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National Delegate Conference Glasgow 16-19 June 2015

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Eating and drinking in Glasgow

Glasgow has a huge variety of pubs, clubs and eateries no matter which area you are staying in. In case you can't be bothered exploring, here are some suggestions based on years of visiting on UNISON business and, unlikely though it seems, sometimes even just for pleasure.

For the purposes of this virtual pub crawl we've left out the plethora of Wetherspoons. There will be one near you if you must.
Near the SECC

The problem is that there isn't much near the SECC. We tend to take a walk across the railway bridge and up to the Argyle Street area (anything after Number 930 is reasonably nearby, less than No 400 is back at Central Station).

Worthy of note is the The Ben Nevis, Argyle Street: Small, huge whisky selection and craft beers and quirky décor. Drink rather than food. Nearby are BrewDog, Firebird and Lebowskis.

Merchant City

Named after the tobacco merchants who plied their trade and lived here, this bridges old Glasgow with the city's few remaining pre-Victorian buildings and the Victorian city centre.

Blackfriars in Bell Street is just along from the UNISON Glasgow City Branch office and has a good revolving choice of beers and better than average food. If you are lucky you will meet branch officers planning the next strike.

The Blane Valley in Glassford Street was called the 'New Blane Valley' until it was done up. That has always confused us. This used to be the Glasgow Branch housing stewards haunt. Not a great selection of beers but very reasonably priced food.

On the trendier side is the Beer Cafe in Candleriggs and the bars and restaurants in the John Street piazza if it's sunny.

Babbity Bowser in Blackfriars Street is housed in what was a tobacco merchant's house, with a good sized outside area, tucked away in a quiet spot. Good variety of ales and imaginative food with a French accent.

West End

With Byers Road at its social centre, this student, trendy, artistic area merges with old Glasgow institutions and has a huge variety of pubs and restaurants. Bohemian Ashton Lane is a bustle of pubs and restaurants including fine dining at the Ubiquitous Chip.
Some of the many bars around the area worthy of note include old favourites

like the Curlers Rest in Byres Road named due to the curling pond that used to be nearby. Done up in recent years but is reputed to be the oldest pub in the street,

Brel in Ashton Lane has Flemish beers and moules frites. More traditional pubs include Tennent's Bar in Byres Road and the Three Judges in Dumbarton Road, both with large cask selections. Inn Deep is a relatively new place in an arch under Kelvinbridge, which serves many cask ales and food.

The Doublet in Park Road, just across the road from the STUC, is cosy, friendly, serves real ales and is frequented by politicos from the STUC, acts and audiences from The Stand Comedy Club, and locals.

City Centre

The Pot Still in Hope Street has a massive whisky selection and wide choice of cask ales. A fine institution. Sloans in the Argyll Arcade has cask ales, good food and an outside area. It boasts a ballroom upstairs with movie nights and is the headquarters of SMAC, the Scottish Macaroni Appreciation Club (honestly).

The Horse Shoe Bar in Drury Street is a must visit. Wide ales selection, fantastic horseshoe bar and mirrors, pies that were once praised by Keith Floyd and Travis used to practice in the room upstairs.

The Griffin in Bath Street has a theatrical feel (across from the Kings Theatre) with stained glass, tiles and booth seating. Nearby in Holland Street The State is also worth a visit.

Music selection

The Scotia Bar in Stockwell Street is renowned for its live music. Billy Connolly, Gerry Rafferty, The Poets, The Sensational Alex Harvey Band and Hamish Imlach have all been here.

Nice'n'Sleazy in Sauchiehall Street has food and drink during the day, live music and DJs at night. King Tut's Wah Wah Hut in St Vincent Street is a showcase for new and emerging bands. MacSorley's in Jamaica Street has glorious windows, great atmosphere, ales and live music.

Eating out

There are too many eateries to list but a look at the curry houses is a must. Glasgow curries are famed as much as Bradford or Birmingham and every Weegie will have a view on what is the best.

Near the SECC is India Quay and other suggestions by area are: West End: Ashoka West End, Mr Singh's, Mother India, Shenaz. City Centre: Assams, Rawalpindi, Akbars, Asmaan. Bombay Blues and the Koh-I-Noor (reputedly the oldest having opened in 1964) both have buffets. Merchant City: Café India, KoolBa, Dhabba, Dakhin (South Indian).

There is also a huge Italian heritage in Glasgow. The Art Deco building that houses Rogano in Exchange Place has been a restaurant since 1935.

A fair number of restaurants are round the adjoining Royal Exchange Square including Di Maggios. The award winning La Lanterna in Hope Street claims to be Glasgow's oldest family run Italian restaurant. A small rustic favourite is Azzuro in Cambridge Street.

In any case you will trip over food pubs and restaurants just about wherever you are. But a warning about chip shops. Instead of the sophisticated Edinburgh tradition of salt and sauce on a fish supper, Glaswegians have salt and vinegar.








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