The Glasgow Veggie Diaries: Tempus at Grand Central Hotel

grand central hotel

New to The Glasgow Veggie Diaries? This series is where you’ll find me sharing the most awesome meat-free food options around town, so whether you or a member of your posse are vegetarian, feel free to use this as your official guide to who is doing it right!

You can also catch up with all of my previous Glasgow Veggie Diaries entries here

One of my favourite things about Christmas time is the food! I love the extra indulgence that comes with the season, whether it’s from snacking on a chocolate Santa or sitting down with friends and enjoying a festive feast.

Recently, I did the latter (though there has been the odd chocolate Santa, too!) at Tempus, the restaurant at Grand Central Hotel in the city centre, after Laura suggested that a few of us should get together for Christmas dinner.

grand central hotel

The Restaurant 

Grand Central Hotel has been in Glasgow since the 19th century and has welcomed the likes of Frank Sinatra when they’ve visited the city. And if it’s good enough for ol’ blue eyes then it’s good enough for me! Tempus, their in-house restaurant, strives to show-off fresh, locally-sourced food to give visitors a taste of Scotland.

Like our very own blogging Rat Pack, myself and the other girls arrived on a cold, dark evening at Grand Central Hotel, which looks extra luxurious when it’s all dressed up for Christmas (don’t we all?!)!

The Menu

The three-course festive dinner menu at Tempus has around five options per course, two of which are vegetarian. The team were very helpful when checking for dietary requirements and made sure that everyone in our group was catered for.

It was really encouraging to see a set menu with more than one meat-free option for each course, especially at this time of year when you half-expect nut roasts on every menu!

grand central hotel

What I Ate 

I was very tempted to order the butternut squash soup as a starter (is there anything better on a winter’s night?) but decided to go with the goat’s cheese instead – and boy, am I glad that I did. Presented beautifully with a generous amount of soft and firm cheese, this was a lovely start to the meal. I’m not ashamed to say that I used a piece of cheese as a ‘cracker’ and topped it with soft cheese – like I said, ’tis the season to indulge! #cheeseoncheese

For my main, I picked out the woodland mushroom and spinach strudel which was served with crushed buttery potatoes and truffle cream. I loved the way this dish tasted (I mean, TRUFFLE CREAM!) but it would have been even better if the pastry was a little more exciting to look at – when I read strudel, I was expecting some fancy latticing or similar. Regardless, it was cooked to perfection and I would definitely order it again!

grand central hotel

When it came to desserts, things got a lot more difficult for our group! Everything. Looked. So. Good. Even our waitress was laughing as we struggled to decide what to order, and kept changing our minds every two minutes. How come I can make fairly adult decisions about mortgages and such but, throw some salted caramel and cheesecake into the mix, I get all Sophie’s Choice?

Eventually, I decided to order off-menu after we found out about a special dessert that wasn’t listed. A Taste of Winter sounded delightful – and it was! Brown sugar meringue, mascarpone and plum together with candied clementine and sorbet even smelled like the most perfect snow-capped scene. I could have happily eaten a plate of the meringues alone to be honest, they were divine!

grand central hotel

The aftermath…

Final Thoughts

There’s a certain feeling of ceremony when it comes to eating Christmas dinner in rather grand surroundings and it doesn’t come much grander than Grand Central Hotel at this time of year. A few hours of delicious food, nonsense chatter and good company with my own little blogging Rat Pack was a wonderful way to toast the season.

You can enjoy the festive set menu at Tempus with your own nearest and dearest until 30th December. Click here to find out more and book a table.

What are your thoughts on Christmas food? Do you love it? And which member of the Rat Pack would YOU be?

Skipping Straight to Dessert at Loop & Scoop

loop & scoop

If you’re familiar with my food reviews, you will know by now that I’m most certainly a Dessert Person. It’s the part of the menu my eyes tend to wander to first when friends suggest restaurants and I’ve been known to have more than one pudding in one sitting (#SORRYNOTSORRY).

So, when I first noticed the bright COMING SOON signage outside Loop & Scoop at the start of the summer, the prospect of a dessert-only cafe immediately appealed to me!

Loop & Scoop are the UK’s first Ice Cream and Churro bar and they recently opened their doors on Great Western Road with a bang (only instead of confetti, picture rainbow sprinkles raining down!), much to the delight of Glasgow’s sweet-toothed foodies.

I couldn’t wait to go and get acquainted – so, when a media invite popped into my inbox last month, I was excited to head along to their official launch party and try some of their sweet treats!

loop & scoop

Spread over two floors, the cafe makes the most of its bright (and 100% customised!) space – little windows into the kitchen, plenty of tables and even some classic words from Willy Wonka on the walls make Loop & Scoop a pleasure to sit in. And that’s before you even start eating…

By focusing on gelato, churros and milkshakes, Loop & Scoop know where their talents lie and don’t mess around with other menu items. Besides, when there are so many sweet options to choose from, you really don’t wonder where the non-dessert food is (or at least, I don’t!). All of the gelato is made in-house from an artisan family recipe and the team also plan to switch up the flavours and include seasonal specials. When I visited, it was close to Halloween so ‘Poison Apple’ was the flavour of the week (yes, I tried it and yes, it was delicious!).

There are non-dairy sorbets to try too, so vegan friends in your crew won’t miss out. Their classic churro recipe is also 100% vegan – yay!

loop & scoop

OK, while we are on the topic of churros – let’s talk about loops, baby! I only usually eat churros when I’m in a Disney park because the ones at the Glasgow Christmas markets just don’t do it for me. But now, having tried the freshly-made churros at Loop & Scoop, I can honestly say that I’m no longer resigning churros to a holiday snack.

Served filled, topped, with dips on the side and even ‘looped’ around a scoop of your favourite gelato flavour – there are lots of ways to try ’em! I just loved the dulce de leche filled ones, too good to share!

loop & scoop

I have a feeling that I’ll be skipping straight to dessert at Loop & Scoop again very soon and would love to know if you guys have paid them a visit yet? Let me know in the comments below or over on Twitter what your favourite flavour is!

Recipe: Lazy Pumpkin Spiced Loaf Cake

pumpkin spiced loaf cake

It’s officially the start of October! Not only does that mean that I can start wearing extra spooky accessories on the regular (I MAY have treated myself to some ridiculous fabulous golden skeleton earrings already, ghoulfriends!), but it also means pumpkin spiced everything is in abundance – and I am totally OK with that.

Yes, that sweet n’ spicy cliche might be done to death by 2017, but it’s a cliche that I’m more than happy to indulge in!  To me (and about a million others I am sure!), pumpkin spiced scents and flavours signify the start of Autumn. And besides, it tastes amazing!

October also means that some pretty nasty weather is likely to kick in and there are going to be some days when you just can’t bear to put on real clothes and go outside. But your local coffee shop does a mean pumpkin spiced loaf cake – wah! What’s a gal to do?

pumpkin spiced loaf cake

Well, over the weekend I found myself in a similar position! My big plans to go out for the day had been totally thwarted by the weather, so I decided to stay home and bake something pumpkin-y and spicy #becauseoctober. A few of you have been sliding into my DM’s asking for the recipe (if you can really call it that!), so I thought I’d share it today!

If you’ve seen any of my other recipes, you’ll know by now that I am extremely lazy in the kitchen and this post is no exception! Here’s my quick and easy take on a pumpkin spiced loaf cake…

pumpkin spiced loaf cake

You will need:

  • 1 can of pumpkin filling (I used a brand called Baking Buddy, from Tesco)
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 1 box of cake mix (I used Devil’s Food by Betty Crocker)
  • 8 tablespoons of oil (I used coconut oil)
  • 230ml water
  • White chocolate chunks
  • DIY spice mix (below – ground nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and allspice)
  • Frosting (I used the pre-made kind, also Betty Crocker!)

Preheat the oven to 180 (or whatever your cake mix dictates!). While that’s heating up, combine the eggs, oil, water and cake mix in a big bowl. Add the pumpkin filling and chocolate chunks and mix well. Sidenote: I couldn’t see the chocolate chunks after I baked the loaf, so it’s up to you if you want to bother with them! 

Spice up your life! Make your own spice mix using 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg, half a teaspoon of ground ginger and half a teaspoon of ground allspice (the kind with clove listed in the ingredients). Mix together then add into your batter.

Pour your mixture into a loaf tin and bake in the oven for about half an hour. Enjoy the smell of warm pumpkin spiced sponge as it fills your home. Mmmm.

pumpkin spiced loaf cake

Once your cake is baked, let it cool. I personally think the loaf is nice on its own, BUT this time around I added a cinnamon frosted topping. This sounds fancy, but it was actually a tub of vanilla frosting mixed with a teaspoon of cinnamon – bada bing, bada boom!

You’re good to go – slice your loaf cake and cosy up with your favourite hot drink.

And that’s how I made this PSL: Pumpkin Spiced Loaf cake! I hope you give this seasonal treat a try – I have a feeling that this batch won’t be around for very long and I’ll be making it again soon…