Our final stop in Scotland was Glasgow. If the sun shone just a wee bit more, I could easily live there. Glasgow is full of cozy pubs, great thrift shops, historic architecture and happening restaurants. But, alas, my hair just doesn't handle humidity well at all, so I'll just have to visit again from time to time. For whatever reason, I didn't really pull my camera out much in Glasgow (maybe it was all the rain). So, please enjoy the photos I took at the botanic gardens and the Necropolis (plus a few of yours truly snapped by Chantal and Scott for Flytographer) with my kindest regrets for the lack of food photos.
Keep reading for a rundown of my favourite spots in Glasgow.
As with most of our Scotland "discoveries," this one was recommended by a local. Our first night in Glasgow, we headed to a pub, but due to its evident popularity, we weren't able to snag a place to sit, so as you do, we asked the friendly fellow having a cigarette outside and he pointed us to Stravaigin. Thanks, random Glaswegian guy! We ended up spending our last night in Glasgow here for dinner, so I can say that both the beer selection and food are worth visiting for. Note to self after eyeing their menu while writing this post: Why did I not try the black crab doughnuts?! Must return for these.
For some reason, my brain does not want me to call this wonderful cafe by its actual name, instead, it wants me to call it Cafe Gandolfini (RIP, James). But regardless of what you call it, this was an excellent spot to have a traditional Scottish breakfast, which we had to do at least once before leaving the fine country of Scotland. Maybe have this on a day when you have lots of post-breakfast walking planned.
This is the place to have a reservation booked in if you visit Glasgow. The food is excellent, but honestly, I'd probably suggest going there based on the atmosphere alone. We opted to reserve a table at the brasserie portion of the restaurant and were stunned by the gorgeous, indoor garden we were seated in. Ok, our table was not the most spacious...we had to strategically plan trips to the bathroom and avoid bumping into the gentlemen at the next table as we squished past them, but the view more than made up for it. Everything is so delicious that the only way to eat here is to be willing to share.
This small boutique roaster was the perfect place for a caffeinated pick-me-up on an otherwise dreary day. We ducked in here to hide out from the rain and grab a cup to go, but we wished we could have stayed just a bit longer.
The Belle is that aforementioned evidently popular pub. We managed to find a table here one day when we arrived for a late afternoon drink and, yeah, we really understood why it has such a following. The cozy interior (complete with fireplace) is a comfortable place to hunker down with friends for a few hours.
Demijohn - The Liquid Deli
This was one of the only places I actually did discover on my own without the help of a friendly local. While walking around browsing shops on the way to the botanic garden, my eyes spied the term "liquid deli" and my curiosity got the best of me. Behold, shelves stacked with interesting bottles and barrels filled with vinegars, oils, liqueurs, whiskey and more! The staff was super friendly, knowledgeable and let us try samples of anything that piqued our interest. We left with a few cute bottles, including a bramble (that's blackberry in the UK) whiskey liqueur.
Real talk: Hungary isn't known for its amazing beer, so when I discovered the amazing selection in Scotland, I was pretty stoked. Valhalla's Goat is an excellent bottle shop. If you like craft beer, this is a must stop to pick up a few different varieties. Plus, everything is sold by the bottle which is a prime opportunity to try more than your average six-pack would allow.
Glasgow Botanic Gardens
Honestly, I already have your perfect Glaswegian afternoon all mapped out for you. Head to Valhalla's Goat (see above), pick out a nice beer or two (depends on how many are in your crew), grab a snack or sandwich, head to the Glasgow Botanic Gardens and plant yourself on the lawn, enjoy your picnic and then get a heavy dose of green goodness while wandering through the garden's glorious greenhouses and trails.
Kelvin River Walk
This beautiful, nature-filled walk happened by accident after leaving the botanic gardens. Headed home (which was really just our temporary home), we decided to follow the river up to catch some different scenery. We ended up finding some really beautiful spots, bridges and historic ruins along the way just by following the river path.
This 12th century cathedral is the only medieval cathedral on the Scottish mainland to survive the 1560 Reformation, so that means you have to see this. You just have to.
And if you're already at the cathedral, you're just next door to another famous Glaswegian site, the Necropolis. The day we had planned to visit the Necropolis was wet. I mean, it was pouring, but it was our only chance to see it so we forged ahead with our plans and I'm so glad I didn't miss this. It's fascinating to see such an old cemetery. On a sunny day (or at least just a dry one), I imagine we would have stayed quite a bit longer exploring and taking in the views of the city.