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Top Secret Glasgow is here...

Top Secret Quote Bubble in black, with TS logo and word 'revealed!' in dash-outline font.

Welcome to Top Secret Glasgow. Great to have you on board.

This hobby has been a long labour of love by just two people; a proud Glaswegian joined by a fellow Scot calling Glasgow home for over 20 years now.

We hope you enjoy Glasgow's newest (and best!) guide to this great city... a city truly loved by locals and its many visitors.

Go explore!

If you're intrigued to know more about funky bits of Top Secret Glasgow, tuck into a few little tasters...

why 'top secret'?...

Top Secret Quote Bubble Icon in black, question-heart with x Let me introduce "myself" - I'm Agent X and this is all my doing. Blame me. Praise me. Or whatever else you feel.

Top Secret Quote Bubble Icon in black, question-heart with yI have only one other partner-in-crime to uncovering the city's secrets and that is Agent Y.

What on earth is all this "X" & "Y" nonsense? Well, I would love to tell you that I am a minor Royal, or horribly scarred in a coffee-ordering accident or even just shy. It's none of these...

...the reason why I can NEVER reveal who I am is that I am a professional mystery shopper... No hidden me - No work! So please don't ask ;)

But, hey, I AM a regular customer too, I don't always pretend to be one!

And I have to confess that I have always been a keen consumer of all manner of things.

So, another way of looking at it is that you are getting ALL of my expertise without having to pay a brass penny for it (like my professional clients do). Hurrah!

So, welcome to our community of Glasgow lovers.

Go explore!

simply the best...

Top Secret Quote Bubble in black, with smiling girl whispering in boy's ear. So this is my hobby, my passion and my work, all rolled into one.

If a place appears on Top Secret Glasgow, be assured that it is there because I found it to be WAY above average in its little niche. Loved by locals and their happy guests.

Rubbish stuff (and even average stuff) will NEVER appear here. If a place excels, has an edge, a vibe or a charming oddity, expect it to appear here eventually.

ready for the buzz?...

the buzz

I wanted each page on Top Secret to be stuffed with all of the things I have to hunt for in a pile of guide books and across lots of online corners - but just the best stuff and all in one place.

That's a Top Secret Buzz page.

To give you a bit of a whistle-stop tour of a Buzz page:

first look - when you land on each Buzz page, each page topper gives you quick access to everything about this place...
  • why should you go? - brief summary to give you the gist of a place
  • book now? - we want to go out and do things, right? So, if you can book it, great - here are all of the reservation options - up front and centre.
  • jump for your love - leap around the Buzz page, clickety-quick... use my quick-jump links at the top of every page - and their back to top cousins

it's all about YOU - time to explore, in your own terms. Grab the best VIP options for you, have your say and have your own page about your favourite place...
  • vip buzzVIP Buzz - let's get some focus? I'm really only interested in that great knicker shop on Byres Road and the deli beside work. Great! You need our VIP Buzz - click the button and that's all you'll ever hear about - the latest buzz on ONLY those places. Cool, huh?
  • vip classicVIP Classic - we all have our "leather folio" moments? Someone else I trust sifts through the influx of new stuff and passes me just the carefully-chosen highlights. You need VIP Classic - click the button and your VIP digest will wing its way into your inbox once a month or so.
  • go to the pollshave your say! - go to the polls - I had the best experience at every place I pop up here - hope you do too. But things can change. Either way, speak out - click on our simple-as-1-2-3 polls and rate them.
  • awardshave your say! - the Awards 2008/09 - that good? - that bad? If you feel so strongly that a place should be on our roll of honour each year then vote with your feet (OK, mouse button). Couple of clicks is all it takes to nominate your favourites.
  • my-pagehave your own page! - introducing my-page - the easiest way ever to grab your own corner of the web. Fan pages... stories... photo shows... whatever takes your fancy. Share your passions with family, friends... the world!

fact files fact files - All of this buzz is all very well, but sometimes I just want the hard facts. So they're all here... all in one place... tucked away on the right of every page...
  • locationlocation, location, location - see at-a-glance which area of Glasgow this treasure is found - plus full address [including post code for all the "Tom-Tom" (satnav) club]... nearest cross street (to help you pin down places on l-o-o-o-o-n-g streets)... and pin it onto a Google Map to plan your route...
  • getting theregetting there - looking for the nearest car park? We've got that covered. What about underground and rail stations? Yup, got that too. (And with walking distances too).
  • contactcontact - options, options!...

    phone, web and email - take your pick, all here...

  • openingwhen is it open? - a-ha! A handy one this, before you rush off on a wasted trip. Some places keep funny old times. And none of that "twist-and-turn" nonsense we have to endure in guide books (to save them print space. [Tue-Wed 9-5; Thu and Sun 10-1, 5-9; Sat 9-4; Mon closed] Eh!?... Just a simple table, day-by-day and at-a-glance

sauces and pickles - in every corner there is something useful to help you keep tabs with this place...
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  • shareAdd This FEED button - buttons to share the page with your favourite social networks, email to a friend and grab an easy RSS feed.
  • icon twitterTweet!-Tweet! - If you want to keep track of my undercover movements hour-by-hour - check out the Twitter badges on the left edge. Oh, and Agent Y checks in now and again too. Go on, be nosey...

ooooh!... "magic"!?...

Just one magical thing separates my personal site from my work though - and it's a very important one. Here at Top Secret Glasgow, "it's all good" is our motto.

So, I will not be entertaining the grumps and groans of consumer life. I can't be bothered to be honest, as I spend all day reporting the bad stuff to my clients.

Top Secret Quote Bubble in black, with male spy in white tuxedo holding gun So, my only magic "rule" for this space is that it will focus on the best that Glasgow has to offer.

We are all different, of course, so if a place is "not your thing" I'm sure you'll understand that it might be someone else's.

I will all want to hear if a great place seems to have slipped a bit. I will all want to know if some disaster has struck in a previously top place. That's where our top secret spies come in. Join in at any time...

But I will not want to endure some slagging match based on strong personal taste. Please let's agree to let people do their thang, move on and celebrate the places that flip your switch instead. OK?

have your say...

Top Secret Quote Bubble in black, with young women laughing at their laptop while having a coffee. And this is where YOU come in.

I'm putting everything I can into making Top Secret Glasgow a place where you can have your say (be nice now!) and take part.

A special space to share your own stories on the places and things that catch our eye.

Just a very few examples for now:

  • spycome undercover with me as a top secret spy - spotted a cool new place?... a sudden closure?... any change to the Glasgow scene? Great - spill!
  • wishclose your eyes - make a wish - a burning desire?... a must-have... even just a hankering?... drop your penny in our wishing well - "Wee Jeannie" is waiting to grant yours...
  • go to the pollsyou don't have to be voting-in a new US president to go to the polls - I have plenty of them here - one for every funky place I feature to be exact - look for the "your say" quick-jump links at the top of a page
  • awardsand while you're in pollster mood, I've kicked off the Top Secret Awards 08/09 - so if you "feel the pash" for a favourite Glasgow place be sure to put a tick in its box by clicking the "get your vote in NOW" link
  • my-page
  • maybe best of all, my-page is the easiest way ever to grab your own wee corner of the world wide web. Jot a few words in a couple of boxes and hit a button - your shiny new web page is ready to share with friends and family. Go grab one today...

And all sorts of fun new ways to serve-up your love of Glasgow are in the pipeline - so keep tabs on what's coming soon.

This is no ordinary city guide to Glasgow - or I will eat my trilby hat!

So, what else makes Top Secret Glasgow so different?

Lots! Just a few snippets to whet your appetite...

secrets, secrets, everywhere...

Top Secret Quote Bubble in black, with sexy woman whispering in shocked friend's ear. If you're anything like me, you love uncovering special little snippets here and there. So Top Secret Glasgow is littered with them.

Do you ever play DVDs and find those little "Easter Eggs" hidden away in the menus - special little bonus featurettes tucked away?

Or do you ever scurry through blogs and forums looking for inside tips and tricks that no-one else hears about? Well, Top Secret Glasgow is choc-full of tasty morsels like this.

How do you find them? The easiest way is just to take part. I want it to be easy for you to keep in touch with all the little details of your passions.

raid our top secret files...

Top Secret Quote Bubble in black, with icon for top secret file Every little nook and cranny of Top Secret Glasgow will offer you the option to get into my "top secret file" for that topic.

I'll slip you the special hidden page and its password... and you're in!

And I'll also drop you little notes every time I add something new to that top secret file.

So, if you love gift shopping, Italian food, or knocking back fizz & cocktails of an evening (ahem, just randomly selected, you understand!), you'll be able to hear all the latest gems on just that tiny little passion, without all the fluff of a mega-general newsletter that is full of things that don't press your hot button or float your boat.

Lots of pages on Top Secret Glasgow let you grab a place on these special VIP "fan" lists.

And there are plenty of other ways to get "inside" Top Secret Glasgow. If you see a poll or a chance to vote, chances are a little secret something will pop into your lap.

Or if you share a story with other visitors, another little treat might be offered. The fun is in the chase... happy hunting!

be FIRST to know the next big thing...

Top Secret Quote Bubble in black, with icon for contact

If you're at all like me, you want to be first out of the blocks when a new bar opens up, a shop gets a new range in or a restaurant launches its new menu. I can't help myself :)

If that sounds like you, then I have loads of cool ways to be first to know too.

BUT that old chestnut..."Hey, keep in touch!" - How many times have you heard that one - or said it?

I know it's difficult and we're all so busy these days. Last thing you want is dull, unwanted messages littering your in-box! (Yes, I hate that too).

So you have all sorts of ways to keep in touch with me (just when you want to!)

    Top Secret Quote Bubble in black, with icon for new secrets glasgow blog
  • 'New Secrets' Blog - easy-peasy one is to just read my mini-blog.

    Every new page I pop online appears here - as if by magic!

  • Bookmark & Share - do you dig Digg or find delicious? Fill up MySpace or flip through your Facebook?

    Add This SHARE buttonWell just a couple of clicks on my "SHARE" button at the top (and bottom) of every page will bookmark it - easy!

    You can even use the share button to email the page to a friend.

  • RSS Feed - have you rocked your online world with RSS feeds yet?

    Add This FEED buttonIf it's all G(r)eek to you (as it was to me not too long ago!) then check out my simple guide.

    I love this, as you don't have to do anything else and new stuff just pops up as soon as it's published. That handy button is also at the top and bottom of every page to make it easy.

  • icon twitter
  • Tweet with me on twitter. Hmmm... not sure about this one, but I love trying new things.

    It's a way for me to jot down my thoughts and feelings as they happen (even on the move right into my mobile!) and share them with the world.

    You too can tweet and twitter online and on your mobile - and it's pretty funky.

    For a while anyway, I'll be including a little Twitter window on every page of Top Secret Glasgow that tracks the latest tweets. (Pass the Trill!).

are you a VIP yet?...

Top Secret Quote Bubble in black, with icon for VIPs

Do you enjoy the finer things in life? Me too! Then you are destined to be a Top Secret VIP...

Hit the 'VIP me!' button to grab your place on the VIP Classic list now:

Top Secret confidential logoThe creme-de-la-creme of each month's buzz on Top Secret Glasgow is whooshed straight to your in-box once a month. You have your very own VIP magazine, Top Secret's 'Confidential', to browse through each month.

vip buzzAnd as you whiz around Top Secret Glasgow, remember that all of your little personal interests likely offer our VIP Buzz service too. Just the latest and greatest news and occasional offers about a special shop or a favourite restaurant. Click the button to get on the inside.

checked-out the VIP bonuses yet?...

And you can opt-in to enjoy a couple of "first-to-hear" bonus privileges too:

For all of the new secrets I reveal each day, I'll send you a special VIP round-up for all of the daily buzz on Top Secret Glasgow.

Top Secret Quote Bubble in black, with icon for blog for VIPs VIP bonus 1 - 'New Secrets for VIPs'

A special daily digest just for VIPs, with only the brand new Top Secret Buzz pages served up in one simple place. And not just new Buzz pages I created for you - get the first nod on all visitors who created their own my-pages too.

  • For each new Buzz page, I'll tempt you with just a brief snippet (no wading through each whole page)... just like Papa Google serves up! Just scan quickly down the digest and only click on those new Buzz pages that really interest you...
  • Emailed overnight, it's there waiting for you to browse with your coffee and breakfast muffins. It's your one-click access to the juiciest morsels...

Top Secret Quote Bubble in black, with icon for twitter for VIPs VIP bonus 2 - 'Tweets for VIPs'

Are you a mega-hungry VIP? Needing to know every tiny buzz each day and cherry-pick for yourself? Then ask to sign-up for my extra-special daily digest of my Tweets, only for VIPs.

  • Every day, I reveal the inside-track on my new finds and ideas - as they happen! Only by coming undercover with me could you get closer than this!
  • Straight from my iPhone to Twitter, each tweet then briefly flashes onto every page on Top Secret. As soon as I tweet a new message, the old one is gone.
  • But only you will get this one-page VIP summary each day, keeping you just a click away from the next big thing in Glasgow, as it happens.

If either of these extra-buzz options sounds like your kind of thing, it's easy to sign-up from a special link in your VIP welcome email or each edition of your VIP Classic ezine, 'Confidential'. Grab your VIP Classic spot first below.

And if that's just too much for you, no need to sign-up to these bonuses - you'll still get the monthly VIP Classic ezine, 'Confidential'.

Hit the 'VIP me!' button now to grab your place on the VIP Classic list...

OK - that's enough for you mega-inquisitive sorts (like me...)

Now, go explore!

(and do drop me your top wishes for new things - it's your site way more than it is mine...)


Top Secret Quote Bubble Icon in black, question-heart with xagentx

red carpet

get on the VIP list
and be first to hear ALL the news about Glasgow...

Be a "Top Secret Glasgow VIP". We are always working on all sorts of new features... the most buzzing events... the "insiders" low-down... the key to the very best of Glasgow.

We'll reveal top secrets that many locals don't even know about - often in the shadows of the classics.

If you want to be first onto these new top secrets, then just use the simple form below to pass us your email address and first name. We'll be in touch... "confidentially"!

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