Monday 29 January 2024


ELAINE C Smith says she will never put her comedian daughter Hannah Morton on stage with her at The Kings Theatre unless someone else has auditioned her for the part. 

The Two Doors Down actress and much loved Scots comedian will this year play the Kings Theatre as part of the Glasgow International festival which celebrates its 21st birthday with over 500 acts this March while her daughter Hannah,30, also performs her self penned Sad Girls Club appearing at Strathclyde Union. 

And Elaine, now 65, has always tried to ensure that Hannah is not a nepo baby.

She said: “I've said to her, there will never be a time that I will put you on the stage of the Kings with me unless someone else has auditioned you and thinks you're right for the part. 

“I can't do that to her. I remember it happened to Sophia Coppola in The Godfather Three and Francis Ford Coppola put her in and apparently Al Pacino who had known her since she was a baby always said ‘Don't do this. She's not ready’. It exposed her to the worst criticism and it was awful.

She added: “Not that she wasn’t talented, but she had to plough her own furrow and I think that's really important. I'll always encourage Hannah and always say ‘Yeah, I think that you should do that, but there's no ‘Oh, here's my daughter. She should be in this.’

Elaine said she made sure Hannah experienced the unglamorous side of the business before embarking her her comedy career.

She said: “She  didn't have rose tinted specs, thinking ‘I'm going to be an overnight success like you’. She saw the graft and it was really important to me. 

“The first job she took was a schools tour of Highland and Island schools where you built the set, travelled in a bus and stayed in rotten digs and all of that. I thought ‘If she survives this, then she does want to do it. She realises it's not glamorous. I started out doing that. I also did say to her ‘Write what you want to do’. Don't sit around waiting for a guy to come along going ‘Yes, you are brilliant’.”

Elaine herself says it has been a hard journey to become the well kent face she is today. 

She said: “It's been a hard climb, a hard journey and I took lots of risks, setting up my own company and everything like that. So it has not been easy as a woman in this city in the over the last 40 years of doing this. As soon as you get to a part in the climb up the mountain and sit there and just survey the view, you think, wow, I've come a long way.”

Talents at this years fest which runs from March 13-34 include viral sensation Zara Gladman (west end mum), Mark Nelson Susie McCabe, Frankie Boyle, Some Laugh Live and Old Firm Facts Live,  alongside Frank Skinner, Reginald D Hunter and Caroline Rhea. 

More at 

Thursday 18 January 2024


THE Scottish Influencer Awards return for a second time to recognise Scotland’s stars of social media. 
And this year presenter and broadcaster Danni Menzies will host the event on Sunday March 3 at the city’s Radisson RED Glasgow, with the country’s top influencers – individuals or collectives – honoured for their endeavours in the digital world.

The inaugural Awards, in October 2022, which was honoured to witness in the flesh, saw 75 of the country’s most successful and influential social media talents shortlisted across 15 prestigious categories, and reaching an audience of 60 million+ in the process.

Aiming to recognise inspirational, distinct and original storytelling, the Scottish Influencer Awards highlights the positive contribution many influencers are making. 
In 2022 this was reflected in the breadth and oozing-with-quality shortlisted talent and winners. 

From entertainment reporter Laura Boyd (@lauraanneboyd) whose journey through cancer, surrogacy, charity campaigning and celebrity saw her named Scotland’s overall Influencer of the Year, to Emily Shak (@emilyshak) whose 1.7 million style-hungry followers accelerated her to Superinfluencer status. 

The refreshingly inclusive roll call of winners also included eco-warrior Laura Young (@lesswastelaura) who was recognised for her Inspiration in using the power of social to help save the environment, Jack Jamieson (@scottishmixology) whose tips for home imbibing won him Drinks Influencer of the Year, Rona McMillan (@ronamcmillan) whose dreamy nature and active outdoors-led content saw her named Health & Wellbeing Influencer of the Year, to Graeme Johncock and Molly The Lab (@scotlands_stories) whose exceptional social feed of Scottish tales and legends saw him honoured by VisitScotland: Year of Stories.

Now, with the 2024 ceremony announced, camera phone flashbulbs are set to pop as 500 guests walk the red carpet to a dramatic digital photo wall at Radisson RED Glasgow; a truly insta-worthy arrival. 
A drinks reception, presented in celebration with Rock Angel, will follow thereafter along with The Laings Lunch; a sparkling affair toasting this year’s trusted influencer voices and trendsetters.

Fifteen award categories, supported by a raft of prestigious partners and assessed by a panel of illustrious judges, will once again be presented across the afternoon, spanning Food, Drink, Health & Wellbeing, Family and Lifestyle, as well as Travel, Interiors & Design, Arts & Culture, Style, Beauty and Visual.

Special recognition will be made to those influencers who define Inspiration and whose social endeavours are underpinned with a positive contribution to diversity, equality, and/or inclusivity.
One individual or enterprise will be named overall Influencer of the Year 2024.

Each winner will receive a highly covetable and 100% sustainable art-collectable sculpture by renowned Argyll design innovators Midton, plus a magnum of Rock Angel.
To be eligible as a potential nominee, Scottish-born or Scottish-based influencers must have shared compelling, informative, original and creative content in 2023 across one or more of the award categories. 

All forms of social mediums including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, YouTube, podcasts or other innovative and publicly accessible digital platforms will be considered. Influencers may nominate themselves or invite others to do so on their behalf through the entry form found on the official website: There is no fee to nominate.
The Radisson RED Glasgow will also have a hot-ticket Rock Angel Official After Party the same night with Special Guest Billy Woods of Supermax - a sizzling kaleidoscopic soundtrack from past, present and future.
Tickets are on sale now to the Scottish Influencer Awards 2024 at £45 per person and include red carpet arrivals, Rock Angel reception, awards ceremony with Danni Menzies and Rock Angel Official After Party with Supermax. Available via

Mary McGowne, Founder, Scottish Influencer Awards said: ““Delighted to announce the return of the Scottish Influencer Awards in Glasgow, in celebration with a host of prestigious partners, and following the success of our inaugural year. The Awards recognise the best of Scotland’s social media community, and the positive contribution so many are making towards the country’s image and appeal at home and internationally.
“Nominees will once again be trusted voices; independent and passionate arbiters of good taste in their respective fields with the power to propel messaging to their highly engaged followers. These stars of social play an important role in bringing stories and campaigns to life, and we are pleased to be shining a spotlight on the best of Scotland’s influencer talents. It promises to be another memorable afternoon.”

Danni Menzies, Host, Scottish Influencer Awards added: “I am delighted, thrilled, to be coming home to host the Scottish Influencer Awards.
“It is an incredible celebration of the country’s most influential stars of social and an unforgettable occasion.
“It will be a pleasure to toast Scotland’s wealth of outstanding digital talent and I can’t wait to see everyone in March.

Wednesday 17 January 2024


WHEN it comes to Burns night there are few venues in Scotland as impressive as the famed Gleneagles, nestled in the heart of the Ochil Hills in Perthshire. 
The revered hotel which has captivated travellers for nigh on 100 years is inviting discerning customers to indulge their Burns night this month at The American Bar, winners of the Siete Misterios Best Cocktail Menu Award at The World's 50 Best Bars. 

The believes there is nothing better than a luxury hotel which offers both adventure and outdoor pursuits combined with fine dining and a drinks menu to challenge your tastebuds. 
In keeping with true Scottish tradition, Gleneagles are pleased to present the Honeyberry cocktail - an elevated Scottish Whisky cocktail using  Aberfeldy 12 year whisky, Honeyberry and Kefir 13. 
Combined together the liquid is a perfect complement to whisky and when combined, results in an Alexander-style cocktail – creamy but deceptively light with a spicy finish. 
Renowned Head of Bars, Michele Mariotti, has taken its luxury offerings to the next level, focusing on locality and taking an innovative approach to incorporate ingredients sourced from the Gleneagles’ rolling hills of Perthshire, resulting in a truly unique bar experience. 
Whether guests choose to visit The American Bar or The Century Bar, they can indulge in the most tantalising and inventive cocktails crafted with the finest ingredients found both locally and within the hotel's existing ecosystem.
Gleneagles' American Bar offers beautiful decor that playfully evokes the glamour of the 1920s and ‘30s.  The walls of the bar exude opulence, wrapped in a unique Scottish heather dyed cashmere, woven exclusively for Gleneagles.

The stunning original fireplaces, restored to their former glory, boast lilac marble and custom-made brass mirrors, while vintage glass column wall lights add a touch of old-world charm to the luxurious cashmere panelling. This bar is a visual feast for the senses, transporting you to a world of excitement and elegance. 
The bar team is passionate about creating imaginative and exciting drinks, as demonstrated by their highly anticipated Book of Berries menu launched in 2022. Inspired by the 20th-century Observer Books, this menu features eighteen cocktails, each dedicated to a single botanical berry sourced from the local area and produced sustainably.

The Book of Berries menu is not only a celebration of the classic cocktail, but also a statement of Gleneagles' commitment to creativity and sustainability. By using waste and non-prime parts of produce, the bar team has created an extraordinary cocktail menu that showcases the diversity of botanicals and their origins.
The menu's hero serve is the Juniper Martini. 
To showcase how the different varieties of juniper can enhance the taste of this ultimate classic, the team partnered with South Loch Distillery in Edinburgh to create three bespoke gins, each using only one botanical - juniper. 
In addition to the Martini, the Book of Berries menu boasts a range of exciting cocktails, such as Blueberry, which uses Gleneagles’ Garden Café blueberry muffins to create a vodka-based cocktail, and Avocado, which incorporates leftover avocado seeds to create an orgeat, which is then combined with white rum and Amaro to make a Mai Tai-style cocktail. 
Another standout cocktail is Banana, which uses leftover peels that are caramelised to infuse bourbon, creating the ultimate twist on a classic Old Fashioned.
Gleneagles Hotel's Century Bar, designed by David Collins Studio, is a masterpiece of artistry and sophistication, inspired by the changing seasons of Scotland. The bar's elegant interiors feature garnet red as the central theme, with locally sourced accents that pay homage to the country's rich heritage. By day, the bar is the perfect spot to rendezvous with family and friends over coffee or a bite to eat. By night, the Century Bar transforms into an alluring space where guests can indulge in a glass of champagne or a rare malt whisky from Scotland's finest collection.

At the Century Bar, where a journey of flavour awaits, the menu features four categories of cocktails, each with its distinct style and essence. 
The Great Adventure Book menu seeks to celebrate the contrasting landscape of Scottish countryside, split into four sections The Lochs, The Seas, The Forests, and The Glens.The menu dives into a wild and beautiful world of the great outdoors, encouraging guests to embark on their next big adventure. Though for those who would prefer less adventure and more sipping, a ‘Too Long Didn't Read’ summary is a perfect place to pick the tipple from. Visit the Century Bar and indulge in a full sensory experience that's wild, beautiful and uniquely Scottish.
Burns, if her were alive today, would surely choose to sit and take in all the opulent surroundings as he wrote his wit and wisdom. 

Sunday 14 January 2024


SIX By Nico have opened their new flagship restaurant in Glasgow’s Merchant City - and they launched with a Mad Hatters Tea Party. has watched the ascent of Six Company, the Glasgow-based company behind the Six by Nico restaurants, since thry began their incredible journey in 2017. 


Now, having  opened fifteen sites throughout the UK and Ireland in the same time frame, the brand is moving into a new phase with a new look Six by Nico restaurant in its hometown of Glasgow. 

The new Six by Nico Merchant City on Albion Street will provide the experience guests all know and love in elegant surroundings that compliment all aspects of their product.


An earthy and inviting interior  is inspired by the number SIX, and designers Studio Two developed ideas for Six by Nico by using the six-legged dragonfly as its muse, honing in on characteristics of the insect's body form, colour, and natural habitat.

 As Six by Nico continues to develop the brand across multiple venues, restaurant sites will gain a harmonious design style whilst maintaining individuality inspired by locational concepts.

Since St Andrew's Square, Saltmarket, and Trongate are all part of the neighbourhood known as Merchant City with its rich history around trading goods such as tobacco, sugar and salt, designers opted for an earthy, rich colour palette inspired by the tobacco leaf.

Authentic timber panelling is influenced by mahogany cigar cases, fixed seating is upholstered in antiqued leathers reminiscent of opulent home lounges and joinery pieces are embellished with antiqued brass hardware. Furniture pieces are complimented by plush patterned fabrics like those seen in the wealthy merchants homes.


Studio Two said, "We're excited to be working on such dynamic schemes with a strong creative brand who continue to push boundaries within their sector".


Every six weeks, Chef Nico and his team completely reinvent their food offering, serving a brand new six-course tasting menu, each one themed around a different location, memory, or idea. 

The menus combine different ingredients, flavours, and dishes to create a brand-new dining experience, drawing inspiration from both home and abroad. Every six weeks, foodies in Glasgow will be treated to a completely new six-course menu at the new Merchant City location, with the first concept theme based on The Mad Hatter's Tea Party. 


Six Company Chief Executive and founder Nico Simeone said, “Our team is driven daily by the challenge to constantly create and reinvent. We are dedicated to being different, never resting on our laurels, and continuously striving to create the best customer experiences. Marking our six-year journey with such a significant evolution of experiences in our home town and reaffirming our commitments to the city seems like the best way to celebrate the next stage in our company vision.“

Since launching their first restaurant in 2017 in their hometown of Glasgow, Six by Nico has served over 350,000 customers across the city's locations in Finnieston, Byres Road and Glasgow Southside and a staggering 2 million dishes. 

The Six by Nico brand has created 49 tasting menus since the conceptual brands launch in Glasgow and raised over £700,000 in two years for the groups charity partner Beatson Cancer Charity. Since the partnership's inception less than two years ago, the restaurant group and their customers have raised funds across their fifteen Six by Nico locations in England, Scotland, and Ireland as well as 100% of the proceeds from the Beat 6 restaurant in Glasgow Bearsden going directly to Beatson Cancer Charity. 


For further details on Six by Nico Merchant City and to book now for The Mad Hatter's Tea Party please visit


Please view The Mad Hatters Tea Party menu here


Address: Six by Nico Merchant City,  84-86 Albion St, Glasgow G1 1NY |



ANDY Murray has impressed his fans with a new skill set as he showed them that he can complete a Rubik’s cube in a personal best time of one minute and thirty eight seconds. 
The Wimbledon champion who just lost out to showed off his newfound talent in a video whilst he was sitting in a cafe and his moves were shown off proudly by his mum Judy on her Instagram.  
Andy said of his new hobby: “I learned to do the Rubik’s cube since I got to Australia which is a new thing for me this year. 
I learned to complete it.”
He explained: “My daughter got one for Christmas and I thought ‘Oh I should learn how to do it so I can teach her.’ I did that when I got over here. 

“To learn it so I could complete it each time it took probably about three days, not like every minute from when I first started off three days, but yeah three days.”
Andy can be seen muttering to himself as he moves his hands quickly to solve the famous puzzle and slams it down in the table when he is finished. 
Fans were impressed with one saying: “ Is there nothing that you can't do?”
Another added: “That's awesome! And the more he does it the quicker he will become too!”
And a third said: “Even Erno Rubik would be impressed.”
Andy is currently competing at the Australian Open.

Sunday 7 January 2024


GLASGOW’S Madras cafe has snapped up another gong as 2023 South Indian Restaurant of the Year at the Scottish Asian food awards - and they now have more awards than tables. 
The eateries latest trophy makes it the most awarded Indian restaurant in Glasgow as it adds to its collection of glass and silverware - including Trip Advisor Best Indian restaurant in Glasgow.
In fact, the restaurant in the city’s Howard Street now boasts so many awards it has more trophies than its 16 tables that seat 50 diners.  
Owners Altaf Hossain, chef Shabu Natarajan and JD Tewari have worked tirelessly for the last three years to build a solid foundation and they can’t wait to give back more to the community this year. 
Altaf said: “I think we’ve become the most awarded Indian restaurant in Glasgow. We have won twenty awards in total with eleven being presented to us in just the last year. 
“Winning the prestigious award that honours our south Indian dishes is truly a moment of triumph for all of us at Madras Cafe and I want to express my heartfelt appreciation to each member of our extraordinary team. 
Dedication, passion, and unwavering commitment to delivering the best culinary experience have undoubtedly played a pivotal role in achieving this accolade.
To our chefs, who craft each dish with precision and love, thank you for elevating our culinary offerings to new heights. Our head chef Shabu’s creativity and skill shine through in every bite. 
Our front-of-house staff ensure that every guest feels welcomed and cherished.
I think this recognition will inspire us to continue striving for excellence, innovation, and the highest standards of hospitality. To our guests, Thank you for being the driving force behind our success, and here's to many more accolades in the future.”
Dishes like the golden crisp Masala Dosa and Chicken Chettinad with its coconut herbs and spices are two South Indian dishes which have proved popular with regular and new diners including celebrities like Liverpool and Scotland player Andy Robertson and top Masterchef contender Sagar Massey.
Altaf and his team now want to give back to Glasgow and say: “We hope to do even better in 2024 in our service and offering new dishes to our guests. We would also like to do more charitable work, and more engagements in the community.”
To celebrate their win, Madras Cafe is offering 20 per cent off its food menu throughout January.