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!

Hot Damn! Hot Cakes at Pot Luck

hot cakes at pot luckWhen was the last time you got so excited about a plate of food that you wanted to tell the world about it? Well, that’s what happened to me recently when I tried the hot cakes at Pot Luck, a new(ish!) cafe on Nithsdale Road. I was texting friends, tweeting photos and telling almost everyone I spoke to about them!

And now? Well, now I’m telling you guys. Anyone who has known me for even the shortest amount of time knows that I am a dessert person – so, when my sweet tooth spidey senses were telling me about some life-changing pancakes in the Southside, I just HAD to investigate.

hot cakes at pot luck

At my last visit to Pot Luck, clearly delighted about the prospect of hot cakes

I’m not sure exactly what the difference between a pancake and a hot cake is but the hot cakes seem thicker and fluffier. So a thicker, fluffier version of a pancake? Excuse me, I think my mouth filled with saliva just typing that! Anyway, I’m not 100% sure if there is a massive difference but what I do know is that the hot cakes at Pot Luck are different to most pancakes I’ve tried!

So, let’s get to it. Why am I so in love with this dish? Aside from how delightful a stack of fresh hot cakes are on their own (we covered the thick, fluffy factor right? Say no more!), there’s the toppings. At Pot Luck right now you can have your hot cakes three different ways, so far I’ve tasted two of them: pistachio & peach, and lemon & blueberry.

hot cakes at pot luckIt’s hard to pick a favourite, but I reckon the lemon & blueberry ones have the edge, topped with ricotta, lemon curd, lemon balm and fresh blueberries. They’re sweet, zingy and full of flavour (*stares dreamily off into the distance*). I think we might be heading towards a committed relationship here, folks! The peach & pistachio variation are also awesome, and they come topped with pashmak (Iranian candy floss) which adds a really fun (not to mention, delicious!) touch.

I’ve not tried the third flavour yet, but I do know it comes with strawberries, kiwi’s and maple syrup (plus, more pashmak!) so it’s only a matter of time, right?

The hot cakes at Pot Luck are my new favourite indulgence, giving me an excuse to eat dessert for breakfast, lunch and maybe even an early dinner (they close at 5pm!). If you haven’t been along to try them for yourself, put them at the top of your to-do to-eat list! You can thank me later…