OUT–OF–TOWNERS OFF THE BEATEN PATH Don’t follow the tourist trails. If you fancy a great day out in the city then Kirstin Innes and Anna Millar suggest you try some of these approved local secrets
STUNNING VIEWS ALTERNATIVE LANDMARKS
Get a real sense of Glasgow’s possibilities by taking a stroll around the urban jungle of the Trongate area. Tanning parlours and bargain stores sit side by side with vegan music bars Mono and The 13th Note, funky indie cafés (we love Trans-Europe) and exciting galleries like Transmission and the brand new Modern Institute. If climbing the (very) weather-variable Glasgow Tower at the Science Centre doesn’t appeal, you can get a great idea of the scope of the city on Garnethill near the Art School, in Queen’s Park, up on Partickhill Road in the West, or from the beautiful-in-its-own-right Necropolis, a gorgeous, sprawling Victorian ‘city of the dead’.
In Glasgow we’ve got a little architectural crush on the newly opened Briggait, a former fishmarket now housing loads of artist studios and cultural organisations. Just up the road is the Britannia Panopticon Music Hall, famous for hosting Stan Laurel’s comedy debut and now home to regular burlesque fundraisers.
In Edinburgh, head down through the reliably lovely
Back in the capital, while Arthur’s Seat is a firm In the Burgh, it may have been controversial but the
Stockbridge and take a stroll along the Water of Leith to The Gallery of Modern Art or head a couple of miles out of town, wrap up warm and play the puggies on Portobello Beach (pictured). For the more active visitor, the Union Canal walkway, which starts behind Cargo bar at Fountainbridge, is equally great for a stretch away from the bustle of the city centre. favourite with the tourist crowds for a bracing constitutional and panoramic views across the city centre, Calton Hill and Blackford Hill are ever- popular shouts with the locals; the former hosts the fiery annual hooly of the Beltane Festival, while the latter is worth a trip for a visit to the Observatory alone.
Scottish Parliament is certainly worth a look at the bottom of the Royal Mile; while Out of the Blue Drill Hall in Leith, following a recent revamp, homes various arts collectives, monthly stalls and a daily café. While it’s future is still uncertain, the New Victoria, best known in recent years as the Odeon on Clerk Street looks set for a new lease of life.
SHOPPING SECRETS ONE-OF-A-KINDS
A beer fan’s first stop should always be ace independent WEST brewery on Glasgow Green (www.westbeer.com, pictured). They do great pub grub, too, and their product is increasingly to be found in discerning bars all over the rest of the city, including the GFT bar and, in the West End, Firebird and Dumbarton Road’s new ‘old style Glasgow café’, Criterion. The capital has equally impressive tippling holes.
We’re oft seen supping San Francisco’s Anchor Steam at The Saint on St Stephen Street in Stockbridge. For a fuzzy head guaranteed, the multitude of beers, ales and whiskies at the Blue Blazer, beside the Lyceum, won’t disappoint. For sheer variety, head to Brauhaus, just off Tollcross.
In the last year, Byres Road re-established itself as vintage Mecca, with the pile ’em high, sell ’em cheap Vintage Guru a particular favourite; Ruthven Mews has a new antiques-n-frocks development, and hipster craft markets increasingly rule the bargain front: Made in the Shade and newcomer Granny Would Be Proud are great for one-offs. You’re no one in this city if you haven’t slow-danced with an old cowboy at the Grand Ole Oprey, that permanent monument to Glasgow’s continuing fascination with country and western. After that, raise your heart rate with a sweaty revel in the Sub Club, then pile into the century-old University Café on Byres Road for a fry-up the next morning.
Edinburgh doesn’t let the stylish collective down While we don’t want to give away too many
either; we love Victoria Street and the Grassmarket, as well as nearby boutique Herman Brown (pictured), but are particularly taken with newbie Such and Such on Brunswick Street: a jewellery boutique-cum-studio-cum-gallery. Look out for their pop-up events throughout November. For homeware don’t miss Eero & Riley on Easter Road. secrets, we would say that in Edinburgh, Greedy Guts at the bottom of Leith Walk sells the best takeaway stovies in town, and the Sheep Heid in Duddingston will do you a super Sunday lunch. For something more active, we’re already in raptures about the drop-in classes at Leith’s new Dance Base space at Thomas Morton Hall.
16 THE LIST 18 Nov–2 Dec 2010