A hop over the pond for NYE? How could I say no? When it was decided that we’d be going to Scotland for the holiday, I was beyond excited. Here is the first of a two-part blog for our time in Scotland.
Part 1: Glasgow, one of the most magical cities I’ve ever been to.
There is a 6 hour nonstop flight from NY to Edinburgh. If you live north of the city, you could fly straight from Stewart International Airport and utilize long term parking for a very reasonable rate.
We opted to take an Uber from the Edinburgh airport to spend a night in Glasgow. You can take the train, but it takes longer and comes out to about the same price as two train tickets.
Glasgow is a very walkable city, but cabs and Ubers are readily available.
The Grand Central Hotel is a great choice for a centrally located stay. The room was cozy, the staff is accommodating and there are restaurants and bars right inside the hotel. Within an hour of arriving we were sipping champagne at Champagne Central bar, a chic hotel bar that serves up delicious cocktails and local beers. It’s a great place to pop in for a pre-dinner cocktail. You don’t miss the epic chandelier in the bar.
There’s the cutest tea room that I fell in love with and although we didn’t have tea there, I’d definitely love to go back for that one day. I’d also love to remodel a room in my future home after it.
Phillip made sure to do extensive research on the most important element of any trip: where we would eat! (Am I right?) Glasgow’s restaurant scene did not disappoint! Delicious dishes and divine decor were on the menu.
Although slightly jetlagged, one of my most vivid memories from the trip was our first lunch in Glasgow at The Ubiquitous Chip.
A lot of restaurants offered holiday or festive menus, a few choices for three courses at a set price. Warning: Mostly every nice restaurant you go to in Scotland will bring you the most delicious sourdough bread before your meal and as much as you will try to fight it, you won’t be able to resist. The butter is on another level. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Note: There are two areas of the restaurant, one is a brasserie which is upstairs (pictured below) and one is more fine dining which is downstairs. We wanted a more open, chill vibe so we went to the brasserie which was fantastic. I’ve read that the downstairs restaurant has a Michelin star if you’re into that though! Reserve in advance as it is popular even with the locals.
Try The Gannett for modern, seasonal Scottish restaurant offering a 3 or 5 course meal with a wine pairing. There is a vegetarian option here as well. Take your time to savor the meal. I didn’t take any pictures here because it was dimly lit and too romantic to ruin the moment with a photo. If the salted caramel fondant is available, get it for sure!
After dinner, hop over to the Kelvingrove Café right next store for great music and glamorous cocktails. The bar closes at 1 a.m. so be prepared for last call around 12.
Two Fat Ladies at The Buttery is also worth a try. It’s traditional Scottish fare in a really cozy atmosphere. Think old lady chic in the best possible way. Any restaurant with butter in the name is good by me!
See and Do
My #1 highlight from the trip was definitely our self-guided tour of the University of Glasgow. Just a short walk from the West End, don’t miss this beautiful campus.
We got extra lucky to catch the sun setting, giving us the best light for photos!
I actually felt like I was at Hogwart’s
Kelvingrove Art Museum
Explore the art and culture of Glasgow with a visit to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. Entrance is free, but there is a $10 suggested donation. There’s also a cafe inside if you need a coffee or sweet treat. There are a bunch of cool exhibits to check out too.
You can walk here from the University of Glasgow in about 12 minutes.
Don’t miss the West End where you’ll find cobblestone streets, cute shops, bars, restaurants and other charming Scottish things.
The Finnieston is an up and coming neighborhood with great shops, restaurants and The Hidden Lane. There are a bunch of independently owned shops selling handmade jewelry and unique gifts, craft and tea shops and more. Call before you go because a lot of places were closed when we went.
It was on the milder side when we went, but you can expect temps to be similar to New York winters. You can’t go wrong with layers and a good wool coat. Most restaurants are casual, so unless you’re going for a special occasion, you should be good with a nice pair of dark jeans.
Bring a pair of good walking shoes and flat boots for nights out on the town. Don’t forget the hat, gloves and scarf for winter travels.
I hope you enjoyed this guide to Glasgow. If you’re planning a trip and you have more questions, feel free to reach out to me. You can leave a comment below or DM me here.
May you travel safely to the land of the Unicorn!