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Friday, 20 January 2017

A Romantic Cocktail to Warm up Valentine's Day

Feeney's Irish Cream, Valentine's Day Cocktails,

After a romantic meal with your loved one why not end the evening sipping a delicious Feeney's Irish Coffee in front of a roaring fire.

Feeney's Irish Coffee

  • Heat gently 100ml Feeney's Irish Cream Liqueur with 1 cup of freshly brewed coffee and serve in a toddy glass topped with 1 teaspoon of whipped cream and grated chocolate.

Feeney's Irish Cream is marketed as the world's most luxurious Irish Cream Liqueur and contains 100% Irish whiskey. Feeney's is masterfully distilled in the heart of Ireland and matured for at least three years and is available from:

Tesco's which stocks 1 litre bottles RRP: £15.00 and 31Dover.com which stocks 70cl bottles RRP: £12.50 and 1 litre RRP: £15.00 and Amazon. ABV: 17%

The Honours Glasgow Demonstration by Martin Wishart

On Saturday 28th January, Martin Wishart will host a special behind the scenes lunch at this restaurant, The Honours Glasgow.
You will be treated to a champagne and canapé reception, a wine tasting, a delicious 3 course menu with an amuse bouche and a cooking demonstration from Martin and his team.
For more information and to make a reservation visit The Honours Glasgow website or call 0141 572 1001.
We were lucky enough to attend this event when The Honours Glasgow celebrated it's 1st birthday and had a fantastic time. To get a idea of how the day went, check out my post covering the day.

 

Thursday, 19 January 2017

The Pompadour by Galvin Launches Saturday Lunches

From Saturday 21 January 2017 the luxurious Pompadour by Galvin at Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh will open its doors for lunch every Saturday.

Situated in one of Edinburgh’s most vibrant locations at the West End of Princes Street, Saturday lunches at The Pompadour by Galvin promise to be a wonderful way to celebrate the weekend.

Michelin-starred chef brothers Chris and Jeff Galvin have created two menus for guests to enjoy surrounded by the timeless elegance and charm of the unique dining room.

3-course lunch menu - £29

5-course tasting menu - £45

Both menus feature the very best Scottish ingredients that change with the seasons.

 

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Kained Holdings Marks 10 Years in Business by Pledging £120& Investment in Workforce

The restaurant group continues its commitment to investing in people and calls on hospitality talent to attend recruitment drive at Kelbourne Saint on Thursday 19 January-

Kained Holdings kicks off its tenth year in business by announcing its plans to invest more than £120,000 into its staff by creating a number of new hospitality roles across its award-winning bars and restaurants.

The recently launched Kelbourne Saint, at 182 Queen Margaret Drive in Glasgow’s West End, will play host to a recruitment day this Thursday (19 January) to give potential new recruits a taste of life as part of the Kained team. Interested candidates are asked to head to the venue between 10am and 4pm to see what’s on offer.

The group, often credited with sparking Finnieston’s transformation into one of the UK’s “hippest places to live” employs more than 170 people across its popular bars and restaurants and plans to bring on at least ten new members of staff; from senior management positions right down to those starting out in the industry.

Speaking about the recruitment day, director Scott Arnot said: “With ten years of business under our belt it’s a really exciting time for us. Our bars and restaurants are going from strength to strength and we’re looking for the best hospitality talent to join our teams to help us to continue to grow. Food and drink is a huge part of Scotland’s economy and we want to show people that there are real opportunities available to those who pursue a career in it.”

Kained Holdings has come a long way from its humble beginnings ten years ago where the only staff were the three founding directors, Graham Suttle, Mo Clark and Scott Arnot, who were all based in their original unit, Lebowskis in Finnieston. Fast-forward a decade and despite the large workforce employed, the founding directors are still closely involved in the day-to-day running of each of their establishments with Scott Arnot ensuring he meets with every new start.

Commenting on their commitment to employee development, Scott continued: “The people we recruit are important to us which is why every member of staff has a personal development plan and is offered a selection of training opportunities; from our on-site training academy to our new Management Development Program which highlights our commitment to our workforce.”

Kained Holdings recruitment day will showcase career opportunities for both front and back of house positions across a number of its venues including The Finnieston, Porter & Rye, The Drugstore Social, Lebowskis, The Crafty Pig, Kelbourne Saint and a brand new venue which is set to open in Finnieston next month.

For more information on the open day being held this Thursday, 19 January between 10am and 4pm at Kelbourne Saint on Queen Margaret Drive please email people@kained-holdings.com

 

Monday, 16 January 2017

Scotland's Top Young Chef Set to Launch Two New Restaurants

Adam Newth, The Tayberry Restaurant,

Scotland’s top young chef Adam Newth, about to launch two new ventures and triple his staff, has called on others in the restaurant business to put themselves in the limelight by competing for industry awards.

The 26-year-old Chef-Proprietor of the two AA Rosette Tayberry restaurant in Broughty Ferry near Dundee, who took the inaugural Young Chef of the Year title in the Catering Scotland (CIS) Awards in 2016, is due to take over the catering at Kinnettles Castle at Forfar following its transformation into an exclusive use wedding and private events venue.

In the Spring he will launch a second Tayberry restaurant in the new Kinettles hotel in St Andrews.

“Winning a competition gives your business a buzz,” he commented. “It gives you the reassurance you’re doing a lot of things right and indicates to the outside world you’re a trusted brand. You get the wind behind you and it boosts your profile. Articles go in the press and social media, and readers say ‘I must try that place!’”

Success certainly hasn’t come on a plate for Newth who began restaurant work preparing salads and making sandwiches in a cafe in his home town of Arbroath at the age of 14.

Confessing to not having done well at school, he took day release classes in cooking at Angus College before leaving home at 16 to work as a commis chef at former Rangers Football Club Chairman David Murray’s Circus restaurant in Edinburgh.

Restaurants where he then honed his skills included The Seafood Restaurant in St Andrews under multi award-winner Craig Millar (now running 16 West End at St Monans) and Angels with Bagpipes in Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. It was a long way from the Bellrock chippy in Arbroath to Michelin-starred restaurants The Kitchen and No. 1 @ The Balmoral in Edinburgh and Martin Wishart’s at Cameron House on Loch Lomond.

When he opened Castlehill, the city’s first 2 Rosette restaurant, one restaurant critic wrote: “Adam Newth may be the best thing to hit Dundee since Desperate Dan!”

His other awards have included Young Scottish Chef and Young Scottish Seafood Chef of the Year at ScotHot in 2013 and Sustainable Trout Chef of the Year in 2015.

His new St Andrews and Forfar outlets will mean almost tripling his current dozen staff.

“Winning awards has a positive impact on staff too,” said Newth who married Rachel last September near Disney World in Florida. “Even if the award is given to me, they know they’ve played their parts.”

“I’m excited about the new openings,” he added. “They’re different in scope but both will reflect our classic and modern techniques and passion for using the best and freshest ingredients we can get hold of.”

At such a relatively tender age, what’s the secret of his successes?

“Well,” he responds quickly. “I don’t sleep much and drink a lot of coffee! The truth is it’s been due to luck and a lot of hard graft.”

As Scotland’s annual competition combining the catering, hospitality and tourism industries, the CIS Excellence Awards are seen as the ultimate accolade for Scottish hotels, restaurants, gastro pubs, chefs and other organisations.

Entries close on 10 March. The Awards presentation dinner will be held on Thursday 25 May at the Glasgow Hilton. To enter see www.cis-excellenceawards.com.

 

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Tasting Menu Evening, Boclair House Hotel, Milngavie Road, Glasgow

Boclair House Hotel, Manorview Hotels, Glasgow restaurants, Gerry's Kitchen, Tasting Menu, restaurant Review
I love a tasting menu. In fact, if I could have a tasting menu for every meal, I think I would. So when I was invited along to Boclair House Hotel just before Christmas to sample their first tasting menu, I readily accepted their kind invitation.
Built in 1890 as The Buchanan Retreat, the mansion was built from legacies left by three sisters, the Misses Buchanan of Bellfield in Ayrshire, who wished to provide for poorer members of the Buchanan clan in their declining years. In due course, the restriction to those of the Buchanan name was removed and it became a home for elderly men until the town council acquired the property and it was opened as the Municipal Buildings by Princess Margaret and her husband Lord Snowdon in 1962.
After many years of being used as offices for East Dunbartonshire Council, the Grade B listed building was added to the already impressive stable of hospitality properties owned by Manorview Hotels & Leisure Group.
Boclair House Hotel, Manorview Hotels, Glasgow restaurants, Gerry's Kitchen, Tasting Menu, restaurant Review
After an investment of almost £3m, the building was lovingly refurbished and opened as a luxury boutique hotel last year. Boasting 12 individually-styled suites, a standalone restaurant serving fresh, locally-sourced Scottish produce, and a stunning grand ballroom which can cater for weddings parties of up to 160 daytime guests and 200 evening guests, Boclair House Hotel has quickly become one of the top wedding venues in the West of Scotland.
Boclair House Hotel, Manorview Hotels, Glasgow restaurants, Gerry's Kitchen, Tasting Menu, restaurant Review
Dinner was served in Annabel's Bar, an art-nouveau bar inspired by the decor of Hotel Coates in Paris with red velvet and dark wood panelling creating sumptuous surroundings for our upcoming meal. When we were there in early December, the bar was dominated by a huge, well decorated Christmas tree.
The menu was presented as a 9-course tasting menu although only as only six of the courses were served with a matched wine, I think that nine courses was a little misleading. As it was a school night (and I was driving) we decided not to go for the matched wines with Nicola sticking to a couple of glasses of the house Trebbiano instead.
The first course was 'Homemade bread with butters' and was exactly that. I'm not sure that bread should be counted as a course, after all, most restaurants serve bread as standard. Don't get me wrong, the selection of fresh baked bread with creamy butter was very nice but perhaps a little filling when there's a lot more food to follow.
Boclair House Hotel, Manorview Hotels, Glasgow restaurants, Gerry's Kitchen, Tasting Menu, restaurant Review
The next course was on the menu as 'Nibbles' which was actually a warm butternut squash velouté served alongside a haggis bonbon and a Parmesan biscuit sandwich filled with cream cheese. This was a great tasting appetiser - the butternut velouté was well seasoned and wonderfully creamy. The crispy haggis bonbon was well made with a nice balance of spice plus a little sweetness from the addition of grated apple.
Boclair House Hotel, Manorview Hotels, Glasgow restaurants, Gerry's Kitchen, Tasting Menu, restaurant Review
The next course to arrive, and the first 'proper' course was Smoked Venison with Brambles, Raisins & Apricot. This was a fantastic course! The lightly smoked venison (served cold) was matched well with a well flavoured apricot chutney and zingy apricot gel whilst super sweet raisins and sharp blackberries gave the dish perfect balance. This was a great way to start the meal, in fact, this was probably our favour course of the night.
Boclair House Hotel, Manorview Hotels, Glasgow restaurants, Gerry's Kitchen, Tasting Menu, restaurant Review
Next up was Beetroot & Gin Cured Salmon, Celariac, Wasabi Mayo and Grapefruit. This was another pretty dish, the salmon had clearly taken on the colouring from being cured with beetroot although the salmon hadn't taken on much of the flavour from either the gin or beetroot. That said, this was another great dish, the salmon was still very nice and balanced with the potent wasabi mayo while the celeriac remoulade with wholegrain mustard added the necessary crunch. The only question mark was concerning the grapefruit segment that brought a bitter flavour that wasn't welcome on the plate.
Boclair House Hotel, Manorview Hotels, Glasgow restaurants, Gerry's Kitchen, Tasting Menu, restaurant Review
The next savoury dish to come out was Foraged Mushrooms, Truffle, Egg, Warm Brioche & Parmesan Emulsion. Overall, this dish had some great elements - the foraged mushrooms were cooked well and packed huge flavour while the poached egg and Parmesan emulsion helped create a lovely sauce for the dish and the grated black truffle added further depth. The only downside to this dish was the warm brioche that sat under the mushrooms and egg which was far too sweet for the savoury flavours from the rest of the dish.
Boclair House Hotel, Manorview Hotels, Glasgow restaurants, Gerry's Kitchen, Tasting Menu, restaurant Review
The last savoury course was Duck Breast, Duck Leg Confit, Pearl Barley Risotto & Butternut Squash. This was a hearty dish packed with a ton of flavour. The duck breast was cooked pink which suited us both although the duck fat could have been rendered down a little more for a crisper finish. The confit duck leg was soft and tender, balled inside a braised savoy cabbage leaf. The duck was accompanied by butternut squash purée and a disk of pearl barley risotto which had been cooked with assorted vegetables. The pearl barley was a good idea as it brought an earthiness to the plate but we both felt that it resulted in a heavy risotto that we both struggled to finish.
Boclair House Hotel, Manorview Hotels, Glasgow restaurants, Gerry's Kitchen, Tasting Menu, restaurant Review
After a short break we were served the cheese course which included a creamy Brie, a decent piece of cheddar and a slice of Shropshire Blue served with a chutney and a selection of crackers. Each of the cheeses were very nice however the crackers looked like an afterthought, grabbed from the biscuit barrel and plonked onto a tea plate. Perhaps a few hand rolled oatcakes might have been a better option?
Boclair House Hotel, Manorview Hotels, Glasgow restaurants, Gerry's Kitchen, Tasting Menu, restaurant Review
Our dessert of Buttermilk Pannacotta, Blueberry, Honeycomb and Icecream was a fantastic way to end our meal. The pannacotta was so creamy and had just the right amount of wobble. The combination of jammy blueberries and burnt sugar flavour from the honeycomb added just the right amount of a sweet to the pudding. Normally I'm not a fan of ice cream but have eaten a huge bowl of the creamy vanilla ice cream that accompanied the pannacotta. This was one of the best desserts that we had in 2016.
Boclair House Hotel, Manorview Hotels, Glasgow restaurants, Gerry's Kitchen, Tasting Menu, restaurant Review
We were both feeling pretty stuffed by this point but still managed to squeeze in a coffee and some very nice petit fours. The homemade truffles and white chocolate coated ganache cubes were so more-ish and I almost asked our waitress for an extra helping to take home with me!
Boclair House Hotel, Manorview Hotels, Glasgow restaurants, Gerry's Kitchen, Tasting Menu, restaurant Review
Suitably stuffed, it was time to make our way home but not before grabbed a quick pic of the huge Christmas tree that dominated the reception area.
The cost of the tasting menu was £39 per head which represented really good value for money, especially when you consider that you could get five matched wines and a cocktail for just an extra £20!  For a first attempt at serving up a tasting menu, I think the chef and his team done a pretty good job.
All of the little issues that I have noted above were fed back to the waiting team on the night and although we were invited as guests of Boclair House Hotel, my review is an honest account of our experience on the night.
With Christmas now behind us, the team at Boclair House Hotel will be launching their tasting menu, running in conjunction with the new a la carte menu from week ending 27th January. I'm not sure if the costs will be the same as before but for more information you can check out the Boclair website for more information.
You can also keep up with news from Boclair House Hotel on Facebook and Twitter.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Get In On The Gin! the UK's Original Gin Festival is Visiting Glasgow

Passionate about all things gin, Gin Festival is coming to Glasgow for the first time, visiting The Briggait on the 3rd - 5th March 2017 with more than 100 gins, top craft distillers and a whole world of ginformation.

Hitting cities and towns all across the UK, Gin Festival has brought tens of thousands of gin enthusiasts together to discover and celebrate craft gin. With a fantastic range of unusual gins and a real dedication to the perfect serve, nobody does a Gin and Tonic like Gin Festival.

Taking place over 3rd - 5th March 2017, Gin Festival Glasgow runs for the following sessions, for £9.50 (+ booking fee) per ticket:

Friday 3rd March 2017 - Evening Session - 6.30pm - 11pm

Saturday 4th March 2017 - Afternoon Session - 12.30pm - 5pm

Saturday 4th March 2017 - Evening Session - 6.30pm - 11pm

Sunday 5th March 2017 - Afternoon Session - 12.15pm - 4.45pm

Sunday 5th March 2017 - Evening Session - 6.00pm - 10.30pm

Gin Festival was established in 2013 by Jym and Marie Harris. They wanted to go out, enjoy fantastic entertainment and great food whilst drinking the best gins and learning more about all things juniper. They wanted this all under one roof - but it didn’t exist. So they created Gin Festival.

Three years later and Gin Festival has grown from a single event to a phenomenon. Delighting attendees nationwide with four, fabulous gin bars, showcasing the very best in British and international gins as well as the finest gin liqueurs. To create the perfect serve, each gin has a carefully matched garnish alongside a specifically paired Fever-Tree Tonic or Mixer.

Gin Festival isn’t just about the Gin and Tonics though, there’s a regular cocktail bar serving up fantastic gin-based libations, as well as additional seasonal treats. You can chat to the distillers and brands who love to make gin, drink gin and share a sample or two. If they get you hooked, attend one of the amazing masterclasses where you can learn all about gin how it’s made, it’s history and beyond. Alternatively, just relax. Soak up the atmosphere, relish every gin and tonic drunk, try delicious street food and enjoy the entertainment.

Every fabulous gin, jenever and gin liqueur that can be tried on the bars, as well as irresistible gin themed gifts, are sold at the on-site off-licence and online at www.ginfestival.com/shop.

Gin Festival is incredibly proud to host Gin Explorer at its events. A monthly subscription service bringing 4 x 50ml measures of unusual gins, a treasure trove of information and surprise treats, direct to your door. Gin Explorer is the perfect treat for anybody who can’t bear to miss out on the festivals.

For more information visit: www.ginfestival.com - facebook.com/ginfestival - twitter.com/ginfestival - instagram.com/ginfestival