Cat's Eyes on Glasgow: Finnieston's newest eaterie and why I am looking forward to the West End Festival

This week, the culinary strength of new Ox and Finch, when to be a West End Wendy and doing it Bollywood style for charity.

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Cat visited the new Ox and Finch.
Cat visited the new Ox and Finch.

The Restaurant

Amazing! Incredible! Delicious! Superlative suppers were the order of the day when I popped along to the exclusive launch of new Finnieston foodery Ox and Finch. The new venture - from the gang that brought us Street Food Cartel and Scoop - has been cooking for a wee while. In many ways, they've taken the same ideas that made the Street Food Cartel such a success - unstuffy fine dining that leaves you feeling stuffed - and given it a permanent home. High cuisine for those that like a healthy serving of food.

The team has some beefy culinary credentials behind it too, the owner is Jonathon Macdonald, former F1 chef for Lewis Hamilton and Montoya. Head chef is Daniel Spurr from Rogano and Michelin-starred Restaurant Martin Wishart and alongside him is Mario Podola who was trained by Gordon Ramsay and Jason Atherton. Yes, they definitely know how to cook a slap up dinner. I started with the dreamy ham hock and cheddar croquettes, followed by hanger steak and chips with truffle oil and rock salt and a chocolate cremeux (mousey cake-type thing) for afters (all together for around £20!) - each mouthful deserved a decidedly big mmmm!

Finneston has fast become one of the best places in Glasgow to get your tea and, for me, the Ox and Finch has raised the bar once again.

West End Festival Launch

One of my favourite dates in the Glasgow calendar is the West End Mardi Gras Parade. Last year, the scorching sunshine, colourful floats and samba dancing turned Byers Road into a Weggie New Orleans. So I'm delighted it's back this year on June 9.

The parade forms part of the acclaimed West End Festival, I popped along to the launch to find out what else we could fill our boots with during the festival. It's bigger and better than previous years, running for nearly the entire month of June. There's going to be over 400 events in more than 80 venues. With music, open air ceilidhs, laugh your socks off comedy, a World Cup eating contest and a bring your own seat cinema. There's definitely a wee something for everyone.

I reckon there's no better time to give being a West End Wendy a whirl, so have a look in this year's programme to find out more about what's on.

The Ball

On Saturday night, I hosted the Apple Ball, a charity shindig organised by Sanjay Majhu, CEO of the Ashoka Group and Apple Pharmacies, to give something back to Glasgow. The event is in its ninth year and has raised a stack of cash for Scottish charities.

As Glasgow is the curry capital of Scotland - with a tikka-way on almost every corner - it made perfect sense that this year the theme was Bhangra Fever. Along with trying out a game I made up called 'How Spicy Are You? (not as rude as it sounds!), there were brilliant performances from Bhangra troops The Limited Edition and The Punjab Dancers. I also met a really inspirational wee lass called Jenny Cook. At 4 years old she was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and has been in and out of Yorkhill Children's Hospital ever since. Early on she decided she wanted to give something back and has now raised a whopping £25,000 for the hospital.

It was a great night but more importantly we helped Jenny with her fundraising; the folk of Glasgow dug deep and made a Bolly-good £30,000 for Yorkhill!

Wee Bird Recommends

Stop Press! This weekend, the first ever Aeropress Coffee Championships are being held in Glasgow. At 2pm on Sunday the legendary battle of the brews will kick off in the Old Hairdressers on Renfield Lane. So, if you're looking for a Sunday pick me up, Wee recommend heading along for the perfect caffeine hit!

Food and drink

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