I think Glasgow is a pretty cool city. It doesn’t have the pretensions of Edinburgh, isn’t encumbered with an overblown sense of itself and it is comfortable in its own skin. Glaswegians are warm and friendly too – even if the accent gets the better of me from time to time – and are clearly proud of their city. Long ago it had a bad reputation as a violent and forbidding place and I’m sure like every city in the UK, it still has some places like that, in the main it’s a safe, vibrant, modern European city.
We have an office in the city and I’m lucky enough to travel there often and this week I spent two days in the city which meant a night on the town was in order. It’s great knowing people who are locals as they pre qualify every night out to make sure that we only go to the best / coolest / most interesting places – and this week was no exception.
We headed out to the West End of Glasgow, about 15 mins cab ride from the downtown area, and a real upcoming, happening part of the city. Testament to this fact was our first port of call: Brewdog – the coolest chain of bars in the UK, serving an amazing array of craft beers from all over the world. Of course, we now have a Brewdog in Leeds and after visiting the Glasgow branch, a visit to the Leeds outpost will be in order. I had a pint of Punk IPA, one of their own brews and a properly unusual and striking pale ale it was.
We were eating just around the corner at one of Glasgow’s more interesting restaurants The Butchershop. It’s style is ‘Manhattan neighbourhood steakhouse’ and it does look the part as Glasgow definitely reminds me of US cities in parts. As the name implies this is a real meat eater’s dream gaff with a simple but beautifully curated menu featuring a choice of prime cuts and accompaniments. It’s all about the meat here and as you’d expect these days the provenance of the animals it came from was impeccable.
It was a blokey dinner so it was steaks all round and I opted for Loch Fyne oysters to get things rolling. It’s worth mentioning also the Earl Grey Old fashioned cocktail I ordered was sublime – there is clearly some class mixology going on behind the bar. I plumped for a ribeye topped with bone marrow (oh my) and guys variously had Cote de Boef, Sirloin and rump. Thrice cooked chips were served in the obligatory miniature tin pail ( I would have sent them back if they hadn’t been) and there were some sides somewhere but to be honest it was the meat we were interested in.
It was all superb and looking back on it, I can’t find a bad word to say about it. Prices were where you would expect although the signature cuts Cote de Boeuf and T Bone were slightly wallet challenging but we are talking about dry aged for 35 days here. The wine list was sensible and house Rioja we quaffed tasted like a much more expensive wine. Someone mentioned that the service seemed slow but as we were in a large group, it wasn’t really noticeable or indeed an issue.
Afterwards we found a couple of cracking bars – The Ben Nevis which had a jaw dropping array of whiskies and live traditional music and a uber cool bar The Kelvin Hall Cafe. All in all a great evening, next time you’re in Glasgow it’s well worth a trip out to the West End and in particular The Butchershop. Vegetarian options are available.