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Promises Us Super Times With A Celebration Of Fab Queer Talents

Top Secret Quote Bubble Banner in black, with montage of photos of the festival. Caption: 'Scotland's annual celebration of queer culture'

Mission 2: Yes You Can Have Financial District Fun...

Had a look around The Merchant City and the best of Glasgay’s venues? Well, whether or not you took that challenge, you now find yourself heading over to Glasgow’s Financial District, right in the city centre.

There are several places to check out, known and loved by locals. Remember to just take your pick, and enjoy.

Fizzy Sophistication Near The Merchant City...

glasgow vronis fizzy fun

En-route to the Financial District, if you’re in the mood for a decent glass of fizz, in a cosmo bar that’s truly loved by locals.

Only a five-minute walk from the Merchant City, get over to Vroni's on West Nile Street.

I’ve taken friends and visitors to Vroni's on too many nights out to remember, and they always want to go back again to their candlelit, dark-wooded, green leather-upholstered booths.

Up For Staggering A Bit Further?...

As I mentioned, some of the Glasgay venues are outside the Merchant City. Let me start with The Arches Theatre , just because it happens to be the nearest to the Merchant City.

Mere minutes walk away on the outskirts of the Financial District, and surrounded by a host of places just waiting to welcome Glasgay revellers.

Get Into The Spirit Of Things At The Arches...

glasgow arches cafe bar  saucers of cool retro

The Arches Theatre is tucked away (as the name suggests) under Central Station , and is a truly funky space.

It has several performance areas and the very nice The Arches Cafe Bar on the lower level.

Even if you aren’t going to a Glasgay performance, nipping in for a drink to check out the venue and underground atmosphere can be a treat in itself.

There is always a lot going on here!

People Watching Heaven...

glasgow collage corner bar people watching

Collage Corner Bar offers gastro pub food, a decent wine list and one of the best places for people watching in Glasgow.

Sitting slightly below street level, for some reason passers by fail to notice Collage patrons tucked under their knees.

(Now, there’s a thought!)

On a busy corner near Central Station, there are plenty punters moving past your view, too.

Like Playing With Your Food?...

On the other side of the same block as the Collage Corner Bar is TaPaell'Ya on Robertson Street. It can also be entered via the SAS Radisson Hotel on Argyle Street.

Be prepared for some of the most unusual and funky tapas, in a chic modern dining room.

Or Fancy Something Spicy?...

Moving along Argyle Street one block brings us to Thai Orchid and very well priced Thai delights from wait staff in traditional dress. Very sweet indeed.

Or Try A Tasty Italian...

Of course, from The Arches, you could head to La Lanterna a short distance up Hope Street on the left. This is another local gem.

The entrance to this basement level restaurant keeps all its secrets – but head on downstairs to a charming little eatery that’s designed to make you feel like you’re al fresco somewhere charming in Italy.

La Lanterna will be easy on the wallet too.

Pop On Your Beer Goggles...

glasgow pivo pivo round the world beer

Around the corner from La Lanterna there’s Pivo Pivo on Waterloo Street.

Dive into the more than 30 different beers and lagers behind the bar.

Pivo Pivo is a real hidden delight.

The entrance looks like nothing at all, but don’t let that put you off.

Head down the stairs and a whole new underworld of boozy choices waits.

It's Playtime... With A Shop, Sip And A Chomp!...

glasgow fifi and ally bit of a show off

It would be remiss of me not to mention Princes Square , just 5 minutes walk from The Arches. It's actually really close to many of the central Glasgay venues so easy to pop in for some retail therapy.

Princes Square was developed in the mid 1980s, and remains one of the beacons to glamour and good taste that is the revamped Glasgow we all love so much.

I think you’re sure to fall in love with Princes Square, no matter when you visit.

Expect great taste, fab places to shop, eat and drink, and a lively vibe that only Princes Square can deliver.

There may even be live performances going on in the mosaic-lined courtyard, filling the vast atrium space with music and laughter.

As promised, some shop, sip and chomp highlights to consider…

glasgow barca top tapas and cava

Fifi and Ally artfully combines funky and cool products, often with a wee camp-but-glamorous edge.

They run a nice place to sit sipping a cappuccino and munching tasty buns, planning your next Glasgay adventure.

My favourite place to visit in Princes Square is Barca . It might be the lush in me that means I’m drawn to any place with “Cava” in its name.

Or it might be the amazing tapas on offer, coupled with the chance to watch what’s going on in Princes Square.

Then again, Barca is also great place to sit inside for some peace and quiet.

Buzzy Wares has been a Princes Square stalwart since it opened in 1986, transferring from the West End all the goodwill and charm of its previous life as “Joe’s Garage” (one for you folks with longer memories).

It was recently decorated to really look like an American burger joint.

The result is noisy, fun and very laid back.

If you have time in your Glasgay plans, I suggest a wander around Princes Square. There are just so many shops and funky restaurants to tempt, I’m certain you’ll be planning a return trip before long.

The (Almost) Secret Alleys...

glasgow bar soba square meals

I have these last options for you, while we’re in this neck of the woods. Hidden up quiet lanes, these are local gems just waiting to be discovered.

Hunt down Bar Soba in Mitchell Lane. If you can pull yourself away from Boss and the other designer stores on Buchanan Street , head into the well-hidden Mitchell Lane and Bar Soba is on the left, about half way along.

Treating us with wonderful cocktails and a great Asian-fusion menu with service and looks to match, Bar Soba is a hidden treasure.

You’re as likely to see office workers out for a quick post-work drink as a bunch of mates out for a night on the tiles.

Just round the corner is Uber Cafe , close to the junction with busy Argyle Street. You'd never know it was there, all cosy and cute, if I didn't keep you right!

This is a great wee place to chill out and have a snack too.

Near Central Station, but hidden from view up another lane is Stereo . In a converted warehouse, it features a large bar, performance venue in the basement, and very tasty vegan food. What are you waiting for? ;)

Add these to your pre-party list for Glasgay, and you won't go wrong...

Ready for another Top Secret Mission?... There are five in total to choose from...

have your own page... welcome to my-page

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 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...

share a great story about Glasgay! Festival...

Do you have a special story about Glasgay! Festival? A funny experience? A grand occasion? A funky photo? A personal tip? A top secret?

Well… spill!...

(need some inspiration? OK - then check out Glasgay! Festival stories from your fellow visitors first...)

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