Local knowledge: Glasgow

The University of Glasgow

The University of Glasgow

Paul Simmons, co-founder and designer of acclaimed Glasgow design studio Timorous Beasties, takes us through his city, from the Hunterian Museum to where to find the city's infamous square sausage.

Glasgow's bars, cafés and bistros are always in a state of flux, but a place where the square sausage* has gone full circle is The University Café (nothing to do with Glasgow University), an authentic Formica-clad café in the West End coming up to 100 years old and still serving chips, beans and pies (you can get square sausage, eggs and chips for £4.20).

For a place to nurse a hangover, or for a taste of the new city, try Papercup on Great Western Road for good coffee and breakfasts - and it comes with sympathetic staff. A short stroll away is Cottonrake, an excellent bakery with a few tables. A healthy option is Roots, Fruits & Flowers, a health-food shop with a café.

For a night out on the Strip, aka the neighbourhood of Finnieston, Ox and Finch serves tapas-style portions of Scottish fayre - black pudding, scallops, and pea and lemon orzo. Order langoustines and brown crab at Crabshakk. Alchemilla, and Six by Nico are also very good for dinner.

Bring your beard, tattoos and sockless  shoes - there are lots of bars in the area. I like The Ben Nevis for whisky, Kelvingrove Café for cocktails, and The 69 for beer and cheap pub grub. And SWG3 club (Studio Warehouse Glasgow) if you want to make it a late night.

Because it's weird and  wonderful, I love the Hunterian Museum (not to be confused with the Hunterian Art Gallery) inside the old Glasgow University, with a Gothic revival tower designed by George Gilbert Scott. It's a great creaky building, like the inside of an old ship, full of pickled human feet, Roman remains and a collection of birds' nests. (Editor's note: the Hunterian Museum is closed until 2020 for renovations.)

For contemporary art, The Common Guild in an old Glasgow townhouse is a lovely stroll up a hill with good views. The Modern Institute represents many Turner Prize-winning Glasgow artists, Martin Boyce and Richard Wright among them. The Centre for Contemporary Arts is a nice café with a gallery attached, and the Tramway is a nice gallery with a terrible café attached.

*The Lorne sausage, aka square sausage or slice sausage, is an essential part of a traditional Scottish breakfast.


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