Look Up

19 Jul

In Glasgow we are blessed with some amazing architecture – so much of it, in fact, that after a while you hardly notice it. You hurry past Regency era terraces and shelter from the rain under ornate Victorian overhangs, and keep your eyes on the pavement. If you lo0k up, though, and actually see the buildings, the view is inspiring.

Yates Wine Lodge, West George St, Glasgow

Yates Wine Lodge, Glasgow

I was reminded of this fact the other day when I was out for “food and a flick”, a semi-regular social event organised by a lovely couple of friends. The food was at Yates Wine Lodge on West George Street, one a chain of cheap eateries. While it’s a bit loud and rough in the evening, it is a great place for cheap, plentiful, tasty, quick food until about eight o’ clock. I mentioned to the “food and flick” group that I had once taken a South American friend out for lunch to Yates and apologised that it was “nothing special”. He was taken aback and gazed around him. “Nothing special?!” he said.

Looking around, I had to take his point. While Yates is,  indeed a cheap eatery, that branch is also a beautiful Georgian building with polished sandstone pillars and gorgeous proportions outside, while inside it has a spiral staircase, dark wood appointments and lovely plaster mouldings. Visually, at least, it is something special, but I had totally overlooked the fact.

The Counting House, George Square, Glasgow

Counting House, Glasgow

Later in the evening, after the flick (Ice Age 4 – not great, not bad, pretty funny) we repaired to The Counting House on George Square for a beverage. We left without having one because it was so crowded, but I was struck by the beauty of the place. Look around and you see crowds of people between you and the bar. Look up, and you see prints and paintings, Georgian plaster panels, and an impressive dome. I don’t go to The Counting House much, so I wasn’t so blind to it, but most people there weren’t giving the surroundings any thought at all.

I first noticed how stunning Glasgow is – really noticed it – when I took a bus tour with a Greek friend, for his benefit (so I thought), and saw not shop fronts, but the rest of the buildings above them. It was a revelation.

So, if you are ever in Glasgow city centre, or any other old city – look up!

 

 

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