West End Festival!
Brings 17 Days of Fun
And a Chance to Explore Some Local Gems
festival fun in the west end...
Glasgow's West End Festival kicks off on Friday 12 June 2009. Back for its 14th year, it gets bigger and better!
Running for 2 weeks and 3 weekends, the fun, parades, comedy, street parties and family stuff carry on until Sunday 28th June.
Here's what we've done for you. Our Agents have been scouring the areas where the Festival fun and games take place. They've also been at West End festivals in years gone by.
Putting all of this together, they've drawn up a few picks of the 2009 highlights, and given you some very well-researched tips for the real best of the best places for a cuppa, a snack, a meal or a drink.
The West End of Glasgow has many super places for eating, snacking and drinking. They spoil us for choice! We've done all the hard work for you, and sifted through what's on offer. And come up with the top of the bunch.
Scotland's Mardi Gras hits the streets with a rumba and a soft-shoe shuffle on Sunday 14 June. News for 2009: the route changes this year. Staying in and around Kelvingrove Park, Kelvin Way will act as the main draw, just like Byres Road did in the past. Parade times are set for 3pm - 4pm.
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum plays host to al fresco live music and ents on the same day.
New in 2009, Ashton Lane will host 'Fete de la Musique' 1pm - late on Sunday 21 June. Free music from folk to opera and acoustic rock will see the West End through the Summer Solstice.
The West End Festival really suits family days out. Story groups, fun workshops and huge bouncy things wait to bring a smile to every face.
In Summer, eating outdoors comes with the territory. The West End Festival agrees, with BBQs all over the West End!
Comedy nights, guided walks, live music and dance all bring varied and fun times for all. Hundreds of other events wait to be explored, such as fun events for kids, intros to meditation, beer tasting and brand new theatre. See the official West End Festival website for the full run-down.
You might not know this, but quite a few super delis and cafes tuck themselves away all around the West End Festival areas. None of them chains; you can expect something that little bit special.
a cuppa and a wee seat...
One perfect little gem hides quietly off Argyle Street called Hidden Lane Cafe , with Fair Trade just-about-everything to try. Keep this local secret quiet, though - almost no-one knows about it!
Just out of sight of Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum lounges Montgomery's Coffee House , with art on the walls that you can buy, and great strong coffee that gives the buzz that keeps you in the 'fizzing festival mood. Tables on the pavement entice you to take a load off, on sunny days, and their soup and sanny deals always offer top value.
on Byres Road has many fans, and quite right too. Fab salads and sannys await, and if you can sit by the window, you can watch Byres Road going about its business. Bliss...
Kember and Jones quietly refreshes weary shoppers and festival goers, on a buzzing stretch of Byres Road. Unique, with mouth-watering snacks, a delicious deli and small cook-shop, this wee place even has tables outside, leaving you free to take part in fun Byres Road life...;-)
if you've got the munchies...
on Byres Road has got our Top Secret Agents hooked on their totally fab bruschetta. Not to mention thier ever-changing baquettes, stuffed with the likes of blue cheese and peaches. Warmed up they bring us a touch of Italian heaven. All served to the tunes from Italian radio.
and across from Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Musuem sits laid-back Prego. Large windows show the Museum off to good effect, and the food always delivers the goods. A newer kid on the block, Prego gains more fans by the day.
Stravaigin Cafe Bar
has been around since the 1980s, and still packs in happily chatting locals. In the thick of things at the West End Festival, expect those large doors pulled wide open onto Gibson Street, for all to enjoy some Stravaigin delights.
for that perfect festival meal...
Let's start with one of the classiest little Scottish restaurants around - Two Fat Ladies West End
. Since the early 1990s this cute little dining room has been treating us to the best Scottish cuisine around. Small but perfectly formed - make sure you book in advance to avoid being caught out.
Hidden on a first floor spot near Hillhead Library on Byres Road, the only Alpine ski lodge in the city,
La Vallee Blanche
elegantly awaits. Fab French cuisine at truly amazing prices mean we can all spoil ourselves from time to time. The perfect intimate dining room for a romantic meal or a fun party to remember.
has the best spot in town, when it comes to the West End Festival. Right across the road from Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, you can see a lot of the big events just a 1 minute stroll away. Food, service and decor all achieve the 'fresh and lovely' feel, making Blas a big local hit.
Fancy something Italian? Then head for Cafe Antipasti West End . Locals have been filling this place for more than a decade now, looking for tasty pasta, crisp pizza and jugs of wine! Whatever you order, make sure you try their flatbread... Yum.
a peek at west end unique shops...
presents stunning arranged flowers with a touch of magic in them, a stones throw from West End Festival venue, Cottiers Theatre - and it's spicy place to eat,
. Local lady Eleanor somehow manages to conjure her bouquets to life, while passing on a little local chit-chat. Don't tell her, but our Agents secretly have crushes on her...;-)
has the kind of gallery where you can pick up a gift for just about any occasion. Plus probably spotting lots that you fancy for yourself. Prepare for dazzling fun and a wild choice or two to make...
Onto Byres Road from Nancy Smillie's basement treasure trove, stumble upon
. Demijohn offers vinegars and dressings from, well, demijohns. You can try before you buy, but watch out - some of them carry quite a boozy punch!
Last on our Top Secret tour of the very best Glasgow has to offer around the West End Festival is
. People have been known to loiter in Mellis, just for the tempting smells alone. The knowledge of the Mellis staff mean you'll make the best cheeseboard on the planet, or take a fun, whacky gift to a dinner party during the West End Festival. Have fun...
Kelvingrove Park, designed to provide gorgeous open spaces for Westenders, remains one of the most visited spots in Glasgow. Quite rightly, many West End Festival events take place near or actually inside the park.
have a closer nosey round kelvingrove park...
Guess what? The park just happens to be stuffed full of interesting things to see and do - history for you to enjoy.
Of course, Glasgow offers many fun and unique places to eat, drink and snack, as well as shop, around Kelvingrove Park. A look at the trail around Kelvingrove Park encouraged us to have a go, and we decided to include it just for you. What a great, FREE thing to do with the kids!
In the West End, the very best place to put your head down in One Devonshire Gardens . Often home to celebs on tour, you might just run into one of your fave famous faces while here! This stunning hotel fits the bill for a top time away from home.
where to go snoozy after a hectic festival party...
For more modest budgets, Glasgow shares other hotels that fit the style bill without breaking the bank. Close to Central and Queen Street stations in the city centre, as well as within a couple of minutes from the M8, The Brunswick can easily claim title as the 'king of cool', at the centre of the amazing Merchant City.
On the banks of the river Clyde proudly stands The Crowne Plaza . Dramatic and shiny, and close to Glasgow Science Centre , Clyde Auditorium and the Scottish Exhibition Centre, you could hardly ask for a better placed hotel. Rooms are in very good nick, and offer stunning views along the river.
Wherever you decide to stay while visiting lovely Glasgow, we hope you have a marvellous time.
Above all, enjoy your West End Festival. Get on down and shake your booty with the best of us...
Time to grab your very own page all about Glasgay 2008! festival.
Not just a tiny comment (lost in deep cyber-space)... Not even a whole blog post ("vanishing" into "archives" a week later)... You will have your own entire page on topsecretglasgow.com for all eternity (or until the internet blows up!)... live 24-7...
Welcome to my-page - the easiest way ever to grab you own tiny piece of the web.
So, if you are as big a fan as me, why not tell the world why this makes you want to run open-armed and panting into its open arms.
Big it up! Shout about it! Jump up and get down!
(Of course, you could always just calmly type out a few random thoughts about it too. Whatever takes your fancy...)
Do share with us all below...
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Click on the links below to see some great stories, tips and photos about the West End Festival. They were all written by other visitors to this page...
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