This is a great time to be in Glasgow: the West End Festival, highlight of the city’s cultural calendar, has just kicked off. The festival will run until 25 June with a fabulous programme of events including: music, theatre, film, walks, talks, exhibitions and much more. Our own project Ten Writers Telling Lies returns once again to Waterstones, Byres Road on Thursday 8 June.
I’m looking forward to The Lions of Lisbon at OranMor by Ian Auld and Willy Maley Also on 11 June, I'm hoping that the sun will come out for West End Festival Big Sunday at Kelvingrove. The All Dayer at OranMor 18 June is always a big draw. And why not take the opportunity of a special membership deal and find out all about the iconic Arlington Baths Club – Open Weekend at the West End Festival.
Staying over in Glasgow? Book at The Kelvin for a great deal. Conveniently located in the heart of the West End.
I went along to the Kelvin Hall for the launch of Glasgow Science Festival, which runs from 8 – 18 June, I’ll be heading back to this great venue with my grandson on 18th June, when three events are taking place as part of West End Festival, including Zombie Science – Worse Case Scenario
If you haven’t yet discovered the new Kelvin Hall then I recommend a visit. Not least of all to the fantastic National Library, where you have access to thousands of digital images. There are great sports facilities and The Hunterian Art Gallery has many items on display. I was thrilled to learn that Harry Kelly (R.I.P.) had bestowed all his wonderful pottery to the gallery. Jim and I visited him in his home many years ago and were enthralled by Harry's incredible collection.
We had a great time at the Southside Film Festival, when we went along to see Mavis, screening at The Glad Cafe. A brilliant documentary about the singer Mavis Stapleton. Try to catch it. Always good to run into Karen O'Hare, who works so hard to make the festival a success.
If you’re coming to the West End for the festival, it’s worth checking out some of our great shops, including Currie and Quirk, Opticians, 142 Byres Road. During the festival they have a great sunglasses sale. They also have sports glasses for adults and children.
The Nancy Smillie Shop has expanded into De Courcy’s Cresswell Lane – in addition to their fabulous range of jewellery, accessories, lighting, art and furniture, they now have a fantastic range in women’s clothing. Janet and John, upstairs in De Courcy’s is worth checking out – I hear they have products from new artists and crafters on display. Also in De Courcy's, you'll find a new accessories shop Little Miss Molly, they have scarves to complement any outfit.
Recently I went along to Blair and Sheridan, the designer jewellery shop at Kelvinbridge to help celebrate their fifth birthday. Blair and Sheridan and Nancy Smillie’s Jewellery Studio have been joined by a couple of new shops on this stretch of Great Western Road: Paulin Watches specialises in high quality watches and Love and Squalor, 427 Great Western Road, brings a breath of fresh with their stylish hand-made, ethical clothing made in store.
See what's Best in the West for Shopping
I’d like to thank Waterstones Byres Road and the Hyndland Book Shop, 143 Hyndland Rd, Glasgow G12 9JA for stocking our Ten Writers Telling Lies Book and CD. You can also purchase Ten Writers Telling Lies via the website.
We had a great time at Scottish Writers and our recent event at Booked! West Dunbartonshire Festival of Words at Dalmuir Library was a big success with glowing feedback. The launch of the book and cd at Cottiers Theatre was another great night. Finally, big thanks to Alistair Braidwood at Scots Whay Hae! Listen to their Podcast of Ten Writers and their live recording of our Cottiers event.
The West End has an amazing range of cafes and restaurants where you can enjoy a snack, lunch or dine in style. One new place well worth checking out is The Bungalow Cafe, a very classy new venture by Mother India. You can also opt for a refreshment from their Gin Bar, right next door.
I was sad to see Rio Cafe in Hyndland Street closing having spent many happy times there. The regulars will be at a loss. It's been replaced by Duck Club – a restaurant featuring duck on the menus. It looked pretty busy when I passed by one lunch time so hope it's a success. There are lots of restaurants in Partick, including Tinto Tapas also on Hyndland Street – a great choice for super tasty tapas – half price every Tuesday. ‘Tinto are also proud sponsor’s of Reach South Lanarkshire Autism – a charity providing support to families who care for young people with an Autism Spectrum Disorder and helping to raise awareness of the condition in the local and wider community.’
Still in Partick I enjoyed a particularly nice lunch at 279 Cafe Bistro, Dumbarton Road. It seems that the proprietor Vincent Forrest has been there for a long time but I’ve only just discovered their great food.
If you're a fan of Chinese food then you should try Dumpling Monkey on Dumbarton Road at Patrick Cross. Immensely popular with Glasgow’s young Asian students, the restaurant is absolutely jumping at lunch time so if you want a seat you’d be well advised to arrive early.
Worth a visit is Surf Turf, Surf and Turf Show featuring Land, Sea, Flora and Fauna at the wonderful Thistle Gallery, Scottish Contemporary Art, 56 Park Road, Glasgow G4 9JF www.thistle-gallery.com The exhibition runs until 18 June, 2017.
I’ve not been along to Art of Power at the Hunterian, however, I have an ambitious plan to combine a visit to see Masterpieces from the Bute Collection at the Hunterian Art Gallery with a trip to Mount Stewart House on the Isle of Bute. The exhibition runs until January 2018 but I'll get along long before then.
I called into CCA to catch Glasgow Artist Robert Chrum’s solo exhibition Parasite Rex – very vibrant and unusual. You can catch it until 9 July.
Watch out for a new pop up gallery, Compass West, in Ruthven Lane – selling contemporary art during the summer.
The Degree Show at Glasgow School of Art, not to be missed, takes place between 10 and 17 June.
May was a beautiful month and I enjoyed some sunny days in the Botanic Gardens. I was lucky enough to catch up with Euan Donaldson, curator of the gardens, to hear all about their Bicentenary Celebrations
Glasgow's many parks are a major attraction, particularly during the summer months. You may be lucky enough to come across some very pretty people, brightening up the Botanics even more on sunny days.
Here's hoping the sun will be back out soon
Some other events you might fancy:
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