Monthly Archives: March 2013

Silent Sunday – 31 March

Happy sunshine-filled Easter…

Sunshine on Glasgow

Chandeliers and champagne

An old friend is in town and persuades me to check out Grand Central Hotel. Why?  The apparent must-see magnificent chandelier, of course.  So having decided our drinking locale purely based on light fittings, we set off.

Not my usual scene but I’m intrigued.  And the promise of champagne is too good to turn down.

Impressive chandelier at Grand Central Hotel  in GlasgowPrepare to be dazzled

From the bowing doorman at the entrance to luxurious decor –even the floor is impressive at the Grand Central Hotel.

And as promised the elegant chandelier in the hall with its long slim prisms of glass – well, it’s pretty spectacular too.  Standing directly underneath gives a wonderful view;  it stretches on and on past three floors at least.

We head up the stairs to Champagne Central where we’re greeted by another chandelier. More of a round-faced younger sister compared to the previous all-encompassing chandelier, but dazzling nonetheless.

Chandelier in champagne bar in GlasgowIn good company

It’s only 6:30 on a Saturday night but the bar is already heaving.  We manage to nab two chairs and settle in.  And then the fun begins.

We go for a classic glass of champagne, although there’s a myriad of cocktails as long as the chandelier to choose from.   And it’s absolutely buzzing inside – perfect for people watching.  Set against decadent wooden furnishings and trains puffing away in the background, anything goes –  zebra striped heels, fake furs, bouffant hair, jeans and trainers  – it’s all sorts and all good.

Here’s to us

Long before its swanky refurbishment, Grand Central hotel attracted a slew of other interesting characters including Laurel and Hardy, Winston Churchill and the Beatles to name just a few.   And I can’t think of a better way to join this illustrious group  (past and present) than indulging in a glass of champagne and simply enjoying the view.

– B

Silent Sunday – 24 March

Glasgow squirrels.  Bigger. Bolder. Beer connoisseurs…

Glasgow  squirrel - big and bold

Riverhill to the lunch rescue

Riverhill Coffee Bar in GlasgowBreakfast is said to be the most important meal of the day.  And while it does set me up,  lunch is definitely not to be snubbed.  After all, it’s what keeps me going.

I want to savour every moment of that sacred hour when I step away from work to enjoy something good.  So I head to Riverhill Coffee Bar centrally located on Gordon Street.

Small but mighty tasty

Delightful desserts at Riverhill Coffee Bar in Glasgow Small but serving up a variety of mighty delicious food, it offers everything from sandwiches served on the most beautiful breads (hmmm ciabatta), to intriguing salads and an impressive selection of desserts.

Yes, dessert is a lunch must-have! Because who can resist ‘hot n horny chocolate cake’ – especially at only £2 a slice.

Even the traditional egg salad sandwich is beautifully presented wrapped up in paper and string – a wee edible present.  If you want to try something a little more exotic, their shrimp salad sandwich on a luscious brown roll or beautiful bulgur wheat, lentil and feta salad are delish.

With an ever-changing menu, I’m spoiled for choice.  And coffee lovers will not be disappointed – their Dear Green coffee is truly a beautiful thing.

Staff as sweet as their treats

And the icing on this sweet, sweet delight – the friendly staff are as lovely as the food.   And it’s all at a great price;  my sandwich and  drink comes to a very reasonable £4.  Seats are limited but take away is available.

So go on – put a spring in your step, liberate lunch and treat yourself to something wonderfully scrumptious.

-T

Silent Sunday – 17 March

Easter arrives in Glasgow…

Easter eggs in Glasgow

Eggs of every variety – including deep sea delights…

Deep sea Easter eggs in Glasgow

Looking for a place to happen

I’ve heard about Glasgow’s Poetry Club but never been before now. Tucked away in the SWG3, this captivating multifaceted hangout  is a  bar, art-hub performance space and general place to happen.

Smoking allowed

Flying Scotsman at The Poetry Club in GlasgowThrough the small entrance to the bar we’re greeted by billows of smoke and a welcoming drink.  An unusual combination  but in the Poetry Club smoking (of the train variety) is absolutely allowed – and I’m instantly charmed by the Flying Scotsman.

Behind the curtain is a world of Oz and open space.  It has an anything and everything kind of feel.  In one area a small stage offset by sofas to sprawl on – or when the mood and music takes me, a dance floor to show off my moves.  And when it all gets too much, I climb the iron staircase to the safety of the mezzanine and enjoy the enchanting feel from the safety of the shadows.

Anything could happen

Even though the hint of the arches that once were is still noticeable,  the venue feels very solid.  Anything could happen here – and does from private parties to performances, to gigs.   Its legendary early beginnings were born out of  Glasgow-based artist Jim Lambie’s need for a venue for his event with writer and punk-pioneer Richard Hell.  So he built it.  And that DIY determination and fun definitely live on inside these walls.

So if you’re looking for an intriguing venue with the added benefit of a unusual smoke machine – look no further.  And although the Poetry Club doesn’t offer food, the fish and chip van outside hits the spot when lounging becomes passé and you tire of dancing.

-B

Silent Sunday – 10 March

Another Saturday night charmer in Glasgow…

Dog in ubiquitous chip in Glasgow

Sleazy is best

Best Burger Champion - Nice N Sleazy, GlasgowClaiming to have the best burger in town is no small boast, yet there are oodles of braggarts in town.

So I decided to put these self-proclaimed champs to the test.

I’ve been sampling across the city and while others are good, there can only be one ultimate.  Many of you know Nice N Sleazy’s as a lively, loud night spot to swig beer and enjoy music of every variety; it also happens to offer up the best burgers in Glasgow.

Big-mouth burgers for all

Best burgers at Sleazy's in GlasgowThe mammoth size, delicious combinations and unbelievably fantastic flavours are simply unrivaled.  And there is truly something for every burger connoisseur in town.  And then some.

For the dare-devil beef eaters to the more eccentric – and even the traditionalist, Sleazy has something.  But why settle for a cheese burger when you could be enjoying the Red Mists – a mouth-watering chicken breast with sage, thyme and topped with smoked cheddar and caramelised onion.  Or dazzle your mouth with Four by Fifty’s smoked salmon combo complete with buttery mash, spring onion, lemon zest and beetroot salsa.

My favourite (and not just for the name) is the Heart of the Sunrise  – as if the perfectly-formed veggie burger  stacked with avocado, roast peppers  and tomato and on amazing bun wasn’t enough – they throw on a slice of grilled marinated halloumi just to send my tastebuds over the edge.  Fantastic!

All burgers are served with impeccably-cooked chips and at £4.95 – £7.50, you’ve still got change for a drink or two.

And in the light of day, Sleazy’s is actually is a pretty cool venue – has a kind of modern diner appeal, without the tat.

I said.  I stand by it.  Sleazy burgers are the best in town – quite possibly the world.

– T

Silent Sunday – 3 March

Still and bright. Glasgow Green at night…

Glasgow Green at night

King of crafty things

My treasured black coat finally let go of its last button.  But I refused to let go of it – so started a city-wide search for new buttons to resurrect my coat.

I combed through racks  in a large department store, shocked (and offended) to discover a single button was a staggering £6.  It’s simply ridiculous to spend £18 on four buttons.  But in a flash of inspiration, I remembered Remnant Kings .

Remnant Kings rainbow of materialTucked away on the first floor above Frasers at no 7 Buchannan Street is a treasure trove of delights.  Yes you’ll need to climb a lot of stairs to get to the treasure, but it’s worth every step.

Knitters, crafters and dreamers come in

At the top, though the doors, is the Aladdin’s Cave of haberdashery.  Rolls and rolls of material everywhere in a rainbow of colour – stripes, polkadots, trucks, fruit and even a bridal collection with sparkling hues of gold and silver.  Ribbons, cottons in every width, colour and sheen you can imagine – and some you can’t or shouldn’t.  There’s even crafter kits to get you started on your next project.

Buttons galore at Remnant KingsIt’s a knitter’s heaven with balls of wool from floor to ceiling and knitting needles for beginners to experts.

And most importantly (and triumphantly) an enormous selection of buttons – the perfect four for my coat cost a mere £3.70 for the lot.  Success!

Fancy a dress…or cowboy perhaps

Looking around the shop, I discover an unexpected fancy-dress section compete with cowboy hats, feathered masks and even multi-coloured wigs.  Halloween is sorted.

And the staff are incredible – friendly, knowledgeable and happy to answer all of my elementary questions about knitting with patience and humour.  So if you’re thinking of brightening up your wardrobe or home, kick starting a creative project or simply need to save a much-loved jacket, Remnant Kings is the answer.

-B