Our recent trip to Glasgow was a lot more relaxed than usual. Being the control freak that I am, I'm forever researching what's on, where to eat and what to see. Every weekend away has a meticulously planned itinerary, complete with restaurant bookings. Seeing as two friends were joining us on this occasion, I relaxed a little and went with the flow. To a degree anyway - I still made most of the decisions, got us lost in the East end and dragged the boys along to a fancy gin bar!
On the plus side, our little detour did take us past the Barrowlands, Drygate and the legendary Tennants brewery - where I snapped the above photos! The Barrowlands weekend market is a well known local haunt and the infamous ballroom attracts many a well known rockstar, even inspiring Scottish songstress Amy Macdonald to pen a song of the same name. I've seen quite a few music acts at the Barras over the years - MGMT, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Pete Doherty, to name a few!
Staying at a Premier Inn near Merchant City was a top choice when it came to finding places to eat or drink. A short stroll from our hotel we found Doghouse, where we tucked into burgers and plates full of juicy pulled pork and brisket alongside our beers. We finally got a chance to visit Café Gandolfi for breakfast, right around the corner. I'd been recommended this place so many times that my expectations were high, and although I enjoyed my Eggs Hebridean, it wasn't anything all that special.
The Winter Gardens at Glasgow Green - the destination of our detour through the east end streets! Also the place where a random young woman ran up behind me, grabbed my tea cup from the table and smashed it on the floor right in front of us.
(She was autistic and apparently just likes the sound. Even so, I was in shock and still slightly traumatised.)
When I suggested we head to Gin71 for pre-gig drinks, I didn't realise the bar was so fancy. It's like stepping into a 1920's art deco gin paradise, palm trees and all. Top tip - don't just ask for a G&T! They stock 71 different gins, from all over the country with all sorts of botanical flavourings. Pick your gin, mixer and garnish and your tipple of choice will swiftly appear at your table. Gordon and I went for cocktails, while the two Chris' opted for a Hendricks with Fevertree tonic and cucumber, and a Brockmans with light tonic and berries, respectively. The Bramble cocktail was the best of the bunch!
Speaking of cocktails... we managed to swig a few at All Bar One too! I always describe ABO as a posh Wetherspoons - fancy drinks without the fancy price tag. Pomegranate martinis, long island iced teas, white Russians, bellinis, mojitos... they have it all.
If you like pina coladas...!
Before the gig, I let the boys decide where to eat and of course all three of them devoured some serious steaks, while I chowed down on fish and chips, at the Grill on the Corner. We were late to the gig but enjoyed Kings of Leon playing a fair few of their old school tunes, in amongst their more recent hits at the Hydro. Well worth the trip to Glasgow!