I feel like such a jet-setter at the moment, to think I didn't manage to get on a plane once last year is mad considering I've done one trip a month so far this year. Last weekend saw me head to Glasgow, for my first ever trip to the Scottish region. This amazing opportunity came from the lovely people behind Accor Hotels, who asked me to take this trip and report back.
See I've always heard of people heading to Edinburgh but not so much Glasgow, but after following a few of my favourite bloggers who are Glasgow based (I'm looking at you Jenny, Kate, Amy + Jude) - I just knew there would be a few spots that I would absolutely love. Boy how I was right, this city was 100% for me, It was laid back with a lot to do, great shopping, incredible food, gin for days but most importantly? The most welcoming and wonderful community. Every place we went into, had such a friendly tone - honestly after the first twenty-four hours I was ready to pack my bags and move up there.
So It's no lie that I've had a really awful week, if you follow me over on social media, you will know that last week I lost my little hedgehog, Rupert. So this trip, was well needed - to get out of the house was something we really needed to do. So we flew over on some super cheap flights with (£80 both ways for the both of us!) and heading to Glasgow.
ibis glasgow city centre
So I stayed over at the Ibis Glasgow City Centre, which was based on West Regent Street - around about a 10 minute walk from Buchanan Street. The hotel has a great vibe, as soon as you walk in there's a buzz going on. The staff were incredibly friendly and quick to get us checked in and up to our room as soon as we got there.
We checked into a room on the 6th floor, complete with a view over the city might I add. A nice little touch was the Irn Bru and Tunnocks Teacakes awaiting us on the desk with a little welcome note, It's safe to say I didn't get a look in at these goodies - Morgan snapped them right up.
The room was minimal, clean and comfy. The bed was actually incredible, something I've found in all the Ibis hotels I've stayed in... in fact I think I fully slept through my alarm one of the mornings. The bathroom featured one of the classic Ibis bathroom pods - with incredible lighting and a really amazing walk in shower situation.
Let's talk about the breakfast, cos let's be honest - it's by far the best meal of the day. Ibis did not disappoint - they had it all going on. From your healthy cereal to toast, of course a cooked full Scottish breakfast and the good old continental. Morgan + I ate an unhealthy amount of croissants because they were small, and there's no guilt in small croissants. Right?
a few picks from the city
If you ask my friends about going on a trip with me, they'll tell you that I pretty much plan my day around what cafes and restaurants I want to go to. Eating and drinking your way around a city in my opinion is the best way to see the city.
There were so many places that I was recommended and that I desperate to try but with time constraints I tried my best to get round at least some!
So for brunchin' there were two places we headed too which I absolutely loved. The first was The Hyndland Fox in the West End, we headed there after a few too many gins the night before and the delights on the menu were a sight for sore eyes. I opted for the Full Vegetarian Scottish breakfast, for one reason and one reason only - it had breaded halloumi on it. Let me repeat that, breaded halloumi. Basically, I will never except a breakfast that doesn't have it on there again. Ever. Morgan opted for the Avocado on toast... someone had to have the picturesque breakfast right? There were so many great options on the menu with another one that caught my eye - French toast with peanut butter and jelly. Other than that, the interior is spot on and the staff are incredibly friendly - this is definetly a spot to check out.
Another brunch spot we headed to was Papercup, recommended for its fantastic coffee (which by the way was the best coffee I literally have ever had) but I wasn't aware of how amazing it's brunch menu would be. As you can see below there was some great choices on there - I went for baked eggs because damn, I love baked eggs. The atmosphere was really cool in there, if It was local to me I would totally be sipping coffee writing this post in there.
Tea & cake your kinda thing? Cup Tea Lounge is incredible. Amazing tea range, their afternoon tea look delicious and just look at that cupcake. It's also worth noting their interiors are beautiful, tiled and palm goodness. Plus it turns into an incredible gin bar at night. Win-win.
Other places worth noting? Smoke BBQ. Incredible, I didn't get any content from here because I was so hungry the camera didn't get a look in. Mac + Cheese Bacon Burger is the one though. Also, Grill on the Corner - it was Sunday roast perfection and the wine didn't go down too badly either!
because what's a break without a tipple
One thing I was not fully aware of before heading over to Glasgow was how much the city loved gin - It's safe to say we were a match made in heaven once I found this out. The great thing about Glasgow is that pretty much everything is in walking distance, and if not there's the subway. Which makes getting around when having a little drinking session pretty damn easy.
So let's chat a little about some of the bars we visited:
The first bar we actually went to was The Social in the Royal Exchange Square, in the summer I can imagine the outside would be bustling. We sat outside anyway, the weather wasn't too shabby and the inside was pretty busy. They had a fun and playful cocktail menu, the girls + I opted for a teapot full of gin infused cocktails, because y'know teapots are fun. An hour passed pretty easily here, drinks were a good price, the atmosphere was fun and the gin was good.
Another bar we tried was Gin 71 (remember that tea place I was talking about earlier...) - I honestly loved this place, so so much. It's a great table service bar, with comfy seating, great music selection and a wide variety of gins. To be honest we were all about the cocktail menu, because a G&T isn't that hard to make at home. The Red Devil was my drink of choice, I'm partial to a bloody mary anyway - but made with gin it's that bit better. Also worth mentioning they also serve cocktails in teapots here too - must be a thing.
Other places to grab a drink? We spent a lot of hours Sunday night chilling in the Kelvingrove Cafe with plenty of gin for the girls and the guys worked their way through some craft beers. The dim lighting, warm window seat watching it drizzle outside was perfect. Such a friendly place, I could of stayed their all night. Another bar worth mentioning is Brewdogs DogHouse - We're both big fans of Brewdogs in general, I bought Morgan the monthly subscription box for his birthday present and each month he continues to be absolutely in love with it. For me? I like their branding, marketing and the fact they're a living wage employer... plus I'm partial to a 5am saint!
& Best of the Rest
a couple of places worth noting
I won't lie to you, I am not the first to jump up and down at the thought of a museum on a trip. As I said above, I base my ideas on a trip around food and drink, and good places to take photos. This trip worked really well with being able to catch up with my friends Adele + James, as they have just moved up to Scotland (and I miss them both so damn much). So mostly we spent time in cafes, bars and restaurants chatting and catching up.
However, we did get to go to a couple of places I would recommend.
Firstly, Glasgow Botanic Gardens. I am obsessed with plants, that's no lie. My house is beginning to resemble a conservatory and I'm totally okay with that. I knew I wanted to go here from the moment I spotted it on the map, and I am so so glad we went there. The gardens are completely free and there is such a wide variety of species under many roofs. With the rain on and off, these warm beautiful indoor gardens were a relief too. I took a lot of photos in there, I think I'm going to pop them up in another post as I'm particularly proud of them but honestly if you're in the area. Visit.
Other places to see? Glasgow University has such pretty grounds, I'm totally jealous - UEL does not look like this in the slightest. Buchanan Street has all the main high street shops, and whilst I don't tend to go shopping in normal high street shops whilst I'm away (hand luggage problems), I did wonder into Paperchase and buy some really cute notepads from a designer I hadn't seen down South. Cresswell Lane was pretty cute and had some lovely independent shops down there.
I would definitely recommend looking into the museums if that's your thing as there are so so many around in Glasgow. I think when I go again I will definetly look out for some art gallerys.
So that was Glasgow, I hope you enjoyed my little diary of what went on and what to see in the city. I honestly would recommend Glasgow to anyone who just likes a chilled city with plenty to eat, drink, do and see. Especially if you love gin!
Thank you again to Accor Hotels for setting up this little trip for me.
Let me know if you are enjoying these travel posts too, the feedback would be great!
P.s. if you have any Glasgow tips pop them in the comments section, the more recommendations the merrier!
Please note this post is was sponsored by Accor Hotels, my hotel and travel was gifted in return for a fair review - all thoughts are of course my own.