Friday, 13 December 2013

A Stollen Christmas

Last Sunday a few friends and I headed out into the West End for brunch before going to The Stand for an afternoon show. It was a wet, dreich day in Glasgow and we eventually stumbled into Artisan Roast on Gibson Street, which was a lovely cosy setting to hide from the rain in. With church pews to sit on, board games and books hiding in every corner and friendly staff it was easy to see why so many people looked to have settled themselves in for the afternoon.

Artisan Roast Glasgow

With a small menu, the choice of food isn't magnificent, but it's all organic, locally sourced and includes a selection of vegan friendly treats. Scrawled across the blackboard style menu several times is the phrase "we love vegans", and whilst I'm vegetarian, not vegan, it did mean I had no problem in choosing. I picked a bagel with cream cheese and tomato and unfortunately I was so hungry when it arrived that I scoffed it without stopping for a picture. The portion of cream cheese and tomato was super generous and they were placed to the side of the bagel, allowing you to spread it yourself which I like as I'm a bit of a fussy bugger.

Artisan Roast Glasgow

Cakes and coffee seems to be where the Artisan Roast shines. With a wide selection of home made cakes including beetroot cake, Guinness fruit loaf, and a traditional victorian sandwich it was difficult to choose! Again, many of the cakes were vegan friendly as well as being gluten free. I have a weak spot for anything lemon flavoured, so I happily nibbled on a lemon and poppy seed muffin which was delicious. They appear to take great pride in coffee, so I feel I cheated them a little out of showcasing this talent by ordering a Chai latte, but on a cold winter's day it was exactly what I needed to heat myself up!

The Stand Comedy Club Glasgow

Next up, was the main event of the day! If you follow me on Twitter you'll know that I'm a bit of a baking lover (who isn't these days?) and that I do have a bit of a baking crush on James Morton, of 2012 Great British Bake Off fame. James released a book about bread this year, and it has become my new baking bible. If you don't have it, I would really recommend buying it and then relishing in all of the home-made bread you're now able to make.

James Morton was doing a show at The Stand titled "A Stollen Christmas", and to be honest my friend and I didn't really know what we were walking into. As it turns out, the show was James baking Stollen (a gorgeous German Christmas cake), giving us in the audience step by step instructions, answering any of our questions and rounding up with us getting to scoff the cake. It was a baker's heaven! Baking bread is a tricky task at times, so being able to witness someone who actually knows what they're doing was extremely helpful and I came away with so many helpful hints and tips that I had to write them all down when I got home.

I wouldn't like to spoil the show by giving his secrets away, but as the cute little boy at the front of the audience said "James, you're my favourite baker".

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