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. 🙂

beGin Byres Road : Review

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383 Byres Road
Glasgow
G12 8AU

Websitebovinerestaurant.com

Visit Date : 22nd January 2017

I have been doing the Rum scene ,and one area that is going to be very big this year is the Gin scene.  I have probably only taken Gin in a cocktail, but don’t know much about it or have tried Gin on its on.

This year I would like to learn more about Gin, brands, flavours etc

I was recently contacted by someone at beGin as they knew I would like to learn more, but I was at Byres Road and saw beGin and decided to go in for some food and drinks.

Visit Date : 22nd January 2017

This place has a very cool and relaxed look, and a modern fresh design inside and outside. There wasn’t many people in tonight, which I liked as I could get a good look about and see the place.

Food :

I didn’t want to have big dishes tonight, as I wasn’t very hungry so small snacks was what I had in mind.

Cheesy Haggis Nachos £4.00
Sour Cream

I love Nacho’s and I like Haggis so when I saw this I had to give it a shot.

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This was a large portion for £4.00, so it was very good value for money. I expected maybe half this size, due to its cost.

For me there was maybe not enough cheese and haggis, but I knew I was also having another dish so it was ok. Then again it was £4.00 so can I really fault this? probably not.

Overall I enjoyed this and it’s the perfect size for a snack with a drink, and to share.

Trio of Vegetarian Samosa £6.00
Onion Bhaji / Pakora / Minted Yoghurt (V)

Again just like the first dish, it was a perfect snack size and this was good for just one person. You could potentially share, but it depends on how hungry you are.

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Each Samosa was very flavoursome, and the little sauce added to the flavour.

The Gin :

So as I have mentioned above I don’t know anything about Gin, well ok that it can be mixed with cocktails….but thats about it.

Tonight I wanted to try Gin on its own, and to see how one or maybe two taste.

I didn’t know where to start, so I asked one of the staff members her name was Maryam. I told her I have a sweet tooth, and to suggest two.

Maryam suggested :

  • Hoxton : Coconut and grapefruit – ABV 40%
  • Edinburgh Raspberry : Edinburgh Gin enriched with raspberry – ABV 20%

 

I decided to let Maryam choose one and surprise me.

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Maryam returned with the Hoxton and Lemonade, she didn’t pour any lemonade in the glass so I could taste the Hoxton on its own first.

This was nice, a little strange at first and then left me with a coconut after taste which was ok. Mixed with the Lemonade it reduced the flavour a little, but not by much which I was surprised at.

I would like to try the raspberry one next time as the Hoxton was nice, but I still needed something a little sweeter. I know I could have it in a cocktail but I would like to see if I could find a nice sweet Gin on its own, well sweet enough for me.

Overall :

Overall my first visit was good and the staff were very friendly, chatty and helpful.

The music that night did have a lot of bad language, this for me I didn’t mind but maybe some others it wouldn’t have liked this…..this would be my only issue from tonight.

I would like to thank Maryam for her help tonight, and I will be going to here to try a few more Gins as there were lots on the menu.

Any visits I will keep you posted on how my Gin experience is going.

Cheers

  • Child Friendly : No (since it’s a lounge bar)
  • Service : 5
  • The portion sizes and taste : 4
  • Atmosphere : 3.5
  • Value for money : 5
  • Overall : 4