Loch Lomond Shores Market Day 2017

Loch Lomond Shores,
Ben Lomond Way,
Balloch,
West Dunbartonshire,
G83 8QL

Visit Date : Sunday 19th February 2017

I had heard that a Market was coming to Loch Lomond Shores, and I have never been to one. I have always just come here to visit and shop, so I thought lets give it a shot and see what its like.

The only markets I have been to, were the Christmas Markets so I had that in mind as to what it would be like.

As most of you know I stay in Glasgow, so my girlfriend and I got the Train from Central Station to Balloch. From here we walked through a park and in to Loch Lomond Shores, just be warned the park gets a little muddy when its has been raining but on a nice day its fine.

Before coming to this event, I had a few Twitter exchanges with Loch Lomond Shores and Funky Fudge.

On arrival I could hear someone singing, and the chatter of everyone here and the smell of food. The market was located at the side of the shopping centre, there wasn’t a lot of stalls as I expected more but there was a good mix of items for sale.

To begin with I decided to do a once around, take a look at the stall maybe chat to the sellers and see if there was anything I wanted to get.

I am doing this by memory as these stalls below stood out for me, I am sure I probably missed some so you will be able to find them on the Lomond Shores Website or Facebook events page.

Websitewww.lochlomondshores.com
Facebookwww.facebook.com/lochlomondshores/

I started with the first stall which was Funky Fudge.

Funky Fudge :

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Twitterwww.twitter.com/funkyfudge_uk
Facebookwww.facebook.com/The-Funky-Fudge-Company
Website : Coming Soon

As I said above I had tweeted Funky Fudge a few times before coming, this was the first time hearing about this company.

I stopped at the stall and said hi, I spoke to the guys today and they were very pleasant and we had a nice chat. The stall was loaded with all types of fudge, and I could have gone crazy as I have a very very sweet tooth.

I had to restrain myself so the fudge I purchased was :

  • Bubblegum
  • Caramack
  • Billionaire Fudge
  • Oreo
  • Chocolate & Orange

The price was £1.50 per bar or 4 for £5, which I thought was a very good price. Its bad to say but all 5 bars were finished within 48hours, here is what I thought of them.

My favourite was the Billionaire Fudge, the texture and taste was 100% perfect. This fudge “Billionaire Fudge” I was told was the companies very first, so this was one of the reasons I took one to try.

The others were nice, but I have a very sweet tooth so I needed the flavours to come over a little more.  I shared some with friends and they said the taste was perfect for them, so its all down to personal taste and my sweet sweet tooth.

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When I see them again I will be getting more of this one mmmmm so good.

Cedar Cottage Country Foods

Facebook : www.facebook.com/cedarcoos/

This stall was selling mince pies, burgers etc but one thing that did get my attention and it was due to the smell was the Bratwursts that were cooking.

These Bratwursts were made from local Scottish pork and they were really tasty, if I could have I would have had a second but it was lunch time and I was being good.

I did take a photo of the Bratwurst but its not one that you would share with anyone, not the most artistic so you can just use your imagination.

All Things Nice Food

Facebook : www.facebook.com/Allthingsnicefood/
Website : www.allthingsnicefood.co.uk
Twitter : @allthingsnicefo

This stall was selling homemade jams, chutney etc and I got speaking to the seller.

There were a lot of different types of jams, some I would have loved to try but I didn’t want to spend too much today.

I did purchase a Salted Caramel Chutney Jar, I tried a small sample when I got home on a spoon and it was perfect for me. I look forward to digging in to it more.

Next time I will take a jam and see what its like.

Judes Jewels Jewellery

Facebook : www.facebook.com/JudesJewelsJewellery/

As the name suggests they were selling jewellery, Scottish themed frames, wooden plaques, cork cord pendants, cufflinks and more

Not really my thing, but if you are into homemade jewellery there was some really nice looking items and some sci-fi stuff for the inner geeks.

Olives and Thingz

As the name suggests they sold lots of Olives.

I spoke to the seller Tony, who was very friendly with everyone and also offered me a sample of the green olives with feta cheese inside them. This was really nice, so nice I purchased a small box.

The Olives I purchased were my lunch the next day, and I could have ate more. I will get some more from Olives and Thingz when I next get to see them.

Erincroft Bakery

Facebook : www.facebook.com/erincroftbakery/

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Walking past this stall I could have had one of everything, but I was good. There was a lot of really nice items for sale and at good prices.

Next time if I see them at another market, I will sample a few items from them.

McQueen Gin

Websitewww.mcqueengin.co.uk
Twittertwitter.com/McQueenGin

If you have been following my blogs or tweets you know this year I am trying to learn more about Gin, and also sample a few gins as I dont know much or anything about this type of drink.

My girlfriend and I entered the tent, and was welcomed by the two girls that were at this stall. I got talking and they offered me a sample to try, the sample was a very small amount it was just enough to get any taste. The one I sampled was the chocolate mint, it was very pleasant. Unfortunately a sample wasn’t offered to my girlfriend, who would have also liked to try a sample of the one I had.

You could purchase one bottle or a small boxed pack of 4, the bottles I can’t remember the exact prices as they varied but the 4 boxed were £28.

I was going to go back for the boxed pack, but we got busy in the shops and by the time we came out the market was finished.

Fiona Brown Home Baking

[no photo as it got very bashed on my journey home]

Unfortunately Fiona doesn’t have any social network account, or a website she bakes for these markets and you can find her at most of them.

I got an Extra Caramel Slice from her stall today, as I wanted to try her home baking.

For me it was nice, personally I would have liked a little more caramel than base but thats just me. It’s a lot better than the shops ones, and tasted a lot nice but a little more caramel would have suited me (sweet tooth strikes again)

Singer Lisa Kowalski

Twitter@lkowalskimusic
Facebookwww.facebook.com/lisakowalskimusic

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Throughout the time I was at the market, I could hear Lisa sing.

This was my first time hearing of and hearing Lisa, the music she played was good for this event as it blended nicely in the background and was very relaxing.

I made sure I stopped and listened to a few songs.

Do check Lisa out on her Twitter or Facebook, here is a short video I took VIEW

Overall :

As I said I am sure there are a few stalls that I have not mentioned, but please do check Lomond Shores events page to get the full details of everyone that was here.

If any of the stalls that were at the event would like me to update any of my information, feel free to contact me and I will be happy to do that.

The next big one at Lomond Shores for me will be in April, its called SpringFest 2017 where there will be more stall food and drink. I will take photos, videos and even a live video which you will be able to watch on my Twitter page.

I will also try and take more money next time, so I can get some more things to add to my review. And will try and take some photos of the shopping centre, so you can see what its like incase you have never been there.

For me Lomond Shores is a very relaxing place to visit, and I look forward to my next visit.

See you soon. 🙂

Valentines Dinner at Piccolo Mondo Glasgow : Review

344 Argyle Street
Glasgow G2 8LY
UK
T: 0141 248 2481

Website : piccolomondo.co.uk

Visit Date : 14th February 2017

I have been to the Piccolo Mondo many years ago, but it was the restaurant in Renfrew. I always remember how nice it was, the service was good and the salted bread WOW amazing.

I have always passed here and never given this branch a second thought, but it was Valentines and my girlfriend wanted to go back as she had a works night out and enjoyed it.

First Impressions :

On entering it has a very Italian and welcoming feel, and the staff that night was very pleasant and helpful.

The restaurant looked very clean, tidy and the staff looked very busy as they were walking about very fast.

Our coats were taken from us and we were shown to the table.

The Menu :

Tonights menu was a special Valentines menu

£70 for two
Choice of Aperitif on arrival
Three course dinner
Tea or Coffee

The cost was ok for what you were getting, yes there were cheaper places in Glasgow and also more expensive places but yeah this was ok value for money.

Starter :

Terrine of Pâté
Made with chicken and duck liver and served on toast, red currant jelly and seasonal leaves.

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The pate was really nice, very smooth. There was just enough Pate to spread on the toast, so this was a good sized starter.

Main :

Risotto (Country Style)
Made with chicken breast, Italian Sausage, rice and wild mushrooms, cooked in a sauce made with shallots, extra virgin olive oil, garlic and fresh herbs.

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I am a big fan or Risotto so I was looking forward to trying it here.

This was again perfectly cooked, and its flavour was very nice. Maybe just a little too much garlic as that was coming back as an after taste but apart from that it was really nice.

Desserts :

Home Made Panna Cotta
Classic Piedmont’s dessert laced with liquor.

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This was a good amount to finish up with, as the Risotto was very filling.

I can’t really fault this as it was tasty, and a good portion size.

Overall :

Overall my first experience of Piccolo Mondo was an ok one, I can’t complain about the service, or the food but I did find its atmosphere was lacking a little. It could have just been tonight as it was Valentine’s Day, and yes most tables didn’t really look that happy to be out.

The food was very nice, and portion sizes were just about right.

Would I go back yes, but there are other Italian restaurants in Glasgow that are my favourite right now.

  • Child Friendly : Yes (only if they are well behaved)
  • Cash/Credit Card : Both
  • Service : 4
  • The portion sizes & taste : 4
  • Atmosphere : 2.5
  • Value for money : 5
  • Overall : 4

My Grandparents 60th Wedding Anniversary at the Glasgow Blysthwood Hotel

Event Date : Saturday 11th February 2017

Not many people these days stay married, not many people these days get married.

It’s a rare thing these days to hear anyone married for more then 50 years, most people tend to just be life long partners but what matters most is that you love the person you are with.

The good parts and the bad parts, this is true love not caring about the past just caring about the present and your future with them.

My Grandparents were 60 years married, and 60 years still happy not may can say this.

Tonight was the celebration event for my grandparents 60th wedding anniversary, and it was being held at the Glasgow Blysthwood Square Hotel.

Website : www.blythswoodsquare.com/partner/glasgow-blythswood-square/

11 Blythswood Square
Glasgow G2 4AD

On arrival the event room was empty as I got here early, so it was a good time to get some good photos.

The cake was really lovely and elegantly decorated, we also had really pretty balloons.

The company used was Cloud Nine Cake Centre

Website : www.cloudninecakecentre.co.uk

At Cloud Nine Cake Centre we specialise in celebration cakes and everything you need to make your own if you prefer! We can create something amazing for your wedding or party and we supply cake decorating supplies to businesses and schools all over the country.

The room was decorated very nicely, there were anniversary balloons around the room. There was a nice white dance floor, which you can rent from the Hotel for any special occasion.

I took a video which is on my Instagram feel free to check it out : VIEW

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As everyone turned up we all waited in the lower bar area, where a Saxophone player was playing in the background.

His name was Andy Weaver he was very good and the music created a nice welcoming atmosphere. Please check him out on his Facebook page below.

Facebook : facebook.com/andy.weaver.37

Once everyone had arrived we all went to our tables.

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As you saw from the above photos and video, and the one above this text the table settings were really nice and very elegant. Everyone commented on this, and how lovely the room was.

Tonights table setting were done by the company Bespoke Touches

Website : www.bespoketouches.co.uk

We understand how important it is to create the right atmosphere at your venue and to achieve this we offer a range of bespoke wedding and event services tailored to your needs and wishes.
We can provide a full venue styling package including chair covers, centrepieces, accessories and favours or provide the finishing touch you need to complete your special day.

We deliver a stunning setting suitable for any occasion. with our experience, contacts and high quality products we ensure that your event remains firmly in the minds of friends, family and guests for years to come.

A little thought can go a long way… with a little thought and a lot of planning any venue can take on a vibrant, beautiful almost magical appearance.

Since I am a food blogger I couldn’t not take photos of the food tonight.

We were given a menu which to be honest I didn’t really get a change to study, as I was busy chatting with people.

I made a quick decision when ordering but it was a good one.

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Starter :

Smooth chicken liver parfait, toasted brioche, Onion chutney and rocket

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I am a big fan of Pate and this was full of flavour, having it on the brioche just set it off and was really good.

Again anywhere you go and order Pate they never give you enough whatever to spread it on, you always get a larger amount of Pate then the toast etc….I really wish I knew why they did this.

Main :

Seared supreme of Chicken with chive mashed potato, leek fondue, fine beans with shallots, Cherry tomatoes and red wine sauce

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For me this was the only option on the menu that sounded ok, the other option I wasn’t really a fan of so this was my fall back.

I am glad it was a fall back, the chicken was cooked really nice.

The leek fondue was my favourite as what ever they did to it, it was a really nice flavour and I could have had more.

Dessert :

Vanilla panna cotta , mango and kiwi salsa, passionfruit syrup and Chantilly cream

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There is always room for dessert.

This was very light, very easy to eat and had a nice flavour.

To finish we had a coffee or tea.

Through the meal and a little after the mean singer Henrick Solera.

Henrick Solera Facebook : www.facebook.com/henricksolera/
Twitter : @henricksolera
Website : www.rickysolera.com

I have now met Henrick a few times, as he has been at most of the events we have held at the Blysthwood Hotel.

My little cousin Danielle also sang a song with him, again a proud cousin here as thats something I couldn’t do even if I could sing in tune. Its only a short clip as the full video is 3mins long, and Instagram limit size.

Video : Watch

The evening went very well, and my grandparents had a lovely time.

This was a special moment for all the family, my grandparents and friends. Again I would like to wish them a Happy Anniversary

xxx