I decided to take a little weekend trip to Glasgow for the weekend. My brother and friend (who goes to the art school) both live there, so I had the perfect excuse. I had been to Glasgow once before but I don’t really remember much apart from drinking neat whiskey, it being absolutely freezing and accidentally bringing a lit cigarette in a taxi, which ended in quite a heated argument with a Glaswegian taxi driver.
With the common wealth games coming up in 2014 and an increasing amount of artists and students emigrating here, Glasgow is becoming a more and more prominent metropolis for culture, art, style, music, shopping and nightlife the Uk.
I arrived at 8pm on Friday and got a taxi to my friends’ which is located in the west-end, which is as the name suggests… The nice part. And when I say nice it is VERY nice, no winos to be seen around here, just a lot of cafes and bistros. Properties in Glasgow are generally very light and spacious with high ceilings; I was seriously impressed by the city’s architecture. There are countless Victorian structures and I found it to be very gothic.
I was jealous when I saw my friend’s house, which has gorgeous kitchen and power shower. It did make my student flat in Leeds look awful, but I suppose Hyde Park is as Hyde Park does… And what it does is 24 hour booze bins and a lot of basements.
We went for dinner near hers at this super nice place called Stravaigin, 28 Gibson St Kelvinbridge. It was really cosy with a country inspired Scottish decor with animal heads on the wall. I had the mussels in a coriander sauce and my friend had steak and chips. The staff were really friendly and I would definitely recommend this place. It was delicious but not that cheap, I think it worked out at about £30 per head, but we did get wine and desert.
We then went to Nice n’ Sleazy 421 Sauchiehall Street, which is a bar / club in town. It was quite an indie vibe, with a bar & seating area upstairs and downstairs was the clurrb where they had really good techno and house dj’s playing. I definitely had a few too many vodka tonics and we left about 3, I couldn’t wait to get into bed!
The next day we went for brunch at Café Pop Glasgow 657 Great Western Road. It has really groovy pop art themed décor and a great place to chill with a coffee and read the paper. My friend had the pulled pork sandwich, which looked incredible. I had a tortilla wrap with halloumi cous cous and beattroot, with a latte – delicious! Definitely go to this café if you’re in the area for breakfast or brunch, it’s really good value for money and everything is completely fresh: they pride themselves also on supporting local producers and artisans.
We then went in search of shops stopping first at the Glasgow Vintage Company, 453 Great Western Rd. I found a Burberry jacket for 25 pounds and I also bought my dad some little silver cufflinks as a late birthday present. They had some really cool stuff and it wasn’t expensive, which is essentially how vintage should be.
I popped into the florist next door called Roots & Fruits, 451-457 Great Western Rd as it lured me in with its gorgeous smell. I bought a fancy candle for my dad, another late bday pressie. It wasn’t too feminine- it was black and yellow, so a manly candle I thought… or a “Mandle”
I then met my dad, who was visiting my brother for weekend from Paris. My Dad is obsessed with antiques and furnishings for the home so we went to this cute little shop called Authentics, 12 Otago Street. They were selling chairs, cabinets, baskets, tables and really beautiful gold framed mirrors which I thought were an absolute bargain at £75. Unfortunately my dad didn’t agree…
We went to another little vintage shop called The £10 Thrift store, 721-723 Great Western Rd where you pay for clothes by weight. They had some super cool stuff in there, I nearly bought a corduroy bucket hat for myself, but luckily realised it was too much of a strong look. I could have stayed in there for hours, but my dad and brother can only handle traipsing round the shops after me for an hour tops, so we left in search of a beer.
We walked into town and went to the Ben Nevis pub, 1147 Argyle St, which is one of the most famous watering holes in Glasgow. It’s definitely a dad’s kind of pub, as it’s drenched in history and a good place to go with parents a £4 for a pint, it’s basically Chelsea prices !
For dinner we went to Mother India, 28 Westminster Terrace which we had to book a few days in advance. I had to start a prawn and fish pancake thing (incredible). For main, I had a prawn and monkfish dish. My dad and brother got a lamb shank to share with rice and naan. The lamb was cooked to perfection and fell off the bone, but even they couldn’t finish it and that’s saying something. I did feel like I was in a food coma towards the end. It was such good food and really generous portions- reasonably priced for how good it was. I reckon you could easily come for £15/20 a head, without starters or wine.
I decided to go to my friends after this and get an early night as I was still exhausted from Friday night’s antics (such a grandma!). Sunday morning I woke up late, with just enough time to go to the Kelvin Grove art gallery and museum, Argyle St. I would definitely recommend a trip if your into classical art or history.
As my train was at 3.30pm, I was extremely surprised to learn Glasgow has its own tube which we took to the train station. When we got to the stop, I had to quickly nip into Zara, 16 Buchanan Street. This is where all the main shops are, your high-street and designer. I’m glad I didn’t get to spend too much time here, for the sake of my bank balance and I could realistically find all of these shops in most cities.
After my trip to Glasgow I would advise anyone to go there for a weekend. I’m definitely going back as there’s still so much I need to see, including the East end which I’ve heard is less affluent with more of an edge. I had an image of Glasgow in my head, which probably came from Train Spotting, (which I later discovered is actually set in Edinburgh – embarrassing) which couldn’t have been less accurate.
Aesthetically it’s a beautiful place with endless green spaces, parks, rivers and sublime architecture. And of course, for the trendy folk amongst us, as well as a lot of live music, there’s a thriving art scene that regularly produces cutting-edge productions and attracts high-profile exhibitions. Although be warned, my friend told me it’s becoming more and more popular with hipsters who are emigrating from down South. In a few years’ time, it could well be as invaded and exhausted as Dalston.