Thursday, 17 October 2013

Tartan Army

There is no escaping the tartan trend this winter. I decided to fully embrace the pattern of the season and went all out with a pair of tartan trousers! No subtle scarf for me. As a Scot it could be a bit awkward... Donald fars yer troosers, anyone?

 H&M trousers // New Look cami & bag // Primark blazer, necklace & earrings // Zara shoes

When I tried this pair on in H&M I half expected to hate them, but I actually fell in love! I knew straight away that I'd wear them with a cami and blazer for a smart casual look. That's the best thing about these trousers, they're so easy to dress up or down. I think the gold zip at the waist is a slightly more luxe detail, you'd never guess they were only £14.99. A similar pair in Zara will cost you £40!

My only problem with these is shoes. I find the cut more flattering with a heel but I'm not one of those superwomen that can run around in 6 inchers 24 hours a day. Pumps made my feet look like boats, boots made my legs look stumpy and it's hardly sandal weather now. For a night out I'd pop on a pair of dressy stilettos but for day time/dinner I ended up going for wedges; all the elongating benefits of a heel without the pain!

I wore this outfit to meet the NEBE girls for dinner and a catch up. We ended up at Handmade Burger Co in Union Square. I'd never been before but chose a mexican burger and peanut butter shake which was actually pretty good, and it's always nice to see the girls!

How are you wearing your tartan this winter?

Christy xx

Monday, 14 October 2013

BANK Fashion; Quilted Structured Dress

When I arrived home to a little Bank Fashion parcel last week I was pretty chuffed! To be honest I always thought Bank was just an online fashion boutique, until I stumbled across the actual store in Glasgow's Buchanan Galleries. They stock loads of well known brands like AX Paris, Superdry, Red or Dead, Ribbon, Blonde & Blonde, Lipsy... I could go on forever. I had already been told this Ribbon dress had been dispatched so when I saw it in the flesh at the shop I was even more excited for the delivery.

Ribbon dress c/o BANK Fashion* // Zara shoes & necklace // H&M sunglasses // Lulu Guinness clutch

The quilted fabric and structured shape of the dress caught my eye straight away when I was browsing online. Anything quilted makes me think of Chanel. Obviously I'll never afford any quilted goodies from Coco herself so this is the next best thing! It's exclusive to Bank and is the perfect statement piece alone with it's lampshade shaped skirt (a la early Mary Katrantzou), pockets and exposed gold zip at the back, ideal for a birthday dinner or a night out with the girls. I decided to make even more of a statement and wear it with some of my most stand-out accessories. I've been wearing the Zara necklace with everything since I bought it and I love using my Lulu Guinness clutch to add a pop of colour to a monochrome outfit.

Have you ever bought anything from BANK Fashion? You can get 20% off coats and jackets at the moment and I've got my eye on this Blonde & Blonde one!

Christy xx

* Massive thanks to Jade for giving me this opportunity :)

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Cocktail & Burger

Glasgow seems to be going through a burger phase at the moment. Everyone was raving about The Meat Bar, Burger Meats Bun, Meathammer Ltd (at Nice N Sleazy) or Cocktail & Burger. Anyone that knows me, or this blog, will know that I'm a big fan of cocktails. And burgers. So, eh surprise, surprise... we went to Cocktail & Burger!

It's exactly what it says on the tin. Choose your cocktail, choose your burger, et voila. I chose the C&B Martini which is made with gin, cointreau, elderflower, passionfruit and egg white and looks like it was designed for Hallowe'en! It was thick and fruity and went down a treat. Poor Gordon was driving the 3 hours back home after lunch so he had a coke. Shame. But it was only £1 including free refills!

They had on a lunch time special when we visited; any burger with fries for a fiver! I'm quite glad as I don't think the quality of the food is really worth the standard price but for £5 we couldn't complain. Gordon went for the C&B Burger - a big, juicy 6oz Aberdeen Angus beef burger with cheese and bacon - perfect hangover cure! I'm pretty sure they have the same platey bowl things that Porky's in London had and I might of got a little bit over excited about this massively uninteresting fact!

I'd had sliders the night before so I fancied something different. They only gave us the lunch menu but they were happy to serve from the main menu when I asked. I ended up with a "Big Pole"...

A paprika and black pepper flavoured hot dog, with chilli, manchego cheese and mustard. It was pretty spicy and the sausage itself was quite greasy. Hotdogs are made from the cheapest, most disgusting "cuts" of meat anyway so I suppose I shouldn't really have expected anything else. It tasted okay but the crappy meat put me off so I'd stick with burgers next time. That's probably why they're not called "Cocktail & Hot Dog"!

We washed it all down with big glasses of water before heading up the road. Our bill came to less than £20 in total! It wasn't the best meal I've ever had but then for £20 it was never going to be! Nothing spectacular but I would go back, especially at that price.

Have you tried any of Glasgow's burger joints?

Christy xx

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Fleetwood Mac ❤

Last week I was lucky enough to go and see one of my favourite bands, of all time, ever, live at the new Hydro venue in Glasgow. I've loved Fleetwood Mac for as long as I can remember. I have memories of my Mum & Dad playing them on long car journeys and that's a tradition I've kept up. Whenever Gordon and I go away for the weekend "Rumours" is the soundtrack to our road trip. There's not really much I can say about it, other than it was the best night of my life! We were about 12 rows from the front (to the side) and I even got to go right to the front of the stage and snap some photos. Stevie Nicks is an actual goddess. I've uploaded some clips to my youtube channel so have a listen :)

Seriously unflattering photo but who cares?

Stevie Nicks & Lindsey Buckingham singing "Landslide" - one of my favourite songs, that always makes me cry for no reason! Totally overwhelming hearing it live.

Close up! Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham & John McVie. The chemistry on stage between the band members is unreal. They yapped through it a lot and told stories about old songs and how they came about. They even sang some of their new material which was different but good to hear! I've basically decided I'll never need to go to another gig in my life because nothing will ever match up to the Mac.

Have you ever seen your favourite bands play live? What's the best gig you've been to?

Christy xx

Sunday, 6 October 2013

The Meat Bar

To say this last week has been interesting would be an understatement. I've had some amazing highs and some very low lows. We lost our 14 year old golden retriever Brodie last Saturday to a heart attack. Devastated is not the word. It's probably a good thing that we had plans for the week; our wee roadtrip to Glasgow was a very welcome distraction. We headed down on Thursday to see Fleetwood Mac at the Hydro, and naturally we needed something to eat before the gig... 

I heard about the Meat Bar on "Great Little Place in Glasgow" Facebook page when it opened a few months ago and knew straight away that we had to go! Gordon is a massive meat lover and I do like my fair share of burgers so, with a name like "The Meat Bar", it was a pretty obvious choice. I booked online on the day and we arrived at the restaurant to a welcoming reception. 

The basement bar is smaller than I'd expected, but in a cosy way. It's smart but relaxed at the same time, all stone walls, chunky wood and brown leather booths; giving it a real masculine smokehouse feel. The choice of music added to the atmosphere and made me feel right at home - old school Kings of Leon, Bob Dylan etc. I always judge a restaurant/bar on it's music. It's a pretty quick way to figure out if it's your kind of place and the Meat Bar was right up my street.

We dived right in to the menu with House Corn Chowder and Crispy Beef Brisket for starters. I'd never had brisket before and didn't really know what to expect but it was really good! It kind of reminded me of pulled pork (but beef obviously) in batter, or a bit like shredded beef you'd get from the Chinese but much better quality! The mustard dressing went perfectly with the flavours. I didn't get a picture of the chowder as it was actually our friends order, but I did have a taste and enjoyed that too. 

Despite being open for less than 6 months, the Meat Bar have already made a name for themselves with their infamous carnivorous cocktails. A friend recommended the meatojito but I wasn't quite brave enough and opted for the very safe "vanilla and peach bellini" instead. An excellent choice if I say so myself! The vanilla just added a little something different to a classic cocktail. Don't be afraid to ask for something that isn't on the menu. They had no problems whipping up a couple of (meat free) cosmopolitans for us as well.

The menu is divided into sections; sliders, smoker, smokehouse sandwiches, steaks, grinder burgers and sides. Makes it pretty easy if you know what you fancy. The mains are mostly inexpensive and portions aren't too big so it's the perfect menu for sharing. The four of us ordered a main each and pretty much every side available.

The boys both picked the sirloin steak from the butcher's board. They are cooked to your preference and served with tomato, mushroom and salad. I didn't taste it but it got a thumbs up from Gordon!

Our friends shared their steak and split a rack of Kansas style pork ribs as well. Again, I didn't taste these, but the verdict was good. They looked pretty amazing. For sides they chose the mac and cheese, and the mash with marrow gravy. Both tasted great - I ended up eating most of the mac and cheese! It was covered in Parmesan and I couldn't resist. We also shared 2 portions of triple-cooked fries with cheese and the house crunchy slaw. I can't think of a word to desrcribe the slaw. It had a bite to it and was kind of... fresh? That doesn't really make sense, you'll have to try it to see what I mean! I wasn't in love with it, but it wasn't bad.

From the moment we left for Glasgow I had burgers on the brain so my order was obvious. The grinder burgers didn't appeal to me, so I ordered 3 different sliders (mini burgers) instead; the classic, the blue cheese and the pulled pork. Starting at £3, these are a perfect choice for any indecisive burger fan like me. With all the sides on the go as well, my eyes were bigger than my belly and I only managed to eat the pulled pork and blue cheese. They're served in dinky little toasted brioche buns and each one comes with lettuce, tomato and onion.

The pulled pork is rubbed with ginger and comes with chipotle, mustard and apple slaw. It had a bit of a kick and I'd definitely have it again. The blue cheese was my favourite though with it's mustard mayo and caramelized onions. Next time I think I'll try the pulled duck leg! I'd also ordered the triple-cooked fries with truffle and parsley. They're good chunky, home style chips but I didn't think the flavours of the truffle and parsley really came through. Stick to the cheese fries guys!

Even after the meat mountain and carb overload, we had room for "sweet things". It's a small dessert menu offering a New York baked cheesecake (flavours change daily), Affogato caramel with smoked toasted almonds or hot peanut butter shortbread. Luckily Gordon chose the butterscotch cheesecake, which saved me the trouble of choosing between my 2 favourite things; cheesecake and peanut butter! The butterscotch flavour was far too sickly for me anyway so it's a good job I got the peanut butter shortbread.

It was pretty basic - salted caramel ice cream sandwiched between 2 shortbread rounds with a sweet peanut butter sauce. The shortbread was kind of hard to break with my spoon but other than that it was epic! They could only make it better by combining it with the cheesecake. Oh my god. Imagine peanut butter cheesecake! Is that already a thing?

The 4 of us really enjoyed our meal here and I'd recommend it to any meat lover! Vegetarians are catered for but there isn't much choice; you can have the chowder or the shroom burger. I guess most herbivores aren't going to bother with any restaurant named after the one thing they don't eat anyway! They offer their sides as bar snacks so you could always just pop in for a quick bite and a bacon cocktail! ;)

The Meat Bar is at 142 West Regent Street (just off Buchanan St) and you can book online or call 0141 204 3605.

Have you ever tried meat infused cocktails?

Christy xx

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