Good morning sunshine — today is the day when Glasgow becomes your oyster and the exploring begins. A hearty breakfast makes for a happy being, so make way for Café Gandolfi, an arty culinary institution famed for its tasty meals. Those with a discerning eye will take note of the stained glass windows by John Clark and hip wooden furniture by Tim Stead. Food wise, go for the Gandolfi Full Scottish and let every bite of Stornoway black pudding, bacon, tattie scone and sourdough toast do the talking.
Once fed and watered, meander your way to Kelvingrove Art Gallery And Museum. An absolute beauty, it’s hard to believe that it’s free (happy days)! After admiring the stunning exterior, delve deep into this treasure trove of art. Take your pick from 22 themed galleries complete with over 8,000 objects, and do the rounds, which includes ogling at works from Renoir, Rembrandt and Dalí. Make time for Dalí’s 1951 painting Christ Of St John Of The Cross and Van Gogh’s portrait of esteemed Glasgow art collector Alexander Reid, the chap who helped Sir William Burrell accumulate such a stunning art collection.
Next, pick up a Mural Tour pamphlet and go to town exploring the city’s legendary street art collection. This is a good way to take in the interesting array of architecture (featuring many Victorian buildings), although the stars of the show are the ridiculously impressive murals. Thanks to street artist aficionados like Smug, Rogue One and James Klinge, the city is inundated with mesmerizing portals to alternate universes where animals meet in cafes, a giant girl picks people off the street, a spaceman chills against the wall and the world’s most economical taxi ascends towards the sky via balloons.
After the day’s excitement, experience Glasgow’s vibrant culinary scene. It’s true that Glasgow wouldn’t be Glasgow without its impressive array of Indian restaurants. It is, after all, renowned as the ‘Curry Capital’ of the UK. A tried and true local institution, Shish Mahal has been around for ever, and sports an epic menu, resulting in foodies eating their way across the magical continent that is India.
After a transformative Indian food experience, let loose and head to The Corinthian, an ultra swanky house of fun. Hit up the Tellers Late Night Bar and enjoy the house and nu disco music, which on Saturdays is accompanyied by a live sax player and electronic violin. Alternatively, once cannot simply surpass the cocktails and live piano performances at Charlie Parker’s (also inside the Corinthian). Gamblers can ‘gie it laldy’ at the casino and embrace the classy Glasvegas feels at the slots and tables of the magical jazz era Harlem-themed dreamworld.
After painting the town red, the best way to dust off those cobwebs is a hefty dose of coffee. Thankfully, there’s plenty of desirable spots in Glasgow from which to choose. The sophisticated and sleek vibes of Laboratorio Espresso, an Italian inspired coffee house on West Nile Street, offers a perfect pick-me-up. The lengthy coffee menu and traditional Italian cakes never fail to satisfy.
When the coffee has worked its magic, have a nice wee wander until The Lighthouse comes into view. An impeccable work of architecture, this was one of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s first ever public commissions. Now Scotland’s Centre for Design and Architecture, make sure you explore every nook and cranny. Those who want to delve deeper into the mind of this wonderful creative, can embark on a Mackintosh Tour around Glasgow — his prescence is imprinted across the city.
Named one of the UK’s best shopping places outside of London, you can’t go to Glasgow without indulging in a spot of retail therapy! Make the Style Mile your catwalk and strut into every shop imaginable. With a mall at either end (Buchanan Galleries and St Enoch Centre), Buchanan Street is where much of the magic happens, just as Ingram Street is a prime haunt for those with a love for all things designer. At the end of the day, stick to ‘the Golden Z’ and all will be well — Sauchiehall Street, Buchanan Street and Argyle Street. Vintage enthusiasts will be on cloud nine with Glasgow’s abundance of pre-loved retro shops, and one which stands out is Starry Starry Night.
After working up quite the appetite, venture on over to Ubiquitous Chip for a meal worth remembering. This is your chance to taste the fruits of Scotland’s natural larder in a remarkably enchanting setting. The feel is unrivalled, the atmosphere relaxed and the food impeccable.
Experiencing the sweet sounds of the city is the only way to end a whistlestop stay, seeing as Glasgow is a UNESCO City Of Music. Take your pick from the Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra or the Royal Opera. In the same arty vein, an evening of witnessing the Scottish Ballet in action is beyond mesmerising. Oh, and don’t forget to see who’s playing at King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut.