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. 🙂

Social and Cocktail Blogger Cocktail and Cabaret Party

Event Date : Saturday 7th January 2017

Website : www.socialandcocktail.co.uk

I was lucky enough to be invited by Social and Cocktail to a bloggers event, this event included some cocktails that are included in their new 2017 cocktail menu.

Social and Cocktail are Scotland’s leading events company specializing in providing cocktail packages for home parties, hen nights, weddings,  corporate events and all types of celebrations.

The event was being held at Glasgows The Riding Room.

Website : theridingroom.co.uk

The Riding Room is a cabaret bar situated in Merchant City, Glasgow. Showcase performances from burlesque dancers, singers and more!

I had never experienced Social and Cocktail events or heard about them till now, I also have never been to the Riding Room so tonight I was looking forward to.

The Event : 

We all arrived and were told what the cocktails on offer were tonight, and we could have as many as we liked. This was great as I wanted to try one of each, for research purposes of course.

  1. Blueberry Sour
  2. Disco Drumstick
  3. Strawberry & Vanilla Daiquiri
  4. Pomegranate Mojito
  5. Strawberry WooWoo

I started with the Disco Drumstick

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I have a sweet tooth so I decided to start with this, as it was recommended by one of the bar staff.

This was my favourite cocktail from the night, it was very sweet and tasted like the lollipop drumstick….and yes thats a Drumstick lollipop inside the glass.

My second one was a Strawberry & Vanilla Daiquiri

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This was very nice, not as sweet as my first cocktail but very nice.

You could taste both the vanilla and strawberry, the Vanilla was just coming through enough.

My third was a Blueberry Sour

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This was just ok for me, don’t get me wrong it was nice but for me I prefer the sweet cocktails. If you like Blueberry’s then this is the perfect cocktail for you.

My last was a Strawberry WooWoo

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The Strawberry WooWoo was again a sweet cocktail, this was another nice cocktail that I would have again.

The Entertainment :

The night started with singer Alana Wilson

Facebook : www.facebook.com/Alanawilsoncabaret/
Short Video : https://www.instagram.com/p/BPAQqSgjNrn/

This was the first time seeing Alana and I hope it won’t be the last, she was a very good singer and very powerful. I have seen a few professional singers live and Alana was a lot better, I will aim to go back and see her again.

Followed by Kim Khaos who is a Burlesque and Sideshow performer

Twitter : Kim Khaos
Websitewww.kimkhaos.com
Short Video : https://instagram.com/p/BPDZCdMjL_Y/

I have seen Kim Khaos once before, it was at the Glasgow Steampunk Bar. So it was a nice surprise to see her again, and do a different act to what I’ve seen before.

Just like last time she was very good, and got the audience cheering and woooo’ing as she slowly removed her clothes.

Kim was then followed by Tom Harlow

Websitewww.tomharlowboylesque.com
Twittertwitter.com/HarlowBoylesque

Short Video : https://www.instagram.com/p/BPAPNsTj2uL/

This was my first time seeing Tom Harlow, and seeing a Boylesque performance.

Tom Harlow was very good at his performance, he was perfectly in time with the music and put on a good show. Everyone who was watching really loved his performance, and the bloggers I spoke to said the same.

Overall : 

Overall I had a great time, the cocktails and the entertainment was really good.

If you are planning on having an event like a hen party or birthday etc, do take a look at Social and Cocktails website as they were all really nice drinks and would be a great addition to your event.

I just want to say a big thanks to Social and Cocktail for inviting me to the event, and for the really nice cocktails. I would also like to thank the Riding Room for holding this event, and a big thanks to the entertainment very much appreciated do check everyone out.

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Cheers 🙂

New Years Eve at the Glasgow Blythswood Square Hotel

11 Blythswood Square
Glasgow G2 4AD
UK

T: +44 141 248 8888

W: www.blythswoodsquare.com

I have been to the Blythswood several times, sometimes with family and others with friends or my mum. The last few times I have been for Afternoon Tea, and family events.

The Blythswood Hotel has been done up nicely, and the staff and service has always been very good. Atmosphere the past few times I have been, has always been very hit or miss…I don’t know what it is but every visit there is always a little something missing for me.

Tonight was a family a friends night, I went with my parents and my best friend and his mum and dad. My grandparents were there, and so were my aunt, uncle and two cousins. Some of my Aunt’s friends and cousins friends were also there, so it was a busy and big table.

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Once everyone arrived and introduced themselves we all found out places and sat down.

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We all sat and talked, and also had a look at the menu to see what we wanted.

Starter :

Cream of parsnip and pear velouté
Parmesan wafer, herb oil

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I am not a soup person but I have been trying take a better mixed meal every time I go out, and the soup was a good option for me to start with.

This was very nice, you could taste the parsnip and the honey. The Parmesan wafer was very nice, and added that extra little flavour to the dish.

Main :

Ironbark pumpkin and mascarpone risotto
Grilled artichokes, blue cheese croquette, chive cream sauce

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I love risotto so when I saw it on the menu tonight, it was the dish for me.

This was very nice, very creamy and full of flavour. The blue cheese croquette was very nice, and I could have had more of that with it.

Dessert

Knocraich Farm yoghurt and red berry panna cotta
Spiced honey and clementine macaron, blackcurrant sorbet, fresh red currants and cinder toffee.

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Again another dish where I couldn’t fault it, it again was a perfect portion size and was full of flavour.

Throughout this meal there was a live singer, his name is Henrick Solera. Henrick Solera who is a singer and entertainer came over from the Martinez Hotel France to perform for tonights dinner. If you check out his Facebook page you will see he sings in many different venues.

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

Henrick Solera is an international singer, musician & entertainer. Singing Sinatra classics as well as contemporary hits by Josh Groban and Michael Bublé, an evening with Solera is one that will put a smile on your face and a song in your heart.

His passion for the great American songbook, beloved evergreens, retro swing tunes, broadway classics, and unforgettable majestic ballads will move you and speak to your heart.

** Taken from his website

This was the first time I have really heard Henrick perform live, I have seen a few videos as my Aunt Uncle and cousins stay in the south of France and have seen Henrick a few times.

All the songs Henrick sang were perfect for the evening, and the level of music was ok. Yes, you did need to talk a little louder but it wasn’t to the level where you were shouting at the people around you so this was nice.

One part of the evening I was really looking forward to was my little cousin Danni, she got up and sang a few solo songs and a few duets with Henrick.

Danni was really amazing, she has a great voice and I wish she sang more last night. I am a very proud cousin, as she has a gift and was very brave singing to everyone….Something I know I couldn’t do even if I did have a good voice.

Overall :

One issue that everyone at the table wasn’t happy with, was the length of time it took for each course to come out. After we arrived and ordered it took an hour and a half for the first course to come out, and this continued per course.

I don’t know if it was due to the large amount at our table, they waited till every dish was made before bring it out or if they just didn’t have enough kitchen staff or to prolong it to the bells. I wasn’t really to fussed as we weren’t in a rush and it allowed us to have a good chat.

Apart from this delay, the food and night was very nice. Everyone enjoyed the evening and was nice to welcome the New Year with family and friends and I did it sitting close to my parents and my best friend and his parents 🙂

Happy New Year everyone!!!!