5th February 2017
360 Great Western Road
This weeks breakfast takes place just a short stroll down Great Western Road from my flat. The Mad Platter is decorated with a creative and quirky style to brighten up ay grey morning in Glasgow. The menu is equally creative; applying whimsical twists to classic comfort dishes. Friendly staff and a faultless playlist tie the whole package together, making it one of my favourite stops along Great Western.
2016 saw the arrival of Volvo's new design language, after being teased with the direction they were going to take with the XC concept in 2013, which made its mark by straying far from the boxy, utilitarian image that Volvo is renowned for. Håkan Samuelsson - Volvo's Chief Exec - rather blatantly stated at the release that Volvo would no longer target the mass market and that its future lay within the opportunity to portray Scandinavian luxury. A courageous move for a company with such strong core values, but now that the new line-up has been revealed, I think it is clear that what Volvo have done is create a particular style within the car industry.
I call this post 'Considered Luxury' as this was the phrase that sprung to mind when I first saw the new XC90. The car has such a noticeable presence on the road, thanks to its muscular front end and oversized grille, yet it doesn't appear to shout about it. So often in the car industry, we see sharp lines or flowing bodies with shapes designed to catch our attention in a slightly crude manner. The XC90 however, appears to be perfectly content with its appearance and rolling along the road with such confidence allows it to effortlessly exude luxury.
Listening to how Thomas Ingenlath - Head of Design - speaks about the new design language, truly highlights the fact that the company is still executing in the same fashion - evolving around core values without losing sight of its heritage.
"Scandinavian design will only be perceived as a luxury experience when it strives to be of the highest quality, execution and precision."
"Among today's premium cars, the Volvo range is beautiful, proud and true-to-form, which means it doesn't cater to the fashion for coupé-like roofs and window lines."
Even when we look through Maximilian Missoni's sketchbook, we find more reserved expressions of form than is common of most automotive sketching. He speaks of how modest forms allow the new range to display luxury through confidence, which I think is very true and is a welcome change from the tense forced shapes seen in the C30 and V60 of previous years.
It is the way in which Volvo has created such a clear foundation for Scandinavian luxury that makes this new-age so successful. Rather appropriately, 2017's lifestyle trend is set to welcome the Swedish way of life 'Lagom' - translated as 'just the right amount'. I think it is clear to see how this is portrayed through Volvo's style and once again emphasises the company's strong attachment to its roots and evidences the claim that they design cars around people's lives.
When I read through articles, watch design videos and scroll through the Volvo website, I can almost feel the work from the marketing team and how I am being brainwashed by Volvo's ideas of simplicity, happiness and harmony. Strangely, with the awareness of this brainwashing, I feel comfortable in allowing myself to get excited and caught up in the promising future that Volvo has begun their journey onto. The past few years have seen them take a very confident step in the right direction and it will be interesting to see whether they can once again establish Volvo as a leader by maintaining such a strong belief in themselves.
A beautiful tea set accompanies our choices of french toast and speciality eggs benedict. The flavours live up to the presentation and help me briefly shake this weekends hangover that refuses to budge. A cosy seat by the radiator helps us to dry off after being caught out in the rain on our morning walk. Peering out as the grey clouds begin to disperse over the Westend pairs perfectly with a hearty breakfast. I find it difficult to see any areas of improvement for the Mad Platter and once again the breakfast choices of 2017 just keep getting better.