The Glasgow Veggie Diaries: Gin71

Gin71

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.

As a big fan of CUP tea rooms (because, cake!) I’ve always been curious to try the brand’s chic, sister restaurant, Gin71. Now, on the surface of things, I may not be their target audience (on account of my not being able to distinguish a good gin cocktail from a glass of bottom-shelf mouthwash) BUT, one thing is for sure: I love food. Not only that, appreciate good food and any menu that has been crafted with a bit of care and consideration.

So, when Gin71 recently invited me to visit their newest Merchant City location, I had a feeling that there would still be a lot for me to get excited about…

Gin71

About Gin71

Where you find CUP tea rooms, you’ll also find Gin71 – at least, you will after 5pm! When CUP finish serving their usual array of afternoon teas and light bites, the full food and drink menu of Gin 71 becomes available. Gin is clearly a huge passion for the team as it makes an appearance in many forms! Several botanical infusions flavour the food on the menu in an imaginative, yet subtle, way that doesn’t feel forced. The menu has a good, varied spread – including meat, fish and veggie options.

Tucked away in Virginia Court, just around the corner from Miller Street foodie favourite Paesano Pizza, the new Gin71 building looks contemporary from the outside (almost pod-like in appearance!), but once I got inside it was all dim lights, palm leaves and speakeasy glamour!

It was just the right environment for a night of gossiping and life talk with one of my top dolls, Casci. After starting the night with a gin cocktail (Casci) and a fruity cocktail (me) from the extensive drinks menu, our starters arrived.

Gin71

I ordered the goats cheese and beetroot pannacotta – a dreamy little concoction that was lightly whipped into a soft, smooth consistency.  It was served cold, with a topping of pear and candied walnut, making me think I’d enjoy it even more in the warmer months.

Picking a main course was quite difficult as I was torn between the mushroom-based Blue Murder Gnocchi and the Botanical Mac and Cheese. On the basis of ‘when in Rome’, I went with the latter this time around. The fun part about ordering the macaroni is that you get to completely customise it, picking as many fillings and botanical flavourings as you wish! I decided to go with classic mac and cheese (no meaty fillings of course!) and enhance mine with rosemary and fennel.

Before long I was tucking into a very generously-portioned plate of creamy, comforting macaroni. The flavours were delicious and not too overpowering – I’d be keen to try a different combo next time to see how it measures up.

Gin71

Despite my best efforts, I couldn’t finish my main and our lovely waiter suggested we have ‘a break’ before coming back to chat dessert. A man after my own heart. How’s that for great service?

And the thing is, the dessert menu at Gin71 is something special and I would have hated to have missed it! My dark chocolate pot with a layer of gooey salted caramel hidden underneath and crumbled chocolate ‘soil’ (AKA biscuit) sprinkled on top was utterly divine! Decadence at its very best.

Gin71

Next time, I might need to start with dessert and work my way backwards because there’s no way I’m going without this chocolatey delight.

Casci’s rhubarb fromage frais looked equally tasty but I was far too wrapped up in my own dessert to try it out!

Feeling very full and very happy, we called it a night and (slowly!) walked through George Square agreeing that catching up over a yummy feast is surely one of life’s greatest pleasures.

You can find Gin71 Merchant City at 4 Virginia Court, with a range of dining menus and offers. As soon as this food baby wears off, I have a feeling I’ll pay them another visit!

Have you been to Gin71? What is your all-time favourite comfort food?

Love,

Signature

Self Care Sessions: 3 Books to Nourish Your Mind, Body and Soul

self care

In my Self Care Sessions series, you’ll find me sharing ways that I’ve been investing time and care in myself, just in case any of you guys have been feeling the pressure and are looking for ways to balance things a bit better too! You can check out my last post here!

I’ve always been a bookworm and when I was little I’d read pretty much anything I could get my paws on, even if I probably shouldn’t have been reading it quite yet (a few Stephen King books spring to mind…). What I loved most was getting lost in novels and spending an afternoon wrapped up in music biographies. While stories – real life or fictional – still fascinate me, as I get older I find myself enjoying other people’s advice, experience and views on a particular topic.

Most recently, I’ve been enjoying a few titles that carry a similar theme of self care, yet they all seem to approach it from a different angle. Books ideal for keeping handy in case you need a little boost! Two of them are very handbag-friendly, whereas the other would be right at home on your kitchen counter.

I’d love to share the details with you, so here’s a round up! These are 3 books to nourish your mind, body and soul…

self care

For the mind: A Mindfulness Guide for the FRAZZLED by Ruby Wax. When I hear the name Ruby Wax, I instantly associate her with her comedy writing and performance. However, she has also done a great deal of work and studying out of the limelight – earning a Masters from Oxford in Cognitive Therapy and being awarded an OBE for her services to mental health awareness.

FRAZZLED is Ruby’s guide to shaking off stress, de-cramming our brains and living a happier life. From the science behind how our minds actually work, to dealing with relationships, this book covers a LOT but does it in an accessible way that balances razor-sharp personal anecdotes with practical advice. You’ve nothing to lose but your stress.

self care

For the body: Keep It Real by Calgary Avansino. Part recipe book, part guide to living in a more healthy, organised (and did I mention delicious?) way, what I love about Calgary’s book is that it seems to be compilation of so many subjects that are popular right now.

Covering plant-powered diets, meal prep, ditching refined sugar, the importance of fuelling our bodies correctly and actually pulling off a successful grocery shop (we’ve all made a few poor choices in aisle 12, am I right?!), this is a great go-to guide for anyone looking to explore any of these topics. Not only that, but Keep It Real is also stuffed with yummy recipes. This book was a lovely gift from my brother, and I always feel motivated to make healthier choices after flicking through it!

For the soul: Wake Up! Escaping A Life on Autopilot by Chris Baréz-Brown. This book is quite literally a wake up call, and a call to action for anyone who is going through the motions and missing out on real moments and connections as a result. The book is based on the theory that 80% of our time is spent on autopilot, a result of buzzing around, being tremendously busy and always thinking about the next thing on the list, rather than enjoying the present. Sound familiar?

Wake Up! is the most interactive book I’m sharing with you today, filled with stimulating exercises and activities to help us break free from the trap of autopilot. The book is also designed to act as a journal, with spaces to track our progress towards living a calmer, more memorable life. It’s all about making each day count and that’s something I can really get behind.

The last thing that these titles all have in common is that they are perfect for dipping in and out of, thanks to chapters structured in short chunks. It means that they will be easy to return to, if I ever need to, without reading from cover to cover.

I’d recommend the above books to anyone looking to practice a bit more self care, and want to know if you’ve read anything lately that you’ve enjoyed!

Love,

Signature

 

The Glasgow Veggie Diaries: Temaki

TEMAKI

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.

TEMAKI

Sushi burritos? Is this a thing now? Well, if Temaki’s success is anything to go by (that’s over 2,500 sold in just under a month, folks) then the answer is a resounding YES! I love sushi, and seriously consider burritos to be one of my main food groups. So when Temaki officially launched their new Hope Street restaurant last month, I couldn’t wait to visit, try out this popular new dish for myself and report back.

TEMAKI

About Temaki 

Temaki opened its doors in December last year after drawing inspiration from the healthy, tasty street food served in New York and San Francisco. As well as sushi burritos (which come in an impressive selection of vegetarian fillings like spicy mushroom and sweet potato tempura), their extensive menu also includes bento boxes, steaming bowls of ramen, sashimi and hot rice dishes (hello, avocado fried rice!).

The restaurant is incredibly relaxed, making use of its compact space by offering side-by-side dining at its long wooden tables. It feels like the ideal place to grab a casual bite to eat with friends and the super central location makes that even easier (I’ve already been back since the launch!).

TEMAKI

Hanging from the ceiling are pretty paper lanterns which draw your eye upwards towards the ornate original ceiling from the building’s previous life as a hotel.

I’ve tried a few different dishes so far, and I have been really impressed with the range of meat-free options at Temaki. Sushi-wise, I’ve tried a few different maki and nigiri orders, including cucumber and avocado maki and sweet tofu nigiri. I’ve also tried the miso soup (SO GOOD on a cold day!) and the spicy edamame – they were too spicy for me but I’ve been assured by my less wimpy compadres that they are very addictive!

TEMAKI

The ramen bowls are enormous, filled with lots of fresh, locally produced ingredients and warm broth – making them great value for money and amazing comfort food. There are two veggie options – a chilli version and a miso one.

But what about the sushi burrito? I gave the asparagus tempura filled sushi burrito a try and really enjoyed it! The burritos are kind of like oversized hand rolls, but with a thinner layer of sticky rice and much more filling. Along with the asparagus, mine was filled with crunchy fresh vegetables and the entire thing was coated in crispy seaweed.

TEMAKI

The sushi burritos at Temaki have a focus on filling and majorly cut back on rice, making the entire dish seem lighter.

The menu gives you plenty of scope to eat like a king, building your very own Japanese feast to share – or you can grab a sushi burrito for a quick (but still satisfying) lunch on the go.

TEMAKI

You can find Temaki nestled in at 113 Hope Street, and check out their full menu online. I’ll certainly be back to try the avocado fried rice soon, will you be paying them a visit?

With love, chopsticks and paper lanterns,

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