Last month, I headed to Glasgow for a fun-filled shopping trip with two of my besties, Lorna and Mei Ling, where we joined three Scottish bloggers and had a wonderful day getting to know each other, and the city too. I had not been to Scotland before, let alone Glasgow, therefore I was very excited for our short trip across the sea to the Highlands – big thank you to Glasgow Loves Christmas and LK Communications for their kindness and generosity.
The flight was extremely short, only 40 minutes and at a very low-cost from as little as €20, and the trip from Glasgow Airport to the city centre was even shorter. Boarding an early flight, we were able to make the best of our Saturday – eating, shopping, eating, making our own body scrub and then eating some more!
I do recommend visiting Glasgow during the run up to Christmas Day, or thereafter, as I found it a lovely city to visit full of festivities, twinkling lights, delicious food and a lot of Scottish heritage. Read on for all the details of my first ever trip to Scotland!
House of Fraser
One of the biggest lessons I learned while on this trip was that House of Fraser as we know it, first opened its doors as Frasers on Buchanan Street in Glasgow in 1849 – making it a Glaswegian brand. The original store still stands proudly on this main shopping street, and for the festive season is decked in thousands of dazzling lights. Inside, the store features six floors of fashion with an impressive beauty hall on the ground floor, complimented by the grand staircase and a Dior-topped Christmas tree.
Frasers is home to the only Christian Dior Parfumerie in all of Scotland, where you can indulge in a variety of the beauty brand’s gorgeous eau de parfums, which make for special gifts this Christmas. As well as housing Yves Saint Laurent, MAC Cosmetics, The Abnormal Beauty Company, Charlotte Tilbury and many more, Frasers also featured womens and mens fashion brands like Gucci, Miu Miu, Mint Velvet, Barbour, La Perla, Victoria Beckham, Dune London and Emporio Armani.
We were given a wondrous tour of the store, then shown to the board room, which still features its original decor – a stand out room amidst the modernised department store. Visiting the original House of Fraser store was really enjoyable, it’s a truly beautiful beauty & fashion haven that, for the festive season, is covered in twinkling lights.
Visit House of Fraser, 45 Buchanan Street, G1 3HL
Kimble’s Chocolate Café
Before we hit the big store, the bloggers and I had breakfast altogether in Kimble’s Chocolate Café, that overlooks the St. Enoch Square and Buchanan Street. Seated upstairs in the St. Enoch Shopping Centre, we were treated to a delicious breakfast, which at Kimble’s is plentiful.
I opted for a chai latte that perfectly complimented little festive chocolates, and then picked the Eggs Royale, as I really wanted to try the Scottish smoked salmon in Scotland! It was a truly scrumptious meal, runny eggs, flavoursome hollandaise and beautiful salmon.
Down in the chocolate shop, we were shown around and told about the history of the store – a family run business since 2002, as well as having a gander through all the flavours and designs Kimble’s has to offer.
Visit Kimble’s, 55 St Enoch Square, Glasgow G1 4BW
St. Enoch Christmas Market
Outside this shopping centre, one of Glasgow’s Christmas festivities has set itself up for the festive season. The St. Enoch Market features many traders and food vendors from around the world, including a Bavarian food hut, stalls for festive candles, giant donuts, hot chocolate and mulled wine, as well as jewellery and plenty of gift opportunities.
Visit St. Enoch Market, Glasgow G1 4DF – it runs until December 22, 2017
Cup Tea Rooms
If you’re looking for a break between the Christmas shopping, the Cup Tea Rooms are a fabulous place to rest the feet, energize and indulge in afternoon tea bites. The Festive Afternoon Tea menu included classic mini sandwiches like Smoked Salmon with Black Pepper & Citrus Cream Cheese and Honey Roast Ham & Dijon Mustard Butter, as well as freshly baked Scones & Homemade Jam, and sweet treats like Mince Pies and Sticky Toffee Cupcake with Caramel Frosting.
Alongside these, we were given a choice of Ambr Tea from their vast variety, for which I ordered the Rose Grey. Every bite of the savoury and sweet were delicious, and our individual teapots and cups were such cute additions – plus my tea of choice was like drinking heaven! It was such a lovely atmosphere, during which the Scottish girls and the Irish girls got to know each other better.
Visit Cup Tea Rooms, 71 Renfield St, Glasgow G2 1LP – Afternoon Tea from £24 per person
Taking a walk through more of Glasgow City, we then visited John Lewis in Buchanan Galleries. Here we were told all about this year’s Christmas ornaments and their themed Christmas tree decor, of which the themes are Highland Myths, Folklore, Lima Llama, Winter Palace, Into the Woods, Mitsuko, and Tales of the Maharaja. Each of these has different styles, animals & figurines, embellishments and colours, and their inspirational stories behind were charming to hear all about. We were treated to one decoration per person, of which I chose the beautiful Winter Palace Gold Swirl Bauble with Gems.
Visit John Lewis, Buchanan Galleries, Killermont St, Glasgow G1 2GF
If you’re looking for a great activity with the girls, I recommend visiting Beauty Kitchen. Have fun making your own beauty products, guided by charismatic Josie Chidley. Run with her daughter Jo-Anne, this all-natural store runs workshops on a weekly basis, that is fun for all and means you can make something special for your loved ones. This was such great craic, the giggles were aplenty and it was a lot of fun making my own Body Polish, using the Love Me Pure Essential Oil with Epsom salts and Heather Buds.
Visit Beauty Kitchen, 117 Saltmarket, Glasgow G1 5LF
The Restaurant Bar & Grill
At the end of our shopping day, we were brought to The Restaurant Bar & Grill for a feast of a dinner. Here we were treated to a three-course menu with festive cocktails as well as wine. To start, I opted for the Chicken Liver Pâté, followed by the Aberdeen Angus Sirloin Steak, and then the Sticky Toffee Pudding to finish – a mighty meal indeed! The starter was full of flavour, and was quite the generous portion size to begin the feast.
I always get excited when ordering steak as it is my favourite kind of meat dish, and was again very happy to order a Scottish cut in Scotland. My steak was perfectly cooked to my liking, rare, and truly complimented by our red wine of choice, Rioja Zarabanda 2015. The accompanying vegetables, chips and Béarnaise sauce were all tasty and devoured too – and the same story for the each of the girls who ordered steak.
For dessert, whenever I see Sticky Toffee Pudding, it has to be ordered, and by golly am I glad I did, because it was divine! Moist, full of flavour and sweet but not overly so, I enjoyed every single mouthful. It was safe to say that I really pleased by our meal at The Restaurant Bar & Grill, and would happily return when in Glasgow.
Visit The Restaurant Bar & Grill, Princes Square Shopping Centre, 42 Buchanan St, Glasgow G1 3JX
For more information visit Glasgow Loves Christmas
*I did attend this experience as a non-paying guest, but that does not influence the authenticity of this post