Date Night in Glasgow West End

Despite living so close to the city, I hardly ever have nights out here anymore.  After showing my lovely American friends around a few weeks ago, I decided our next date night had to be a nice trip up Glasgow West End.

Since we moved back to Scotland 8 months ago, we’ve been living with my parents.  As much as they are a good laugh and we all get along, it’s nice to have time by ourselves.  So we’ve been trying to make time for date nights.  As I’m hungry most of the time, so we don’t ‘do’ late dinner, so at 6pm our lovely date night started!

Date Night in Glasgow's West End. Ashton Lane, Balbirs, Hillhead Bookclub.

Dinner

One of our favourite meals is curry.  I gather if you are from the USA that Indian cuisine isn’t as popular as it is here.  We LOVE a good curry in Glasgow.  Tonight we opted for Balbirs in the West End.

Balbirs is a really beautiful restaurant inside.  It was recently refurbished, though I couldn’t have faulted it before then either.  The food is delicious and reasonably priced, with the feel of a much more expensive restaurant.  We had tandoori salmon to start, I had chicken jaipuri and Mark had lamb bhoona, all of which was really tasty.

Glasgow West End

Ashton Lane

It’s been a while since our last night out together so I was keen to go somewhere a bit different and my thinking was that Glasgow West End has some brilliant and really unusual pubs.  Ashton Lane is a short cobbled street behind popular Byres Road, and it looks so cool.

I’m a massive fan of fairy lights, or any kind of lit up outdoor (or indoor) area.  So the sheet of fairy lights above Ashton Lane is my favourite!

Ubiquitous Chip

The first bar we went into was Ubiquitous Chip, which has been around since 1971.  Past the bar and up the stairs, there’s a beautiful seating area for dinner.  It has an open plan dining, with lots of greenery, making it feel as though you’re outside.  We took the stairs another level up to sit outside on the roof terrace with a whisky.

Ashton Lane
Ashton Lane

Brel

Down the other end of the lane, sits Brel.  A Belgian themed bar, it has a huge variety of beers on offer, but we were on the whisky!  Stopping at the bar for another whisky, we walked straight through and out to the amazing beer garden.

Brel has a huge seating area out the back.  It’s all lit with fairy lights (my favourite) and is on a hill, so there’s lots of little benches and picnic tables.  Luckily it wasn’t too cold and we didn’t even need to sit under the heat lamps.

The atmosphere in Ashton Lane is wonderful.  There’s several bars we never went in to, and there’s a small cinema too.  In summer, if the weather is nice, Ashton Lane is the place to be.  You can go between all the little pubs and most have outdoor seating to make the most of rare nice Scottish weather.

Hillhead Bookclub

Around 9:30pm we ventured out Ashton Lane and down Byres Road to Hillhead Bookclub.  This is one of my favourite pubs in Glasgow.  The building has been around since the early 1900’s, and was a cinema until 1992.  It’s interior is completely ‘hipster’, the furniture is mis-matched, and the booths back rests are made from belts!  The ceiling looks like it might be the original, with fancy cornicing and carvings.

The upstairs area has small sections set aside with TV and retro games, and I think there’s a fussball table up there too.  We had another whisky here, people watched for a while, then headed for the train home.

Hillhead Bookclub
Hillhead Bookclub

On the way home, I made Mark run up the side street to Ashton Lane again to get a nice photo of the fairy lights.  Walking on cobbled streets in wedges or heels just doesn’t happen for me.  So the featured photo at the top of the page is courtesy of my other half.

Glasgow West End has so much to offer.  I bought a new camera so I’m hoping to venture out soon to get some better pictures and sample some more pubs… and whisky of course!

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