Lauren, born in Glasgow, is now living the English dream and blogging away from either her family home in Suffolk or in London – her new adopted home. A soon to be lawyer, Lauren adores travelling, finding new restaurants and annoying her super cute Jack Russell Terrier, Sandy! The Lifestyle Diaries reflects Lauren’s life and so is a combination of her favourite things – so expect lots of wanderlust, a bit of a foodie heaven and the newest and best things going on in London. Sound fun? Go and visit her blog and see what she’s got to say for herself!
What are the local people like?
Glasgow’s citizens get a bad reputation: but take it from me – we’re really pretty friendly! Okay, you might struggle to understand some of them, but hey, at least what they’re saying is probably very pleasant. Don’t be afraid to ask for directions or ask for recommendations as people will usually be more than willing to help you out. Oh, and if you can get used to the accent, you’re doing better than I am – 17 years later I still struggle to understand some people.
Where’s the best place to grab a bite?
Glasgow is a foodie’s heaven – seriously. No matter what type of cuisine you’re looking for, whether you want to sit down for 10 minutes Sorry, Jess, but I can’t pick just one place – so I’m going to give you a selection and give you my top 3!
The Ubiquitous Chip
Possibly my favourite restaurant. Ever. It’s one of the best restaurants in Glasgow – and it really is no wonder, as they serve some really incredible food. I pretty much always order the same thing: grilled langoustines in garlic butter to start, Scottish fillet steak with chunky chips for mains, and their famous oatmeal ice cream for dinner. Mhmmm. Foodie heaven. It can be quite pricey – especially if you’re having wine, but it’s definitely worth it.
A bit of a recent-ish find, The Finneston serves local seafood in a casual dining environment. It also boasts an incredible gin bar – so you know it’s worth a visit! If you go, make sure you book ahead, and try and get a booth as they’re the best tables. Even if you only have time to pop in for a drink, make sure you go as it’s a great venue.
Café for an Art Lover
Café for an Art Lover is housed in House of an Art Lover – one of Glasgow’s best art galleries (it also has beautiful gardens) – in the south side of Glasgow. It’s a little bit outside the centre of the city but it’s definitely worth a visit. The service is always great, the food is seasonal and fresh and it’s got a great terrace for when the weather is good.
If I had 24 hours in your hometown, what should I do?
Visit Kelvingrove Art Gallery, take a wander in the West End to see Glasgow University. Then stop on Byres Road and dip into one of the many restaurants for lunch. In the afternoon head into town on the subway for a spot of shopping – and to see the famous statue with a cone on its head (don’t ask!) – before grabbing dinner at Rogano, one of the best fish restaurants in the city.
Where’s your go-to coffee spot?
I love wandering round an area of Glasgow called Merchant City at weekends. There are so many independent coffee shops and brunch spots that you’re totally spoilt for choice.
What’s the best thing to do in your hometown that’s totally free?
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum has to have one of the largest and best art collections in Europe – it’s crazy that it’s totally free to enter! I’ve spent countless afternoons wandering round the collections with my mum or with friends; the art is fantastic, there’s a spitfire hanging from one of the ceilings and there’s a beehive! Seriously, there’s something for everyone here, and I don’t think I know anyone who hasn’t enjoyed their visit. I even wangled a visit to the French gallery to see some gorgeous impressionist paintings instead of a French lesson one day!
What’s the best season to visit?
Seasons are subjective in Scotland: I’d have to say the best time to visit is probably summer, but that can be as much as 2 months or as little as a sporadic couple of days. May is usually pretty good weather wise and so are August and September. If you go in August you can nip through to Edinburgh for the Fringe festival which is always excellent.
Describe your hometown in a sentence
An exciting, vibrant city that is hugely underrated.
If you wanted to have a crazy night out, where would you start?
Most nights out that I’ve been on in Glasgow start on Ashton Lane: a really cute, cobbled lane that’s choc-a-block full of cool bars and restaurants. You could easily start your night with a boozy dinner at The Chip, burgers at Ketchup or even having some drinks at the Grosvenor Cinema (a great independent cinema with sofas that allows you to take your drinks into the theatre – very cool). There are so many bars you can visit – my favourite probably being Hillhead Bookclub (just off the lane) who serve seriously good cocktails, have a ping pong table and serve cheap and good food. Where else would you start a night out!?
Where’s the best place/street to go shopping?
Warning: Glasgow will probably be bad for your bank balance! If you’re looking to shop go to Buchanan Street in town, which is lined with all your favourite high street stores. Princess Square houses some more upmarket brands and has some great cafés and restaurants for you to rest your feet when you’re all shopped out (personally I’d recommend Darcy’s in the basement). If you’re looking for high end clothing designers, either head to House of Fraser on Buchanan Street or Ingram Street.
If I wanted to go all out and stay somewhere luxurious, where would you recommend?
Though I’ve never actually had a staycation in Glasgow I do know two very good hotels if you’re looking to splash out. Hotel du Vin and Malmaison both have boutique hotels in Glasgow, located in the West End and centre of town respectively, and they’re sure to wow you when it comes to luxury. Both also have great restaurants if you’re feeling lazy or tired and don’t want to venture too far from your bed.
If I visited your hometown, is there anywhere nearby that I should also visit?
Edinburgh is the obvious answer – I mean they’re only an hour apart on the train – as it’s the capital of Scotland and also happens to be exceptionally beautiful. But, the real gem near Glasgow is Loch Lomond: with its stunning beaches and great walks, it’s a real must visit if you’re in the area – my fingers are crossed that you get the weather for it! I used to take picnics with my friends to a little place called Balmaha, which was absolutely stunning, in fact, it’s got to be one of the things I miss the most about living in the West of Scotland.
What kind of tourists does your hometown attracts?
There’s quite literally something for every kind of tourist in Glasgow – there’s so much going on that there has to be something that you’ll want to do!
Thanks so much to the lovely Lauren for telling us all about her hometown. Kinda tempted to book a ticket to Scotland after reading all her tips… Make sure you check out her amazing blog, The Lifestyle Diaries, where she posts amazing travel and foodie pieces.
Do you love your hometown? If you want to get involved, pop onto my Contact page and send me a e-mail.
Until next time m’lovelies xx