Staycation: a gourmet city break in Glasgow
Mitzie Wilson dives straight into the food scene of this glorious city...
As crowds spill out of restaurants and bars, I instantly feel the buzz as I arrive in Glasgow. Here to show me around is Paul Trainer, digital editor of glasgowist.com, author of The Glasgow And West Coast Cook Book and the only person to have eaten at just about every place in town. We start with drinks at the stunning bar at the just-opened The Ivy, then go on to Gamba for dinner – a stalwart of Glasgow’s food scene.
The emphasis here is on classic French cooking with an Asian twist. My pan-fried Isle of Gigha halibut with brown shrimps could not have been more delicious. After a good overnight rest at the centrally located ibis Styles hotel, we meet in the Art Nouveau Mackintosh At The Willow. This historic tearoom opened in 1903 and makes the perfect spot for a haggis breakfast roll, porridge with heather honey and a slice of warm clootie dumpling (like a much lighter Christmas pudding).
It’s a good job I lined my stomach, as the next stop is a tour of the Tennent’s Brewery with obligatory tastings before going on to lunch at Saint Luke’s. Once a church, now a gastro pub and music venue, I choose a comforting bowl of cullen skink soup made with smoked haddock. In the evening we explore Finnieston, a newly renovated hub of food and drink offerings. We kick off with an Old Fashioned cocktail at Kelvingrove Café, formerly a famous Victorian lunch spot and now reinvented and modelled on a grand European cafe.
We stop for a Top Dog Burger at El Perro Negro, a tiny bar where my burger oozes with bone marrow and Roquefort butter, bacon, caramelised onions and black truffle mayo. After a quick taxi ride we arrive at Two Fat Ladies at the Buttery, I knew I was going to have to sample the puddings. Resistance was futile!
We start late the next day at the uber-smart Hutchesons City Grill’s 158 Club Lounge where for brunch I’m presented with a dome of six huge slices of smoked salmon covering a mound of buttery scrambled eggs. The final food stop is The Broken Clock where Estonian-born pastry chef Anna and vintage-vinyl partner Artem serve up the most stunning mirror cakes and sweet treats. This marathon eating experience has left me fit to burst, but keen to return and try more of the excellent and varied food this city has to offer. After all, I have Paul’s record to match.
How to book
Double or twin rooms at the modern, casual ibis Styles George Square hotel start from £54 per night for bed and breakfast. Visit accorhotels.com.