Sunday, 3 June 2018

The CCW Blogger Road Trip To Callander

loch lomond and the trossachs national park

Over the years I've attended quite a few blogger events. From pop up shops, to makeup masterclasses and spa experiences, I've always felt incredibly lucky and grateful to be invited along. But a few weekends ago I was invited on a blogger event like no other; a blogger road trip!

scottish lifestyle blogs

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have already seen a few snaps and Insta-Stories from the day but just in case you haven't, myself, Gillian from Elevatormusik, Lindsey from Lindsey Lou Blogs, Lis from Last Year's Girl, Lauren from The Luxe List and Roisin from Rose Keats were all treated to a day trip away by CCW Clothing and it's easily one of the best things that I've ever done as a result of blogging!

So here's what we got up to a few weekends ago;

CCW Byres Road

We started the morning at CCW's Byres Road store in the West End of Glasgow, where we were greeted by Ross, the second generation of the family owned and run business, along with a beautiful cake from Rawnchy.

fjallraven backpack uk stockists

We got a chance to explore the store and to change into our outfits for the day. At CCW, originally known as Caledonian Countrywear, you'll find fashion led brands such as RAINS, Seasalt, Patagonia and Fjallraven, as well as more functional brands. You'll also find staples for them such as the best-selling Barbour jackets and Ordanance Survey maps.

As soon as we stepped outside we soon realised that the weather honsetly couldn't have been better for the day out but you never want to jinx things or assume anything when it comes to the Scottish weather, so we all made sure to put on our newly gifted Lighthouse Abby jackets (can you believe that all six of us picked the exact same jacket?!) and Sorel Out 'N About boots.

visit scotland loch lomond and the trossachs

We said goodbye to Ross and hopped into the Ecotour Scotland Minibus, which transported us from Glasgow through to the Trossachs.

The Ecotour Scotland Minibus is wheelchair accessible, run on Bio-diesel and suitable for small children and pets. Being in a Minibus instead of a big traditional tour bus meant that we could go places that other tours just physically can't take you.

monachyle mhor hotel

Lunch at Monachyle Mhor

After about an hour and a half of driving past picturesque Scottish scenery and quite a few adorable little lambs and calves, we reached the first stop on our road trip; Monachyle Mhor.

Monachyle Mhor is a beautiful boutique lochside hotel, which also houses a working farm and an award-winning restaurant, of which we were there to sample some of the dishes for our lunch. Now have you ever seen a more blogger appropriate setting?! All it needs is a floral wall or archway and bloggers would seriously be making their way there by the busload!

monachyle mhor restaurant

For lunch we all opted for soup and sandwiches with the bread being some of best I've ever had. And you wouldn't expect any less when they have their own shop in the nearby town of Callander dedicated to just bread. Mhor really is more in that town as you'll find Mhor Bread, Mhor 84 (unlike any motel you've ever seen), Mhor In Store and Mhor Fish. I'm desperate to try some classic fish and chips from MHOR Fish (I think I'll always be happier with good wholesome comfort food than fine dining any day!)

We were seated in the bright and airy dining room whilst eating lunch and would you look at that view!

monachyle mhor reviews

And look at those stripes! To be fair, again it was really no surprise that every single one of us picked one of Mousqueton's beautiful striped tops when allowed to choose which one we wanted to wear that morning. I normally steer clear of white tops, often thinking that they will make me look enormous but this one certainly changed my mind about that. I even felt a bit Parisien in it and inspired to try out more striped tops in the future.

Exploring Loch Voil

loch voil blog

Tom from Monachyle Mhor then offered to take us over to the loch/lake in the back of his Land Rover and he certainly gave us a true countryside experience as we hopped into the back with the dogs and got absolutely covered in mud and muck. I may or may not have spent the rest of the day with a dirt splashed top, jacket and face but it was all part of the experience.

sorel out n about boots review

Unlike the rest of me, my Sorel boots looked shiny and new even after being put to the test in the wet grass and the mud. It may come as no surprise to you but I don't actually own a single pair of properly practical boots, despite the fact that I live somewhere like Scotland where the weather is less than predictable. These will definitely come in handy as the weather inevitably takes a turn in the coming days/weeks/months (believe it or not but it's currently hotter here in Glasgow than it is in Ibiza, as I sit writing this blog post!)

One thing I would say though, is to size up with them. I'm normally always a size 5 in boots but I found that the size 6 fit me perfectly and didn't rub or result in me developing several blisters, which is what traditionally happens when I first start wearing a new pair of boots, so they were definitely a hit with me.

CCW Callander

We then got back into the Ecotour Scotland Minibus and made our way to CCW's flagship store in Callander.

I'd never been to Callander before but I will definitely be back. It's just the most picturesque and pretty little town that I've ever seen and such a big departure from a city centre like Glasgow.

We met Bill and Liz, the original founders of CCW and one of the last truly family owned businesses in the country and had a good chat about how the business has evolved over the years, so much so that the Callander shop turns 30 this year!

ccw clothing callander

We then had a wander around the store where I spotted quite a few things that have immediately been added to my ever-growing wishlist. The sight of some sunshine and blue skies had me instantly drawn to sandals, bardot tops and denim overalls.

cafe circa callander

We then headed upstairs to Cafe Circa at the Atrium on the first floor of the shop for some refreshments/one of the best cupcakes that I have ever tasted!

cafe circa cakes

Let me just say; the buttercream on top of this cupcake was seriously out of this world. Oh, and those are little cubes of fudge sprinkled on top! I mean, how delicious?! I would genuinely plan a trip back through to Callander just to have one of them, that's how good they were and I think my fellow bloggers, who also mostly opted for one, could attest to that too.

A huge thank you to the team at CCW for inviting me along and for giving me an experience like no other, to Ecotour Scotland for getting us there and back and to Monachyle Mhor for having us round for lunch. It's a blogger event and day that I certainly won't forget in a hurry.

Have you ever gotten off the beaten track near where you live and found some real hidden gems? Which part of the day looks like it could be your favourite? And would you like to see me jump on a train or bus to check out more of Scotland's more scenic spots in the future, specifically if it's a day as glorious as this one?


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