Tag Archives: glasgow

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!




One Seven Ate, Shawlands

24 Jun

I chose my days off well this week. Monday was cloudy but warm, while yesterday was just lovely. It was so lovely, in fact, that my sister and I, and her tiny baby, decided to explore another eating establishment n Shawlands. The one we chose was One Seven Ate. We’ve been working our way through a number of them but I probably wouldn’t have tried this one if it wasn’t for the sign that appeared in the window saying it had been awarded the title “Best Diner on the South Side”. So we decided to give it a go. It’s a tiny place, easy to miss, just opposite Shawlands Post Office. There was a two person table outside, just the one, so we plonked ourselves there and started reading the specials board. We had hardly been there a minute when the waitress appeared, offering us drinks and admiring the baby. Throughout the visit the service was extremely attentive, and very flexible. In fact, the waitress even walked the baby up and down the street in the pram when she wouldn’t settle. (Seriously!)

So what about the food? Well we didn’t feel like trying the heavier main meals so I just had a toastie while my sister had one of the specials, home made chilli on a baked potato. We were offered the choice of a side salad, and of three dressings (out of a bottle). The salad was very impressive for an optional extra, although rather weirdly it contained a lot of sweetcorn. The toastie (with my own choice of ingredients) was lovely, and so was the (home made?) coleslaw. My sister’s tap water came with a slice of lemon – always a classy touch.

The only thing I would criticise, really, was the price scheme. It seemed that just about everything was £4.99, which meant that baked potatoes and fajitas seemed a bit overpriced, while proper meals like macaroni cheese or fish and chips came in very cheap. Drinks were also priced a bit confusingly. All coffees cost the same – just over £2 – from an espresso to a mocha, while ice cream and fruit was less than that. A bit odd, but still basically affordable. The coffee, by the way, was rather bitter in an eastern sort of way (think Turkish coffee) which suited me but wouldn’t suit everyone.

All in all, a friendly, good quality local diner, and I would go there again.