Friday, 29 May 2015

Dining at Gusto Glasgow

There is nothing better to do on a rainy miserable Wednesday than to tuck into three deliciously indulgent courses of amazing Italian food and sip on wine as you watch the rain dribble down the window and smile about how jammy you are to be here.

Skapa PR were lovely enough to set up a dinner for me and a guest (I took along the BF as he's never one to say no to trying a new restaurant) at the brand spankin' new Gusto Glasgow. I'd spied the new eatery on Bothwell Street when it first opened and have been dying to try it out, so of course jumped at the chance and said YES! while already browsing the mouth-watering menu.

I'd always been intrigued by the new spot they'd transformed just up from my office and have always wanted to join the Suits at 5pm Friday sipping cold fizz on the terrace in the sunshine, embraced by classic white parasol, umbrellas. It serves up Italian brasserie staples from its classic and contemporary Italian menu, using fresh and simple ingredients to create gorgeously simple and sophisticated dishes.

Inspired by the traditional grand cafes of Europe, "Gusto is all about making the everyday exquisite". And as soon as you enter the double doors, you're transported to somewhere that's just a bit special.

The decor is timeless and classic, with art deco touches transporting you to a Gatsby-esque world that is sophisticated and elegant, making you wish you were wearing a 1920s fringed dress and pearls. There is also definite Italian styling in the tan leather booths and marble tops, perfectly emulating the bustling cafes of Rome. You can almost imagine that you're on the set of Roman Holiday and Audrey Hepburn is giggling delightfully at a table beside you, the Vespa waiting outside.

But, just as we were drinking it all in we spotted the large central square bar, overflowing with bottles and promises of something amazing. So of course we made a beeline for it!

We had arrived a little early as we were both finished work and I'm glad we did, as relaxing with a glass of prosecco and watching the restaurant warm up for the evening was really nice and relaxing. The bartender was an absolute gentleman and I can't sing his praises enough. He chatted us through the gins and suggested different garnishes to match their flavours - I particularly liked the addition of rosemary.

Just as the last bubble disappeared we were led to our table.

We sat at the big windows, bathed in light (even though it was more grey-light from the rain) and could watch the world go buy, I love nothing more. Now that we'd had time to explore the simply spectacular cocktail list at the kind insistence of the staff we made our selections. I had an Elderflower and Peach Martini (Peach purée, elderflower liquor, grey goose, lemon and gimme shaken in a martini glass - subtle with a lovely bright finish.) It was delicious, really light and refreshing. The BF went for a Negroni (Equal measures of Tanqueray 10, Antiqua Formula Vermouth and Campari). Yup basically just a gin mixture. 

We spent ages pouring over the menu before we decided what to order - there was just so much and it all sounded amazing. It was all really fresh and classic sounding. The pizzas perched on waiters shoulders looked astounding, but I had my eye on an extra special pudding and it may not have followed so well after pizza... 

In the end though I went for Home cured salmon tartare and quails egg with crème fraîche and red gazpacho. It was so light and everything merged together really well, really fresh and simply delicious. I might even go as far as to say the starter could have been my favourite course. It was the perfect portion size and just set me up perfectly. 

The BF went for Tiger prawns in a garlic, tomato and cream sauce with grilled ciabatta. It was met with delighted mmmmmmm's and I managed to sneak a bite and thoroughly agreed - so good. 

For the mains we moved onto a really, really nice bottle of white. It was Riff Pinot Grigio and the Italian wine matched the food perfectly, gorgeous. 

But, more importantly the food!

I had Rigatoni Primavera with summer vegetables, pine nuts, crème fraîche and grana padano (an Italian cheese) with chicken. I changed my mind last minute when I ordered as I just fancied the summer veg and pine nuts. It just sounded so fresh and simple that it couldn't fail be delicious and it really was. It was a simple, but elegant dish that was just really a delight to eat. 

Across from me the White crab, chilli, garlic and fresh lemon spaghetti arrived. It looked so temptingly delicious, again really fresh, simple and sophisticated. 

We were feeling pretty full up after eating our starters and mains, but we were determined to try out the puddings - I mean they couldn't not be amazing. So, we asked for a little break to sip some more of our wine and have a little chitter chatter. By this time the restaurant had really filled up as well, pretty impressive for a rainy Wednesday night. It added to a really buzzy ambience, that made you feel a part of a well-loved place, even though it's still new! It was also really relaxing though and we really did sit for hours and the little rest-bite was the perfect way to stretch out the evening, hoping it would never end. 

I'd heard about this dessert before and it had my mouth-watering straight away - Nutella and mascarpone calzone with vanilla ice cream. It was a deliciously messy dessert that melted in your mouth and filled you with a gorgeously chocolate amazingness. It melted all over the plate and the mixture that was left was simply beautiful. 

The Baked flaming Alaska was also pretty impressive. The blue flames were poured on top and created a show. The little bit I managed to steal before to was hoovered up was amazing, and I particularly loved the cherry liquor that was dotted around. 

I can't thank Gusto and Skapa enough for setting up this dinner! It was such a lovely evening and I can definitely see myself going back - it would be the perfect way to while away an evening with the girls, making our way through the cocktail list and gorging on pizzas. Our waitress was absolutely lovely and the staff added to the all round ambience of luxury, but also friendliness. They made us feel so comfortable, giving us recommendations and checking that everything was ok - they were a delight. 

Get your Italian taste-buds ready and head to Gusto Glasgow

***This is a promotional post, but all views are my own. Obvs. 

Monday, 25 May 2015


Time to add some new sunglasses to you collection...

I had to do some travelling for work this week - nowhere far and nowhere overly exciting! Just up to Aberdeen and Inverness to host some events, but hey, it's always good to get out the office! It also means I get a night in a hotel, which always feels a bit special doesn't it? I can start the day in a huge white dressing gown, nestled in a pillowy white duvet on a ginormous bed, with a cup of Earl Grey and BBC Breakfast humming in the background.

I was lucky enough to get to team up with Optical Express this week and let you all know about a fabulous little competition they are running, where you could win a pair of Ray-Ban sunnies - pretty good eh! I couldn't wait to get mine out the box and share them with you, preparing to write a little post on how I would style them for summer.

My #tbt this week was one of my top blog posts since I've started - Date Night. I'm not sure why you guys love it so much, but it has a firm place in my top ten most read posts. It could be the bright green cami, which stands out perfectly against a monochrome aztec print bargain jacket or the fabulous Coco and Cleo necklace, or just the delicious meal me dined on - either way you seemed to like it!

Healthy lunch-time! Fruit, yoghurt topped with granola and catch up on a book before it's time to count down the minutes till 5pm again!

This week I also styled up my Ray-Bans that Optical Express kindly provided me with. This look is perfect for wandering around exotic city streets and exploring new places. You can enter the competition to win your own pair on the Optical Express Facebook page - but don't miss out it finishes on June 1st! All the details are on the post, there's some lovely summer looks on there too!

As well as a city-break look I also styled the sunnies for a day at the beach. Bright playsuits, big necklaces and flowery headbands - add on a pair of Ray-bans and you're sorted! As well as running a Facebook competition Optical Express have also given you lot a lovely discount off all designer sunglasses - have a nosey to get you code!

Copper homeware is everywhere just now! It's sleek and sophisticated, romantic and warm and instantly adds a bit of chic glamour to your home. Lighting is a really quick and easy way to add some copper tones to your living room and Next have a really lovely selection. I wrote a wee post for you guys taking a look at some glorious copper lighting that will add a really unique element to your home.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Copper Tones

If you hadn't already noticed copper is everywhere!

I'm one of those people that is constantly dreaming of homeware, taking not so subtle glances through living room windows as I walk buy to see how they've spruced up their living space. And if you hadn't already spotted this trend, copper interiors are popping up everywhere - just scroll through your Instagram and my point is proven. Copper homeware makes your home instantly insta-grammable just now and it can actually be really easily done with lighting, copper wire baskets....

The metal is 'oh so chic' and brings something with a little shine to it into your home, whilst having a more subtle tone to it. It adds a hint of luxurious glamour, giving a tired room a lift and bringing it well up to date. It's soft and warm and can fit into any kind of room. The reddish colour is nice when it's shiny or when it's brushed, glowing in an inviting, welcoming way.

Copper lighting is leading the way with this trend and Next have got it spot on....


There's something about this lighting fixture that screams to me high-class expensive restaurant, but you can add it to your own dining room - even if the cooking is only going to be done in the toaster or microwave. It could become the talking point of your living room, with 7 copper shades hanging down like pendants it is a really unique centre-point. They multiple shades glow making a room feel all romantic and warm, they are all different shapes and hang at different lengths letting the light glow around you. It's perfectly elegant and sophisticated and Elle Deco ain't got nothing on you!



A lamp is a really easy way to add some copper tones into your living space and this one is sleek and simple, but still able to make a statement. It can become a striking feature in a room with the brushed copper details and black fabric shade, adding a luxurious touch to a side-table. The shape of the base is really unique and the beautiful curves contrast wonderfully to the more up-and-down shade. I'd love to try the shade in a different colour, maybe a more creamy colour to give a bedside table a luxury finish.



The shades here all hang at different levels and it creates an image of a luxury, artistic version of a street lamp, well in my eyes anyway, and not in a bad way! It's pretty fuss-free and simple. but still has a 'wow' factor about it. Again I love the shape of the curved shades, they manage to be soft as well as striking. Plus there's no assembly acquired - music to my ears! I imagine it creates an indulgent ambience that's perfect to relax in with a good book and glass of wine.


I'm away to buy loads of copper lighting...

*** This is a promotional post, but all views are my own. Obvs. 

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Optical Express Ray-Ban Competition

I have a whole lot of love for my new Ray-Ban sunnies!

The lovely people at The Big Partnership put me in touch with Optical Express and I was lucky enough to be treated to a pair of Ray-Ban Wayfarers - perfection aren't they?! But this isn't just to make sure my eyes are kitted  out for the summer months it's also to let you know about a fabulous little competition that Optical Express are running... 

Check out the Optical Express Facebook page and you can enter their competition to win one of 10 pairs of Ray-Ban 2132 Wayfarers. How nice are they?! All you have to do is 'Like' and 'Comment' on their post, telling them what you're most looking forward to about summer - I'm thinking summer BBQs with Pimms, lazy days amongst the daises and sunbeams smiling on my face - and you could win eeee!! It finishes up on June 1st so don't miss out! 

But even if you aren't one of the lucky winners Optical Express sell the sunnies in store and online, with starting prices of £115 they come in a range of four colours, Havana, Black, Blue and Black Rubber. Plus for you lucky Glasgow lot Optical Express have a shop in the St Enoch centre, and for the rest of you lovely lot they also have stores all across the UK. On top of all that I've got a special 25% discount off all online purchase of designer sunglasses to share with you - ooooooh - just pop in the discount code oe25sun. Sorted! 

Now let's get back to the sunglasses...

The iconic wayfarer style has spawned many copies over the years, but nothing can beat the original with the Ray-Ban scrawl etched into each pair. They have been firmly placed in sunglasses history, being one of the most recognisable styles, meaning they just can't fail to make a statement. The brand is one that is made for summer months and you'll keep them forever, coming back to them every time the sun peeks around from those disappearing grey clouds - a classic summer fashion staple for whatever you've got planned. 

So how will I be wearing them in the summer months... 

First up they'll be perfect for days spent exploring new cities.

Denim shorts and a simple tee are a staple summer combination, but one that can be mixed up and made unique all the time. Add a colourful lip and a statement t-shirt and you've created a perfect summer daytime look. This is an ideal loose fitting t-shirt that's eye-catching at the same time and I just love it with a bright red lipstick. Plus when you add on Ray-Ban Wayfarers you're all set. There's something about Wayfarers and red lipstick that is so classic, it reminds me of Swifty for some reason, and that can never be a bad thing. Throw on some woven tan sandals and go and explore some tumbling, twisting foreign streets. I'm heading to Croatia this summer and plan to do just this - with some pretty special sunglasses to complete the look, as they sun will be shining a llllllllll day long, obvs.

(T-Shirt - Topshop, Shorts - River Island, Shoes - Primark, Lipstick No.7)

Next let's go a bit dressier.... 

Can we just for a moment pretend we're in Paris and we have some dahling-do to attend, simply because we're just fabulous! One can dream. And what's better than a simple white summer dress to compliment tanned and glowing limbs. This is a slightly more dressy look, but Ray-Ban, being the luxurious brand they are, fit in wonderfully. I've added in my favourite summer colour, coral, that I just can't stop raving about! Coral pops are added with classic court shoes and a slogan clutch, perfection. These sunnies are Havana and I think they work really well here, being a bit softer. They perch on your nose as you drink chilled champagne and toast the last of the rays from some chic rooftop bar overlooking the Eiffel Tower.

(Dress - Topshop, Shoes - Next, Clutch - Miss Selfridge)

Let's go to the beach...

This is a bright and bold summer outfit that's made for prancing about on beaches, dancing about to someone strumming on a guitar and singing at the top of your lungs as you splash about in the sea. It's for sipping mojitos under the sun and living of ice lollies for a day. I usually like clothes that work in all seasons, but this little playsuit is definitely only for making a summer statement. The bright flowers are attention-grabbing and you can take it up a notch with a huge, colourful statement necklace, to finish it off throw some flowers on your head, cos why the hell not. Put on a slick of bright pink on your lips as well, Rimmel Apocalips are amazing and stay put all day! No need for shoes as you dance through the sand, but what's a day at the beach without some sunnies. The Ray-Ban Wayfarers fit perfectly in the carefree world of summer dreams - can I go now please?

(Playsuit - H&M, Necklace - H&M, Hairband - Primark, Lip Gloss - Rimmel)

So for more information visit the Optical Express page,, where you can nosey at the range Ray-Ban Wayfarers on offer and don't even try and resist temptation, they're just too lovely! Don't forget about the fabulous little discount code, oe25sun, that can get you 25% off online purchases of designer sunglasses. Optical Express are awful good to you aren't they. 

But remember you could also win some just by popping over to their Facebook page, right HERE, it finishes on June 1st, so get entering lovelies!

*** These sunnies were sent to me for review purposes, but all views are my own. Obvs.