Glasgow West End at Christmas

Photo: mansions. Glasgow?s West End is always very vibrant but as Christmas approaches it becomes particularly lively. Shop windows are tantalizing; coffee shops and bistros are bustling, with friends and families meeting up, or the regulars chatting to barristas or just reading their papers.

Students will be heading home for the holiday but prior to departing they?ll be rummaging in the West End?s fabulous retro and charity shops for some suitably cheap and captivating attire. ?Watermelon? on Great Western Road is a favourite haunt along with ?Starry, Starry Night? and you?ll find sensational outfits at bargain price in Handbags and Gladrags, Partick Cross.

If you need some winter woollies, Eunice Whyte has a very classy collection. Just the spot if you are a cashmere and Shetland type, or looking for something lovely for your favourite auntie. For the young and seriously stylish your destination has to be Pink Poodle on Byres Road and even younger followers of fashion can be well kitted out at Strawberry Fields on Great Western Road. I defy anyone not to fall in love with Galletly and Tubbs, with its mix of amazing little treats and gloriously extravagant gifts. A novel little historical ?minding? would be a £1 slate from St Simon?s roof – and you would be helping the refurbishment of this historical West End building.

Photo: Caledonian Mansions.Shopping in the West End can be carried out with ease and pleasure ? even on a cold and wintry day. You can investigate the lovely new shops in Ruthven Mews, nice and warm in the arcade in Ruthven Lane. There?s nothing more pleasant than wandering through the lanes. In Cresswell Lane nip into Nancy Smillie?s – wonderful gifts galore! Or seek out the Glasgow Style in The Studio, De Courcy?s Arcade, where Liz McKelvie will willingly advise you on picking up a ?one-of? antique for the person who thinks they have everything. When you start to flag some tapas from Caf? Andaluz will put you right back in gear.

Or take your pick from the many eateries in the West End reveller?s favourite lane, ?Ashton?. The Ubiquitious Chip remains a firm favourite and Brel?s moules and frites go down a treat on a chilly day. Many a magical evening can be enjoyed in the lane during the festive period – a special Christmas Eve treat is to view ?This Wonderful Life? in the comfort of The Grosvenor?s leather chairs, maybe after a pre-theatre deal at The Wee Curry House, then end the evening with the effervescent and hardy crew drinking their Guinness inside, or outside, Jinty McGinty?s.

Photo: Snowman and fruit.If your tastes are more subdued or romantic both daytime or evening strolls can be rewarding. Early mornings in the Botanics or Kelvingrove Park are often remarkably tranquil, unless there is snow, then there is an abundancy of action with some wonderful snowpeople appearing and children sledging. Alternatively, you can can absorb the essence of the West End as seen in Avril Paton?s popular painting ?Windows in the West?. Just take a winter evening walk through Dowanhill or Kirklee and admire the wonderful architecture with the bay windows showing off the fairy lit Christmas trees to perfection – even better when the grand tenements are snow clad. You may also find time to investigate the refurbished Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum – take the children, they just love it. Afterwards cross Argyle Street to Blas and sample the platters – amazing value and super tasty.

Whether you are looking to spend some serious cash fine dining at The Brasserie in OranMor, Stravaigin or The Buttery, fill up with a hearty bowl of lunchtime soup in The Hummingbird or grab some really excellent pizza at Little Italy, you canl enjoy the West End atmosphere. Why stand in queues and push through the City Centre hoards when you can chill out, go at a more leisurely place and lap up a little festive bohemia West End style?

Pat Byrne

Music from the time and place of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Queens Cross Church 3 December, 2017
Riverside Museum Glasgow Christmas Fayre, 2 and 3 December 2017

This section: Christmas in Glasgow

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Avatar of JimByrne West End based web Developer, writer, songwriter and musician. And the person who takes lots of photos for the Glasgow West End website.

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