Tea for Two
For tea and a snack, why not join the rest of the tourists in Glasgow and try to secure a table at the landmark Willow Tea Rooms, 217 Sauchiehall St. (tel. 0141/332-0521;Underground: Buchanan St.). When the famed Mrs. Cranston opened the Willow Tea Rooms in 1904, it was something of a sensation due to its unique Charles Rennie Mackintosh design. The building's white facade still stands out from the crowd more than 100 years later. The dining room, one floor above street level, is open Monday to Saturday 9am to 5pm and Sunday noon to 5pm. A second branch on Buchanan Street is similarly appointed if less authentic.
For a more contemporary experience, in the West End overlooking the River Kelvin, Tchai-Ovna House of Tea, 42 Otago St. (tel. 0141/357-4524; Underground: Kelvinbridge), has a selection of some 80 teas, served in fairly eccentric and bohemian surroundings. Food is vegetarian. In the evenings, there may be live music, poetry, or comedy. Tchai-Ovna is open daily from 11am to 11pm.
This leafy city has no shortage of spots for a picnic, whether along the Clyde near the city center in sprawling Glasgow Green; Kelvingrove Park or the Botanic Gardens in the West End; or Pollok Country Park and Queens Park, both of which are on the Southside.
If you're in the city center, gravitate toward Pekhams in Merchant City near George Square, 61 Glassford St. (tel. 0141/553-0666), which has a full delicatessen, fresh bread, and a wine shop. Another possibility in this district is Berits & Brown, a cafe and small deli at 6 Wilson St. (tel. 0141/552-6980).
In the West End, the options include the exceptional Heart Buchanan Fine Food and Wine, near the Botanic Gardens at 380 Byres Rd. (tel. 0141/334-7626), which also has a small cafe. Delizique, 70 Hyndland St. (tel. 0141/339-2000), is another superior food shop, while there's another branch of Pekhams at 124 Byres Rd. (tel. 0141/357-1454). Nearby is the cafe and deli, Kember & Jones Fine Food Emporium, 134 Byres Rd. (tel. 0141/337-3851).
For some of the best cheese in the U.K., visit the I.J. Mellis Cheesemonger branch in Glasgow on Great Western Rd. (tel. 0141/339-8998), and just further toward the city center is the Glasgow branch of Lupe Pintos, 313 Great Western Rd. (tel. 0141/334-5444), for Mexican and American foodstuffs. On the Southside in the Shawlands district near Queens Park, the 1901 Deli, 11 Skirving St. (tel. 0141/632-1630), has a good supply of goodies for any outdoor feast.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.