Entertainments – Part 1; Wine Tasting, Hyndland Fox, West End, Glasgow

The great (now dead) Graham Greene once said about some of this books, that they were “entertainments” – there only for pleasure, entertaining and not to be looked at as great works of art.


One of these, Our Man in Havana, was actually superb, and described the early communist government in Cuba, worth a read!

First course!

So when I was out the other night, and attempted to find a restaurant, I happened to wander by The Hyndland Fox (again!), and noted that they had a wine night with tastings on – who could resist.

Second course

Whilst there at the entrance, we were greeted by staff, who after informing us of the night, then ushered us to our unreserved seats, exactly when the talks (between the courses) started.

Cheese course

A Frenchman was there to talk about this new “brand” or company from France known as Rift, with the idea of producing completely sulphur-free wine.

Dessert

The tasting consisted of 4 courses, with an accompanying wine for each course, that consisted of:

  • Salmon
  • Duck & Potatoes
  • Cheese & Homemade Biscuits
  • Sorbet & Pate

With the highlight, being both the first and final courses. I’ve never tasted sorbet so rich, with the accompanying “pate” being unbelievable, like a candied caramel.

Interesting that I have been here before several times and it always strikes me as if they are trying to do something different; they’ve a comedy club here as well. So I was glad I walked about to find this place. I only wish that I had known about this night before; perhaps they have an email list that I could join?

But yet again, it’s another (IMO) world class foodie thing, right here in Glasgow, with the food and service exceptional, and naturally quite friendly.

Excellent

CB

Portugal – Part 1, the flight and a stay in Faro

First of all, I decided after looking at the ridiculous prices of flights from Glasgow and Edinburgh (direct flights) to Lisbon, to go from the little used Prestwick Airport on the west coast of Scotland on a flight to Faro. They mainly only serve Portugal and predominantly Spain, but at very reasonable prices.

Shot of Prestwick, direct from the Bus stop arriving

Firstly, it is so easy to get there, whether by bus (above) or train (below); much easier to get to than Glasgow Airport; still with no train link, though this was tried in the past.

Prestwick Train Station

Inside, the airport is very empty, short queues, and there’s even a wall bar (apologies for the photo), to commemorate Elvis Presley’s only stop in the UK, back in 1960. Though he may have had a secret trip (earlier) to London.

Various shots of Prestwick Airport

The flight was naturally with Ryanair, where I had one of their “deals” with tea.


Once in Faro (for the night), I stayed in a relatively inexpensive (50 euros) hotel, the Hotel Alfonso, that had the typical spartan, tiled look – all I needed!


It was interesting to be in Faro, as the centre of the city has seen better days, so with my late arrival, I had few choices to find a restaurant; though the one I did find (after hotel advice) was perfectly adequate; even with a large screen for the late football.

Sto. Antonio restaurant

The Sto. Antonio (?), if that is what it’s called, served a variety of dishes, mainly Portuguese, but it was a gentle introduction to the cuisine I would be eating for the next few days.

Salad and Gazela green wine

With even the little things, like presentation, quite different to what I am used to. I had one of the “green” wines that the Portuguese do so well – In this case, it was a Gazela wine, and at only 9%, it was quaffable and not too heavy.

Wine and table water

CB

Back after an American excursion, more later, another Cafe’ – The Hyndland Fox, West End, Glasgow

Will soon report back on my recent forays to the Highlands, Lisbon!, and America (the last 2 weeks).

So went for a walk the other day, and in my effort to have 10,000 steps per day, bumped into the delightful, Hyndland Fox, that also (it was a Sunday), had a bi-weekly comedy club that we’ll check out soon.

I honestly didn’t know that, but who knows, maybe everything is getting back to normal finally?

I’ve been here before, and the one thing they’ve done, is to serve a more, minimal, fish and chips – let’s be honest, I can never really finish an entire, normal portion – with it usually being top-heavy with batter.

This is could handle easily. The pal’s food, was a more and more typical dish, with a red sauce being sent out with mussels. Though, I would normally prefer the white wine sauce, this was interesting.

Costello at the Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow

As for the week, we went to see Elvis Costello last night, a review tomorrow!

CB

Dunoon – Final part – Burgh Hall café and OMOS Exhibition

Was told by the attendant here, that only a few years ago, this building, the Burgh Hall, was vacant and then purchased for £1.00 – what a bargain, and what an interesting inside here – with both an exhibition hall and a café – both work very well.

Dunoon Burgh Hall

As for the exhibition area, at the time there was a film / projection on black history in Scotland. Don’t know if it was my thing, but on the other hand, I’ve always been a sucker for these type of avant-garde installations; normally on a wall or screen, with much space about.

OMOS Installation, Dunoon, Scotland

It had a flow to it and an atmosphere that I adored.

Various shots from OMOS

As for the cafe, it had my favourite, being Coronation Chicken, that was a ten from 10!

CB

This week, and amongst many things, a look at the “art” scene in Dunoon . . .

More blogging about my trips to Bavaria and Dunoon, more cafe reviews(!) and maybe something else.

OMOS Presentation, Dunoon

But it was interesting to see that even in good, ole Dunoon, there is some form of an art scene. In this case, they had a film / presentation about 500 years of black culture in Scotland, and I will “review” it shortly for all to see!

Art Centre in Dunoon

In addition, the “art house” that housed it, had a brilliant café as well, and naturally I’ll review it also.

Also this week, I will start a series, of looking at just how good (or bad) supermarket cafe’s are! I’ll begin with Morrisons in Partick. If I survive the food, I’ll blog about it. . .

CB

Tchai Ovna, Tea House / Café, West End, Glasgow, Scotland

Have been here simply NOT enough times over the years, but when in attendance, I always think – why not? They have an incredible selection of rare teas, in a gigantic pot!

Tchai Ovna, down an alleyway in Glasgow’s West End, on the banks of the Clyde river

It’s down an alley that if you didn’t know, you would never expect a café to be. Though there are signs around the corner that do state there is a café here.

Signs directing you to Tchai Ovna.

I decided, been here before but didn’t partake, finally to have a sharing, Middle East platter with a friend, and it was beautiful.

Middle East platter to share

It did what it said it would do, and with a pot of Darjeeling, a huge pot to share, it was more than sufficient to pass away a couple of hours, amongst an eclectic mix of people; vegans, students, artisans, etc.

It is also available for dinner reservations.

Have already planned my next visit.

5/5

CB

Eusebi Deli, West End, Glasgow, Scotland – Best Pizza dough on Earth

One of my main beefs with pizza and specifically with “thin and crispy” or even non-thin pizzas, is that the dough, even after baking, is ALWAYS soggy and wet in the middle! Always!

Bianco Pizza (Béchamel base, potato, parmesan, rosemary & gremolata and Salad – Interesting

So when I was here at Eusebis yesterday, in the West End of Glasgow, and was told that the particular type of dough / pizza was the best in the world(?), I thought let’s try it. Boy, it is!

Firstly, the pizza itself, Potato Pizza?, was excellent; who would’ve thought? The accompanying side salad was different as well, with some form of attention paid in its creation – even with apple slices.

Service perfect and personal, even when it was actually quite busy both inside and outside in the late Sunday afternoon.

5/5 – Will go again, though have been here before, but this is the first time since pre-Covid

CB

Bavaria and some of the Food – So much better than the reputation

Interesting, I was watching Saturday Kitchen yesterday on the BBC, and was fascinated by a Rick Stein interview of a Duke there in Andalucía, who thought British food was very underrated.

The same I feel for German food, and specifically, Bavarian cuisine that is available at many breweries and guest houses / restaurants.

Wurst, Kartoffelsalat und Bier

It’s just something that they do very well with basic food. Note that the potato salad has very little mayo in it – it’s not a heavy, sticky food; though of course I know it’s not completely healthy as well.

Topped off with a culture of beer gardens, it’s a treasure to take part in.

Somehow it all just fits.

CB

279 Café Bistro, West End, Glasgow – Another veggie Burger – Different!

279 Café Bistro, Glasgow

I must have walked by here several thousand times, another place that was on my list, and finally went in this week to see just what it has to offer. Equally, with a bistro vibe, it also happens to be one of the few restaurants in this area of the West End that is open late.

The décor and food were spot on, and had a lovely chat with the head waiter / proprietor about Corona, opening hours, strategy for day or night diners, etc.

I once again went for a non-meat burger, and was surprised that there were two choices (and staples in this type of food); haloumi or bean burger – I chose the former and also decided to have it “with cheese”; that the waiter and myself laughed about – a cheese burger, with more cheese!

Haloumi and Cheese Veggie Burger

It was lovely, healthy and the stack of chips was like a Rubik’s cube. The addition of avocado was an added plus.

4 /5 – Recommended

Will also in the near future, try their night menu.

CB

This week – Germany, other things, but wait, another, new Chinese Cafe’ we have in Glasgow

And what a name and quote to go with it:

I Love You Desserts – 23 Byres Road,Glasgow

“The world is a little bitter, I want to give you a little Sweet” – how darling!

I will have to check this place out, as I just LOVE sweets and note that this is hopefully another triumph here in the West End, and will add even more to the variety here and to the variety of the recent explosion of Chinese eateries in this particular area.

CB