Happy First of February to all you Caledonistas! January has dragged in, as usual and I am just getting into the swing of 2017. My diary is already looking busy, starting with London Fashion Week this month, spring break in Miami, filming two shows for the BBC and summer in LA. I will of course share it all with you from the red carpet to the school run. #BusyMamma
Like most of you, I was ’trying to be good’ in January. Cutting down on alcohol, detoxing and resisting eating out. I can finally lift my ban with a visit to Bilson Eleven. My hubby and I dined at the unique Dennistoun restaurant before Christmas and the food was divine. It’s situated in a Victorian east end Townhouse that’s been lovingly restored by Chef Nick Rietz, with a sweeping mahogany staircase and Charles Rennie Mackintosh inspired stained glass windows.
Luscious wall coverings and bijou dining space make for a special fine dining experience. On arrival we were greeted by a very friendly and dapper manager/maitre d’/sommelier/hipster who led us through to a cosy candle lit room at the back of the house, where I sat by the wood burner and perused the mouth watering menu. After a glass of ice cold preosecco we made ourselves comfortable in the dining room which I can only describe as a home from home. I have never experienced dining like this in Glasgow (or anywhere else for that matter)
It was like eating in your front room whilst being served by the most fabulous host with a world class chef in your kitchen. Nick is known for his exceptional cooking from his time at Two Fat Ladies, and the wild mushroom, cheddar and ayrshire ham pasta starter did not dissapoint. I was in food heaven. I followed with cod, califlower and haggis which was simple, delicious and perfectly cooked. I am so excited about this addition to Glasgows thriving food scene. You are in for culinary treat at Bilson Eleven. Get booking!
A date with Sir David!
I was in awe to be in the same room as Sir David Attenborough at The People’s Post Code Lottery Gala. The star-studded event at Edinburgh’s beautiful Prestonfield House celebrated the work of the great charities supported by the players of the lottery and it was also an opportunity to hand out some big FAT cheques! Sir David very kindly gave us an inspiring talk on his conservation work over the years and he also took questions from the audience.
The crowd was mesmorised to hear that truly unique and familiar voice we have all been listening to for decades. HRH Prince Charles was also in attendance and talked about the help PPCL has given to the Ready For Work Charity. Just when I thought the evening couldn’t get any more fabulous…Soul Diva Mica Paris got us all up on the dance floor with her flawless vocals and 80s hit ‘One Sensation’. What a night! I was extremely honoured to be there.
69 Shades of Gary
I am looking forward to seeing my wonderful friend Gary Lamont treading the boards in the hilarious one man comedy ‘69 shades of Gay’. Gary will show off his acting chops playing Aiden, ‘the luckiest gay in G12’. We catch up with him as he is about to shack up with boyfriend 69, hunky Marcus (who is a spit for Tom Hardy, except for the bald patch and slight squint). I’m cracking up already! Join Aiden for a wee voddy and red bull as he takes us down memory lane with hilarious stories that make 50 Shades of Grey look like Enid Blyton. Prepare to laugh at loud at Oran Mor from 8-18 Feb. Buy your tickets now, as this show will sell out fast!
I do a lot of filming outdoors and at this time of year, it’s hard to stay warm and dry whilst trying to look cool on camera. Long days and shooting in the UKs wettest cities can leave me looking and feeling like a wet dog. Luckily I have discovered the answer to all my location shoot problems with Protected Species. The waterproof clothing brand features lightweight, soft and classic designs teamed with rain repellent technology to make for a must have item for your wadrdope. I first road tested my cityscape blue parka at a very soggy and windy Pride March in Glasgow. I walked in the procession and felt very cosy (and smug) as I remained completely protected from the biting wind and lashing rain. For me, the thing that sets PS apart from other outerwear brands is the style. I never knew waterproof could be stylish AND functional. Whether I am rocking my parka on a shoot or heading out for a night on the town in my Mac, I know I’ll look good and stay dry!
Live, Laugh and Love
So my new years resolution is simple. I will live, laugh and love as much as I possibly can. I lost a dear friend to heart failure at the end of 2016 and I have been given the harsh reminder that life is short and it’s here to be cherished and enjoyed. Craig Alexander Wilson was my best friend and soul mate. Many of you Caledonista readers will have enjoyed reading about our antics, which I often shared in this column.
Craig was a huge light in my world and had a massive influence on my career and how I live my life. He always encouraged me to believe in myself and gave me the confidence to go after the things I wanted to achieve. The coming weeks, months and years will be hard without my sidekick but I will remember the most important thing he taught me - Whatever you are doing, make sure you have a wee laugh and a joke and a carry on! Good advice for you all.