Glasgow’s West End
The University is located on the corner of Byres Road and University Avenue. Byres road (one block from the conference venue) has many shops, pubs, restaurants and coffee shops. [There are also an increasing number of ice cream shops, but not likely the right time of year.] Some recommendations are provided below but Pat’s guide to the west end (http://www.glasgowwestend.co.uk/) and The List (http://www.list.co.uk/) are both good for assessing options. The main tourist part of the west end is a cobblestone laneway called Ashton Lane. It runs parallel to Byres Road and can be accessed from the west side of the Boyd Orr Building on University Avenue or a small lane off of Byres Road by the Iceland store (close to Hillhead).
Pubs: In the west end, we would recommend that Curler’s Rest be the default pub conference venue, as it is large and has good beer, wine and whisky (right next to Hillhead subway station on Byres Road). Other recommended pubs in the area are: The Ubiquitous Chip (three different pubs of varying sizes; Ashton Lane); Brel (good selection of Belgian beers; Ashton Lane); Tennants (classic Glaswegian sports bar with good selection of beers, despite the name; corner of University Avenue and Byres Road); Oran Mor (former church; corner of Byres Road and Great Western Road); The Three Judges (classic pub with live music at times; corner of Dumbarton Road and Byres Road); The Ben Nevis (classic pub with live music at times; Argyll street, halfway between the University and the hotel); and Dram (large, specialises in whisky; Woodlands Rd, between the University and the hotel). These pubs all have a good selection of beers and whiskys but there are also many other pubs to choose from in the area, particularly if you like Tennants and lagers. A local friendly pub that we like (but that doesn’t have a good beer selection) is The Dolphin (Dumbarton Road, west of Byres Road). Oran Mor stays open until 2 am (3 am from Thursday to Sunday) but most of the others close at 23:00 or 24:00 (unpredictable, as some will have late opening licenses until 1 am for the Christmas season). The closest club to the University is Viper (corner of Great Western Road and Bank Street), which is technically an under 25 venue but that doesn’t usually stop people from going. There are also a number of clubs in the city centre.
Coffee: Unfortunately, something we can’t control is the quality of coffee at the University. There are, however, lots of coffee options nearby for those who need a latte fix and there is a Costa coffee on the ground floor of the Jurys hotel. On Byres Road, some options are: Starbuck’s (right next to the Hillhead subway station); TinderBox (good strong coffee and desserts; corner of Byres Road and University Avenue); Kember and Jones (excellent deli with good baking; between University Avenue and University Place); Heart and Buchanan (traditional deli that has been somewhat compromised by Waitrose moving in across the road; close to Great Western Road on the eastern side of Byres Road); Avenue G (good coffee and food but not always very quick service; on the western side of Byres Road, about halfway between University Avenue and Great Western Road).
Restaurants: There are many restaurants in the west end, with a rather high turnover. It is best to check websites for menus and prices. At Christmas, it is always best to book but there are often good deals available. Some of our favourites that have been around for at least a few years are listed by category below:
Indian: Ashoka’s (classic Glaswegian chain; Ashton Lane); Wee Curry Shop (very small but includes Haggis pakoras; Ashton Lane); Wee Curry shop (not the same owners as the one on Ashton lane and different food; Byres Road, close to Dumbarton Road); Balbir’s (large, specialises in large groups and banquet menus; Church Street, which runs parallel to Byres Road, close to Dumbarton Road).
Italian: Una Storia (formerly Mimmo’s, small and friendly; Ashton Lane); Zizzi (wood-fired pizzas and pastas; Cresswell lane, which is a northern extension of Ashton Lane, past Great George Street); Paperino’s (chain of pizza places but large; Byres Road, across from Hillhead); Little Italy (small, but better than it looks from the outside – authentic Italian ingredients and good coffee; western side of Byres Road, close to University Avenue); La Vita Spuntini (Italian tapas; Byres Road, across from Hillhead).
Scottish/Bistro: Cail Bruich (Scottish bistro – worth the full price but often have good pre-theatre deals midweek; Great Western Road, just east of Byres Road); The Bothy (Scottish bistro cuisine – classic Scottish cuisine; Ruthven Lane, which is just off of Byres road across from Hillhead); Number 16 (Scottish bistro; Byres Road, near Dumbarton Road); Stravaigin (Scottish and Asian; original restaurant on Gibson Street, which is very close to the Glasgow University Union; smaller restaurant with a more limited but cheaper menu on Ruthven lane).
Other: La Vallée Blanche (French, Byres Road, midway between Hillhead and Great Western Road); Bovine (as the name implies, specialise in steaks but usually quite good vegetarian options; western side of Byres Road near Great Western Road); Two Fat Ladies (the original famous fish restaurant, at 88 Dumbarton Road – just east of Byres Road).