17 Degrees Mag


Falkirk Business Hub, Falkirk, FK1 1LL

Featured Stories

Culinary Excellence Category Winners

Best Newcomer – McLays Coffee House
Best Family Owned – Millars at The Courtyard
Best Italian – Ciro’s at Glenbervie
Best Tapas – Christies Falkirk
Best Chippie – The Allanwater Café
Best Bakery – The Falkirk Cake Lady
Best Wine Bar – The Wine Library
Best Cocktails – Oscar’s Wine Bar
Best Coffee Shop and Afternoon Tea – Central Perk Falkirk
Best Hotel Restaurant – Richmond Park Hotel
Best Farm Shop – Blairmains Farm Shop and Coffee Bothy
Best Ice Cream Parlour – McMoo’s Ice Cream Parlour, Desserts & Café
Best Breakfast – The Corner Café
Best Fine Dining – Mason Belles Kitchen
Best Garden Centre-  Klondyke Garden Centre
Best Burger –  Monterey Jack’s Falkirk
Best Pizza – Behind The Wall
Best Indian Restaurant – Sanam Tandoori
Best Scottish – The Croft and Creel
Best Steak – Champany Inn
Best Thai Restaurant – Erawan Thai restaurant
Best Pub Grub – The Birds and Bees

Thank you to everyone who took the time to vote!

Featured Stories

The Dickson Wedding In Ibiza

In June, we went on our first family holiday to Ibiza to attend the special wedding of our friends, Deborah and Brian. The couple, now the Dicksons, are originally from Grangemouth. They have been together for over a decade and have a beautiful daughter, Zara, who was born in February 2021.

They have lived an exciting life together; just six months after they began dating, they went travelling to Australia and ended up settling there for several years. Living and working in the sunshine suited the pair, but they weren’t so keen on the distance from home. They moved back to Scotland in 2015, but quickly realised that they were meant to live somewhere a bit warmer. In 2016, they made the move to beautiful Ibiza and haven’t looked back. Brian works offshore in the North Sea and Deborah runs her successful private spa service, Ibiza Beauty and Massage.

I’ve known Deborah since I was a little girl as we were neighbours growing up, with our parents being good friends. She also visited our family to work in a local spa while we lived in California. We’ve always kept in touch and even had our little girls the same year! It was an honour to be invited to their wedding.

It was our first time taking Charlotte on a plane and we felt a bit apprehensive but she was a wee star! She slept half of the time and then was amused by snacks and toys for the rest.

The wedding was in the quieter part of the island, Cala Tarida and we stayed at the Insotel Tarida Playa, which was an all-inclusive hotel just a 5-minute taxi from the villa they were to be married at. The hotel was right next to the beach which had lovely, family-friendly restaurants.

The wedding actually took place over two days as the first part was the official Spanish ceremony at the registrars. It so happened to sit at the top of the gorgeous Dalt Villa. All the guests travelled together on a bus, which was a quite a challenge for the driver to get over the small Roman bridges of Ibiza’s Old Town. At one point Brian, the groom, was directing the driver! But the setting was something out of a film. We all gathered into the room they were to be married and the couple sat on big thrones as they spoke their vows to one another. It was unlike a traditional wedding as you can see in the pictures with all the buggies – all of Zara’s friends! After the wedding, there were pictures and we all headed down the hill to a beautiful restaurant where we enjoyed Spanish tapas, Sangria and Champagne, toasting to their love! It was a day we will never forget but the wedding wasn’t over yet!

The next day was their official wedding day at the stunning villa in Cala Tarida with breathtaking ocean views. The ceremony was conducted by Deborah’s godfather, poolside. It was so intimate and special, especially as their little girl Zara was present. After the ceremony, the drinks were flowing and so were delicious tapas. The evening meal was an amazing bbq, which was absolutely perfect for a wedding in the heat.

They danced their first song at sunset to Klangkarusell’s Sonnentanz, it was very Ibizan!! The babies were all shortly rocked to sleep in their buggies and parked up alongside each other while the adults danced for a few more hours. Many of us remarked that it felt like we were living in a movie. I’m sure that day will live in our memories for a long, long time.

If you’re heading on holiday or to an aboard wedding with young children, just embrace it! It will be an amazing memory for everyone.

Featured Stories

Bringing History to Life One Tour At A Time

Lynne and Gary are a husband and wife who share a love of Scottish history and ghost hunting. Together they operate History and Horror Tours; which they are now bringing to Bannockburn House in Stirling.

The couple have a passion for making history accessible and telling the real, personal stories of people from long ago. Their tours aren’t about dates and names; they share the little anecdotes that turn characters into people.

Gary has been telling Jacobite stories for over 20 years, long before Outlander was on our screens! Being dyslexic, he is able to read a history book and then bring it to life for others in story form.

He decided to become a tour guide after being on a tour in Edinburgh, where a guide said that the Romans didn’t get this far North – which isn’t true! He thought to himself, if you’re going to tell a story, it needs to be right! He got a job with Mercat Tours in Edinburgh and worked in the vaults. Even though he didn’t have the required history degree, they recognised that he knew his stuff! He was driving all the way from Perthshire each day, so his employer suggested he stay on at night to do the ghost tours, and this is when he really found his passion for dark history.

Lynn went to school in Linlithgow and grew up playing around the palace. This is where she discovered her love of history and being surrounded by it. She was also intrigued by the paranormal side of history and the stories of the people who used to walk the halls of the castle.

In 2005, the couple started walking tours of Perth. Gary at that point was researching lots and writing his own history books telling the stories of real people. They then got the inspiration to start ghost tours of Castle Menzies. With all his research, Gary was aware of the dark history that had happened there and knew that there were stories to tell! Including the story of three redcoats who were killed by a clan chief. He wanted to bring these stories to life. Gary says: ”Even people who don’t believe in ghosts; love a ghost story.” The tours were extremely popular, as they say the dark side of history gets you!

Lynn says: “Our ghost tours are the closest thing you’ve got to a time machine. We are telling real personal stories of people who have lived and worked in the castle/house.”

They were both keen to explore the tales of the past at Bannockburn House, Stirling, and are now offering a nighttime tour of the house, which is so active that it is fast becoming known as the most haunted house in Central Scotland. The couple told us several spooky stories of ghosts they’ve encountered and unexplained events during their horror tours that have turned non-believers into believers.

They’re both incredibly passionate about the work they do and the tales they tell. They in-still this in the guides that work for them. Gary says: “You’ve got to put the same passion to a group of 3 or group of 30. They all deserve to have a memorable experience.”

The tour averages an hour and a half long, depending on how many spooky things happen! Not only is Bannockburn House very active, it has a fantastic history that Gary and Lynn are passionate about promoting. During their tours, they tell the local stories of the ghosts they encounter, and they encourage people to come back for the daytime tour to explore and discover the history. They offer their evening tours from April-October every Thursday night.

Book your haunted house tour!


0784 0094 667


*Warning: This site has a reputation of being an active paranormal location, therefore this tour is not for the faint-hearted.

Featured Stories

Young Love’s Young Dream

How They Met

Scott Blair, who is originally from Grangemouth, just so happened to meet the love of his life down in London in 2017. Alex, now his wife, was studying Musical Theatre alongside Scott’s younger sister Laura. They crossed paths on a night out and ended up chatting for ages. They exchanged numbers after they’d taken a few shots and Scott plucked up the courage to ask!

But they didn’t quite see how the long-distance relationship would work, and nothing happened for a few weeks. It didn’t take long for them to realise that they had met someone very special, and what was the harm in trying. And they’ve never looked back.


The Proposal

The pair quickly became besotted and became accustomed to the short flight to and from London and Scotland to see each other often. Scott realised that Alex was the one quite quickly in their relationship. Traditionally, he asked her dad, John, for her hand in marriage and was delighted when he gave his blessing.

Scott planned the proposal for a weekend Alex was up visiting. He booked their favourite local Italian restaurant, Chianti, and took her out for a lovely meal. He’d put the ring in his jacket pocket and was worried sick the whole meal as he left it in the cloak room without thinking! The meal was absolutely delicious and when it came round to dessert Scott quickly texted his mum, Angela, to get the rose petals and candles sorted. He had planned to propose to Alex as soon as they got home.

When they walked in, Alex quickly got busy sorting some washing in the bedroom and Scott was racking his brains as to how he was going to get her to walk into the living room so that she could see what he had in store for her! He pretended to not be able to find the remote and as she came ready to show him exactly where he had left it. And, voilà, her life was changed forever as Scott was down on one knee ready to ask her the biggest question of her life. Alex quickly said yes and was absolutely over the moon as she too knew that he was the one!

Wedding Planning

Alex finished her degree in London and decided to trade the big smoke for the big flare and moved in with Scott in his flat in Grangemouth. They then grew to a family of three when they brought Leo, their full of life Golden Labrador, home. The couple both work at Thornbridge Sawmills in Grangemouth and love spending as much time as possible together.

After the first lockdown, they purchased a beautiful family home in Falkirk. At this point, wedding plans were well underway. Luckily, the couple had chosen a long engagement and to wait three years until 2022 to get married. This meant that their wedding was unaffected by severe Covid-19 restrictions.

They got married at the stunning Sherbrooke Castle Hotel in Glasgow on the 19th of February 2022. There were 84 of their family and friends present during the day, joined by 30 more at night. People travelled from far and wide to attend; especially Alex’s older brother Sam, who made it over from Canada.

It was a crisp, sunny February day and the couple were so excited to finally become husband and wife. Alex got ready at her family home in Shawlands accompanied by her parents and bridesmaids, and Scott got ready at their home in Falkirk with his best man Ben and groomsman Jamie.

There weren’t many dry eyes when Alex walked down the aisle, looking like a fairy tale princess. They were married in a humanist ceremony with many Scottish traditions such as hand fasting. A special moment happened when Scott’s grandad wrapped Alex in a tartan shawl, to officially welcome her to the Blair clan! The couple wrote their own wedding vows; promising to never take a second with each other for granted.

After the ceremony it was time to capture pictures to treasure for a lifetime. The sun shone as the couple smiled alongside their nearest and dearest. Then came the speeches and a delicious meal, followed by an evening of dancing the night away. The couple choose the song ‘The One’ by Kodaline as their first dance as husband and wife. Alex then had a choreographed dance with her father; with a background in musical theatre, this was a must! There were also a few social dancing songs played, followed by an evening of chart hits from Los Perros. It was an evening to remember forever.

We’d like to wish Mr and Mrs Blair a long, happy life together.

Supplier List:

Photographers: Canvas and Peach
Videographer: One3Media
Humanist: Wendy Dallas from Fuze
Venue: Sherbrooke Castle Hotel
Cake: Cakes-n-Crafts
Decorator: Make Believe
Florist: Flowers by Cherry
Dress: Bijoux Bridal
Kilts: JH Kilt hire
Mothers’ Outfits: Frox of Falkirk
Band: Los Perros

Featured Stories

Charity Gala Ball

17 Degrees Magazine is hosting our first annual Charity Gala Ball, and we would love to see you there!

We believe in ‘Making it Count’, life is precious, so let’s celebrate life and raise money for important causes as a community. The event will be hosted at Beancross Hotel and Restaurant in Polmont on Friday the 17th of April from 7pm. There will be a 3-course meal, auction, raffle and entertainment. Local favourite Barbara Bryceland will be singing followed by a disco!

The Gala’s purpose is to raise funds for two local charities extremely close to our hearts; Falkirk’s Mental Health Association and Strathcarron Hospice. More about the charities:

FDAMH is an independent mental health charity serving Falkirk and District, established in 1981. Their purpose is to promote mental well-being by providing a range of services. They also prevent deterioration in mental well-being; and provide support, education and training related to mental health to carers and across the local community.

Strathcarron Hospice provides specialist palliative care and expert end of life care for the people of Forth Valley, Cumbernauld and Kilsyth. They care for people with illnesses that cannot be cured including cancer, lung, heart or kidney failure and a range of non-malignant and neurological diseases. They are also actively involved in research and education in palliative care and promote and influence the delivery of palliative care locally and beyond.

Making it Count Awards in partnership with Renella!

On the night, we will also be recognising those in our community that are making a difference. There are three categories for these recognitions; a business who has made a difference to their community, an individual who has made a difference to their community and an individual who has made a difference to themselves.

We are looking for individuals or local businesses that embody community. Whether this be by their charity work, raising awareness for causes, devotion to helping others, or giving up their precious time to make a difference. There is also the individual category for someone who has changed their life and made it count and is now changing other peoples lives.

To nominate an individual or a business please email sophie@17mag.com and tell us why this individual or business deserves this award. The deadline for this is 12pm on Tuesday the 17th of March.

There are a few tables left for this event, please get in touch as soon as possible if you are interested in #MakingItCount with us!