15 March 2014

A night on the town

Even a cursory glance at a Glasgow guide will show that there's an almost limitless choice of bustling eateries where you can start off a night out, writes Brian Byrne.

The style is an equally wide selection, from Eastern and Asian to fish & chippers to high cuisine. The Stravaigin on Gibson Street is a good example of an establishment that offers an interesting menu from locally sourced and fresh of the day produce. Hake is a great test, and for me it was perfectly done, with the unlikely combination of boned chicken wings that just clicked. A great buzz about the place too, and I like a restaurant where you see direct into the kitchen on the way to being seated.

Later on the night's menu was a couple of hours at The Stand Comedy Club on Woodlands Road. This is part of why we're spending the few days here, using the 12th Glasgow International Comedy Festival as the underpinning of a taste of the city. According to Festival Manager Sarah Watson, this special Homecoming 2014 year will bring the best of Australian and Canadian comedy to the more than 45 venues across the city. As well, of course, as as much homegrown talent as the birthplace of Billy Connolly can muster. Anyhow, for the next 23 days, there will be some 416 shows. The Comedy Festival is the brainchild of Tommy Sheppard, who owns The Stand.

"We have a deliberate plan to tap into local talent and put it on an international stage," Sarah says, "and that's why the Festival has been so successful. With around 146,000 tickets sold through the Festival, we know that a third of those come in from outside Glasgow, so it does bring visitors to the city."

Meanwhile, off to the Velodrome. More later ...