Monthly Archives: December 2011

Resolve to discover the new, not abandon the old

It’s dark, it’s cold and the last of your festive cheer has possibly disappeared with your hangover.

2012 quickly approaches and the time has come to make resolutions to be abandoned with gusto.  But this New Years instead of giving up supposed bad habits, why don’t you choose a new year’s resolution of discovery.

Glasgow is overflowing with culture and entertainment – and even better, much of it is free. So even if Christmas has left you waiting for your next pay, there’s no excuse not to see what’s on in Glasgow in 2012.

Trongate 103

Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre at Trongate 103A lively arts hub in the city centre, Trongate 103 holds free events on the first Thursday of every month.  Ranging from film screenings to exhibitions, drama to music from professionals to community members, there’s something for everyone.

Earlier this month I went to the amazing Project Ability exhibition where I was lucky enough to meet the artist and saw a performance of GIRL taking place in a photographic gallery.  It’s a wonderful adventure, you don’t know what the event is going to be like until you are in it, so take a risk and discover something sensational.


If you fancy something more highbrow, then the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) hosts a Creative Exchange on the last Thursday of the month. Of course you can be daring an do both.

Explore Glasgow’s museums for free!

Alternatively Glasgow offers loads of free museums, great for adults and kids.  There’s the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, architectural magnificence with storytelling for children on a Saturday morning.

And don’t underestimate the attraction of modern art for kids, at the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) my boys could stare at things for far longer than me.  The apparent lack of rules of interpretation work and fascinate.

Check out the newly opened Riverside Museum of Transport and Travel featuring the fantastic Flying Scotsman with his specially designed bikes – may look a little bizarre but world records can’t be wrong.

The Southside’s impressive Burrell Collection is set in beautiful grounds with a great play park. And inside there’s hours of exploring to discover with over 1200  collections, 3000 images and a wonderful café to rest tired feet and refuel in.

Discover the People’s Palace on Glasgow Green boasting Billy Connolly’s banana shoes and the best park nearby with enclosed tubular slides.

So bundle yourself up and make grabbing a bit of free culture your New Year’s resolution.  You’ll be glad you did.

– B


No ordinary cinema – tears, tissues and mulled wine

Seconds away from the hustle and bustle of Sauciehall Street is the enchanting GFT  tucked away on Rose Street.  

GFT cinema in GlasgowIt’s a comforting haven – especially the night before Christmas Eve.  Instead of frantic shoppers and manic stares we’re greeted by the wonderful smell of mulled wine and mince pies. 

In true festive spirit, we’ve come to watch that Christmas classic ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’.  It’s a first for my children but for my mum and me a welcomed nostalgic return.  We’re well prepared with tissues that my children of course eye with disdain. 

Best in British and international film

At anytime of year the whole experience at the GFT makes seeing a film seem so much more special.  No unappetising bloated hot dogs and pawed over pick-and-mix, instead this stylised art deco building offers the Cosmo Cafe and a Balcony Bar.  And here coffee and wine are acceptable alternatives.  In addition to mainstream flicks they offer some of the best and most interesting in British and international films.

It actually feels more like a night at the theatre than your average cinema, complete with a starry-filled curtains drawn back to reveal the film screen.  The atmosphere is festive, magical even –  and you can feel the whole audience responding with you to the film. The round of spontaneous applause at the end of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ is a first for me.

Do something wonderful in 2012

So why not put some wonderful into your life and check the GFT’s fantastic programme.  Indulge in a  truly extraordinary cinematic experience in a beautiful building adorned with the legends of the film industry.  Great value too, our family ticket for 4 was only £16.  And on Saturday mornings they offer   Take 2  free family films alongside a selection of films you won’t see anywhere else in Glasgow!

– B

Silent Sunday – 25 December

Merry Christmas!

Santa in Glasgow

What was…. and what will be

It’s been a great year for About a City Glasgow.  OK admittedly we’ve only been doling out our wisdom for the last few months of 2011 – but none the less, it’s been a fabulous experience and we’ve had a truly wonderful time writing each and every blog.

Clock Tower in GlasgowNot that we’re trying to push 2011 out the door – but of course it’s at this time of year that we often reflect on what was and think about the year ahead.

And so on that note – we excitedly welcome 2012 and hope to check out even more places, spaces, events, eateries and everything in between.

A few things at the top of our 2012 ‘to do’ list – in no particular order- includes:

  • Finally finding and crowning the  champion of breakfasts in Glasgow.  But with a slew of worthy of contenders, this won’t be easy.  However, we’re willing to eat our fill of perfectly scrambled eggs, fluffy pancakes and happily drink freshly squeezed orange juice abundantly.
  • Admittedly a lot of our reviews have covered the best of the City Centre and the West End – but not wanting to overlook the glorious South we’ll be exploring the eateries and shops of Glasgow’s South Side and bringing the best of them to you.  Fanatical for bread, Tapa Bake House  is at the top of our list.
  • We’ve also heard rumblings about an exciting culinary concept, Boho Kitchen where  once a month three amateur chefs take on cooking in a professional restaurant. The menu is then marked by the customers!  So watch this space.
  • And speaking of events – in the New Year we hope to bring you even more things happening around this fine City – our curiosity has also been struck by the Spoken Word event  Words Per Minute kicking off at the Arches monthly.  Fusing  bursts of live music, spoken word, short film and theatrical performance – we’re hoping it’s attention-grabbing.
  • And as not to forget the lads – we hope to find the very best place for men to get their haircut in Glasgow.

Of course these are only a few of the things we’ll be exploring over 2012 – and we’re always open to suggestion so let us know about your favourite places to see, thing to do, eat and experience.

Lastly for all of those reading, following and sharing the blog – tweeting and getting in touch with terrific tips – we thank you.  You’re encouragement and enthusiasm keeps us going.

All the best in 2012

– T (and B)

Put the chocolate down and satisfy that sweet tooth with multi-tier perfection

At the best of times I have an irrepressible sweet tooth – during the festive season it goes into overdrive.  But I’ve finally pulled myself away from the tin of Quality Streets and banished the pesky sugar plum fairies dancing in my head.

But to truly satisfy my insatiable sweet cravings I seek out the ultimate in afternoon teas.   Admittedly Glasgow is a plethora of choice – and whether you’re after the more traditional granny inspired or a swank Champagne affair, you can find it here.

Putting the allure to the test

I opt to stray from the more customary and go for something a little more swish at the Corinthian on Ingram Street.   I figure after months of walking past the enticing windows, it’s time to put the allure to the test.  Thankfully their standards are as high as my expectations and I’m not disappointed.

Yes it’s decadent – but thankfully it’s posh without being pompous.  And refreshingly the staff are as welcoming as their comfy lush surroundings.  I’m admiring the beautiful interior and deep richness of everything when the multi-tier of perfection arrives at our table.

Afternoon tea perfection at Corinthian in GlasgowI am beside myself with joy.

It’s a flawless fusion of traditional and innovative new delights.  The bottom layer is filled with a variety of sandwiches on wholesome multi-grained breads – the second tier contains mini scones with clotted cream and jam as well as a beautiful vanilla bavaroise eloquently served in a shot glass.  Saving the very best for last, the top tier boasts a gorgeous cupcake topped with an impressive amount of icing and the world’s freshest strawberry.  And if the first shot of vanilla bavaroise wasn’t enough, we’re treated to a second chocolate variety.

Oh yes – and of course there’s the selection of speciality teas to choose from.

Sweet tooth satisifed

So £14.50 later my sweet tooth is well and truly satisfied – as far as I’m concerned, money well spent.  And for those of you feeling particularly flush, you can opt for the £21.95 afternoon tea that includes a glass of Mumm Cordon Rouge Champagne.

If you’re looking for something a little more traditional with a quirky twist, a very close second would have to be the Butterfly and Pig tearooms on Bath Street.  Airing on the side of shabby chic  – it’s a bit like going to a grandma’s wee house for afternoon tea – that is if Nan’s a little eccentric and happens to be an avid collector of mishmash china, fabulous furniture and makes some of the most delicious cakes in town.

– T

Silent Sunday – 18 December

Glasgow’s winter wonderland

Winter wonderland, George Square Glasgow

It ain’t over until the Fat Ladies make you sing

Two Fat Ladies, Glasgow - business cardTwo Fat Ladies is a Glasgow institution and rightly so.  Its homey comfortable surroundings and friendly staff are absolutely wonderful.

And then there’s the food – quite possibly some of the best that Glasgow has to offer.

The small, welcoming City Centre location is like walking into an old friend’s.  The pleasant space is simple and from the moment you walk through the door friendly staff attend to your every need.

Specialising in seafood perfection

To say Fat Ladies specialises in seafood is a huge understatement – I’d say they wrote the book on how to prepare the most amazing, flavourful, melt-in-your-mouth magnificent masterpieces.

And even if you’re not a seafood fanatic, you could easily be swayed to enjoy it here.  The fish is truly that good.  Besides, there’s ample choice on the menu for any of those adverse to sea-fare.

Delicious fish at Two Fat Ladies restaurant in GlasgowTheir well-priced lunch or pre/post theatre menu (2 Courses £16.50 or 3 Courses £19.50) is an excellent way to sample their menu.

Top recommendations go to the delightful pan fried ling on a potato and herb crush with a balsamic tomato sauce followed by the perfect finisher, a duo of Scottish cheeses with Arran oatcakes.  And from their main menu you can’t go wrong with the filleted sea bream with fennel, orange, leek and dill (£19.50) followed by the decadent rich dark chocolate and cointreau delice, chocolate orange ice cream (£6.50) for dessert.

Two Fat Ladies’ success is not only evident in their delicious cuisine, but also in the fact that they’ve expanded not once but twice offering luscious food at the original Buttery location as well as a West End and City Centre location.

This lovely restaurant certainly left these two thin ladies satisfied and singing its praises.   So if there’s one thing you do in 2012, make sure you treat yourself to a enticing meal at Two Fat Ladies.  It is not to be missed and its heavenly food and ever-evolving menu will certainly keep us coming back time and time again.

– T

Looking back on 2011 – if I had to do it again…

It’s such a cliché but I can’t believe the year is almost over. 

But I don’t have any regrets because life is too short for that.  However, I do have a few things I would like to do again – or maybe just do a little differently.

Books and more books at Voltaire in West End GlasgowI’d visit the second hand bookshops in the West End alone – without my children.  I’d lose myself in the reams and reams of books escaping into a million different worlds – all without any worry of what’s for tea.  I’d breathe it all in and hunt for favourite books from my youth.  And all these wonderful rediscoveries would unfold at my leisure – not at the pressing pace of my restless sons.

I’d have dinner at Persia – and this time you can be sure I’d order that succulent delicious lamb, and of course the dolma.  My mouth waters  just thinking about it.   In fact I really want to go right now; the thought is making me hungry.    I would try and avoid the pit stop on the way home though; rescuing two large ladies in one year would be tempting fate I think.

Roller Girls in GlasgowAnd I’d return to the Roller Derby.  Now that I know the rules I’d cheer and yell in the right places.  I’d pick a home team to root for; watch them move up and down the ranks.  And the next time round of course I’d being wearing the right clothes. 

In fact I have a temporary tattoo ready along with an assortment of badges – though I’m afraid the sparkling hot pants are a step too far for me – even in a shiny new year.

What are you going to be doing in 2012?

– B

Silent Sunday – 11 December

Star light, star bright…..

Fairy lights in Royal Exchange Square, Gasgow

Mother India making every mother happy

I lure my husband to meet the kids and me for an early dinner with the promise of curry.  But not just any curry, a new adventure – Indian tapas. 

Initially I’m  slightly confused by this concept from Mother India’s Cafe  but I think it’s a great idea.  You get a variety of smaller Indian dishes in perfect tapas size portions so you won’t have to physically roll yourself away after the meal.

Still, this award winning eatery has a lot to live up to.  We’ve heard it’s good – but we’re self-proclaimed curry connoisseurs and ready to put its reputation to the test.

Mother India inside, GlasgowI’m pleased that despite boasting a new concept, the welcoming restaurant still has little traditional touches here and there like the flocked wallpaper – it’s deep, red, velvet flower pattern tempts me to touch and it’s homey feel is complimented by the array of Indian portraits. 

And of course, the most important feature is the menu – a superb choice of both new and more traditional dishes.  I’m almost overwhelmed with choice;  the staff recommend two to three dishes per person – a good tip.  We finally choose the Chicken Shaslik, Chilli Garlic Chicken, Channa Aloo, Chicken Pakora and Vegetable Pakora.

The dishes don’t arrive in any set order and are beautifully presented in copper pots, hotplates and smell absolutely amazing.  Your senses will thank you and your mouth will water.

The food is sensational; every dish is distinct, fresh, bursting with flavour and expertly made.  The quality of the ingredients and extraordinary tastes leaves my mouth tingling with delight.   We have no choice but to clear all the pots – in fact I scrape around the edges to get the last of any missed morsels. 

And just as impressive as the food is the excellent price.  The whole meal (for a family of four) with drinks came to just over £30, quality and value.

Now you can stay in with Mother India

Indian take away Mother India, GlasgowWe leave the restaurant completely satisfied – but notice the shop next door – Dining in with Mother India .  So I go for nosey and to my delight discover they sell portions of the food we had just devoured for take away.  

Heat and eat tasty homemade food (that you don’t actually have to make), what’s not to love! 

So next time the family wants Mum to make something delicious – check out Mother India.

– B