As many of you busy Caledonistas will know, it’s tricky fitting it all in. Between the school run, travelling, filming, writing and socialising, I have been finding absolutely no time to turn down, chill out and relax. My friend Edward came to the rescue with the suggestion of a meditation class and before I had the chance to say “I’m too busy”, he told me it would be half an hour in Glasgow city centre and it would allow me a wee 30 minutes to switch off and recentre. I was sold. I’ve tried meditation before; it’s really hit or miss for me. Sometimes I can ‘go there’ and sometimes I can’t. I love the sensation of my breathing slowing right down, being able to focus on a single thought and being peaceful and still. I am guilty of being addicted to my phone and constantly checking social media or letting my mind run away with what’s happening in the future, rather than concentrating on the here and now, so I thought the class would be good just to get me to STOP. (Even if it was only for half an hour)
The Kadampa Meditation Centre on Hutcheson Street seemed to have a calming effect on me from the moment I walked in (must have been all the lovely Buddha statues sitting around the room!). The class is designed for people who have a spare 30 mins at lunchtime to escape from whatever they are doing and take a breather. It has guided meditation and a ‘thought for the day’ on practical methods of how to stay happy and positive through the challenges of modern life. It was lovely. I sat down, got comfortable and closed my eyes. Just doing that encouraged me to relax. As soon as I started focusing on my breath, my shoulders dropped, I rolled my head back and started to drift. I thought about a vast blue sky with a few clouds in it. I pictured the clouds as thoughts, and through the meditation, I visualised them floating away and disappearing until only the blue sky was left, clearing my head completely. OK there was a few distractions, people cough and make noises and it’s hard to ignore the traffic outside, but if you let yourself go and listen and breathe, you can allow all the distractions of the outside world pass you by…. just like the clouds! Try it if you’d like to explore mindfulness or meditation.
I have to say a huge congratualtions to my bestie Warren Alfie Baker who has been a hit with his styling work this Awards Season. I have watched Warren work his butt off to build a client base and make a name for himself in a fiercely competitive industry.
Since making the move from London to Los Angeles 8 years ago, he has gradually made his way up the fashion ladder with his unique eye for a headline grabbing dress and a talent for matching male clients with the most exquisite menswear. I squealed with delight when I saw the Bibhu Mohaptra gown Warren chose for actress Annalise Basso for The SAG Awards. The stunning red creation made headlines and front page news around the world. Also Manchester By The Sea star Lucas Hedges Looked dashing at this years Oscars in Dior Homme. Bravo Warren!
I have to say, unlike Warren’s clients, most played it safe and I found the red carpet fashion a bit uninspiring . Gone are the days of Bjork dressed as a Swan or Chers fabulous headpieces. There was no fearless Solange or shameless Kardashians which made for a nice and pretty selection of beautiful gowns, but nothing that made me gag. Oh except Halle Berry’s Wig. Lol. Too much. The favourite look of the evening was Best Actress nominee Ruth Negga in daring red custom Valentino.
I recently enjoyed the most scrumptious dinner courtesy of Brian Maule at le Chardon D’or. The fabulous fine dining restaurant has long been the go to for exquisite food, fine wine and excellent service. You can’t help feeling utterly spoiled as soon as you walk in to in the West Regent Street restaurant, which is elegant and welcoming. A friend’s birthday was the occasion and we were delighted to begin the night with a delicious glass of bubbly form the chef. I started with pan-fried scallops with cauliflower puree and grilled chorizo. Divine. Followed by roast cod, mussels, samphire and saffron cream. I savored each and every single bite of these amazing ingredients, which came together to make for a joyous and wicked meal. The chocolate brownie with pistachio ice cream was lovingly enjoyed and shared and ended the meal beautifully.
I hear Brian oversees the cooking of every dish before it leaves the kitchen and you can tell. Originally from Ayrshire, Brian left his hometown for Lyon in France, where he worked with some of the country’s most respected chefs. Building the skills and inspiration for cooking at the highest level, his potential was spotted by the Roux brothers of Le Gavroche fame and at the age of only 24, he was appointed head chef at their world famous Michelin star London Restaurant. How lucky are we to have him in Glasgow! Since 2001 Le Chardon D’or has delivered consistently wonderful food and it’s always top of my list to recommend to visitors to the city. Long may it continue.