Guilty Pleasures at Glasgow’s Blythswood Hotel*

Happy Friday! A couple of weeks back, we were kindly invited to the stunning Blysthwood Square Hotel in Glasgow.  It’s a beautiful spot located on a scenic square in the centre of town. I’d only ever popped in for a few press events previously, but I’d heard marvellous things. So, on a rather rainy afternoon, we popped in for a little luxury in the form of the Guilty Pleasures package.

Available from Sunday to Friday, from 12pm until 10pm, it’s the perfect treat if you’re looking for a little naughty indulgence. Served upstairs in the swish Salon, we had driven through from Edinburgh, so were very much in the mood for a little refreshment! As we were seated, it was impossible not to take notice of our surroundings. The architecture of the hotel is something that’s really celebrated – previously the RAC Headquarters, the building is littered with classical columns, pilasters and all range of original features. It gives the Blysthwood a real sense of being somewhere special, and the contrast with the modern decor is really beautiful.

Within a few minutes, our waiter had popped the cork on a bottle of chilled Baron de Villeboerg champagne, and we were able to sit and enjoy a view of the rainy Blythswood Square outside and really have a good catch up. Our fellow diners were a mix of pre-night-outers, a birthday party for a much loved grandmother (the restaurant broke out into a rousing rendition of happy birthday at one point) as well as tourists and business men. This meant the Salon had a great buzz, which continued to grow throughout the evening.

The staff at the Blysthwood Square Hotel couldn’t have been nicer. We were talked through the menu, and throughout the evening, our glasses were never left empty. The champagne was an absolute delight – crisp and dry, it was very drinkable. It also paired well with our rather indulgent treats, as it cut through the richness perfectly.

We were soon presented with the most mouthwatering tray of goodies. A selection of seriously luxe nibbles – we were absolutely in heaven! Since it’s a sharing platter, you’re spoiled for choice – and I just loved the dinky frying baskets that the fritters and sausages were served in.

The first morsels we dug into were the Panko-crusted confit pork fritters. These were a mix of crispy and porky, and were absolutely delicious. We dunked them in the mustardy mayonnaise and wondered aloud how we could recreate them at home.

Next up was the bacon-wrapped sausages which came smothered in sticky sesame glaze. These moreish bites were a step up from your usual banger, and were the perfect mix of savoury and slightly-sweet.

Last, but certainly not least, were the largest chips I’ve had in a long time. Piping hot, and perfectly crisp, we savoured these with the fabulous truffled mayonnaise. Anyone who knows me will tell you how much I love a good truffle, and these were really great. The whole tray of goodies was the perfect late afternoon treat, and saw us well into the evening, as we sat and enjoyed our bubbles.

The Blythswood Square Hotel’s Guilty Pleasures package is £40 for two people. You can read more about it here.

Prestat Hot Cross Bun Spiced Easter Egg*

When it comes to celebrating Easter, there are a few things you need to have: chicks, bunnies, chocolate eggs and hot cross buns. Prestat have combined the two most delicious elements in their brand new Hot Cross Bun Spiced Easter Egg. I’ve been a fan of spiced chocolate for as long as I can remember, so the mix of cloves, nutmeg and allspice with Prestat’s signature creamy milk chocolate just sounded dreamy.

Packaged, as per Prestat’s usual standard, in a gloriously swirly box, and tucked in layers of tissue paper, the egg looks like a little jewel in there, and I love the fact that it’ finished with a daffodil yellow ribbon. It is just so wonderfully spring-like, and it took everything in my power to take photos prior to getting full stuck in!

Once you crack open the egg, you’re met with six mini eggs all as delicious as the main egg! The mix of rich chocolate with the spices is delicious. It’s not overpowering, but there is definitely a kick of seasonal flavours – think cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. It’s a gorgeous nod to Easter, and really separated Prestat’s offering from the crowd!

Prestat’s Hot Cross Spice Egg is priced at £17.50 and is available here

Dinner at Steak Edinburgh*

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I had heard great things about Steak – a rather swish restaurant in the heart of Edinburgh city centre. Located on Picardy Place, if you’ve found the statue of Sherlock Holmes you’re in the right spot!

So, last Friday, after positively skipping out of work, we headed to Steak in the sunshine. I’d never been before, and was seriously impressed with the building. Previously a ballroom, the dining room is a dark, shadowy space, filled with candles. It creates the most wonderful intimate space, and the whole time I was there, all I could think about was how perfect a date-spot the restaurant is.

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Since it was Friday I treated myself to a glass of something fizzy, and went with a glass of prosecco. Served icy cold, it was exactly what I needed, and made the perfect accompaniment for the meal to come!

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Steak’s menu is pretty much perfectly sized – unsurprisingly it’s heavily focused on steak, but there is a good mix of seafood in there too (especially in the starters). If you’re swaying over which cut to choose from, the waiter helpfully brings over a heaving slab of steak cuts to help you decide which one you’re after. It’s especially handy to hear which cuts are leaner, or how long the meat has been aged when you’re making up your mind.

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When it came to the choice of starters, neither of us could resist the Pan Seared King Scallops (£12). Served with chunks of rich black pudding, a zesty spring onion puree and crisp pommes gaufrette. The dish was the stuff dreams are made of – the soft, buttery scallops paired well with the rich indulgent nuggets of black pudding. It was one of those dishes you just want to sit and savour, but at the same time just gobble right up!

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Then it was time for the main event. We couldn’t come to Steak and order anything else, so we both opted for star of the menu – the T-Bone steak (£40) served rare. Like all steaks on the menu it comes with a cooked portobello mushroom, tomatoes and a leafy salad.

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Honestly, this has to be the best steak in Edinburgh. Not only was it caveman-huge, but it was so tender, juicy and flavourful. It was an absolute dream of a Friday night supper, and it was cooked to rare perfection.

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I’m a big believer in keeping things simple, and so it seems, are Steak. The lack of adornments allowed the steak’s quality to shine through, and it’s one of the best meals I’ve had in a long time. The meat was so flavourful and tender – and it felt like such a treat to enjoy it in such a gorgeous restaurant.

To accompany our steaks, we opted to share three of the most delicious sides you could imagine (£4). All the sides on offer sounded divine, but we finally wrestled it down to Creamed Peas with Leeks and Bacon, Roast Seasonal Vegetables and Buttered Mash Potatoes. They were all equally delicious, although I think the creamed peas were my favourite – they tasted not unlike the base of a pot pie I make at home, and I’ve already tried my best to recreate it (although mine lacked a little je ne sais pas in comparison to Steak’s).

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After savouring the best steak in Edinburgh for nigh on an hour (there was a lot to enjoy!) we somehow found room for dessert. After having such an rich and indulgent meal, I was in the mood for something a little lighter, so the Rhubarb and Custard Parfait (£7) sounded ideal.

What arrived was a creamy rhubarb and custard gelato served on a homemade ginger biscuit. The fieriness of the ginger contrasted well with the creaminess of the ice cream, but what made the dish come to life was the inclusion of peanut butter on the plate. It was an absolute explosion of flavour, and finished the meal off fabulously.

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I also managed to sneak a mouthful of the Creme Brûlée (£7), and it was incredible. Rich, creamy vanilla contrasted with the caramel snap of the crust. Served with rich and buttery shortbread discs, it was an absolute dream of a pudding!

As you can probably tell, the meal was a roaring success – getting to enjoy the best steaks in Edinburgh as well as fabulous starters and desserts was a dream! Thank you so much to Steak for having us!

Steak & Shake at No. 8 Lister Square*

I’m not sure when exactly it started, but it feels like there are a million and one great restaurants popping up in Edinburgh at the moment, and it can be difficult to find the time (and sometimes the funds) to visit everywhere. So, when I heard about a deal which sounds almost too good to be true, I had to check out No. 8 Lister Square.

I’ve never really checked out the development which has popped up over the past few years at Lister Square. Honestly, I’d written it off as being overly student-y, but more fool me – it’s an absolutely stunning cluster of bars, restaurants, cafes and apartments, the star of which is 8 Lister Square.

 

A super modern, glass-fronted restaurant, downstairs there is a buzzy pub, complete with pool tables and quizzes in the evenings, with the restaurant upstairs.

We popped in on a Tuesday after work, dying of hunger and all too ready for the almost too good to be true offer of Steak & Shake for an incredible £10 per person! Since it was early-ish, the restaurant was quite quiet, so we grabbed a table by the window, and got to work choosing our milkshake flavours.

After we both opted for vanilla (you could also choose flavours like Oreo) it was just time to sit back and wait for our Rump Steak (150g) and chips which all come as part of the deal.

Soon after a plate of steak, a sizzling hot stone and a couple of generous pails of skin-on fries appeared. I had no idea that this was a do-it-yourself job, and it was such a lovely surprise. It means your steak is cooked specifically the way you like it – and all you need to do is sprinkle a little rock salt on the steak, then you’re good to go!

So that you’re not sitting around for hours, the steak comes pre-cut in thin slivers which make cooking it an absolute breeze. Just spear a slice of Rump and place it on the hot stone. Within a minute or two, it’s time to flip and the meat is all crispy and charred.

As the meat cooked, we munched on skin-on fries, and enjoyed the milkshakes. It was such a fun, casual way to update a weekday supper. It felt like such a treat to go out for steak during the week, and to know it’s so affordable is absolutely incredible!

Steak & Shake is available Sunday to Thursday from 4pm until 7pm, so it’s the perfect place for a casual mid-week outing!

Taylor Morris Sunglasses at Harvey Nichols Edinburgh*

When it comes to accessories, I am a bit of a sunglasses hoarder. I’ve got pairs from years ago, when ‘blinged out’ embellished legs were all the range, I’ve got vintage classics I sneaked out of my mother’s and I’ve got classics which I can throw on with any sort of outfit and feel vaguely polished.

So, a few weeks ago, when I was invited to see a whole new line of sunglasses from luxury British brand Taylor Morris launch in-store, and have launch with the brand founders, I absolutely jumped at the chance. Taylor Morris are all about an update on classic shapes – their glasses are unisex, and designed to reflect British Design and Hollywood glamour.

Made in Italy to the highest standards, Taylor Morris glasses mix old school design with modern accents. They’re just releasing a new collection which play with colour and pattern on classic shapes, and they’re such a fun way to add a little something extra to your outfit.

Getting the chance to sit down with brand founders Charlie and Hugo was so much fun. I just love getting to hear the real stories behind brands, and why people are doing what they’re doing. Getting insight into Taylor Morris’ marketing was fascinating, and very generously, everyone at the lunch was gifted a pair of their stunning sunglasses!

I’m planning a whole post on them, because, honestly, I’m a little obsessed. So in the meantime, you can find Taylor Morris at Harvey Nichols exclusively here.