Tag: <span>Merchant City</span>

If you are in the Glasgow area – hell if you are in Scotland and can make it to the Glasgow area – anytime this afternoon, then
head to the Merchant City area and seek out Babbity Bowsters, it’s the furthest right pub (just below the middle) on this map (PDF download). It’s only a 5 minute walk from Queen street so no real excuse for you East Coasters either!

The big orange Blogger logo is fairly prominent so you should be able to spot us. Come alone, or bring a friend, and remember those


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Yesterday I mentioned that seeing Glasgow was on my agenda for the coming fortnight.

Perhaps I should’ve checked that I could still get tickets. Arse. All sold out.

That leaves the SMS tour round Merchant City, and the Open Door Day. We’ll probably go for a wander round the Necropolis ourselves though as Louise and I share the same fascination of cemetries (for reasons I won’t go into here, and that only a handful of people know, he said, mysteriously).

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Glasgow: Scotland with style.

Today saw the launch of the new campaign to promote Glasgow, my home city if you will. I’ve spent most of my entire life in it’s shadow, my Mum grew up there, my Gran still lives there, and, if you go by postcodes, I’ve spent 27 years of my life living there too (of course the G postcode stretches pretty far so I’ve never actually lived ‘in’ Glasgow).

Capitalising (geddit!) on the legacy of Charles Rennie Macintosh, the campaign aims to sell Glasgow to the world as a cool, sophisticated city. Which is a fair aim I guess… except I think it’s missing the point completely.

Glasgow is not about stylish bars and restaurants, grand architecture, arts events and the other trappings of ‘style’ that remain hidden from me. Glasgow is about it’s people. Now, don’t get me wrong, the stylish bars ARE very stylish (and very grand, if you ever get to Glasgow, nip into the Corinthian just off George Square), the restaurants are varied and mostly first-class, yes the architecture is stunning, and yes the arts scene is vibrant and varied. But then this is true of any major city if you know where to look. In this sense this “new Glasgow” almost fails at the first hurdle it’s forgetting what makes it great (or “miles better”).

Take, for example, the Merchant City area. It’s been revived over the past few years and now houses more pubs, bars, and restaurants per square foot than.. well a small place with too many pubs, bars, and restaurants. However, if you turn down the wrong street and walk for two or three minutes you pop out in a decidely un-stylish place (Trongate). Sure you can marvel at the architecture, or even sample a traditional Glasgow pub, but I’ll be honest, I’d be too busy minding my wallet.

This is NOT a bad thing though, far from it. For me it’s what gives Glasgow greater appeal than all the nouveau-styled cocktail bars. The fact that classes/cultures/lifestyles clash and rub against each other is what gives Glasgow it’s great charm and edge. It can lead to some interesting situations when they meet; I’m often surprised when I overhear that gaggle of ‘society’ ladies as they stumble from the Metropolitan cocktail bar:

“Hewisarightshag, thabigyinwithedarkhair..”
“Ayeaddaehim naebother!!”

And that’s another thing. Glaswegian. When will it be recognised as it’s own language? I love listening to the wandering drunks, draped in Celtic’s finest, talking to passing traffic cones in something that resembles English but only just.

Glasgow is a working class city, I just hope this new campaign isn’t a move to forget where it all started.

Ohh and for you east-coasters; No, this new slogan does not mean that “Edinburgh: Scotland with substance” is true. Remember, you’ve got all the politicians… nae substance there!

P.S. Good to see that the site offers, amongst other languages, Gaelic.
P.P.S. Yes, the model on the opening page of the site is Russian. A faux pas in my opinion (and no I don’t know how to say “faux pas” in Russian.

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Forgot to mention that it was K’s birthday (Happy Birthday!) yesterday, so we all trooped off to the pub, and then onto a mongolian restaurant by the name of Kublai Khan.

Of course, when I say pub, I mean trendy ‘Bar Gandolfini’, and the restaurant was more of a glorified barbeque. It was one of those, “pick your own stuff and we’ll cook it” places. You work your way along the tables selecting rice or noodles, then veg, then meat, then you have to make your own sauce from a huge variety of oils, sauces, spices and other bits and bobs. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but the choices were heavily Chinese based, and the available meat was the main difference. I have to admit the Kangaroo was nice, but the Ostrich was far better. You are encouraged to ‘make’ small portions and go back up more than once, but having had a few beers by this time, the primary focus was on FOOD. All in all it was very enjoyable and I’ll add that one to the list of ‘safe’ places to go. Recommended if you find yourself in Glasgow’s Merchant City.

And then it was onto the Metropolitan (our K likes her glitzy bars) and cocktails.

Needless to say this morning will be a bit of a drag and will require several cups of coffee just to make it to lunch.

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BBQ Friday was fun. One of those nights when you look at your watch and think, “hmmm 11pm maybe just another couple of drinks”, and then 10 mins later look at your watch and all of a sudden it’s 3am. Would have been quite happy to let the night go on.

Saturday – drinks in Arte, Mao for dinner. Nasi Goreng was wonderful well recommended if you are eating out in Glasgow. Ohhh and if you are ever in the Merchant City area of Glasgow in the evening, you must visit Arte. Blows me away every time.

Today is a Bank Holiday, but here I sit in work. Louise can brave the traffic queues, I’m far too impatient for that.

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