Blondes have more fun!

I love planning. I love organising my diary, I like to know exactly what’s happening and where I’m going when. If I say “see you later” I’ve probably already got a good idea in my head of when that’s likely to be. So this past weekend was one I had been looking forward to for weeks, marked in the diary, the whole Saturday and Sunday blocked out, with absolutely no chance of anything getting in my way. The catch up with my fellow blondes, my journo girls, had arrived.

Location this time around was Glasgow, so two of us set off from Edinburgh to join the 3rd amiga. A minor exploding tyre incident on the M8 west involving two policemen and new 4 car tyres delayed our arrival somewhat, but once we got there we set about doing what we’ve always done when we are together – chatting, eating and drinking!

Our hostess with the mostess had the kettle on and we found these little treats in our room! I was already keen to come back!


Having lived in Glasgow’s West End for four years, I am no stranger to the awesome menagerie of foodie options the city has to offer, but on this visit time I ended up trying out not one, but two new restaurants. After welcome cups of tea, we turned to some fizz and nibbles and got ready to head out.

journo fizz

I love this idea of using cute china tea cups as dishes for nibbles.

Nibbles in teacups

For dinner we headed to the new Ox and Finch in Finnieston, at the west end of Argyle Street. When I lived in Glasgow a few years ago, this part of town was had started to get going, and The Crabshakk was the first of the new up-and-coming restaurants that I can remember to take up residence in this surprising part of town. Now Finnieston is FULL of great places to eat and drink.

Ox and Finch interior

Ox and Finch interior 2

The Ox and Finch describes itself as relaxed contemporary dinning, and the menu doesn’t distinguish between starter and mains. It is a smorgasbord of sharing plates, and for three foodies like us, this style of dining is perfect. We order a bottle of wine and start to rank the menu from must -have-my-mouth-is-watering dishes to if-we-have-room close seconds.


On ordering we are told that the dishes simply arrive when they are ready, unless we specify otherwise. We kick off with some light and crispy fried squid – a freebie due to a mistake in the kitchen, not a mistake that bothered us!

Fried squid

From then the dishes arrived at a steady pace. The beetroot cured gravadlax had us all in awe of the fun, bright colour, and for an extra £3 came with a shot of cucumber vodka. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it! It was really refreshing and more like a cucumber juice than a shot of vodka. The tomato and mozzarella salad was light and creamy, so for a cheese that doesn’t often taste of much, they had done well.

Beetroot cured salmon 1

Salmon close up

Cucumber vodka

Tomato and moz salad

From the seafood selection we chose the scallops which were big and juicy and came on a bed of cauliflower purée. They went very nicely with the side of asparagus with a poached egg and pancetta – this dish hit the spot with us all.


Asparagus poached egg and pancetta

The star of the evening was the hanger steak. It was perfectly cooked, still really pink, and just melted in your mouth. On top were the yummiest, thinnest, lightest onion rings I’ve seen in ages. So delicious.

Hanger steak

The lamb meatballs were ok, but we all agreed nothing to write home about.

Lamb meatballs

And we just couldn’t resist getting some creamy dauphinoise potatoes…


dishes on table

Room for desert? Probably not, but after a little break we decided to share the dark chocolate cremeux, which came with popcorn (nice gimmick) peanuts and banana ice-cream. I could have done with the chocolate tasting a little darker and stronger, but the banana ice cream was great. By this point we had spent so long grazing our way through the menu the sun had set and so the light is not very good in the pudding picture!


Coffees followed and we moved on to a tapas bar called Rioja for another drink. Some more nattering and and after having put the world to rights and we were finally ready to call it a night. All of the above, a bottle of sauvignon blanc and two coffees came to £27 per person. We all agreed this was a really reasonable price for a yummy evening of eating.

On to our next foodie adventure – Sunday brunch at The Central Market in the Merchant City. We walked in and I knew this place was for me – Veuve Clicquot bottles lined the bar and an Oyster bar sat in the middle. Girls, you can just leave me here…

The Central Market

The Central Market 2

An afternoon at the shops beckoned, so we needed to fuel up! French toast and bacon with maple syrup featured, as did scrambled eggs and bacon on toast. A side of chips and a pain au chocolate between us all was probably a step to far, but we did have a lot of shops to get round.

French toast and maple syrup

Scrambled eggs and bacon

Pain au chocolat


After a good few hours of retail therapy, our chatter had not yet run out but unfortunately the weekend had, and it was time to say goodbye. Great girlfriends are the ones you can just pick up with where you left off after months of not being together, and I’m so lucky to have found that in my journo girls.

All that’s left now is to get another date in the diary, and er, maybe go for a run once the food coma has passed!

The Wee Lochan

This past weekend I returned to my old stomping ground – the West End of Glasgow. After four years of living, eating and drinking in Edinburgh, I have learned not to pine for my old city the way I used to. When I first moved to Edinburgh I was one of those annoying people who would constantly compare the two cities, and my catch phrase  soon became “If we were in Glasgow we could go to [insert favourite restaurant/bar/shop]”.

Anyway, this past weekend I WAS in Glasgow so we went to the Wee Lochan. Previously named An Lochan, the little family run bistro is hidden away in Broomhill, just a 30-35 minute walk from Byers Road, or in our case, a 15 minute walk from my Gran’s house in Jorhanhill. The west end of Glasgow is spoilt for choice when it comes to great restaurants, and I think the Wee Lochan sits a cut above the rest.

The menu sets the tone for the place perfectly. Before you even get to food, each menu has a different “wee story” written inside. Each one tells a funny anecdote about the owners day-to-day life and running of the restaurant – a really nice distraction from an delicious looking menu.

Wee stories from the Wee Lochan
Wee stories from the Wee Lochan
Treacle cured smoked salmon with a deep fried oyster
Treacle cured smoked salmon with a deep fried oyster

For starters I chose treacle cured smoked salmon with deep-fried oysters and a mustard and dill sauce. The deep-fried oyster drew me, and I wasn’t disappointed. The treacle wasn’t too strong, just a touch of sweetness which tasted great with the salty oyster.

For my main choice I chose honey roasted duck, dauphinoise potatoes, carrot fondant and a sultana jus. The dauphinoise were not too creamy and had lots a garlic. The duck was cooked to perfection and tasted great with the sultanas, which did the same job as a plum sauce. I wouldn’t have missed the carrot fondant, but that’s only because I’m not a HUGE carrot fan, never have been, and there is no reasonable explanation for that.

Honey roasted duck
Honey roasted duck

Despite being stuffed we charged on with dessert and went for a chocolate sponge pudding with hot chocolate and fudge sauce and honeycomb ice-cream. The sponge was so light and fluffy it meant we could finish the lot without feeling too full. The perfect pudding!

Chocolate sponge pudding with honeycomb ice-cream
Chocolate sponge pudding with honeycomb ice-cream

The evening was made even better by the friendly staff and buzzing atmosphere – great to see the place packed on a Saturday night in January. If you venture to the Wee Lochan in summer time the menu will be packed full of fresh seafood dishes and I can assure you they are just as *delicious*.