Products

Carnivore Club Champions Scottish Charcuterie 


If you’ve been reading for a while then you’ll know that I love meat, I love local and I love trying new things. So when I was emailed by a company that send you boxes of Artisan British charcuterie it immediately piqued my interest. Each month uses a different charcuterie company and this months box contained meat from a Highland business called Great Glen Charcuterie. 



Great Glen Charcuterie are based in Roybridge, which is down Spean Bridge/ Fortwilliam way. I’d heard of them and been wanting to try their meat so this was a great taster box. They specialise in charcuterie using wild Scottish venison that they make by hand and air dry. 


The Carnivore Club is essentially an online company that send you meat. They use different British charcuterie companies every month so that you can try meat from smaller companies that you might not have heard of. Good for small businesses to get the word out. You can order a box as a one-off for a gift or start a monthly/bi-monthly/quarterly subscription. 
Perfect timing as it’s much easier for us to have a nice dinner in than out right now with a little baby. 

It arrived by courier and the meat was encased in a sturdy gift box. Inside there was a leaflet with information about the box and serving suggestions and five different products to try: two salamis, two chorizos and a venison bresaola. The aforementioned were venison pork salami, green peppercorn salami, chili venison chorizo & venison and pork chorizo. 

The first meat that we tried was the pork & venison chorizo. We used it in place of bacon on treat night in a creamy seafood pasta… delicious! We then used the venison and pork chorizo in place of our regular chorizo in our affectionately named ‘sexy pasta’ that uses roasted Mediterranean veg and herbs. Again, it was lovely. We liked both of the products and the only thing we found was that the chorizos weren’t as oily or paprika-y as normal chorizo so adjust recipes accordingly. 

The salamis are rich and tasty, a fantastic addition to an antipasti board alongside cheese, olives and proscuitto. 
The bresaola is being kept until date night because it is the one we are looking forward to the most. I’ll be doing it the traditional way with rocket and shaved Parmesan on top of the slices then drizzle some extra virgin olive oil over it. 

I thought that the box was good value. It’s £29 if you subscribe and £32 for a one-off and if my maths were right the box had £27.41 worth of products (not to mention the nice gift box) plus Great Glen charge £4.95 delivery so you’re making a saving. Since getting the box I’ve spotted Great Glen charcuterie at The Storehouse & Corner on the Square and they are (obviously) a little more expensive than buying direct so The Carnivore Club are competitive price wise. 

To get it every month you’d have to be a true carnivore, I would say that I am more on the bi-monthly part of the scale. The boxes are compiled using British companies & I hope to see and try more Scottish charcuterie in the future as I like to support local. 
We have friends scattered all over the UK and I’m constantly wracking my brain over what to buy them as gifts that are easy to send but still special so this will really help me out. It’s also a nice idea for new parents who might not go out for a while so that they can treat themselves at home.
I can be somewhat sceptical about these subscription services that send you things because I don’t always feel that they are good value for money but I can honestly say that the box I was sent by the Carnivore Club felt like it was. I’ve seen photos online of another box and it also looked like you got your money’s worth. A nice way to spend some disposable income on or to gift someone. Just not to a vegetarian! 

 

N.B The Carnivore Club kindly sent me a box to try. There was no pressure to be nice about it so I just gave my honest opinion. Im very selective about what I write about so research anyone who contacts me first. I’m actually about to order another box! 
This content has also been posted on my sister blog Highland Foodie 

Tantrum Doughnuts Made My Day

 


I would class myself as a doughnut lover. When I was pregnant my sister, niece & I drove a five hour round trip to satisfy my pregnancy cravings of doughnuts and peri-peri chicken so I’m pretty sure that I qualify. 

Without sounding too like Nigella, there’s something about a warm filled doughnut that can’t be beaten – it’s so naughty and indulgent. 




The newest doughnut shop to hit my radar is in on of my favourite spots in the city, the hip without being polished Finnieston. So many foodie places have opened in the area in recent years that you don’t want to miss it. Tantrum Doughnuts is set a couple of minutes walk away from Kelvingrove Art Gallery where Cushion & Cake used to be. They appear to be primarily a takeaway but have some seats inside if you can’t wait until you get home to eat. Coffee, milkshakes and handmade doughnuts are the menu entirety and I was sure they’d do it well. 
Their Facebook page had been teasing me for weeks so I was determined to try them out. They make their own marshmallow for goodness sakes! 
 

some of their facebook photos that had been enticing me in

 

We were going to a friends house so we bought a selection of creme brulee, peanut butter & jelly and jam filled. In retrospect I should have bought a sneaky chocolate number for the next day. 
  

The doughnuts were divine! The creme brulee even cracked as you bit into it and the dough was light enough and tasty. 
  

I love their slightly unusual flavours and hope that they continue to rotate them to show their skills. The owners have a history cooking in top restaurants and it’s evident when you go in. Even the denim dresses worn by the staff go with the feel of the place, the attention to detail is incredible. 

Keep up the good work Tantrum, maybe one day in the future I’ll be back with more pregnancy cravings. 

Make Up The Glasgow Way

I don’t do product reviews on here very often because it is not on brief of why I started Girl Around Glasgow – to share all the little restaurants & places in the city that deserve a mention, to keep them alive. I break my rule occasionally for something really special and this is one of those times. A Glaswegian make-up artist got in touch recently as she has just launched her first make-up line. So instead of helping the local restaurants & bars, today is about supporting local brands – c’mon Glasgow! I decided that I’d try a couple of products and only write about it if they were good enough so I’ve spent the last month with Sara Hill blusher on, red lips when appropriate and testing longevity of statement eyeshadow. 

First of all, a little background would be appropriate. Her website describes

‘Make-up artist/Art Director turned Magazine Editor Sara Hill is a free thinking creative, born in Scotland. With over 17 years’ in the industry, Sara had worked internationally on many fashion & advertising campaigns. Represented by London agency S: Management. Sara has worked with Kanye West, Marina and the diamonds Rae Morris, Indiana, Melanie C, Emile Sande, Jack O’Connell, Grace Jones, Rosie Huntington-Whitley and is the editor of Hope St mag’.

It all sounds rather impressive, but doesn’t necessarily mean that she can make-up (da-dum) a good product.

First of all, I really liked the packaging. It is sleek and classy, and felt like an expensive product. This matched their target market, with their pricing ranging from £17 a lipstick, £16 an eyeshadow and £19 a blush. In terms of pricing, it is in line with brands such as Mac and Benefit so I was expecting big things.

I started with the lipstick because us Scots ladies love a good lippy. I’d been sent a vibrant orange-red called Sadie Doll so I kept its first appearance for a night out at North Hop. It’s preservative free and contains ingredients such as Shea Butter, Jojoba, avocado and vitamins A, C & E to condition and moisturise the lips. But it also claimed to be long-lasting and high impact – things I don’t generally find in a moisturising lipstick. I know that some won’t approve but I never use lip brushes, too much faff, so I applied this straight from the stick then blotted and reapplied. Wearing it to an event that I was going to be drinking at all night was really putting it to the test but it held up well. The colour was vibrant as promised and it was still on at the end of the night with a few top ups during the night to help. It was certainly an encouraging start and I was more than happy with its performance.

The colour of the lipstick was very in your face so not one that I’d choose for every day use but they do have more neutral shades, such as Carmen & I-AM. I’d love to see more neutrals in the range to increase time when I would wear the shades. Orchid’s purpley hues also look like a great party lip colour if you aren’t a red lip fan.

The second product that I have been trying is the baked mineral blush that claims to be instant radiance for your cheeks in shade Honey bell. This was my favourite product out of the three. It is neutral enough for everyday use, I like the clean packaging and it gave me a healthy glow when my skin wasn’t playing ball. I usually use Chanel blush and nothing else so it had quite a challenge but I was impressed with the results. When put to the test, it stays on even on 14 hour shifts, very impressive.

The last product that I tried was an eyeshadow in pure sable- a rich brown. I admit that this is the one that has been given the least testing because it’s quite a dark shade for my complexion and I haven’t been brave enough to wear it much. I have never found a powder eyeshadow to match up to a long shift and I especially wasn’t trying it with my body temperature higher than normal courtesy of the current hot water bottle living in my tummy. So I have worn it on non-work days instead. I prefer to use a light layer, sometimes mixed with a gold shade but next time I think I will try deep plum or French grey for all round usage.

This photo was taken after a couple of layers on the hand just to illustrate the colour with its irredescent shimmer. Gorgeous rich shade but just not for my complexion. 

The make-up that I tried was impressive – Sara’s background has served her well when making the products. I’ve also spotted glitter pots on her Twitter feed that look perfect for big festive nights out that have made it straight on my want list. 
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You can find the range at http://sarahill.com/
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Disclaimer: I was sent Sara Hill products but was upfront about my policy of honest reviewing. If I had not have liked them then I would have written as such or they would not have made it on to the blog. 

I have continued to use the products because I actually like them & will be buying more of this brand. 

  

Laboratorio Espresso- You Know, Just Off Buchanan Street

Having a name like Laboratorio Espresso makes you sound like you know what you’re doing, but it is also one of those names that doesn’t just roll off the tongue so I generally forget what they’re called. At the beginning it was ‘that coffee shop just off Buchanan Street, on West Nile Street’ and now I generally just go with ‘lab’ for a less complicated life. 

  

The fancy name goes with the suave building in which it is housed. 1 West Regent Street is a ten storey sleek black number that was built in 2013 & 2014, and right on the edge of the West Nile side is Laboratorio Espresso. The coffee house is teeny tiny with only ten seats inside but they have four tables outside to increase seating. On the pathway from the train and tube station to the commercial district, I imagine that much of their business comes from takeaway pre-work power coffees. 

This independent cafes salvaged look outside tables hint at what to expect inside- but once you get in it is better than expected. Look up high at weathered wood planks reclaimed from the Glasgow School Of Art’s restoration project and see how they soften the concrete lower level. The interior has simple touches but they are few and far between to avoid cluttering the space. The style of the wooden chairs remind me of going into primary school but there is nothing elementary about this place. 
  

They know about their coffee. From the shiny La Marzocco machine that sits on the counter to the HasBean beans that are being used, a quiet air of seriousness surrounds the coffee in here. Lab Espresso is the kind of place that I can order a flat white in the comfort that it will come how it should – creamy but strong. You’ll never have to moan about a cappuccino because it has a mere centimetre of foam and worry if the coffee will be bitter due to overzealous overgrinders that morning. 

I had a long day ahead of me so a flat white was needed to blow my socks off and a cannoli was, well, not needed. But definitely being purchased.   
  

The cakes are only small so I had two – a chocolate cannoli and a mini pistachio croissant. The croissant had enough of the sweet, nutty icing in each mouthful without losing its flaky, buttery nature. Then the cannoli…oh the cannoli with its rich chocolate centre and crunchy exterior. I want one now.
  

As you can probably tell by now, I’m pretty taken by Lab Espresso. Passion is contagious and I’ve caught their bug.

Argento

I may not be a beauty blogger, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not passionate about all things girly. Those savvy folk from Argento jewellers sent me a Valentine’s surprise box and I definitely got all girly opening it!

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Argento’s roots go back to Belfast in 1997, when Pete Boyle decided to create a welcoming, casual jewellers. Now he tends to focus on quality fashion jewellery and is best known for taking Pandora to the UK. I used to shop at Argento in Glasgow’s West End but I have also been to the Belfast store. Inverness has a Pandora shop in the Eastgate Centre or I can buy other jewellery online – or make an excuse for a Glasgow trip!

The August Woods trio flower pendant necklace that they sent me retails for £25. A bit more bling than my usual style, I think this would be suited to wearing with a plain top or dress to show it off.

IMG_0094 (How it looks on the website)

Since I was on the website, I started browsing and found a gorgeous August Wood dress bib necklace that would look great for cocktails with the girls.

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I also like the chunky style to this ring…

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They sent me a selfie stick to celebrate that they are giving away selfie sticks on orders over £50 whilst stocks last – I’m a novice so excuse the photography.
Argento have offered to give my readers 20% off their next order* – handy if you are buying a Valentine’s gift this year. Just enter LOVE20 in the promo bit at the checkout.

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Along with my Argento goodies, I was sent some Vita Liberata self tan mousse in medium shade. It was excellent to get self tan that didn’t leave me smelling like biscuits and the mitt made it easy to apply. I found that it went on quite light in colour but you can layer it up for a darker result, although this could work out an expensive option. It is organic and definitely a luxury item with it retailing around £20 but it claims to last 2-3 weeks. I’ll update the post when I get to that stage. It would suit people with lighter skin and you don’t need to moisturise before putting it on.

Remember to enter LOVE20 at the online checkout* if you’re buying anything from Argento to get your discount.

*not valid on Pandora or Nomination

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

Guest Posts: Glasgow Artists

Today we have a guest post on the blog, written by Magda Bennett from Crush Digital. She got in touch after reading the blog as she deals with local artists and designers. As you will all know, I love shopping local so I’m excited to share the piece with you.

 

 

Glasgow has been known as a creative and cultural city for many years, with lots of musicians, actors and artists hailing from the city. Today, Glasgow is home to many talented designers who take inspiration from the city and the surrounding Scottish landscape; here are a few of the best Glasgow designers to look out for.

 

Jill Kirkham Textiles

 

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Specialising in bespoke screenprinted textiles for the home, Jill Kirkham’s designs are inspired by the iconic buildings, landmarks and natural environments which represent Glasgow’s industrial heritage. The prints include iconic urban and industrial symbols like the Anniesland Gasworks, the Caledonian Railway Bridge and the Gallowgate Twins tower block. The fabrics Jill Kirkham uses to create her cushions, lampshades and other designs also reflect Glasgow’s heritage; she uses functional materials with an industrial aesthetic like cotton drill, canvas and linen.

 

Gillian Kyle

 

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Gillian Kyle is a Glasgow native who, after graduating from Glasgow School of Art, took her passion for illustration and print and turned it into a business. Gillian Kyle has quickly become one of Scotland’s most popular young designers, and has gone from screenprinting on her kitchen table to selling her designs worldwide. Inspired by Scottish humour, eccentricities of national pride and popular culture, Gillian’s quirky illustrations are instantly recognisable. As well as her iconic Tunnock’s Teacakes and Caramel Wafer range, Gillian Kyle also creates mugs, tea towels, aprons, tote bags and more which celebrate Scottish childhood nostalgia and famous Scots like Charles Rennie Macintosh.

 

Nikky d’Aguilar

 

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Based just outside Glasgow at Bardowie Loch, Nikky d’Aguilar’s designs are heavily influenced by the beauty of nature in the wild garden which surrounds Nikky’s studio. Her designs are created on canvas using oil paints and brushes to create vivid colours and striking designs; these are then printed on to a range of tote bags, makeup bags, scarves and even iPad covers. The gorgeous floral prints capture the vibrancy of the Scottish landscape after a summer rain shower.

 

Katherine Agnew

 

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Glasgow jewellery designer Katherine Agnew often takes inspiration for her designs from the varied landscape of the Scottish Highlands. She gives her jewellery a modern twist with geometric shapes, 3D structures and a mixture of precious metals and gemstones. Katherine Agnew’s designs are based on the repetition of intricate patterns found in the natural environment; her Clover range takes the recognisable shape of this well-known plant and modernises it to create striking pieces of jewellery.

 

Amy McGregor

 

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All of Amy McGregor’s designs are screenprinted by hand in her studio in Bridge of Weir to create bespoke printed homeware and fashion accessories. Amy has a passion for creating unique textiles and her work focuses on distinctive textures and contemporary geometric and floral designs. With everything from prints to cushions and scarves to tote bags, Amy McGregor’s products are all handmade in Glasgow using the best quality materials sourced from throughout the UK.

 

Innovivid Art House

 

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Originally from Canada, Innovivid Art House’s founder Kimmy is a “Scotland-loving-Glasgow-living” freelance graphic designer. Her love of Scotland and digital design has come together in Innovivid’s range of bright pop art style prints. The fun prints which feature everyday objects and Scottish icons with a new twist – like neon Highland cows, stags, thistles or red squirrels! – are perfect for brightening up any home. Innovivid Art House also offer personalised prints so you can have your own photos turned into pop art prints.

 

Who are your favourite Glasgow designers?

 

Laura: My personal favourites are the stag print from Innovivid and Gillian Kyle’s ‘big fish’ range. Happy shopping!

Ale Glorious Ale

I have previously mentioned my newfound love of beer and ale that opens up a whole new world for me. Instead of ‘where serves a good gin’ I’m finding myself thinking ‘where has a good selection of beer that I’ll like’. I admit that I’m still getting used to it and, at the moment, I prefer my lager tops to curb any bitterness. I do like a pale ale and I’ve been trying out a few.

Then I was sent a box of Isle Of Skye Brewing Co ales to try and I felt a post coming on.

 

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The brewery is relatively young and originated from a chat in the pub in 1992 regarding the lack of good beer in Skye. Everyone knows that all the best ideas come from a pub session! It was the first time that I’d tried their beer so I wanted to save it for a night with my more knowledgeable dad.

The brewery has recently rebranded all of their products so there have been a few changes – Red Cuillin’s name change to Red Skye being the main one. I found the new bold labelling to be a good thing – at least I’ll never open the wrong one and will easily pick it out in a shop.

 

Skye Gold (the yellow one) was my first pick because pale ale is one of my favourite things right now. This one is made with the addition of porridge oats and, whilst I couldn’t really taste oats, I could smell them and there was a definite twist to it. It was refreshing and a good new addition to my IPA style collection.

 

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L to R: Skye Red, Skye Gold and Skye Black

 

Skye Red is the Isle Of Skye Brewing Co’s baby as it was the first beer they brewed back in 1995. This is the one that used to be called Red Cuillin and is award winning. I thought that it was lighter in flavour than a lot of red beers that I’ve tasted and my dad agreed. It still had a nice fruityness to it with a slight bitter aftertaste. We thought it could be a perfect session ale for someone who likes red ale due to the lightness.

 

We left Skye Black to last so that it did not cloud our tastebuds for the others. It smells malty and slightly smoky and I was unsure about whether it would be too dark for me. It was too dark for my taste but my dad enjoyed it more. We agreed that it was not as bitter as some dark ales due to the addition of honey but it still had smoky tones to be in-keeping with a darker, stronger tasting ale.

 

It has inspired me to do a Scottish beers post so no doubt my instagram will be full of beer related photos over the next few months. My dads favourite was the Skye Red and I liked the Skye Gold so I’ll be looking out for it on tap in Glasgow now. The ideal situation would be to take another trip to Skye and drink it practically from the source – whilst eating some fresh fish after a walk on the coral beach but this will do for now. After a gander on their website I have seen that they also sell Skye Blaven, which is a stronger brew than the others. That’s part of my fathers day present sorted…thanks Skye Brewing.

 

Eat Local, Drink Local!

 

I want to extend my thanks to Ewan MacGill at Wire, along with all at Skye Brewing Co for sending me beer and alerting me of its presence.

I’m In A Book, Mum!

This week saw the launch of a new Cookery book called The Foodies Guide To Glasgow & The West. The book is the result of heaps of hard work by Fraser Wilson, a fellow blogger, putting the whole thing together. It is a collection of recipes submitted by Glasgow’s restaurateurs, chefs and bloggers.

 

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Recipes from some of my personal favourite, and Glasgow’s top, restaurants are included. Places like Guys, The Gannet, Rogano & La Parmigiana make the Glasgow culinary scene what it is & now I can take a hint of it to my kitchen.

 

Le Chardon D'or

Le Chardon D’or

 

Fraser has also added reviews throughout the book and there are pages focusing on how to get the best out of your local produce, such as the Butchershop’s steak guide. For the real foodies among us, some of Glasgow’s chefs leave a foreword on their recipe page.

 

The Gannet's Peter McKenna & Ivan Stein

The Gannet’s Peter McKenna & Ivan Stein

 

And of course there’s a blogger section that features my pork recipe that Mr S & I love so much. Pork is massively underrated & marred by ‘porky’ tasting supermarket meat from the 80’s. Now you can get some fantastic tasting meat – give pork a second chance!

 

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For each copy of the book sold a 50p donation goes to Mary’s Meals, a charity that sets up school feeding projects for those who can’t afford to feed themselves. The charity helps children in poverty all around the world get an education – something badly needed for the 57 million children around the world not in school.

 

The book is priced at £9 and can be bought from Amazon (here) and will soon be available from other local retailers.