Monthly Archives: August 2012

Sanctuary in the city

The rain has stopped, the sun is shining and so we’re off to Southside to the Hidden Gardens.  Tucked away behind the Tramway through the glass doors is a world of green grass and serenity.

A gem of green tranquillity

The Hidden Gardens, GlasgowIt’s hard believe this gem of green tranquillity exists in the city.  Here, surrounded by lush foliage, my shoulders relax, my mind clears and the open space embraces me.  It’s certainly come a long way from its early days as Copelawhill Tram Works – now beautifully transformed from a 5000 square metre derelict brownfield site into a peaceful haven.

Magical and mischievous

There’s a lot to explore – follow footpaths, bridges or like my son dart in and out of hidden areas to discover the many wee sculptures or give one of the instruments a go.

We even discovered a talking hedge – kind of.  So, it actually turns out to be a few rascals concealed in the middle of some bamboo rather than the gateway to Narnia.   Even still, it’s a truly enchanting escape from the hub-bub of the city.

But this wonderful space is more than a moment of tranquillity. There’s loads of activities to try out from the Cultural Kitchen to various family activities. If you’re feeling under the weather, there’s a Medical and Cultural Courtyard to revive and rejuvenate in.  Maybe you’ll even find that gateway to Narnia and have a chat with a talkative hedge.




Room to run

Athletic?  On the sporty side?  Or are you a full-on physically fit machine?  I’m not.  But I am inspired by others.  And so after watching 12,000 determined women defeat wind and rain during the 10K in May, I signed up for the Great Scottish Run happening this Sunday 2 September.

Lucky for this first time runner I’ve discovered plenty of places to get my sprint on in Glasgow.

Glasgow GreenSome of my favourite running spots include Glasgow Green, offering fantastic views – in particular the tree-lined avenue that’s a perfect champion’s finish.

Kelvingrove Park, Glasgow


Runner’s paradise

Kelvingrove Park is a runner’s paradise, free from cars with lots of lush scenery to admire and spur you on.

And when the city sleeps – or at least shops close for the night – linking up the pedestrianised city streets – Argyle, Buchanan and Sauchiehall makes for a good running terrain and includes an incline for an added challenge.

Of course there’s plenty of other parks and open spaces in Glasgow to create your perfect personalised running routes.

Best food forward…again and again

Whether you’re watching from the side-lines or like me putting one foot steadily in front of the other to get across that coveted finish line in Glasgow Green, the Great Scottish Run is an energising and exciting experience.

So come down to support the thousands of men and women of all shapes, sizes and abilities taking flight at 9:30am for the 10K,  and cheer on the uber ambitious half-marathon runners setting off at 11:00am.

Good luck to all!

– T

Everyone deserves a wee break

Off to rest and replenish – back brimming with ideas on 29 August

Gone Fishin


Silent Sunday – 12 August

Laundry day never looked so artful……

Merchant City, Glasgow

Rainy day delis

The day begins with torrential rain but this doesn’t stop us from setting out to discover the best delicatessens in Glasgow.  And we’re not looking for the most beautiful, designer or quaint- but for an exotic Aladdin’s cave.   In the name of research we trek across Glasgow through floods, burst drains and even rainbows to discover the top two.

Celinos –Buon Appetite

Food galore at Celinos in GlasgowShowcasing Italian cuisine, Celinos, is nestled among the shops on Alexandra Parade.

Small but enticing, everywhere I turn there’s delectable temptations; beautiful handmade cannolini pastries, sausages, blue veined Brie, fresh bread, hams, meats, chilli and garlic olives, homemade Italian meals and liqueurs.  Oh my!

And all reasonably priced – classic Italian dishes like lasagne or penne salsiccia are a mere £3 a head.   And if you feel like sitting in, you can enjoy fantastic food in their restaurant topped off by an impressive selection of drinks and liqueurs.

Shamgate –Middle Eastern delights

Middle Eastern delights at Shamgate in GlasgowFor those looking for Middle Eastern magic Shamgate  is the answer.  Located under the railway arches on Bridgegate, it beckons us in with trays of baklavas and sweet pastries.

We’re lured in further by cavernous displays of spices, rices, bread, curries and so much more.

The vine leaves hook me in – enticing me make my grandmother’s dolma recipe.  Though Shamgate specialises in halal meats, it’s the vast selection of seafood that grabs my attention – with the biggest prawns imaginable.

Happy as a clam, I could stay for hours discovering new and unheard of delicious delights.   I finally leave with a collection of spices and a desire create something mouth tingling.  And if it all goes horribly wrong at least I know where to go for back-up sure-fire savoury treats.

– B

Silent Sunday – 5 August

Going for gold in Glasgow…

Olympic rings in Glasgow

A drink to abide by

Calling all dudes, mistaken millionaires and bowling legends – get yourself to Lebowskis.

The White Russian drinks menu, GlasgowThis cosy pub in Finnieston has the biggest selection of White Russian cocktails in the city with about 20 different variations of the milky alcohol- infused drink.

And with cult movie names like The Gutter Ball, The Toe, The Nihilist and my favourite
The Da Fino (a perfect fusion of coffee, cinnamon and vanilla) – how can we resist this rich and satisfying treat?  We don’t.  We abide.

Every taste and then some

White Russian Cocktails, Lebowskis  Bar GlasgowThere’s something for every taste, whether you’re more of a traditionalist sticking to your basic vodka, coffee liqueur and light cream variety or the more adventuresome who takes  The Dude’s favourite drink with a twist of mint, espresso, whiskey or even (gasp) Buckfast!

Not just a pretty caucasian

But Lebowski’s isn’t just a nod to film about a charismatic slacker or creamy tasting ‘caucasians’ – in fact the food is equally as fantastic and the friendly staff are top notch with not a single dressing gown in sight.

So what are you waiting for?  Whether you’ve seen the film or not, go on – abide and try out the perfect White Russian made in a variety of enticing and imaginative ways.

– T

Rejuvenating views in the most unexpected of places

Gardens and graves at Necropolis, GlasgowI’m running late and so haven’t managed to book a walking tour of the Glasgow Necropolis.  Fortunately my nine-year old’s running commentary as we walk through the sprawling grounds keeps me in-the-know.  A previous school trip has apparently turned him into an expert.

We meander  along the path up the hill enjoying the sights and checking out the gravestones.  Our birds-eye view of the Cathedral from the second highest hill in Glasgow means the landscape is fantastic.

William Miller's Grave, GlasgowBut the necropolis isn’t just a bunch of tombstones.  This Victorian cemetery is a beautiful garden, including numerous grand monuments – and is said to have over
50 000 people buried here, though not all have stones.

Its many graves tell the story of generations of families in Glasgow spanning over 100 years.  Along our explorations, we discover the grave of William Miller who wrote the nursery rhyme Wee Willie Winkie – which we dutifully sing as we climb further up the hill.

Not gloomy, just spectacular views

Arriving on the top of the hill I realise how spectacular gravestones can be; intricate carvings, statues, mausoleums and inscriptions detail the history of each person.  The Necropolis allows you to explore Glasgow’s rich history, chart its achievements through the celebration of its past people – all the while surrounded by an impressive 360 degree view of the city.

As I look out at the city far away from the hustle and bustle, I can’t help but have a sense of peace in this quiet natural space.

It’s worth a visit and worth the climb.  And if you’re not fortunate enough to have your own personal tour guide, book one of their tours – but do it early as they fill up quickly.

– B