Friday 29 September 2017


CRUMBS!  The worlds biggest empire biscuit met with an early demise when wee Bob the Shetland pony demolished it during a live TV show. STV2 presenters Ewen Cameron and Jennifer Reoch couldn't believe it when four legged studio guest Bob, who thinks he's a dog, began chomping away at the giant golden crumbly version of one of Scotland's most popular teatime treats.
It was made specially by Carluke's Clark The Bakers who were intending to display it at the towns popular Jam and Ham festival.
The biscuit measured in at 36 inches in diameter and 18 kilos in weight and took eight bags of flour, three bags of sugar, 16 blocks of butter, ten jars of raspberry jam and 50 eggs before being topped with 2kg of fondant icing.
Live at Five TV hosts Jennifer and Ewan were in the middle of a cookery segment at the other side of the studio when the incident happened.
Just as they were asking Chinese cookery chef Jimmy Lee to describe his dish, Jennifer noticed out the corner of her eye that inquisitive Bob was scoffing the biscuit.
She yelled: "Oh no" as she spotted Bob having his first bite.
Ewen when shouted: "Wait" and made his way over to Bob.
An exasperated Jennifer then laughed: "Ok so we have one of Scotland's smallest ponies eating the world's largest biscuit currently. Oh for goodness sake. There we go. We were going to eat that but it's ok we have food in our kitchen."
Ewen then asks: "Are we just leaving Bob to it?"
After the show, the telly hosts had to explain to the biscuit makers and their PR what had happened.
Ewen told the "Seriously, that biscuit was to be transported back to Carluke as it was going to be shown off at the Jam & Ham festival event. Wee Bob was stood in the performance area and wandered over and took a bloody bite out the biscuit.
I was in shock as a wee pony had just taken a bite out of the biggest empire biscuit in the world that had been in the press all day and then comes to us and gets broken by a pony."
"The bakers will have to bake a new one."
Brian Clark, of Clarks the Bakers in Carluke, creator of the world's largest empire biscuit, said:
"I suppose we shouldn't be surprised that somebody who literally has the appetite of a horse couldn't help themselves when they saw our biscuit.
"He might have enjoyed it, but Bob has done us no favours; making another biscuit for the festival on such a tight deadline will be a tall order.
"But we don't want to let anyone down. R&W Scott has already dropped off the jam today and we'll be pulling out all the stops to get another one, just as tasty and maybe even a tiny bit bigger, finished in time.
"And we'll not be letting it anywhere near any ponies."
Excerpts of this article have since appeared in the Daily Record
From Scotland with Love - the

Monday 25 September 2017


GUESTS at a newly launched Edinburgh hotel will be able to enjoy Tuck Boxes and disco balls during their stay.

The new Principal hotel in Edinburgh's Charlotte Square revealed a host of different sized rooms and party pods for special guests and amongst the treats on offer in each room and individual Tuck Boxes.
They offer Scottish delights like Mackie's crisps, Tunnocks caramel wafers, snowballs and sweeties included in the room rates.
Huge troughs of goodies can also be provided to guests who want to impress.
Giant disco balls and record players also adorn some of the rooms allowing guests to party to their hearts content.
General manager Marcello Ventisei said: "The tuck boxes include a range of locally source and retro type goodies, so for example they regularly include Tunnocks tea cakes, Mackies crisps, Refresher lollipops etc. Little quirks also include knitted bright red tea cosies on the teapot in your bedroom suite and also mini ones on your boiled eggs in the morning.
"We also have within our collection of Suites and Deluxe bedrooms retro record players complete with a selection of original vinyls, Nespresso coffee makers and Ruark Radio with blue tooth built in to play your own music. Not forgetting GHD hairstraighteners either in your room or available at reception.
"The wee house is a Georgian townhouse within the hotel can be hired exclusively and can be used as a wedding venue.. It has its own private front door on Charlotte square and offers a collection of suites and upraded bedrooms alongwith its own Dining Room, relaxing Drawing Room and even a pantry."

Saturday 23 September 2017


STAFF at a Scots hotel admitted they thought Pete Doherty and his bandmate Carl Carrat might have died after they failed to check out at their allocated time.
The two Libertines band mates were staying at Ayrshire's Gail's hotel after gig in Kilmarnock this week when they got into hot water over their big lie in.
In an online Periscope, video staff can be seen giving Pete a hard time after he comes down to reception after 1pm, more than three hours later than his official check out time.
Pete says to them: "What do you mean it's ten o clock check out?"
A hotel worker replied: "Penthouse was ten o clock check out, eleven at the latest."
Pete replied: "We were staying here until 1pm."
The worker replied: "None of our staff knew that so we've been waiting. Don't worry now."
Referring to bandmate Carl Barat who has still not surfaced from his room staff staff then reveal they have had to unlock the door from the outside after Carl locked it from inside.
As Pete jokes 'this is more of a murder mystery vibe', a female member of staff admits her concerns saying: "Well he could have been lying there dead for all we know. He's sleeping quietly."
Pete then joked if I'm not back in twenty minutes send up a cappuccino and a mojito. He then awakes an irate Carl saying You're going to miss your flight.'
Singer Pete might be used to some elements of rock n roll but he claims he was more than chuffed when he got to a room with its own sauna during his trip.
He said: "I just came off stage on Kilmarnock. Anyway my hotel room in Kilmarnock Ayrshire is unbelievable. It's quite an innocuous looking gaff, dual carriage way and brown bricks, but it has a sauna. How cool is that? I know if you are in an American band this is probably run of the mill fodder but for a lad from an army barracks you still have to say 'oh my days' is that really a waterproof tv and is that really a sauna in my bathroom. I just pray to god Carl has one in his room otherwise trust me there will be trouble."

Thursday 21 September 2017


A Glasgow Rangers fan has vowed to get a tattoo of Glow reality star Brian Matthews tattooed on his chest if Rangers beat Celtic in tomorrow's match.
Rangers daft Craig McKendry follows former coach and toothy model Brian on Twitter and said in a Tweet: "If we beat Celtic on Saturday I am going to get a tattoo of @Brianglow on ma chest. With StaunchAndTrue written underneath."
Although he's now deleted the compromising Tweet, he admitted: "Yeah if Rangers beat Celtic I'm going to get a tattoo of Brian Matthew from Glow on my chest. I love the way that he doesn't hide the fact he is a blue nose and loves to wind the Celtic fans up. It made it even better with him recently winding up the Celtic captain Scott Brown on twitter calling him mince. I know a lot of Celtic fans who dislike Brian and I decided to get this tattoo to wind them up even more."
A chuffed Brian said: "I'm absolutely flattered that someone would do this and let's hope for a Rangers victory on Saturday."
He added: "Let's just say it will be a very blue tattoo and extremely good looking. My face has touched the flesh of a lot of girls chests but this could be the first time it takes pride of place on a mans chest.

Sunday 17 September 2017


KEZIA Dugdale paid tribute to her girlfriend Mid Fife and Glenrothes MSP Jenny Gilruth at the Icon Diversity awards. 

The former Labour leader was in a relaxed mood as she dined with Jenny and pals at the bash in the Hilton hotel. 

Picking up an award for Politician of the Year at the ceremony she joked: "It seems like the best way to win something was to resign as leader of the Scottish Labour Party."

She added: "We celebrated the life of a very good friend of mine Gordon Aikman and he actually taught me to live life well and if I've learned anything this year it's about spending time with people that you love and focusing on the things that are important to you so I'm delighted tonight. I'm spending a lot more time with my beautiful and amazing partner Jenny and also in standing up for things that are important to me, standing up for LGBT rights, doing what I can around the country."

Kezia and Jenny stayed at the event in Glasgow's Hilton hotel until the wee small hours before heading to the after party at Light nightclub for a dance. 

They mingled with a host of stars including supermodel Caprice, Gok Wan, John Amabile, Sean Batty, Caitlyn Van Beck, Jean Johansson and Youtuber Lucy Flight and Riyadh Khalif and showed a different side to their usual public image. 

Caprice said: "Its great that we are celebrating diversity and everyone is so friendly here."

John Amabile added: "Its so inspirational and so many people have been recognised tonight who are totally inspiring."

Amongst the winners were Jordan Daily, role model of the year from the TIE campaign which won charity of the year, and the Icon Award went to MND campaigner Gordon Aikman who passed in February. His husband Joe Pike who is the ITN political correspondent picked up the award on his behalf.

Scott Barclay from the Icon awards said: "We had politicians from the Tory Party, Labour, and SNP all attend the event for 563 people championing diversity across Scotland. 

Former councillor Rosa Zambonini was rushed to hospital after taking ill during the ceremony. 

Rosa won the award for Straight Ally in the night but was unable to stay to pick o the gong. 

Scott Barclay of the awards said: "We wish Rosa the very best and thank her for championing diversity in Scotland and for her advocacy of the trans community in Scotland. 

Rosa attended the ceremony but took ill half way through and had to be rushed to hospital. 

He added: "It's a shame Rosa wasn't there to collect her honour but we will get it to her. We wish her the very best."

Rosa said: "The award most deserved went to Kezia Dugdale a woman who has put up with relentless abuse, was outed unfairly and who I admire beyond words."

Friday 15 September 2017


RONNY Deila may have been branded a failure by his predecessor in Valerenga but he didn't look too upset as he watched the Celtic game from the stands in Glasgow.
The former Celtic manager was in the city to watch the match against Paris Saint Germain and popped into a selection of pubs including Malones Irish bar in the city's Sauchiehall Street before and after the game.
And rather than watch from a luxury box, he chose to watch the game with the rest of the fans.
According to sources he'd been offered boardroom tickets to watch the match but preferred to mingle with punters instead.
He told a friend: "Celtic just never leave you once you're immersed in them."
One fan said: "Ronny Deila was sitting in my section. He looked quite happy to be in with the fans."
Despite the bad result last night Ronny happily mixed with fans at the match and was seen dancing into the wee small hours afterwards.

Wednesday 13 September 2017


Brown rice, wholegrain bread, homemade cheese all on the new healthier menu at Glasgow's authentic North Indian restaurant.

AUTHENTIC North Indian restaurant The Dhabba is ensuring its customers stay healthy with its own cheese making facility, the introduction of brown rice, wholegrain roti bread and extra vegetarian dishes on its new traditional menu.
The award winning Glasgow restaurant, which is celebrating its fifteen year anniversary later this year, is named after the wayside diners which dotted themselves throughout the highways and roads of Northern India. It's always offered something a bit different from standard Indian fare and has even made it into the hallowed Michelin Guide alongside its sister restaurant the South Indian gluten free Dakhin, also in Candleriggs. Restauranteur Navdeep Basi who began the business in 2002 said he's always tried to push the boundaries with the food on offer, whilst keeping customers tastes very much at the forefront of his mind.
Navdeep and his chefs who have sourced quality produce from local suppliers make their own in house paneer cheese which is said to carry a whole load of health benefits (see below) and unusual chutneys like apple and ginger and they regularly visit North India to check out the latest dishes.
Navdeep who will officially celebrate the restaurants fifteenth year in December said: "In 2002 we were the only restaurant that went against normal British restaurant operations in Scotland and at that time everything we did was completely different. We were the first restaurant to use the Indian name of Murg for our chicken dishes and Gosht for our lamb dishes. Other restaurants tried to copy some of the ideas from our menu but we've always endeavoured to keep ahead of the game."
Navdeep says trends are changing and since a large number of his customers are in the 30-60 year old age bracket he's keen to offer them the healthy dishes they desire.
He said: "The high fibre in brown rice and wile grain bread helps digestion, helps to lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, blood sugar levels and is a good source of necessary vitamins and minerals. It even helps to control weight.
Because so many people are body and diet conscious we've also introduced a vegetarian street food section to the menu with dishes like Bengun Bharta- large aubergines tandoori cooked and sautéed with onions, tomatoes peppers and peas and Makai Khumb, a mild dish with mushrooms, baby corn tossed with spring onions.
The new menu also boasts Dhabba favourite dum puhkt dishes with ingredients like lamb sealed and practically steamed in the cooking vessel.
There's also a new addition of Grilled Scottish Salmon in a red pepper and mustard seed sauce.
Navdeep said: "India now has TV cooking shows and there is fierce competition to come up with something original. My head chef JD Tewari was trained by celebrity chef Imtiaz Qureshi who is now 86 and has cooked on ministerial trips so we really strive for excellence in our cooking."

Monday 11 September 2017


Former X Factor hopeful Gamu Nenghu has found a happy ending and is celebrating after getting married to her Scots sweetheart.
The Zimbabwe born singer, who was threatened with deportation along with the rest of her family following a bureaucratic immigration wrangle walked down the aisle in the UK on Sunday.
The scene was a picture of happiness as she and her Stirling born music shop worker husband Jamie Rintoul swapped rings in an intimate ceremony.
Gamu, who lived in Tillicoultry with her family before moving to London to become a stylist and make music with her and Jamie's band Sheltrs, first hit the headlines as an 18 year old contestant in X Factor in 2010.
She lost her place to Katie Waisel in the midst of an immigration row when it was revealed her family's visa application was submitted late.
At the time she pleaded with immigration officials not to send her and her family back to the lawless country under President Robert Mugabe.
She said she feared being killed by a death squad if she returned.
Most recently Gamu made a brief return to the public eye after presenter Rylan Clark launched a nationwide campaign to find her in the Xtra Factor.
Gamu said at the time: "To be completely honest I was trying very hard to pretend that the past 6 years had not happened. If you stopped me in the street and asked me if I was 'Gamu from X factor' I 99% probably would've said 'no' . And honestly if you do it now it might still be the same."
She added: "Sheltrs is a band made up of myself and Jamie.
We possibly don't quite know exactly what we're doing. But we do know what we love.
"Air Ballons is our first installation of a three song project that will be available for download in the next few weeks. Because I've realised that worrying about what we will become will not progress us further but will only succeed in holding us back." The two lovebirds have been dating since June 2015 and got engaged in September last year.

Saturday 9 September 2017


THEY were a stalwart of kids’ telly in the 70s and 80s.
Now loveable puppet duo Sooty and Sweep could be coming to a giant screen near you – if plans to make a movie about their exploits get green lit to mark their seventieth anniversary.
Richard Caddell – who’s the new man behind the puppets after buying the rights to the much loved children's character ten years ago for around a million pounds said: “We're working on a full feature length theatrical movie. It's been a few years in the pipeline but we are getting there. It's a multi million pound movie with big stars. It's a tough game the movie business which we are discovering, but it is a challenge we are winning."
Richard who doesn't want to go down the route of CGI believing it's very one dimensional and would be the 'final nail in the coffin' said: "It will be a real family movie with celebrity cameos. We plan to have it ready for next year's anniversary if not make it then."
And fans could get a taste of what they’re in for – judging by Sooty and Sweep’s appearance on STV 2s Live At Five on Friday, where chaos ensued.
Sooty began the carnage by spraying Gun rocker Dante Gizzi in the face with a water pistol and followed suit by soaking presenters Susie Cormack Bruce Ewen Cameron before Sweep gave Gerry Cassidy the same treatment.
During the popular dining segment of the show, the terrible two brought out pots, whisks, brown and red sauce, and flour which they proceeded to throw around the studio.
Susie Cormack's expensive skirt ended up with marks on it while every had flour in their hair by the end of the show.
At one point Sweep even managed to throw a pot across the table almost smashing a glass in the process.
The TV favourites were yesterday performing in Greenock at The Beacon Arts Centre before meeting up with kids after the show.
Richard said: "Sooty loves Scotland and we had a Scottish breakfast this morning and Sooty's favourite a Tunnocks caramel Wafer. Next year it will be the seventieth anniversary. Seventy years since Harry Corbett went to the North Pier in 1948 in Blackpool and saw a little teddy bear in a joke shop. He was very poor harry and just wanted a little teddy bear to entertain his children and he bought it and there and then Sooty was born.
Sooty was really called Teddy and he has yellow ears and Harry entered a talent competition on children's television. The TV producer said he looks like all the other joke shop teddies. You've got to do something and hastily they blackened his ears and the TV producer said you know what he looks a bit Sooty and they said there he was. And that was it.
Sooty is very excited about reaching his seventieth birthday next year. We are going to have a big party on the north pier of Blackpool and are going back there on July 17. There'll be a big party and show."

Thursday 7 September 2017


A new Italian restaurant which will allow picky customers to choose exactly how they want their food is coming to Scotland.
As well as being able to talk to their chef directly, and choose unusual ingredients like strawberries or figs in their pasta, they can also garnish their dishes picking fresh herbs from the numerous basil and rosemary plants dotted outside and inside the venue.
Vapiano restaurant already has around 190 venues around the world and plans another two - one in Edinburgh and another in Glasgow before the end of the year.
The German owned chain which has opened restaurants in five continents since 2002 and is a favourite with Corrie stars Tina O Brien and Brooke Vincent in Manchester promises to give customers more choice by preparing fresh food according to your wishes right in front of your eyes.
It means customers won't be able to complain that something is too salty, spicey, tomatoey, creamy, cheesy or that their pasta is too hard.
Vapiano means go slowly in Italian and customers can also ask for up to three times extra portions of beef, chicken, prawns and salmon in their dishes and even put ingredients from other dishes in their pasta if they want.
With a selection of pizzas, pastas, antipasti, salads and desserts on offer it puts food control back in the hands of diners.
Eleven types of pasta and fresh pizza dough are made daily in the premises and salad dressings, bread and dolce are also made on site too.
The restaurant, which is a favourite of wrestler David Hayes who obviously asks for double portions, will shortly open a three-floor, £1 million venue in Edinburgh's St Andrews Square also plans a Glasgow branch in the old Virgin Megastore building within the next few months.
Phil Sermon, Managing Director at Vapiano, said: "The Vapiano teams in Edinburgh and Glasgow are getting ready for opening, bringing the freshest range of pizzas, pastas, antipasti and salads to diners in both cities.
"The unique concept at Vapiano sees our visitors greeting their chef, ordering directly from them, resulting in a tailored dish made just how they like it! If diners want it extra spicy, add a touch more chili. Or if they want to really indulge in their favourite prawn dish, they can ask for a double portion. Once you're back to your seat, you can then pick additional garnish for your plate from the herb crates on the table.
"Whether you're wanting to grab a quick lunch to keep you going for the rest of the working day or you're heading out at the weekend for a relaxed meal and drinks with friends, Vapiano is perfect for a brilliantly fresh italian meal."

Tuesday 5 September 2017


 HERE'S a first look at the swanky new YO! restaurant at Glasgow Fort. 

The UK’s most famed Japanese food operator, will open a second new restaurant in Glasgow this week on Thursday 7th September, 2017.

Following the launch last month of YO! GLASGOW CENTRAL, in the heart of the city centre, the wildly popular brand is now about to open the doors to YO! GLASGOW FORT, the company’s fourth restaurant in the city.

Situated at the main entrance of Glasgow Fort, the new restaurant will have an outside seating area for al fresco dining (sunshine permitting!) – this area being a point of difference to all other YO! restaurants. 

What’s more, the expansion has presented an opportunity to employ new talent from the surrounding catchment area. Along with the experience of the team already in YO!, these new appointments will ensure YO! GLASGOW FORT has a strong local connection.

Culinary pleasure seekers can expect a perfect mix of YO! classics and newly curated dishes at YO! GLASGOW FORT including hot favourites such as Katsu Curry, Ramen & Miso, Yakisoba, Chahan, Teriyaki, Gyoza and Tempura, and delicious hand made cold Nigiri, Temaki, Sashimi, Rolls and Fresh Salads. In keeping with Glasgow’s ‘UK’s Most Vegan Friendly City’ status there are also an impressive 16 vegan and 29 vegetarian dishes.

 To demonstrate its commitment to Scotland, YO! is delighted to now be working with Scottish suppliers to source the best quality salmon fresh from the country’s shores. Only Scottish salmon is now served in YO!’s 78 restaurants across the UK.

YO! is one of the only high street restaurants that freshly prepares its dishes on site, in open kitchens, and YO! GLASGOW FORT will be a striking scene in which to enjoy its carefully curated menu.

With its instantly recognisable bold orange YO! branding, YO! GLASGOW FORT has an urban feel, with the use of both concrete and brick wall-effect finishes, as well as ceramic tiling. Exposed end grain birch plywood to joinery and an accent of yellow running throughout the restaurant, adds warmth and vibrancy to the scheme. Booth seating following the full length of the arc, as well as full height glazing, maximises exposure to the bustling hub of The Fort. The restaurant’s industrial aesthetic is reinforced with all exposed services above and a deconstructed ceiling raft feature.

Inside, YO!’s legendary Kaiten belt snakes around the entire restaurant, allowing customers to grab the fresh dishes from their seats.

A new To Go menu will also be available in YO! GLASGOW FORT across both hot and cold dishes.

 YO! CEO, Robin Rowland OBE said,

“We are excited to announce the opening of YO! Glasgow Fort.

“We have been blown away by the response to our return to the city centre. Glasgow loves YO!...and the feeling is mutual.  

“The arrival now of YO! Glasgow Fort will be another fitting statement for the city and YO! fans can expect to enjoy all their popular favourites, as well as exciting new food offerings, and all set against a striking new design aesthetic.”

 Phil Goodman, Centre Director at Glasgow Fort, added:

“We are delighted to be welcoming YO! to Glasgow Fort in its fantastic custom-built unit.

“With a delicious menu and fun atmosphere, it is sure to be a hit with our customers visiting for our leading shopping and leisure offering.”


A Scots hospital patient with a rare genetic disease was thrilled to bits when she received a get well message from Still Game's Jack and Victor.
Sharon McNeilly, 43, from Cumbernauld suffers from the rare condition Von Hippel Lindau syndrome, an inherited disorder causing multiple tumours, both benign and malignant in the central nervous system.
Only 4-500 people in the Uk suffer from it and symptoms of the condition include headaches, problems with balance and walking, dizziness, weakness of the limbs, vision problems, and high blood pressure.
Sharon who has already had four brain operations to remove rumours as well as spinal surgery is due to go in for adrenal and whippes surgery on Monday.
Her husband Andrew who is recovering from cancer himself bumped into actors Ford Kiernan and Greg Hemphill as they filmed around Glasgow this week and asked if they would send a special message to her.
The lads went one better by videoing themselves in character delivering a humorous get well message that looks like an excerpt from Still Game.
In their message Greg says: "Hello Sharon we hear that you are recovering from a major operation."
Ford adds: "We're here to say we're wishing you all the well in your recovery and we hope that you're Still Game."
Greg then continues: "That's right Make sure you get lots of rest and that this dumpling makes all your teas and all your dinners and all your breakfasts. Get your goonie on, your telly on. Get well soon darling.
And Ford who then jokingly breaks his walking stick in half chips: "Otherwise I'll be snapping the stick.
Sharon who managed to get home for a few days from hospital before the big op said: "I can't stop smiling about this. Ford and Greg are absolutely fantastic and I've been a fan of Still Game ever since it first was performed as a stage show years ago. I'm absolutely over the moon that I have a personalised Jack and Victor message."
Sharon's husband Andrew added: "The lads were only too happy to put a smile on her face in between filming. I've had a similar operation to my wife's when I had cancer and I know it's a big op. She had to take time off her job at SSE Scottish Hydro as a result of her illness and had been trying to stay positive throughout this. Ford and Greg really managed to make her smile with their unique message."
From Scotland with Love -
Excerpts of this article have since appeared in the Sunday Post.

Monday 4 September 2017


GLASGOW'S Hilton Grosvenor has revamped it's lounge area to offer the elegance of yesteryear combined with a contemporary twist.

The Terrace is the name of the elegant champagne, afternoon tea and cocktail lounge at the famous hotel where you can experience the unique character of the West End. 

And the stylish Terrace will be opened on Fridays and Saturdays from 5pm onwards with afternoon tea being served on Saturdays from 12 midday till 5pm.

There are private pods where you can cosy up for a romantic date, hold an important apres work business meeting or fun party  with friends. 

The hotel can even close off one of the rooms if you want an extra special private party. 

A live pianist also adds it the sophisticated charm of the traditional venue while a DJ will ramp up the sounds at dusk. 

Champagne and cocktails are very much encouraged the later it gets and cakes and tea are also served up along with sandwiches and minced pies. 

It's the perfect place to unwind after or during a crazy day and next month - October - it will be open every day from 10am.