Perfect Day in Glasgow
“I was sick and tired of everything, when I called you last night from Glasgow”
Yes, those are the opening lyrics from ABBA’s Super Trouper and, yes, that was the foremost reason why we decided to visit Glasgow during our 2019 UK trip. We only had one day in Glasgow, but it was a day I will always treasure, and I truly want to get back to this amazing city in the near future. We left Edinburgh in the morning and made it to Glasgow in a little over an hour. It was a lovely drive (being the passenger was delightful, at least) and we were so excited as we pulled up to Hotel du Vin at One Devonshire Gardens in the lovely West End of Glasgow. When we walked into Hotel du Vin, it was like we ventured back in time (in the best way possible)! We walked into a room that looked like a super fancy living room and were invited to sit down while we were checked into our rooms. I think I need to be seated comfortably while being checked into all hotels moving forward! The staff were so hospitable and friendly, and the bellman was like a superhero because we had so much luggage for our journey that had to be taken up to our third-floor room. Warning - there are no elevators in this historic hotel. I thought we would need to make several trips, but we were able to get everything up at one time with his strong assistance. Our room was gorgeous, and I was instantly sad that we were only staying one night! While we seemed to have landed right in the lap of luxury, this hotel was one of the most affordable of our UK adventure--bonus! So, you can get some serious value in Glasgow!
After getting settled in our room, we went back downstairs to meet up with our travel companions and then hopped into a taxi to head to the Mackintosh Tea Room! I had heard about this tea room since it was designed by the famous Scottish architect and designer, Charles Rennie Mackintosh. It was beautiful! They had a few different rooms and I was very excited to be seated in the blue room. So perfect! We enjoyed the Classic Afternoon Tea (with Prosecco, of course), which was lovely. The tea service was also our first opportunity to try Haggis! I was excited to finally have it – and it was pretty good! I don’t know whether I would rush to order it again, but I enjoyed the initial experience! Then we left our tea time and hopped into another taxi for the journey to Glengoyne Distillery!
I knew when planning our trip to Scotland that we needed to visit at least one whisky distillery. Glengoyne was the perfect choice since it is only about 45-minutes away from Glasgow. From the moment we arrived at Glengoyne, we were transported to a whisky wonderland! We walked around the beautiful grounds to see the waterfall and then made it to the tour center to start our Scotch Whisky experience. We had booked the Gold Medal Parade option which is a 1.5-hour tour and tasting. They provided us with a wee dram of the Glengoyne 12 Year when we arrived and then took our seats for the short intro video. Then our tour guide—with his perfect Scottish accent—took us all around the distillery to walk us through the whisky making process done the “Glengoyne way”. My favorite part of the tour was when we saw the aging process of whisky and they explained the difference the type of barrel wood makes, and they showed us how the color of the whisky deepens over the years. After the tour we were taken to the Master Blender’s house and had the chance to relax in the living room for the tasting. We received drams of the 18 Year Old, the 21 Year Old (my favorite!), and then the Cask Strength. It was all so wonderful! It definitely made me appreciate single malt whisky! Then we did a little damage in the gift shop so we could bring a taste of Glengoyne home with us. The staff at Glengoyne were so helpful in assisting us in getting a taxi back to Glasgow.
Once back at the hotel, we freshened up for dinner and met at the lobby bar of Hotel du Vin. The bartender was so lovely and said we should go sit outside in the garden since it was such a beautiful day and he would bring us our cocktails. We enjoyed the most delicious G&Ts and had the most pleasant time in the garden laughing and reminiscing about our trip so far. Then we grabbed a taxi to go to Côte Brasserie. While we had enjoyed haggis at lunch and a few days of pub food leading up to Glasgow, it was a fun change of pace to enjoy a French Brasserie while in Scotland! We had the best time at Côte Brasserie and loved the food (and wine…and champagne). It sounds very basic, but the Chargrilled Chicken was amazing!
After dinner, we walked over to The Pot Still, which is a popular whisky bar in Glasgow. We had a blast! I tried a smoky whisky that was delicious. One thing to mention is that during the Summer it stays light out fairly late into the evening in Glasgow. So, naturally we thought we had time to head to another popular spot, West Brewery, but, alas, it was closed by the time we arrived. I still wanted to include it here, though, since it was on my list, I hope to have the opportunity to visit one day soon as I have no doubt that it is fabulous!
So, after we couldn’t get into the Brewery, we headed back to Hotel du Vin and were happy to find the bar still open so we could enjoy one last beverage in such a lovely setting. It felt like we were in a different time period as we sat around the fireplace and recalled stories about our day. I highly recommend including Glasgow on your next trip to the UK!