When I was in Thailand, after weeks of curries, I was delighted when I spotted a Hard Rock Cafe. That was, until I realised that that the R of rock had been interchanged with a C. An entirely different establishment to the burgers and bands I'd been expecting of the international brand. Thankfully, there's nothing so unwholesome in Glasgow. The bone fide Hard Rock Cafe opened here in November. It was a wee, soft opening, less rock and roll, and more Enya.
However, now that the hot spot on Buchanan Street is fully up and running, HRC Glasgow are hosting a proper rock-out to celebrate their launch. This weekend, there will be a huge mash up of all things Glasgow and music, in an event dubbed The Scottish Music Weekend. There'll even be the ritual guitar smash - which happens at all the openings of the Hard Rocks (if they're looking for volunteers… me please!).
Kicking off tonight, the venue will host a tonne of music masterclasses, like guitar playing (which may include how to perfect your strumming face) and how to get ahead in the music business (Justin Bieber should perhaps sign himself up, after ANOTHER arrest this week!) There'll also be exclusive performances from KT Tunstell, local heroes Kassidy and The Fratellis. So, grab your leather jacket, smudge on some eyeliner and hit up the HRC Glasgow this weekend to rock around the clock (well, at least until the wee, small hours).
This week, I blissed out at the Blythswood. This gorgeous wee boutique hotel is one of THE places to go in the city. When celebs come to town, this is where they check in. The roll call includes P Diddy, Brad Pitt, Beyonce and plenty more besides. So yes, the hotel is serious lux but it also has an effortless vibe, meaning you don't feel out of place in your dress-me downs… or dressing gowns for that matter, when you head to the spa.
The spa itself is probably one of the best I have ever visited (partly, because I like to picture P-Did having a shameless hot-tub party in it's mammoth whirlpool). When you arrive, it feels a bit like you're heading down to a nightclub - the spa is in the basement of the hotel - it's all dark and atmospheric. Not in an annoying, pretentious way, the lowlight just adds to a feeling of anonymity (a good thing when you're in your smalls) and escape, rather than making you feel like you should be throwing shapes on the dance floor.
There's a series of saunas and steam rooms - as you would expect - but the Blythswood totally retains it's individuality. It feels different, and you feel different when you emerge from it's depths: a newer, scrubbed up version of yourself, clean of all your stresses. Aaaaand relax…
Sometimes, the working week can get so hectic, you need to just calm down and cairy oot. There's loads of great take-aways in Glasgow. A classic Chinese is always just around the corner. But, for the times you fancy something similar, but all together different, a great option is Korean. And they don't get better than Shilla on Argyle Street.
I once made a travel documentary for Korean TV. Really. I'm huge in Asia…haha. Food is seriously important to Korean folk, whilst we were filming we must have stopped every two hours or so to get some scran. It was my first introduction to Korean grub and I was hooked. It's spicier and more soupy than Chinese and seems to have more elements of Japanese-fusion. It's also fun to order, with tongue-teasers like Jae Yuk Bokum. Yum.
It's a great place to taste Korean - and in fact the only one in Glasgow - so, next time dinner's stressing you out, give Shilla a shot. Any excuse not to do the washing up!
Wee Bird Recommends
This week, A Wee Bird Told Me…Glasgow wants to share with you the delights of the McCune Smith Cafe. It's so delicious, though, we'd need some serious persuading to share one of their sandwiches! Along with magnificently sourced organic and artisan delights, this wee place has a fascinating story behind it. Wee reckon it's well worth tucking in to.