Tag Archives: Glasgow

What to do in Glasgow and what to see in Glasgow and recommended Glasgow restaurants and hotels.

Making the Most of the Glasgow International Festival

The Glasgow International is Scotland’s largest festival for contemporary art. In 2018 it ran from 20 April to 7 May. The festival runs every second year.

With 268 artists work on show at 90 exhibitions and more than 80 events over 78 venues. I found it really hard to decide what to attend and then to organise an itinerary.

The Glasgow Internation 2018 website was very user friendly. It allowed you to search by dates, geographic location, artist, exhibition, event or date.

Part of my quandary was on several days, there were events which I fancied on at the same time. Then the dispersed venues meant that I might not have time to travel between venues if an event end time was close to another event’s start time.

In order to make the most of the Glasgow International you do have to be super organised. You need to double check the opening hours and days of venues. I thought that I had done this, but I still managed to arrive at the Glasgow Sculpture Workshop around 11am, when it didn’t open until noon.

Then work out the best way to get between the venues. I did a mix, taking the train from Stirling to Glasgow Queen Street and then walking around the city centre and Southside one day. On another day, I drove to Glasgow, parked at our son’s flat and then walked around the West End.

The other four days, mainly weekends, I took the car to drive around dispersed venues. I managed to be in the East End on a day when Celtic were playing at home, when the roads were jam packed and it was hard to find a space to park. I was on my way to see Carla Scott’s Stretch/Pulled/Inked exhibition at Impact Arts. I am so glad that I persevered in looking for a parking space, as I loved Carla’s work pictured below.

I wanted to achieve a balance of seeing several events and exhibitions per day, without dashing around like a headless chicken. You should also beware of sensory overload. You might get more out of doing less.

The Pipe Factory exhibition was spread over four floors. I arrived there with only 45 minutes until closing time at 6pm. I wish that I’d spent a lot longer there. The annoying thing was that I had spent around 40 minutes getting to and from another exhibition in the East End which I didn’t appeal to me. But then how long should you allow to see each exhibition? It’s so hard to know until you get there.

There were several exhibitions at SWG3. My favourite was Judy Blame’s.

I liked the rope sculpture at the Briggate, formerly Glasgow’s fish market.

There were some interesting pieces at the Savoy Tower.

I really liked the ceramics at the nearby Savoy Centre.

The dome in The Savings Bank was beautiful I went there to see Michelle perform Keener, but unfortunately she had to cancel the performance due to vocal cord issues.

I visited Lauriston Arches on the first day of the Glasgow International. Some artists were still in the middle of setting up their work. I didn’t have time to return to that venue to see all the exhibitions.

It would be fab to live in such a colourful house as portrayed Duggie Field’s show at the Modern Institute in Osborne Street.

The multitude of coloured loaves at the David Dale Gallery was eye catching.

I enjoyed Linder’s talk at the Glasgow Women’s Library. Linder was commissioned to create a flag and a short film for Glasgow Women’s Library.

One of the highlights of the Glasgow International was Necroplis Action performed by XSexcentenary.

I also had a great time at a workshop offered by the Glasgow Open Dance School (GODS) at the Old Barn in Pollok Park.

I’m looking forward to Glasgow International 2020.

Review of Di Maggio’s West End Glasgow

There are several Di Maggio’s Italian restaurants in the Glasgow area. I’d previously eaten at the one in Royal Exchange Square, next to the Gallery of Modern Art, many years ago.

Last Saturday, I met our son Simon in Glasgow for lunch. We planned to go the Indian Cottage Indian in Dumbarton Road for lunch. However that restaurant had closed down. This prompted us to have a wander up Byers Road in search of an alternative venue for lunch.

We spotted a sign for Di Maggio’s West End in Ruthven Lane and decided to go to have a look at the menu. I was doubtful that I’d choose to eat there, as I remember the menu at Di Maggio’s in Royal Exchange Square being a bit pricey for me. I’d set a limit of £10 per person for lunch that day, given that lunch at the Indian Cottage was priced at £6 last time that I was there a few months ago.

Fortunately, Di Maggio’s West End were running a Summer Spectacular Menu, which offered a main course and a starter for £10. Unlike many of the lunch offers we had seen in other restaurants in the Byers Road area, the offer was available at lunch time on a Saturday.

We were seated a booth for four people, which meant that we had plenty of space. The interior was nicely done. Unusually for a set menu, there was a wide choice of both starters and main courses.

We decided to share starters of warmed goat’s cheese salad and nachos.

Simon had the pepperoni pizza as a main.

I opted for the verdi pizza.

Neither of us could manage to finish our pizzas, so I requested a take away box.

I thought that the food was beautifully presented and prepared, using quality ingredients. There was a pleasant ambience and the service was good. It was excellent value for money at £10 per person for two courses.

The Summer Spectacular offer at Di Maggio’s runs until 30 September 2018. It’s available all day from Sunday to Thursday and until 5pm on Friday and Saturday. But it’s not on offer at the Theatreland or Royal Exchange restaurants.

Climbing the Water Tower at The Lighthouse Glasgow

The Lighthouse in Glasgow was designed by Rennie Mackintosh as the HQ for the Glasgow Herald newspaper. It is now a Centre for Design and Architecture.

Although I’vevisited The Lighthouse many times to see art exhibitions. I hadn’t climbed the former Water Tower . I was really glad that I finally got around to doing it.

As you ascend the helical staircase, there are drawings of the building’s design.

I must admit that I did feel a bit out of breath by the time I reached the viewing platform. I was fortunate to have the place to myself.

If you’re in Glasgow, I recommend a trek up the former Water Tower at The Lighthouse for some good views over the city.

Review of Jamie’s Italian Restaurant in Glasgow

I had lunch at Jamie’s Italian restaurant in Glasgow with one of our sons. I had a Travel Zoo voudher for a two course lunch or dinner for two people from the set menu which was due to expire soon.

I had paid £26 for the voucher, after deduction of the 10% discount during a promotion. I was so annoyed when I booked our table and read on the website that there was a two course from the set menu offer for £12 available from noon to 6pm Monday to Friday. However, I thought I’d only paid a couple of pounds more than that, so it wasn’t such a big deal.


Jamies Italian in Glasgow is located bang in the city centre in George Square. There were tables outside, but we didn’t fancy sitting so close to the the traffic.

I was rather surprised by how quiet it was inside Jamie’s Italian, considering it was Friday lunchtime and the central location.

I thought that it was a bit dark inside. In my opinion, the tables were too close together, especially as it’s a large restaurant.

The meal began well. My Italian style nachos were good.

Simon enjoyed his fried squid. I thought it should have been served with a small salad.

The main courses were disappointing. The salmon in my tagliatell had been so crumbled to make a small piece of fish so further.  A few peas had been thrown in for some colour contrast. In addition. I thought that the portion size was quite small.  I’m sure that I could have cooked a much tastier version at home.

Simon also found his main course of spaghetti carbonara to be bland

Suffice to say that I was not impressed by Jamie’s Italian in Glasgow.

Glasgow Police Museum

Glasgow Police Museum tells the history of Britain’s first police force in Glasgow from 1779 to 1975. It is run by volunteer members of the Glasgow Police Heritage Society.

There’s an impressive display of medals.

There’s an International Police Exhibition showcasing uniforms from around the world.

The Glasgow Police Museum is located in Bell Street in the Merchant City district. It’s free to enter, although donations are welcome. The opening hours vary by season. From 1 November to 31 March, the Glasgow Police Museum is only open two days a week, Tuesdays and Saturdays. Whereas from 1 April to 31 October, it’s open seven days a week.


House for an Art Lover in Glasgow

I finally got around to visiting the House for an Art Lover during the Glasgow Doors Open event in 2017. The house was designed in 1901 by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his wife Margaret Macdonald as an entry for a German design magazine competition.

However construction of the House for an Art Lover wasn’t started until 1989, with completion in 1996.

There are some fantastic lights in the House for an Art Lover.

My favourite room was the Music Room, entered through doors decorated with stained glass.

The room was set up for a wedding reception taking place that afternoon.

The Dining Room was pretty impressive, if a bit dark for my taste.

I really liked the House for an Art Lover. It’s located in Bellahouston Park, which lies close the J1 of the M77.


Willow Tea Rooms at Watt Brothers Glasgow

Visiting a Willow Tea Room in Glasgow is something that I’d been meaning to do for ages.

My opportunity came when the Willow at Watt Brothers in Sauchiehall Street, hosted an event during Doors Open Days in September 2017.

It was a morning event with a talk about the history of tea in Glasgow, during which tea and homemade shortbread would be served.

The talk was very interesting. I’d hadn’t realised that Thomas Lipton was a Glaswegian. But I do find it strange that Lipton tea is more popular outside the UK. I also learned that the famous Cutty Sark tea carrying ship was built on the Clyde.

The Cranston family were heavily involved in the development on tea rooms in Glasgow. Stuart Cranston opened his first tea shop in St Enoch Square. His younger sister Catherine followed suit, commissioning Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his wife Margaret Macdonald. to design her tea room in Ingram Street in 1896.

I must say that the selection of baking at the Willow Tea Room at Watt Brothers looked very tempting.

Britannia Panopticon in Glasgow

Glasgow’s Britannia Panopticon is the world’s oldest surviving music hall. It opened in the late 1850s.

One of Britannia Panopticon’s claims to fame is that the sixteen year old Stan Laurel (of Laurel and Hardy) made this first stage appearance there.

There’s plenty of memorabilia to see including costumes, musical instruments, photos and posters.

There are still shows and movie screenings at Britannia Panopticon. I’d advise you to wrap up warmly if you attend, as there’s no heating in the building.

You can visit the Britannia Panopticon Tuesdays to Saturdays, between noon to 5pm, but do check before visiting in case there is an event on the day which you are planning to visit.

It’s fee to enter, but a donation is requested,

Review of Elia Greek Resaurant Glasgow

The Elia Greek restaurant is located in Glasgow’s George Square. I had lunch there with our son Simon. The two course set menu cost £7 per person.

Bread and olives were brought to our table.

For starter, I had Taramasalata (cod roe dip).

Simon had Dolmades (vine leaves stuffed with rice and minced meat). which were very good.

My main course was Moussaka. I was a bit surprised that I was offered either chips or rice with the Moussaka, as the dish already contains a potato layer. I assume that this is to keep costs down on the set lunch. My Moussaka was tasty, but rather heavy on the cheese sauce topping and light on meat and aubergine.

Simon’s main course was Chicken Souvalaki. The chicken was tender,

The staff all seemed to be Greek and service was good.

For £7 a head for a two course lunch in central Glasgow, the Elia Greek restaurant offers value for money. Personally, I’d rather pay a bit more to have a more meaty main course without chips.

The Scottish Colourists at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum Glasgow

There’s a permanent exhibition of the works of the Scottish Colourists at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow.

Here are photos of some of my favourite paintings.

Still Life – White Roses by Peploe

Interior – The Orange Blind by Cadell

Roses by Peploe

Barra by Peploe

A Lady in Black by Cadell

The Pink Parasol by Fergusson

Lady in White by Peploe

Torso of a Woman by Fergusson