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Visit the active LitNet platform at www.litnet.co.za

Leefstyl | Lifestyle > Kos & Wyn | Food & Wine > Rubrieke | Columns > Paul Murray: Murray's Food Trails

The Glasgow Trail

Paul Murray - 2010-05-21

Glasgow in March is as cold as Cape Town in the heart of winter. There’s nothing better than soul food to warm up the inner linings of your stomach. In the aftermath of the snow and crisp air, popping into this or that eatery to view the different places, read the menus and meet some folk gave rapid insights to the friendliness of the Glaswegians. And what better a place to go than Byers Road in the West End of the city! It’s an exciting city to explore, with plenty to do and eat. www.seeglasgow.com

Figure 1. Byers Road in Glasgow has become the city’s no 1 street for eating places – to see more visit http://www.byres-road.co.uk/.

Figure 2. Absolutely 161 has friendly owners, and the cup of coffee early in the morning was respite from the cold, and the menu is basic, with nice round tables to sit at. Visit 161 Byres Road, Glasgow G12 8TS, Tel – UK + 0141 334 8833. http://www.yelp.co.uk/biz/absolutely-161-glasgow

When in Scotland do as the Scots do – wear a tartan, so go off and buy one:

Figure 3. The Scots enjoy their Scottish heritage, and the different colours and patterns of their garb are dazzling.

For a wide range of beers, ales and whiskies there’s Tennents on Byres Road. It has been there since the 18th century – and the history behind it will fascinate the history sleuth. It was here that the Highland drovers rested their beasts and refreshed themselves before making their way to the market in Glasgow. In 1884 it became the place where novel draught was first brewed. So each time you down a beer you are drinking history. A mass invasion by placard-carrying women in the ’70s enabled them to be served and enjoy their ale alongside their male counterparts.

Figure 4. Tennents, established in the 18th century in Byres Road, Glasgow

And while you’re out shopping ... The book stores are of the old-fashioned type – you have to look hard for what you want to read!

Figure 5. Bookshops off Byre’s Road. The books are very cheap in the second-hand  book stores.

Figure 6. Plenty of fruit and veg shops with fresh produce. And plenty of delis.

A little further down from Byres Road, towards the River Clyde and very much in walking distance, is Kelvin Grove, the National Art Gallery of Scotland; it is well worth a visit to view the splendid works there. It’s a day’s visit by itself. Go to source.

And when the beholder of art craves the next cup of coffee and a scrumptious croissant the walk across the road to a very arty restaurant is right there:

Figure 7. After viewing art at the Kelvin Grove Gallery, pop into one of the many café’s for tea and cake.

Figure 8. Glasgow is as much a cultural centre as a culinary gem. The university dates back to the 15th century; here are some of its buildings. It was an important seat for religion – many of the Scottish ministers were trained to become dominees in the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa, a prime example being the Rev Andrew Murray, the founder of the Dutch Reformed Church of South Africa.

Figure 9. The Rev Andrew Murray, founder of the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa. Photo source.

After a great deal of walking, browsing and sightseeing the main business of eating when in this part of Glasgow will be difficult to avoid, and on the cards is the perfect haggis. It is a braw dish and you do not want to look at the ingredients if you plan to enjoy your meal. Made mostly out of cheap ingredients it is a most tasty dish. The Scots traditionally sit down and enjoy a haggis on St Andrew’s Day (Andrew is Scotland’s national saint) and Burn’s Night (named after the poet Robbie Burns).

Haggis ingredients

1 sheep’s stomach bag
1 sheep’s pluck - liver, lungs and heart
3 onions
250 g beef suet
150 g oatmeal
salt and black pepper
a pinch of cayenne
150 ml stock/gravy

Haggis cooking directions

1. Clean the stomach bag thoroughly and soak overnight. In the morning turn it inside out.
2. Wash the pluck and boil for 1,5 hours, ensuring the windpipe hangs over the pot, allowing drainage of the impurities.
3. Mince the heart and lungs and grate half the liver.
4. Chop up the onions and suet.
5. Warm the oatmeal in the oven.
6. Mix all the above together and season with the salt and pepper. Then add the cayenne.
7. Pour over enough of the pluck boiled water to make the mixture watery.
8. Fill the bag with the mixture until it’s half full.
9. Press out the air and sew the bag up.
10. Boil for 3 hours (you may need to prick the bag with a wee needle if it looks like blowing up!) without the lid on.
11. Serve with neeps and tatties.

Recipe acknowledged and taken from here.

Figure 10. A haggis, one of Scotland’s traditional dishes. Enjoy with traditional Scottish ale brewed in the time-honoured style.

Having walked Byres Road with it restaurants and eateries there is much to do, as Glasgow was voted one of Europe’s Cultural Cities of the year, especially renowned for its fine music and concerts. Go here for events and here for musical entertainment – especially Scotland’s traditional  entertainment.

Figure 11.

Figure 12. From learnersdictionary.com

And as the end of the day approaches, find a nice pub on Byres Road and enjoy a well-earned cup of coffee.

Figure 13. Source.

  • Unless otherwise stated all the images were taken on site by Paul Murray.