A pocket guide to Glasgow
Three days in any city is usually enough with a little bit of time left over. Glasgow however, I think I could have stayed for a week and still have places left unvisited.
Note to future-self: always fly to Scotland. By 10:30am I was sat down in the hotel lobby of The Principal Grand Central and waiting for Mat. We had three days to see what Glasgow had to offer and it was somewhere, for one reason or another, a place that kept being put on the back burner.
When I shared that I’d be visiting Glasgow I was up to my eyes in suggestions on where we should eat, shop and the bar we had to go and visit. Everyone had their local and their must-dos. I reckon it’s the most tips I’ve ever had when visiting a city. People spoke so fondly of it if they were former inhabitants or of excitement for me as it was my first time.
With a pretty heavy list, way too big for how long we had, we made our way to Laboratorio Espresso – a small spot with good tasting beans – to get a plan into place. Our first day was spent ticking off the city centre as we found out quite quickly that a lot of the coffee spots and stores we wanted to see lay in the outer suburbs of the West End and Southside.
A visit into End Clothing and 18Montrose (with a lovely Aēsop concession) were made, albeit a little too streetwear heavy for me personally before walking over to Instrmnt and then going along the river to The Good Coffee Cartel near Ibrox.
If you want to get your step count up, do this journey by foot, otherwise I’d hop on a bus. To round off the first day, we ended it with drinks at The Spanish Butcher and The Shilling Brewery and pizza at the famous Paesano’s with Glasgow’s most stylish man* John of The Everyday Man. A solid first day where the camera did not come out too much.
Tuesday’s agenda took us to the West End and Finnieston where we met with photographer Alex James. We grabbed good coffee, again in the rain, and headed over to W2, a store that deserves its own blog post. David Mullhane, owner of the store – neatly tucked away off the main road – has a story or ten to tell. A quick scroll through his phone he shows me a photo of himself and Sir Paul Smith together. Say no more, this guy knew his stuff. The store stocks Universal Works, Margaret Howell and Comme Des Garçons to name a few (W2 was CDG’s first home in the UK) and is a real destination store worth going out your way for.
We then hopped on the subway to Finnieston where it seems all the good food spots had emerged and inside to Alchemilla. Exceptional food with an equally tasty interior.downicon
Glasgow wasn’t all good food and coffee, we set aside some time to go and see some sharp architecture a little further out. The SEC centre has an armadillo like structure to its roof and makes for spectacular viewing, as does the SSE Hydro opposite. If the grey skies didn’t gather so quickly we would of went to see the Riverside Museum designed by Zaha Hadid, but equally impressive was a chat with Filmore Skincare’s Craig Robertson who told us about how Glasgow over the past couple years has had a complete turnaround in culture and that all the places we were visiting are all recent additions to the city and the demand is continuing to grow.
Our last day was devoted to Glasgow’s Southside and we spent it with my friend Nicole. I should note that we don’t intend to recruit tour guides for every trip, but we do encourage it.
But before that, we stopped off at Good Times Roll which is owned by the lovely Betty – of Forever Yours Betty – for a true Scottish breakfast bap/roll/cob whichever word you relate to and we were joined by Betty’s incredible two dogs Olive and Daphne who you’d of seen on my stories.
From food to coffee (you see the pattern throughout this post right?) we went to popular hangout Café Strange Brew with Nic to catch up and avoid Storm Ali before braving the elements for Bao at Gnom. A risk I’d happily take again for those buns. Our last coffee was at It All Started Here and that was the last action of the day before a feeble attempt to get a view of Glasgow while the rain lashed down.
I’ve got to the end of this blog post and I feel like I’ve missed telling you other things we got up to, but I feel I’ve covered as much as I can before disappearing into the thousand word plus territory. I may of left my jacket on the spare seat of the plane to start the trip and yes the rain may of been consistent (I was covered with my outfit choice), but if that is all I can complain about then I would consider it a very successful first trip. Glasgow, you did not disappoint.jbicon