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22 January 2016

Glaswegian Dining

The final chapter of my Glaswegian adventure starts the way all good tales do; with gin.

Having spent the day taking in the sights of Glasgow, we were ready to get dressed up and see what the city had to offer once night fell. We had planned to meet our friend for a quick drink before dinner, and decided pretty quickly on where we wanted to go - Gin 71!

Mr Maggie May and I LOVE gin. We really do {You might have already spotted that if you follow me on Instagram}, so the thought of being surrounded by, you guessed it, 71 different gins was too tempting an offer to miss.

The bar is sophisticated and glamorous from the minute you step inside; this is not the sort of bar you stand up in. Oh no! All guests must be seated, therefore there is a small, very civilised queue to get in - but after a five minute wait, we were whisked away to a table right in the centre of the gorgeous, Andalucian-inspired interior.



The big question was which gin to choose... Whilst I settled for The Botanist, an Islay-produced gin which I found a bit on the tame side, the other two went bold; for Mr MM, a double of Dà Mhile Seaweed Gin, and for our friend, Edinburgh Rhubarb & Ginger. I know! But I tell you what - they were both delicious.

Unfortunately we couldn't stay for long, as we had dinner reservations at the highly-recommended restaurant Riverhill.

Situated on West Nile Street, about a ten minute walk from Gin 71, the restaurant is small but inviting, with an atmosphere of fine dining palpable the moment you step inside.


www.riverhillcafe.com/west-nile.htm
Warning - book well in advance. We were very lucky to grab a table fairly last minute, but unsurprisingly did have to wait for the 9pm sitting. Having got there a few minutes early, we were able to peruse the gorgeous menu with a glass of wine before being shown to our table.


www.riverhillcafe.com/west-nile.htm
For starters, I opted for the peanut-crusted mahi mahi, which comes with a delicious sweet potato pickle and raita. It was dainty but extremely tasty, and I polished it off within a few minutes. Mr MM chose the more meaty option of juicy lamb ribs - thank goodness he has a large appetite, as it was a huge portion.

After a small pause, in which we continued to sip our lovely Pietas red wine and discuss our Glaswegian exploits, our wonderful main courses arrived. Mine was exquisite; wild boar gnocchi, tomato ragu and mushroom pesto. That boar! That gnocchi! That pesto! Absolutely gorgeous (again though, such a gigantic portion that I couldn't actually finish it)

My other half enjoyed the duck rendang, which was served with Malay pickle, boiled egg, fermented green chillies and lime leaf rice, and from my quick cheeky taste of it, it was a very nice dish indeed. Too full to order one each, we then decided to share a dessert, and ended up fighting over the amazing chocolate marquise with amaretto anglaise and espresso soaked brioche crisp.

All in all, despite the slight error with portion sizes, this is one of the best meals out I have had in a long time. The guys at Riverhill know how to produce dishes which are of a superb quality, with interesting, varied and indulgent ingredients. When I'm next in Glasgow, there's no doubt I will be going back.

With full bellies and smiles on our faces, we retired to our hotel room to get a good night's sleep before our last day in the city.

Setting off mid-morning on the Sunday, we knew there was one sight in particular we had to squeeze in: The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. It is one of the most visited museums in the UK outside of London, and ever curious, we wanted to see what all the fuss was about.



The building itself is a beautiful work of art; we spent some time just admiring from afar and snapping away.



Once inside, there was plenty for us to look at.






A particular highlight? Sarah Cave's Floating Heads. Amusing but quite spooky at the same time...





Having spent a couple of hours roaming around the museum, we were in need of a bite to eat and a caffeine hit.

Where better to go than Kember & Jones?



Kember & Jones is a lovely little coffee shop situated in Glasgow's West End. The minute you walk in, there's a staggering selection of freshly baked bread and cakes on display to make your mouth water.




We took our seats on the cute mezzanine floor, ordered our flat whites, and enjoyed watching the hustle and bustle of a Sunday afternoon cafe rush. Grabbing a bowl of the homemade soup each for lunch, we were quiet as we wolfed it down with big chunks of delicious bread.

If you're looking for a new brunch spot in the city, I can definitely recommend this place!

With an hour or so to spare, we took a quick trip to the famous Botanic Gardens.



I was in heaven! It's a bit of a long-running family joke that I 'love a good garden'. I promise I'm not weird.




^ I promise.

With plenty of collections to look at, it's a lovely (free) way to pass time.








Before long, it was time to walk back to our hotel, pick up our bags and begin our journey home.

This was my first trip to Glasgow, and I simply fell in love with the place. Glaswegians, I can safely say that I will be back!

{You can read the first two parts of my Glasgow series here and here}
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