Turn the music down a bit and build a toilet block and you’re ready to go.

 

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Glasgow Green also had transformed into the Live Zone, which had big screens showing that days events, a stage with dancers & musicians and a host of activities. I was not brave enough to try to outrun Usain Bolt in front of an audience but I did enjoy watching others. It was lovely to spot the Three Sisters Bake van but I felt that we needed more local stalls to fully utilise the games for local benefit.

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George Square had the official Commonwealth Games shop and The Big G 3D installation to mark the event. Then Buchanan Street & Argyle Street were full of street performers – from jazz bands to juggling with knives. Certainly made my usual walks more interesting.

 

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There was also the Clyde Trail where you could download a map to find the twenty-something Clyde mascots around the city. I haven’t spoken to anyone who managed them all but Glasgow Food Geek got pretty close.

 

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The city got a bit of a clean up before all of our visitors and I think the new artwork is great.

 

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C’mon Scotland! Loved the Wellington Statue getting into the spirit of things.

 

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What a two weeks… with Caledonia now on my phone and a refreshed love for Glasgow I wish we could do it all again.

 

 

Finally, I wanted to share some more of my photos so have a gander-

 

Meeting James Heatly after his dive

Meeting James Heatly after his dive

Female sync divers

Female sync divers

Tom Daley supporting the other divers

Tom Daley supporting the other divers

Breaking Bread street food

Breaking Bread street food

Limited time Irn Bru shop

Limited time Irn Bru shop

The Big G

The Big G

Brunswick Hotel outside bar

Brunswick Hotel outside bar

Art at the Fish Plaice pop up

Art at the Fish Plaice pop up

Hampden pano

Hampden pano

Hampden athletics

Hampden athletics

Irn Bru poem

Irn Bru poem

Scottish busking

Scottish busking

Ping Wan Coombes on Buchanan Street

Wan Ping Coombes on Buchanan Street

Edinburgh Commonwealth Pool

Edinburgh Commonwealth Pool

Glasgow Green Stage

Glasgow Green Stage

Loved the wee remote controlled cars used to return the discus

Loved the wee remote controlled cars used to return the discus

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Laugher

Edinburgh Foodies Festival

On Sunday we nursed our hangovers in a rather novel way. We went to a Foodies Festival in the rain! The atmosphere on the train through to Edinburgh was not very upbeat and I was starting to worry how we’d all get through the day. But it turns out that it was the perfect cure for us – food, fresh air and whisky samples.

We had checked the weather beforehand and it was rain and more rain so wellies and trainers were dug out. I felt like I was back at Rockness using the portaloos in my wellies. Except that they were posh portaloos that flushed and I had actually showered that morning.

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Typically Scottish weather!

Our plan formulated on the train was to walk around the whole thing and then we would start eating and buying things. We stuck to the plan for all of ten minutes after reading the menu at Mark Greenaway’s Bistro Moderne – the tempura soft shell crab had to be mine. It was hands down the best cooking that I have ever had at an outside venue and it has made me want to go to Bistro Moderne – success for both sides.

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We visited the Top Out Brewery stall and found that beer and soft shell crab actually taste good together. An edinburgh company, they have only been brewing for a little over a year but are growing all the time. Expect to see their beers in shops more and more over the next year.

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After catching a bit of Stephen K Amos from Celebrity Masterchef at the chefs theatre we wandered from stall to stall. There was a big selection of mainly Scottish producers and produce varied from oils to seafood, whisky to peanut butter marshmallows. Safe to say we were enjoying ourselves.

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As we were walking round we were taken in by the smell of meat from The Pantry so we stopped to share a roll. Not any roll, this was a Thistly Cross cider braised pork shoulder, red turnip slaw, apple & thyme sauce with a whisky & barbeque sauce roll… drooling as I write about it.

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Back to the chefs theatre because I wanted to see Adam Handling from Masterchef. Clearly passionate about his food, a great guy to watch and I would love to dine in his restaurant.

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There was a champagne tent so we had a couple of Strawberry Bellini’s whilst chatting to the folk at the Discover The Origin tent. Discover the Origin are trying to raise awareness of five key European products: Bourgogne wines, Parma ham, Douro wines, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and port. I’m a believer that you can tell the difference when it comes to cured meat and this Parma ham was delicious. I also loved that they were serving the Parmigiano out of the shell and letting you compare the flavours of different maturities. They don’t even charge you as it is a big campaign to raise awareness.

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Moreover, because there was four of us on the day, we could buy one food item and share it so that we had the opportunity to taste more producers food. The gents were angling for more food and I honestly have never seen them as happy as when they spotted the Gaucho BBQ. Meat on the bone, barbequed and smoky – they were in dream land.

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There were plenty of drinks companies to keep us entertained too. Lots of craft beer, gins, whisky, wine and cocktails. The Riot Bar provided much needed shelter from the downpour and there was also a sheltered eating area but I’d love if they made this bigger for next year.

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The live entertainment stage provided some tunes to bob your head along to whilst munching and shopping.

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I have to mention my personal favourite stall of the day – Goya 23. Iberico ham on the bone coupled with quality red wine, all served by a friendly and knowledgeable gentleman. After listening to much chat from us self-confessed pork obsessives, he even gave us some free samples of the other meats he had.

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Shopping wise I seemed to have an oil obsession on the day because I came home with three oil themed items. Summer Harvest is a company based in Perthshire that turns the bright yellow fields into gorgeous rapeseed oil products. We first came across them at the foodie day at Hamilton Races and now I keep an eye out for their stuff. This time I bought a garlic mayonnaise (proper yellow fresh mayo to eat asap… yes I’ve started) and a chilli & red pepper salad dressing to liven up our Autumn meals. Then I saw the Supernature stall, which is also rapeseed oils and Scottish. Based in the Lothians, they are all about coldpressing rapeseed oil so I got a bottle of the garlic one after extensive tasting on the day of every flavour.

As you can probably tell, we had a grand old time. Mr S even said to me that he wishes they would have this every month – he was extremely impressed. It is a yearly event so we will be getting tickets for next year without a doubt. I think that this sort of event would really work in Glasgow too, and I would love to see it there next year with some of my favourite local producers and food-to-go places from the West coast.

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3 sisters bake

3 sisters bake

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fresh coconut water

fresh coconut water

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Foodies Festival sent us complimentary tickets for the event so that I could be an official blogger for them. As usual, all opinions are my own and honest.

Competition Time: Win Tickets For Edinburgh foodie Festival!

As I mentioned in my blog’s first birthday post, Girl Around Glasgow is running its first competition!

Foodies Festival is back in Edinburgh’s Inverleith Park on Friday the 8th, Saturday the 9th and Sunday the 10th of August. It is the biggest celebration of food and drink in the UK and I can’t wait to go as one of their official bloggers (and write about it afterwards). Inverleith Park is half an hour walk from Waverley station or a short taxi journey if it rains.

 

I won’t be taking part in the chilli eating contest but I will check out the (mild section of the) chilli food market and you’ll find me boogie-ing it on down at the vintage tea tent dances. Then I definitely won’t miss the real ale & cider farm. The feasting tent and BBQ area will be where I spend most of my time, no surprise there. Finally, street food avenue with its foods from around the world sounds fantastic.

 

Running for its eighth year, chefs will include MasterChef the Professionals runners-up Adam Handling and Scott Davies, Great British Menu’s Jacqueline O’Donnell of The Sisters, Mark Greenaway of Bistro Moderne, TV Chef Tony Singh, The Pompadour by Galvin Head Chef Craig Sandle, Café St Honore’s Neil Forbes and Glasgow’s The Three Sisters bakers Gillan, Nichola and Linsey. Catch them all at the chefs theatre cooking up their favourite dishes.

 

Courtesy of those generous Foodie Festival folk, I am giving away 5 pairs of day tickets. All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is follow this blog by e-mail. You can do this at the right hand side of this page near the top. On a mobile device just scroll down the page and under categories it says ‘follow blog by e-mail’ and fill your e-mail in. Once you have done this, head over to your email inbox where there should be an email from WordPress waiting for you. Click on it to confirm you want blog emails. If you already follow my blog by e-mail then like this post on wordpress or comment on it to be in with a chance of winning.

 

I will announce the winner on Tuesday the 16th of July. Good luck!

If you don’t win then Foodies Festival are giving all of my readers 2 for 1 tickets if you quote FOODIES241 when you book.
I can’t wait to hear what you thought & tweet me (@girlaroundglasg) with any photos.

Guest Post: West End Festival Fun

I was in Corfu (BBQ’ing a baby pig no less) on the West End Festival Parade Day. As it is such a great event, and a huge part of Glasgow’s summer calendar, I did not want to miss out so I asked Nicola & Lindsay from Cakehounds to cover it for me. This is what they thought of this years event…

 

Glasgow’s West End Festival kicked off our unofficial start of summer with the its 19th annual Parade Day on Sunday 8th of June. Hoping for sunshine but preparing for all seasons, we packed our sunglasses and cagoules and headed off to join the fun.

We’ve been to the parade before, but this was our first in our new-found blogger capacity, so we were keen to explore and see as much of the action as we could – plus it gave us an excuse to try more of the food and drinks that were on offer. Thankfully we escaped the one huge downpour while we were en route, and the rest of the day was sunshine-filled, perfectly matching the atmosphere in the West End. Byres Road was buzzing, and filled with families, dogs, children and performers, and it seemed like the whole city had turned out to witness the parade.

After a quick drink in the Ubiquitous Chip, we made our way round Ashton Lane and up Byres Road, taking in the performers, musicians and street stalls that covered the roads. The smell of street food from the local cafes and restaurants was mouth-watering, and we knew we were going to have a tough decision later when it came to where to eat. We stopped to enjoy the table tennis at Hillhead Book Club and treated ourselves to a glass of bubbly from Booly Mardy’s pop up bar before finding a spot on Byres Road to watch the parade.

The 500-strong parade kicked off at 3pm, and it was a riot of colour and noise – we could barely take photos fast enough! Based on the theme of Identity this year, the community groups and organisations involved were dressed in everything from bellydancer costumes to rollerskates. Some of our highlights included Sambayabamba, the Glasgow Steampunk Society, cabaret dancers, aliens, giant Irn Bru cans and an amazing Chinese Dragon. The energy was fantastic and we were only sorry when it was over and continued on down Byres Road, followed by a huge crowd of spectators eager to join in.

We took the opportunity for some well-earned sustenance, and after a careful scout out of the surrounding food stalls, we decided upon Smoak in Ashton Lane. We both opted for the 12hr smoked pulled pork in a brioche bun with slaw, onion and gherkins. At £5, it was worth every single bite – we were glad we passed by the burger vans and waited for this! After that it was off to Butterfly and Pig West to end our day with a couple of cocktails – all that parade action was thirsty work, after all…

 

You can see Nicola & Lindsay’s tales on Cakehounds here. Recent posts include a visit to Three Sisters Bake (I really want to go), a Glasgow cocktail tour and a recipe for strawberry daiquiri cupcakes.

 

 

Burger Then Wine

I won a competition in March on Twitter and my prize was two tickets for a wine-tasting night with Pieter Rosenthal in Curlers Rest on Byres Road.

We wanted some fairly inexpensive scran beforehand so tried out TriBeCa for the first time as it is only five minutes walk away. I’ve heard lots about their pancakes and waffles but it was 5pm and they seem like brunch food so we had burgers. I won’t go into too much detail but the burgers were large, chips got the thumbs up, lots of accessories to choose from but the meat was fairly tasteless. I thought that I was getting a burger with cheese in the middle of the patty but the cheese was just in between two patties.
I’m coming back for their pancakes another day because I’m fairly confident that I’ll prefer TriBeCa as a brunch place.

 

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Anyway, back to wine night. Curlers had reserved most of upstairs for the tasting and had it arranged as three long bench style areas. We sat at the front because I can struggle to hear at these events. There were around 30 of us and we were given tasting note sheets to write notes if we wanted.

Pieter gave a brief outline as to what the night would entail & about new and old world wines. Old world wine producers include France, Italy & Germany among others and tend to use methods passed down from generation to generation. New world wine producers include New Zealand, South America, Australia and South Africa & use more up to date methods. I knew a bit about this already but I find the topic interesting so I’m happy to listen again and learn a few new snippets of knowledge.

 

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During the tasting we compared an old world wine with a new world wine for each section. After each comparison we voted on whether we preferred the old or new one. The old world wines won the battle! The general consensus was that many of the new world ones were better for session drinking but the old world ones were better for serious flavour and meals.

 

Some of the snacks they gave us were a bit random for a wine tasting!

Some of the snacks they gave us were a bit random for a wine tasting!

 

I had a great night at the tasting and found Pieter to be informative without boring me with too much detail. Tickets are only £6, which I think is a bargain for wine tasting. It would provide novices with a solid introduction to the world of wine.

I Did My Race & Then I Did Hamilton’s Race

Last month after running Race For Life we drove to Hamilton Racecourse for the Ginger Grouse Festival of Food & Drink Raceday. I was knackered but excited about the foodie stalls and trying the races for the first time. To be honest, the event would never have been on my radar but the lovely people there had sent me complimentary tickets. Usual price is £18/20 for adults. James Martin from Saturday kitchen was also going to be doing cookery demos and there was a champagne masterclass.

 

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My first impressions of Hamilton Park were positive – it was grander than I expected & in good repair. We spent the first fifteen minutes just wandering round the racing side and the stalls.

 

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We were starving and looking forward to a foodie lunch and picking up food to make dinner. The first stall that I saw was for Inverness fudge (go sneck!), then one selling chocolate fondue but the next one was Pimp My Burger. Not exactly what I was expecting at a food festival! Luckily the next thing I spotted was a whole pig for pulled pork rolls so my spirits were lifted.

 

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There was another burger stall from Overton Farm, another burger stall from somewhere else, Summer Harvest were there selling their rapeseed oil and there was some dark ale being sold. The rest of the stalls were pretty much bars so I had a refreshing beer.

 

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I can’t lie – I was looking for the cheese, meat, homemade pasta, fish and lunches with a bit more imagination. We bought some rapeseed oil but that was all so we had to nip to the shops to get dinner after we left. I expected it to be like a little version of Partick Farmers market or the European market at St Enoch. If they’d had even three more good stalls I would have been happy but with the quality of food festivals in the West of Scotland now I wanted more.

 

As luck would have it, a James Martin demo was starting soon so it was off to the Parade Ring Marquee. He was making lamb and fried fish – both dishes looked good but you did not get to taste them. James himself came across like a really nice guy and was able to explain exactly what he was up to in detail. I found it highly amusing when he was explaining where different cuts of meat come from using an audience member bent over!

 

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The lamb dish is something that I would make at home, I’ll be keeping an eye out in the butchers. James very kindly posed for photographs with anyone wanting one (yes, I was one of them).

 

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Now it was racing time. A lovely man at Betfred explained how it all worked and I placed my first horse-racing bet. I was confused about the programme because it contained races that weren’t being run there – I got excited because I thought Frankie Dettori was going. I don’t really want to highlight my blondness but it might help first-timers. After choosing our horses we went right to the front ready for the race. You don’t actually see the horses start except from on the screen and I couldn’t figure out where they were. The atmosphere was lively with lots of cheering and shouting.

 

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We never won but we were there for the food anyway. The event had also put activities on for children like a magician, putting green and bucking bronco as it was a family fun day. We don’t have children but I was tempted to go on them myself.

 

I’m so glad to have gone because it is always good to try new experiences but I’m just not sure it was quite for me.