There is more to Glasgow than the main attractions and despite two days not being enough to capture them all, it is enough to whet the appetite for a trip back time and again to the ‘dear green place’.
The start to the first day begins with lunch at the Grill on the Square in Royal Exchange Square. This award-winning restaurant offers the finest steak in the city, but with an excellent fixed price lunch menu, at an affordable price. Overlooking the bustling square, diners can admire the architecture of this famous 18th century Glasgow landmark.
Whisky is ‘Scotland’s national drink’ with over fifty distilleries throughout the country. Founded in 1823, the Auchentoshan Distillery located at the foot of the Kilpatrick Hills, produces the ‘world’s number one lowland whisky’ - perfect for an afternoon dram. It offers both whisky newcomers and enthusiasts alike the chance to take the tour or even hand fill their own bottle of Auchentoshan, meaning ‘Corner of the Field’, from a specially selected cask.
With the warm glow of whisky still lingering on the palate, the journey leads now back into the city centre and continuing with the ‘water of life’ vein to the Pot Still. With an unrivalled knowledge and range of whisky, the award winning Pot Still is a must for those with the whisky bug. Housed in a building dating back to 1835, this pub offers literally hundreds of labels and a wholesome food menu. Patrons can not only enjoy but be educated in this laid-back traditional pub.
Live music can be found most nights at the 2,500-seat Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. Here a wide range of music can be heard performed by some the world’s best known artists. Those hoping for an autograph at the stage door can warm themselves afterwards at the nearby Park Inn Hotel for the after show party and a nightcap.
As day two belongs to the world-renowned Glaswegian architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the only place to start is the Glasgow School of Art on Renfrew Street. This building, designed by Mackintosh in 1896, not only displays for the public it is also a functioning art school. The students lead a tour of Mackintosh’s original work including his furniture, stained glass tile and iron-works. Learn about the man and his legacy.
Continuing on from the Art School, it is customary to have high tea at the world famous Willow Tea Rooms on Sauchiehall Street. Designed by Mackintosh in 1904, patrons flock to sip their tea and enjoy scones like the customers of yesteryear. After a restoration of the ‘Room de Luxe’ in 1983 and the ‘The Gallery’ in 1995, the Willow Tea rooms have been brought back to their original splendour. This has enabled it to become one of the founding members of the Guild of Tea Rooms by the prestigious British Tea Council.
Next on the Mackintosh trail is the Scotland Street School Museum, a short hop in the subway, in the south of the city. Charting the journey of Scottish education from the 1872 to the late 20th century, the building itself was designed by Mackintosh between 1903 and 1906. Including three classrooms from various eras, visitors can experience Scottish education from bygone days or pore over the great man’s blueprints for the building in the Mackintosh room.
As the day winds on, even the most ardent culture vulture will need their batteries recharged and there is nowhere better than at the legendary Rogano restaurant. Uniquely styled in 1930s décor, Rogano boasts the title of Glasgow’s oldest surviving restaurant. Host to many celebrities over the years, diners can enjoy 30s chic at a very affordable price with the excellent Café Rogano menu.
Taking in an evening performance at the Theatre Royal, is the perfect showcase to the day. Home to the Scottish Opera group, the Theatre Royal hosts a range of productions and with some of Britain’s most critically acclaimed actors treading the boards, theatre-goers are spoilt for choice. Built in 1879, the current building is the third build on this site after fire had gutted the previous two. Finally moving onto the nearby Station Bar after the performance to wind down for a well deserved thirst-quencher. For the culture vulture it’s been quite the two days.