A Day Trip to Loch Lomond with Benefit

Loch Lomond

If you’re looking for a change of scenery and don’t want to venture too far from Glasgow, visiting Loch Lomond is an awesome place to start. It’s a place that I really enjoy spending time in but, seeing as I can’t drive, visits are few and far between since I have to be chauffeured there like the Miss Daisy I know I am!

Recently, the team at Benefit invited me for a fun-filled day out with them at Loch Lomond – all in the name of celebrating some exciting new launches. Before I even checked the itinerary I was sending a gleeful “I’m so in” message! And realising later that I had an ice cream van, a boat trip, and a yummy lunch to look forward to, I knew I had made the right choice…

Loch Lomond

*Grainy-as-heck picture courtesy of my old dinosaur phone (RIP)*

Let’s fast-forward now to the day trip! Along with a small group of Glasgow babes, I arrived at Loch Lomond to the sound of Play That Funky Music, blasting out of a speaker somewhere (in my head, maybe?). We then headed straight to the Benefit Hoola branded ice cream van (which was OTT and adorable in true Benefit GO BIG OR GO HOME style) to check out their new Hoola Quickie Contour Stick. As someone that watches a lot of RuPaul’s Drag Race, I’m well-versed in the school of contouring – but actually doing it myself? Let’s just say I need all the help I can get! This cream-to-powder stick is super easy to apply, helping me get one step closer to those sculpted Trixie Mattel cheeks!

Loch Lomond

After hanging out at Lomond Shores for a little while, we headed down to the water to board our boat, the SS Sassypants. OK, I’m not very sure what the boat was called, but that feels like a very appropriate name! We were spoiled with a bag of treats to enjoy on our boat tour, full of retro sweets, chocolate and a sneaky sample of the new Benefit Gogotint – a cherrylicious cheek and lip stain. It would have gone great with the Goldie Hawn-in-Overboard-look that I’m now wishing I’d sported for the occasion. Next time!

I loved the views on our circular tour of the loch, and we even picked up a couple of nuggets of Scottish history as we cruised. See? It wasn’t ALL mindless hilarity (but it 99% was).

Loch Lomond

All that scenery and sailing excitement was a surefire way to work up an appetite, did someone say land ahoy?! We were all ready for lunch by the time we were back on dry land, and headed to The Boat House restaurant at Cameron House. This was my first time at The Boat House and it was real treat – I loved the nautical theme in the decor, the relaxing setting and (of course!) the menu!

Loch Lomond

A major highlight was the balsamic roasted peaches – one of those dishes that is so simple and delicious that you wonder where it’s been all your life. I’m already plotting my next visit to relive that peachy moment all over again. The whole meal was amazing, as was the service and the company! It was nice to relax around the table and reflect on a brilliant day out, which in my mind serves as a little ‘best of Loch Lomond’ montage (to the tune of Play That Funky Music, of course).

I’d highly recommend taking one of the boat tours at Loch Lomond, I had so much fun! And if you’ve come that far, you really should book a meal at The Boat House afterwards (your tastebuds will thank you!).

Loch Lomond

To check out Gogotint, Hoola Quickie Contour stick and all of the latest Benefit releases, don’t forget to hop over to their website!

Well, I’m off to research more Goldie Hawn movie outfits – any recommendations?

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A huge thanks to Benefit for a lovely day out at Loch Lomond! 

The Glasgow Veggie Diaries: Bread Meats Bread

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

Today’s edition of my Veggie Diaries takes us to Bread Meats Bread, something of a Glasgow success story. There are very few places in our city that people will happily wait in line for, especially as there is so much choice available. But the original Bread Meats Bread (on St Vincent Street) STILL has people regularly queued out the door, dying to get their hands on their famous burgers or a plateful of poutine.

Now, that’s all very well and good for our meat-eating buddies, but what about the vegetarian options? Actually, I’d heard pretty great things!

We headed up to Bread Meats Bread’s newer Great Western Road restaurant for lunch over the weekend to check it out…

The Restaurant

Bread Meats Bread has a big, sunny corner unit just a hop, skip and a jump from the Botanic Gardens. There are plenty of tables inside, which meant we could be seated right away (even though they were very busy!) amongst the cheery yellow booths, smart tiles and industrial light fixtures. The restaurant is also ideally placed on one of Glasgow’s busiest streets – with plenty of windows for people-watching.

The Menu

Let’s get down to it: does an award-winning restaurant with a focus on meat (well, it IS in the name!) have much on their menu for veggies? Surprisingly, yes! As well as seven specially-created vegetarian and vegan dishes and a dedicated section of the menu, some of the grilled cheese sandwiches and sides are also meat-free – so all in all, a pretty decent amount. No token sad salads here!

That being said, a large amount of the meat-free options at Bread Meats Bread are made up of meat alternatives, such as seitan, pastramheat and vegan bacon. It’s not really my cup of tea, but there were still a couple of options that were just vegetables so I wasn’t stuck. I also liked that the menu (and the staff) offered vegetarian and / or vegan alternatives to a lot of what was on there.

What we ordered

The BBQ pulled mushroom bun sounded so tempting that both Gary and I ended up ordering it! And it did not disappoint – a massive portion of sweet, smoky oyster mushrooms served in a fluffy brioche bun with house slaw made this dish a super indulgent treat. I’m not ashamed to say I finished the lot!

We also ordered some sides – Gary went for the maple vegan bacon sweet potato fries and I picked out some good ol’ onion rings. Gary loved the flavour combo on the fries, which came topped with candied vegan bacon, cayenne pepper, maple syrup and coconut. Sweet n’ salty at its finest! My onion rings were also awesome – battered, not breadcrumbed (an important detail, trust me!) and a really generous portion size.

Final thoughts

The food that we had was amazing and we would 100% go back again. The fact that a place that specialises in meat dishes has been considerate enough to have a ton of veggie and vegan options on their menu is nothing short of rad. For most vegetarians, the menu presents a lot of choices! I would like to have had more options that didn’t involve seitan (not today, seitan) but that is just down to personal taste and I’m sure most people would really enjoy Bread Meats Bread’s vegan take on buttermilk fried chicken – after all, how many places in Glasgow are offering that?!

Have you tried out Bread Meats Bread? And I just gotta know: when it comes to onion rings, are you team batter or team breadcrumb?

A Sleepover at The Bonham Hotel, Edinburgh

Over the last couple of years, I’ve started spending more and more of my time through in Edinburgh – whether it’s visiting friends, going on fun-filled days out or heading to events in the city. There are some areas of the capital that I’m not as familiar with yet and the leafy West End of Edinburgh is one of them – it seems filled with pretty neighbourhoods just itching to be explored.

When Laura got in touch to invite a few of us to her summer blogger sleepover, I was excited to see that our setting was The Bonham – one of Edinburgh’s oldest boutique hotels, located in a quiet West End street. I always look forward to Laura’s Glasgow sleepover events and going to a different city with my little pink suitcase felt like a mini holiday this time around!

I was the first one in our group to arrive, which meant I could spend a few minutes admiring the beautiful converted townhouse (which is spacious enough to hold almost fifty rooms and suites!) with its grand staircases and high ceilings. There was a statue in the reception area that reminded me of Bosley, so I felt at home right away…

After meeting Laura, we were taken to our luxurious sleepover suite which The Bonham hotel staff had thoughtfully kitted out with blankets, DVDs and white chocolate ‘Welcome’ cards. Enormous windows gave us a stunning view of the entire street and soon we were joined by the rest of the girls and got into our pyjamas.

The coffee table was quickly groaning with sweet treats (and that was before the hotel had even served us any food!). I’d visited the lovely Madamoiselle Macaron earlier that day and picked up some of their famous macarons for us all to try. Lori brought along a Victoria sponge and Lisa had baked a lemon loaf cake. Laura’s creation was the showstopper – a home-made raspberry buttercream cake Mary Berry would be proud of!

Our evening was packed with girly activities with top notch brow treatments from Benefit, summer jewellery making (kits supplied by Hobbycraft – and if you were wondering whether you can have too many tassels, the answer is no, no you cannot!) and a chance for us all to relax while having a good gossip about the best and worst of reality TV.

The team at The Bonham made sure that we were well-looked after and brought a delicious selection of food to the room.

I especially enjoyed our starters (poached Leven Farm duck eggs with asparagus and a grain mustard dressing) and desserts (a dense, dreamy chocolate mousse with pistachio parfait and edible flowers) but all of the dishes were delicious!

A chocolate fondue was brought in last as we snuggled up under the blankets and watched a movie. The room had plenty of sofas and armchairs and was spacious enough for us to stretch out. Call it a food coma (4 hours of grazing will do that to a gal!), or maybe it was too much excitement, but I found myself flagging just after midnight and my soft, squishy bed was calling me.

The next morning, the girls and I regrouped and headed downstairs to The Restaurant for a hearty breakfast before we checked out, ready to take on the rest of the weekend. We even managed to fit in a walk through the West End streets on our way to the station!

I had a wonderful time during our stay at The Bonham and, for me, the stand-out factor was the service – the team were very pleasant and helpful throughout and sometimes it’s nice to forego the option of self serve and feel like you’re in good hands.

You can find out more details about The Bonham, plus booking information, here!

 

 

 

With thanks to all at The Bonham hotel – this trip was arranged for review purposes, but all views and food babies are mine.