48 Hours in GlasgowTuesday 11 July 2017 by Florence Evans Considered the lesser-loved of Scotland’s urban gems, Glasgow offers a cosmopolitan grandeur that contrasts with Edinburgh’s enchantingly gothic cityscape. This city has everything it needs to be both a tourist hotspot and a stylish place to live, with the Glaswegians offering a heart-warming welcome, UNESCO-accredited art galleries, museums galore and even its very own local hero, Charles Rennie Macintosh, painter and architect who made a name for the city. From curiosity shops and local attractions to some fantastic bars and restaurants to enjoy, a visit to Glasgow will most certainly not disappoint.
Wake up and smell the coffee
Hailed as the best place in Glasgow’s West End for a caffeine fix, Artisan Roast on Gibson Street is the place to head if you like your coffee beans roasted locally and your flat whites authentic. In an edgy backdrop that has a heavy focus on locally-sourced, vegan, organic treats, this place has a guilt-free array of foods to try, with a menu that changes regularly. Start your day with a taste of Glasgow’s hipster scene before you head out and about to explore the city.
Appreciate a little Art
The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum has something for everyone. Its baroque façade emits a fantastic first impression, with the interiors full of beautiful and interesting exhibits, part of 22 different themed galleries that display a wide range of objects and artefacts. Expect to see the likes of works by Salvador Dali, Dutch Old Masters, French Impressionists, Ancient Egyptian pieces and of course, works by Scottish painters and Charles Rennie Macintosh. Combing art and history into a one-stop shop, if you’re looking to tick that history and culture box while in Glasgow, pay this site a visit.
Alternatively, if you’re more of a modern-art enthusiast then the Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art showcases work that highlights the interests, influences and theories of modern artists not just from Scotland but from around the world. Highly recommended for those that appreciate the weird and wonderful works of contemporary artists.
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A morning appreciating art calls for a perfectly pretty lunch. And there’s nowhere better to find it than Kember and Jones, one of Glasgow’s favourite spots for some grub. Choose from some mouth-watering options like cranberry, blueberry, cheddar or feta and basil scones, Cannellini bean soup, tomato, basil and mozzarella baguette and warm goat’s cheese salad with sun blushed tomatoes, pesto and toasted pine nuts.
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Indulge in a spot of shopping
Otherwise known as Glasgow’s Style Mile, Buchanan Street is where to head for a bit of retail therapy. Stretching from Sauchiehall Street down to St Enoch Square, this pedestrianised thoroughfare houses some of the great British high street’s well-known stores such as Russel & Bromley, Dune, and House of Fraser. Head this way for a bit of retail therapy and absolutely everything can be found in one place.
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Sharing platters and cocktails
Whether you’re a gin-drinker or not, Gin 71 on Renfield Street has a menu of cocktails galore and sharing platters designed to satisfy your taste buds. These guys really take their cocktails seriously, and never use pre-made mixers so everything is truly authentic. Choose from a range of gin-based drinks such as Rhubard Negronis, Ginlini’s with your choice of flavours from raspberry, Sloe gin, pink grapefruit, to elderflower or ginger - or the classic Martini. Of course, you’ll need to eat dinner so the sharing platters available will surely hit the spot. Each is served with chunky bread, and provides a delicious tapas-style array of fine delicacies such as parma ham, chorizo, pork terrine, artichoke, sundried tomatoes, veggie pâté hummus and pickles.
One for the interior design fanatics
Charles Rennie Macintosh is a Glaswegian local hero, and was a local architect, designer and artist during the Victorian times. He and his wife lived in a house with a distinctive and unique style, that was totally groundbreakingly for the era – and could be seen to resemble modern day minimalism. Today you can visit the house on 6 Florentine Terrace for a small entrance fee, and it’s totally worth it.
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Stroll around Glasgow’s West End
Every city has its beauty spots, and like London, Glasgow’s West End is full of charm and perfectly pretty buildings. With cobbled streets, houses made of sandstone and wide steps up to grand front doors, a stroll around this area is sure to make you swoon.
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Check out the Botanic Gardens and Kelvingrove Park
Every mini break should include getting out and about for a bit of fresh air, and you’ll be spoilt by the green open spaces of Glasgow’s Botanical Gardens and Kelvingrove Park. A delightful balance between neat and tidy gardens and woodland trails, this is a lovely spot for a stroll and even has a Victorian Kibble Palace Glasshouse for a peek at the tropical plants.
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Visit Cup Tea Lounge
For the most beautiful cupcakes that will rival any afternoon treat, Cup Tea Lounge has the sweetest array of different flavoured cupcakes, scones, desserts and sandwiches. Choose from tea, prosecco, veuve clicquot or a gin-based cocktail to wash it down with, delicious!
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Head to the Ubiquitous Chip for dinner
With a courtyard dining room said to be one of the most magical places to dine in the city, the Ubiquitous Chip is by far one of the best places to eat in Glasgow. With a menu boasting delicate dishes such as sea trout with chorizo, clams, sea vegetables, and a bouillabaisse reduction, or something heartier such as steak with braised mushrooms, dauphinoise potatoes and a choice of different sauces – you simply can’t go wrong here. Live it up on your last night in Glasgow with a visit to the Ubiquitous Chip, we guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
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Tuk Tuk Glasgow 24 February 2017