Friday, 7 December 2018

A Festive Day Out With Glasgow Loves Christmas

glasgow christmas lights switch on

As you'll have already seen if you read my November: A Month In Events blog post, the past few weeks have been so busy, especially when it's came to blog events and PR meetings and to end the month in a very apt way, I was very kindly invited along to a festive day out with Glasgow Loves Christmas.

To say that I was excited was definitely an understatement as two years ago I went on a similar day out with them and it was a such a fantastic experience. 

So let's see what I got up to, this time, on a festive day out in Glasgow in what will be another photo heavy blog post;

mackintosh at the willow afternoon tea

Tea and cakes at Mackintosh at the Willow

We started our day at Mackintosh at the Willow on Sauchiehall Street, where I had a lovely hot chocolate and some of the incredible cakes and pastries on offer above. I'd never been before but I'm already planning a trip back to treat my Mum for her Christmas.

If you're an admirer of Charles Rennie Mackintosh's work, this really is a must visit.

mackintosh at the willow menu

After four years of careful restoration, the tearoom has been completely renovated and restored back to it's original glory. And just in time for the 150th anniversary of the birth of Charles Rennie Mackintosh himself. There are Mackintosh details everywhere, as you would expect and each and every room is absolutely stunning and packed with original details.

You could honestly take photos from every angle in every room and never get bored, which is basically what I did on our quick tour of the building.

mackintosh at the willow glasgow

There's also a visitor centre, which is housed directly next door, where you can learn more about Glasgow in the late 1890's and early 1990's, where plenty of change and innovation was taking place. There are lots of interactive, audio and visual displays for you to get involved with too and you can find out how the tearooms originally grew into what they have now been renovated back to.

the good spirits co. wine & beer

Trying a few tipples at The Good Spirits Co.

I'm not the biggest drinker but even I appreciate a glass (or four) of Buck's Fizz or prosecco at this time of year, so I was very intrigued to see all the different drinks available at The Good Spirits Co.

good spirits company tastings

Nestled just below street level on Bath Street, this shop really is an Aladdin's cave of spirits and tipples. Not only do they sell a vast array of drinks for every kind of taste but they also bottle their own cocktails, of which we go a chance to sample that morning. Drinking at 11:30am is definitely acceptable at this time of year, isn't it?

I was a big fan of the Rebel Without A Claus cocktail and not just because I also love a good pun. The dipped in wax top is such a nice touch and instantly makes it feel so much more festive, especially if you pick up a few topped with red and with green to gift this season.

alcohol gift ideas for christmas

The Pickering's Gin baubles also caught my eye immediately when I entered the shop. I mean, how good would they look, either full or empty, on the Christmas tree this year?

the good spirits co glasgow

The Good Spirit Co. also stock Glas Wee Gin, which is a special and limited release, where £3.50 from each and every bottle goes to the Glasgow School Of Art fund, which will leads us on nicely to our next stop of the day.

glasgow school of art pop up

Popping in to the Glasgow School Of Art pop up store

Since the second terrible and devastating fire at the Glasgow School Of Art, the store which was originally housed in the school itself, has now been temporarily moved to Princes Square by way of a pop up store. You'll also find it online all year round.

glasgow pop up shop christmas

Packed full of eclectic and quirky picks, all of which have been designed by students, staff and alumni of the Glasgow School Of Art, there's jewellery, homeware, stationery, accessories and more, all of which are completely unique. If you're looking for something completely different this year, I would certainly steer you in the direction of this shop.

glasgow school of art shop

Their bestseller at the moment has got to be the handmade Christmas decorations and it's easy to see why. Shopping local can be such a nice way to make Christmas shopping less manic and more enjoyable, especially as you know local businesses and individuals will be benefiting from it.

glasgow school of art shop souvenirs

There's also lots of great souvenirs to be picked up. I have many a good memory of picking up pencils and badges like these when I used to spend the Summer holidays at the many different museums in Glasgow.

princes square glasgow christmas tree

You'll also get a great view of the absolutely unreal Christmas tree taking centre stage right in the middle of Princes Square. They always seem to nail their Christmas tree display and once again, they've completely hit it out of the park this year.

After getting a few snaps of the tree, we then headed down to the basement to check out Glasgow's newest and most stylish cinema.

everyman cinema glasgow

Popcorn and Pina Coladas at Everyman Cinema

I'd seen quite a few people visit the Everyman Cinema, the first in Scotland, on my Insta-Stories so I was very, very excited to finally check it out for myself and it did not disappoint.

glasgow everyman cinema

The interior is insane and totally shakes up the rather stale cinema scene in Glasgow. It would definitely make me want to make a day of going to cinema rather than just popping in to see the movie and heading home.

I could easily have spent all day there first having lunch, then grabbing some popcorn to enjoy a film and then finishing they day or enjoying the evening with a few cocktails.

everyman cinema princes square

We were given a tour of the three screens, popcorn in hand and I was completely wowed by both the art deco styling and the intimate setting.

everyman cinema glasgow review

We even found out that you can hire out a screen which would seriously be the dream. Hopefully there might be an upcoming event or something along those lines held there as I would absolutely love to experience that at some point. I mean, how cool would that be?

The whole place is just so sleek and stylish without feeling pretentious in the slightest.

everyman cinema glasgow menu

We also got a chance to sample some of the menu and I was really pretty upset that we wouldn't be staying at Everyman for lunch but it certainly gave me even more of an excuse to come back soon to experience it fully. I'm not one of these people who goes to the cinema and orders a massive snack but I could easily see myself coming with an empty stomach to Everyman. It would be such a nice place to spend a day or evening.

everyman cinema glasgow prices

There's also an incredible bar with some seriously delectable cocktails. Yes, that is cotton candy atop that glass and it was AMAZING!

everyman cinema glasgow cocktails

As I mentioned earlier, I'm not the biggest drinker but this Pina Colada was honestly one of the best drinks that I've EVER had! It has a scoop of incredible ice cream in it and I'm basically drooling right now whilst I type this.

corinthian glasgow christmas

Lunch at The Corinithian Club

After having to be practically torn away from Everyman, we headed to The Corinthian Club for lunch. It looked absolutely beautiful all done up for Christmas.

the corinthian glasgow

I mean, how insane does the interior look just on a normal day there?! It really is such a special place to visit at least once whilst you're in Glasgow.

the corinthian glasgow christmas

Sadly there was a bit of a palaver with my lunch order, which slightly put a dampener on the whole experience for me. It's never good when you specifically ask and reiterate not to have something on your sandwich, for example, especially when you've got an irritable tum like I do, only for it to be brought out and then told they didn't know what you meant when you originally placed your order. So unfortunately I sat without my meal whilst they remade the order and everyone else enjoyed theirs and when it did come out, only one item on it had been removed but still had mayo (another foe of mine) and other bits on it that I had to eat around. Not ideal to be honest.

corinthian glasgow menu

I never like to complain, particularly when you've been taken out on such a lovely day like this but the whole lunch experience did leave a bit of a sour taste in my mouth, quite literally with the mayo, when it was such a simple thing to accommodate. All I was looking for was some chicken, lettuce and onions on a sandwich.

It was worth the visit to check out the Christmas decs and interior but I won't be rushing back to the restaurant anytime soon.

john lewis personal styling review

Personal Styling Session at John Lewis

After lunch we walked up to John Lewis where we had an appointment with the Personal Styling Team. Personal shopping and personal styling services are something that I definitely don't take full advantage of, especially when many stores offer them for free. I wasn't aware that John Lewis actually had such a service so it was great to have that brought to my attention through the day out.

john lewis personal stylist review

The Personal Styling team had picked out a rail with several different options for us but my eyes were immediately drawn to two of my favourite prints at the moment; animal and snake print.

John Lewis & Partners offer 5 free services in the Womenswear department, those being holiday, wardrobe refresh, workwear, special occassion and perfect pair of jeans. It's also nice to get a bit of advice on what what flatters and fits you best and sometimes you just need a second or third opinion on whether or not something works.

There's no pressure to ultimately buy and it's a much more pleasant experience than dashing around the entire shop floor by yourself, especially if you're short on time. There's a lovely changing room area, which I basically fell in love with. I mean, look at that pink chair and fluffy cushion combo above!

mint velvet animal print dress

I fell head over heels in love with this red animal print dress from Mint Velvet and Sarah and Rachel, the Glasgow personal stylists, were on hand to help me accessorise the look. They picked out these boots from Ted Baker and this hat, which was actually from John Lewis itself. I loved the overall look and it was definitely an improvement from my usual black jeans and shirt combo that I arrived in.

best snake print dress

Next I tried on this absolutely stunning maxi dress from Whistles paired with the Ted Baker boots again and my own black velvet turban, which I bought from Monki on ASOS earlier in the month. It was a pretty rainy and blustery day outside that day so I was glad to keep my hair somewhat at bay under it.

john lewis glasgow personal shopper

I felt so special and well catered to during our session and will certainly be heading back in for some fashion advice in the New Year. There's definitely something about a New Year that makes you want to throw everything out and start from scratch, isn't there?

ysl makeup john lewis

I also got the chance to try two different shades of the new YSL Rouge Pur Couture The Slim Lipsticks to compliment each of my two outfits. The nude shade, number 11, in particular was just so dreamy and what I wore for the remainder of the day. I will definitely be picking up that specific shade the next time I'm in store or maybe I might even add it to my Christmas list this year.

goma glasgow shop

Shopping for gifts at Glasgow Museums Store at GOMA

We then headed down Buchanan Street to the Gallery Of Modern Art, known as GOMA, which is another great stop if you're looking for something quirky and original.

glasgow museum shop

If the person that you're buying for this Christmas or if you're doing a little bit of shopping for yourself, appreciates art, kitsch or something fun, then this is the place to head to.

quirky gift shops glasgow

There were also lots of great gift ideas for little ones and I couldn't leave without getting a snap of this adorable little Christmas bauble. Speaking of Christmas decorations...

house of fraser glasgow christmas lights switch on

Getting glam at House Of Fraser

No Christmas shopping experience in Glasgow is complete without paying House Of Fraser and it's incredible twinkly lights a visit.

mac glasgow house of fraser

We were booked in for a MAC masterclass where we were given a step by step guide on how to achieve that perfect and flawless looking glowy base. I picked up so many great tips such as mixing essential oils into your foundation and what to use to apply different parts of your base in the best way possible.

book mac makeover appointment

I've actually only ever tried one MAC product *shock horror* so it was great to have a chance to check out and to try some more of their range, even if it wasn't as good for my bank balance, as I came away with quite the list of bits to try. Here are just a few of them;

Their holiday sets are unreal!

house of fraser christmas grotto 2018

We then headed upstairs to the House Of Fraser boardroom where Santa will be setting up shop for the month of December. There were so many brilliant little touches that made it so special. I can only imagine how excited everyone will be to see Santa in here this year.

house of fraser santa's grotto 2018 glasgow

I mean, how cute are the little snowy footprints?

glasgow christmas markets

Exploring the Glasgow Christmas Markets

The last stop on our day out was to the Christmas Markets in George Square. If you're passing through Glasgow City Centre and not already feeling suitably festive, a stroll through George Square at this time of year will instantly get you in the Christmas mood.

glasgow christmas market george square

There are so many great things to do, from riding the horse carousel (check out my Christmas Instagram Stories highlight to see me doing just that) or the Big Wheel, sliding down the vintage helter skelter, grabbing a mulled wine or hot chocolate or enjoying a Bratwurst sausage. George Square at Christmas will always have such special memories for me as we went every single year from when I was very little to mid-teens, to see the Christmas lights but it's so much bigger and better in every way than when I was little.

glasgow christmas markets 2018

There are stalls for every taste when it comes to food and lovely handmade and artisan gifts and crafts from all over the world.

You've also got to take a ride on the Big Wheel for the photo opportunities alone.

george square christmas market 2018

It was such a nice end to our brilliant day out and a really lovely way to relax before heading home that night. The rain had also thankfully disappeared by then and it wasn't too chilly at all, despite being almost December.

I'd just like to thank Glasgow Loves Christmas and everyone involved, for inviting me along on such a fun and festive day in Glasgow City Centre. I had an absolute ball!

Have you started your Christmas shopping yet? Have you visited any Christmas markets since they've started springing ip? And what would have been your favourite part of the day?


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