Category Archives: Scotland

Global cuisine on Glasgow’s doorstep

An old friend’s visiting from out of town and I want to take her somewhere for dinner that truly captures Glasgow.  Stravaigin on Gibson Street prides itself as ‘one of the best restaurants’ in town promising Scottish produce and serving world cuisine – it has a “Think global, eat local” philosophy.

Stravaigin bar and restaurant in GlasgowThe bar is a buzz of chatter, music and lots of cheery smiles.  The restaurant is brimming over and so we’re seated at the last free table in the cosy cafe bar, which shares the same menu but has the bonus of being on a balcony overlooking the bar. A perfect spot where we can enjoy the atmosphere above the hubbub.

Truthfully, some of the best food in Glasgow

Stravaigin is telling the truth – the food is some of the best in Glasgow.  It’s fresh, lovingly made perfection. Spiced Pumpkin croquettes with feta and walnut stuffing are gorgeous bundles of taste. And the seared sea bream fillet and confit ratte potatoes in seafood bisque are divine. (Starters average £5.50 each and mains range between £9-16).

Conversation flows as fluidly as the Chenin Blanc. We get side-tracked from the desserts by the long list of ports on offer. Truthfully I don’t know anything about port but the very patient waitress kindly recommends one. We share melt-in-your-mouth cheeses, from the soft to the smelly, accompanied by a very civilised glass of port, followed by a not so civilised second glass.

It’s the perfect setting to catch up with an old friend and savour delicious food and drink while reminiscing. Our bill comes to £88 all in. Admittedly the four glasses of port boosted the cost but it’s money well spent – impeccable service, delectable food in a welcoming, relaxed setting. What’s not to love?

World-wide haggis

And if you’re still looking for something to do to celebrate the Bard, you might still be able to snap up a ticket at their ‘Unconventional Burn’s Night’ that explores haggis from around the world and compares it to their very own Great chieftain o’ the pudding-race.

Monthly Meander – explore world food

If you have missed out on Burn’s night, don’t fret because Stravaigin regularly puts on ‘monthly meander’ nights that invite you to explore food from around the world without the expense of an airline ticket.  Fantastic!

So let your tastebuds wander, you’ll be glad you did!

-B

Inject some extraordinary into an ordinary Tuesday

If Mondays are blue, Tuesday must be drab, dishwater grey.  But there’s no better place to shake off the dreary than Sloan’s Eat Film night in Glasgow.

As the name suggest, Tuesdays at Sloan’s offers a night of film coupled with hearty pub grub that won’t break the bank.  It’s free entry for the film and then completely up to you as to how much you eat, drink and spend.  Fill up on a scotch pie (£5.95), fish and chunky chips with tartar sauce (£8.95), rocky road brownie (£4.95) or there’s bags of pick & mix for a fiver for the more traditionalist film-goer.

Eat Film at Sloan's Bar in GlasgowSmall circular tables are arranged mostly in two-seaters around the Grand Ball Room, which holds about 20 -25 people.

Orders are taken, candles lit and it all has a kind of cabaret feeling.  Once we’ve devoured our meals, tables are cleared and the big (little) screen lights up.

Tuesday blahs banished

The Jungle Book leaps off the screen and I’m reunited with some of my childhood favourites Baloo and Mowgli; instantly the Tuesday haze is lifted.  Eat Film is about the experience rather than gourmet nosh.  And what a great experience.

But if a cartoon dancing bear and a fussing panther aren’t your thing, you might be enticed by one of Eat Film’s other eclectic choices. Upcoming film nights include Bambi, Boogie Nights and one of my all-time favourites Amelie!

So go on, do something different and shake up your Tuesday.  Everything kicks off at 7pm but definitely call ahead (0141 221 8886) or book online  to avoid disappointment – because seats are limited.

So much more than film…

As Glasgow oldest pub – and not to be outdone – Sloan’s boast a healthy events calendar, including one of the liveliest Ceilidhs in town, Thursday’s ‘bad boy’ pub quiz night and for all those still wondering where to celebrate the bard and address the haggis, look no further than here on the 25th .

– T

Silent Sunday – 15 January

Sundays are made for exploring Glasgow…
…so what are you waiting for?

Beautiful sky at Queens Park in Glasgow

…a thousand words

Exploring Kelvingrove Park

Kelvingrove Park Glasgow

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.

GoMA

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

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

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

Silent Sunday – 11 December

Star light, star bright…..

Fairy lights in Royal Exchange Square, Gasgow