I’ve been keeping to my budget so I decide on a little splurge this morning. I take a taxi to Waverley Station, £7.05 plus tip. For breakfast I pick up a cheese and tomato baguette and a decaf latte at The Uppercrust in the station, £5.48. It takes a couple of minutes for me to figure out how to buy a train ticket to Queen Street Station Glasgow and costs £9.70. The 10:15 leaves on time and arrives in Glasgow just after 11 am.
It’s about a 15 minute walk to my hotel where there’s a 1:30 check-in, so I leave my bags and set off to see the town. Both Sauchiehall and Buchanan Streets have large stretches where there is pedestrian access only and are lined with shops. The number of people out for bargains in the post-Christmas sales is unbelievable.
The Willow Tea Room at 217 Sauchiehall St is above a Henderson’s Jewelers and you literally have to walk through the shop to go up the stairs for tea. This shop, and its sister on Buchanan Street, was designed by noted Glasgow artist and architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh. I order a pot of the house tea blend and a scone with clotted cream and preserves. My coupon for 10% off reduces the bill to £3.56 – a real steal. Downstairs I buy a Macintosh guidebook reduced by 25%.
Braving the shopping hoards, I walk to the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) at Royal Exchange Square. Admission to the exhibits, in this 18th-century neo-classical building, is free. I particularly enjoy the displays about “The Open Museum “ which is an outreach program that connects with communities all over the city.
I check into my room around 3 pm and am very pleased with the level of service and my room decor. Alas, there is no wireless internet so I set out to find a place for dinner that has access.
The desk clerk tells me that The Sports Cafe on Sauchiehall Street has wifi. Big mistake, over priced meal £8.45 for a mediocre veggie burger, £1.95 for cranberry juice, blaring music and no wifi. I walk further down Sauchiehall and go into McDonald's - buy a large coffee and a Belgian Bliss Brownie for £.68 and no problems on the wifi.