Glasgow is always a good night out with something for everyone so whether you are looking for New Year’s Eve inspiration or simply desperate for a night out on the tiles, you’re guaranteed a great time in Glasgow!
We’ve asked our friends over at DesignMyNight for their must-do experiences in Glasgow, whether you’re a culture vulture or a comfort-eater.
Foodies: those who get to know Glasgow via its food offerings
A’Challtainn, East End
The first task is pronouncing A’Challtainn (it’s ‘a cawl tain’) and the second is working your way through its delicious and seasonal menu. The restaurant is part of the massive regeneration of the historic Barras Market. It’s still as charming as ever, with floor-to-ceiling restaurant windows that look over the hustle and bustle of the market. When it comes to food, A’Challtainn showcases the best of Scottish seafood, from a cold-fish counter through to dishes such as battered haddock and monkfish satay. Head downstairs to find the date-perfect cocktail bar.
It might not shout about it – with no social media presence – but Alchemilla is one name that all foodies should know on a trip to Glasgow. Head chef Rosie Healy worked at renowned Ottolenghi in London and brings that flavour here, with small, fresh, Middle Eastern sharing plates. Bread is sourced from Freedom Bakery, a social enterprise which teaches prisoners to bake, while the wine list is largely biodynamic.
Where to stay in Glasgow for a chilled weekend?
Why not book yourselves in to the CitizenM hotel in the city centre, for a relaxed weekend perfect for recharging your batteries. After enjoying the gourmet delights of Glasgow, settle in to your hotel room and enjoy the free TV series’ and movies that come with every room. With affordable luxury being their unique selling point, CitizenM was built for indulgent city break weekends.
Culture Lovers: discover the bars with the best backstory
Òran Mór, Hillhead
Originally built as a church to ‘save the souls’ of the area, Òran Mór now draws in another kind of worshipper. Divided into numerous rooms, the spot includes one of the best whisky bars in the area, with more than 280 malts, while the Brasserie offers homely Scottish dishes. Many of the original features have also been kept; keep an eye out for 11 carved heads and the gorgeous stained glass windows. When you’re done admiring the interiors, grab your prayer sheet and head downstairs to sing along with the big name musicians that regularly hold concerts.
The Corinthian, Merchant City
As a Victorian bank and then law court, The Corinthian has a pretty illustrious past, but if those gilded walls could talk, they would most probably have more stories from its current incarnation. From a buzzing club to a state-of-the-art casino, the venue is another Glasgow mammoth which you could spend hours in. We recommend Tellers, however, with its gigantic domed ceiling, ornate chandeliers and Fabergé-egg-style seats. Stop by for dinner, or even better, try the afternoon tea with a glass of bubbly.
Where to stay for a cultural weekend in Glasgow?
The Heritage Hotel is perfect for a trip to Glasgow that takes in the sites and some of the more quirky nightlife. This hotel is just a short walk from Kelvingrove Art gallery and Museum, Glasgow University and the botanical gardens. The Georgian townhouse is full of history and archaic architectural features such as high ceilings and large bay windows, plus modern amenities such as televisions and en-suite bathrooms.
Luxury Travellers: not one to do things by half, see the swish side of Glasgow
Ubiquitous Chip, West End
Influenced by everyone from grannies through to folklore, Ubiquitous Chip was at the forefront of establishing Scottish cuisine in seriousness. After more than 40 years, the spot is still widely considered one of Glasgow’s best with ingredients sourced as locally as possible. Spread across two eateries and three bars, the restaurant is the most formal area, with hanging vines in a covered courtyard. Sunday lunch is legendary here but the dinner menu is just as lip-smacking. Go all out and treat yourself to one of the premiere Aberdeen Angus steaks. The Wee Pub, the smallest pub in Scotland, is also great for a pre-dinner tipple.
29 Private Members Club, Merchant City
29 Private Members Club is all sorts of fancy, from the Oyster Bar in the library room through to the Lanson Champagne roof terrace that is THE place to be seen come summer. Unfortunately, you will need to be a member to access all the rooms, but if you don’t feel like splashing out on the fees just yet, The Grill Room is open to the public daily. Bag a table by the window and enjoy views of the beautiful Royal Exchange Square while tucking into one of their specialist steaks.
Luxury hotels in Glasgow
Stay in the lap of luxury at the Grand Central Glasgow Hotel on of Britain’s 19th century railway hotels. The hotel has recently undergone an extensive refurbishment, meaning its plush carpets and stylish furniture are all practically brand new. Downstairs you’ll find the opulent champagne bar, perfect if you’ve got a reason to celebrate!
Local Experience Hunters: see the sights from an entirely new perspective
Riding Room, City Centre
Located in Glasgow’s ‘Gay Triangle’, the Riding Room is a popular LGBTQ bar where every night is party night as magicians, cabaret stars and burlesque performers put on a show. The cocktails are as eye-catching as the entertainment; along with classics, they have a selection of originals which come topped with sweets and in tin kettles. If you’re feeling particularly mischievous, The Hard Liquor Cabinet is stocked full of blow-your-socks-off spirits; approach with caution.
Red Bus Bistro, leaves from George Street
Whether you’re a history buff or just after an envy-inducing Instagram shot of Glasgow, this is one bus tour everyone will want to get onboard with. Red Bus Bistro started life in Edinburgh before adding Glasgow to its sights. The team have kitted out a 1966 vintage routemaster bus which whizzes past attractions such as Glasgow University, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and the Transport Museum. It’s not all gorgeous snaps of Glasgow, during your journey you can feast on afternoon tea or take part in the gin experience; we told you you’d love it.
Live like a local at the Alexander Thomson Hotel
Named after local architect Alexander Thomson, who is credited with designing many of Glasgow’s historic buildings. The hotel itself is a Victorian era building retaining many of its original features, and set in the heart of Glasgow city so you can explore on foot as if the city were you own.
Hen & Stag Dos: say goodbye to singledom in unforgettable Glasgow style
Drygate Brewery, East End
A relative new comer on the Glasgow brewing scene, Drygate Brewery has only been around since 2014; not that that’s stopped it building a formidable reputation. Housed in a converted box factory in the oldest part of the city, the spot has everything you want for a stag do: beer, and lots of it. A restaurant serves hearty and wholesome dishes and a beer hall opens up on weekends. Get behind the scenes with a brewery tour which includes plenty of tasters, or really show your dedication with their ‘beer brewing experience.’
Revolución De Cuba, City Centre
Rum-filled cocktails, Saturday nights full of salsa beats and an extensive food menu, Revolución De Cuba practically screams hen do. Inspired by hot Havana vibes, the venue is open throughout the day for a variety of occasions. Feeling delicate? Try their stuffed burritos. Looking to learn something new? Check out the cocktail masterclasses or salsa lessons. Or if you just want to dance the night away with the bride-to-be, then weekend nights host local DJ’s until the early hours.
Where to stay for a stag or hen do in Glasgow?
Choose somewhere central, so you don’t have to schlep home at the end of your night and preferably somewhere with a bar – in case you want to continue the party. We’ve chosen the Mecure Glasgow City Centre, close to all the action and offering a large buffet breakfast, where you can get yourself a full-English to put you on the road to recovery.
Words: Faith Strickland, DesignMyNight.com