Glasgow; various eateries; Nostrana & the Finnieston Fez

So I finally tried, after it was only open a few weeks, Nostrana, a new Italian place in Hyndland (just north of Soul Space in the link), Glasgow.

Nostrana, Hyndland, Glasgow

It was nice, very friendly service (my date spelled their coffee, and they were just SO helpful with them, even giving a new one FOC!), with food that at first seemed “small”, but was huge.

Handcrafted pizza

As usual, I felt that a normal dish would not be enough, wrong again! I ordered some bread, whilst the plus 1 chose their salad; both ample enough.

Well worth it, but no doubt during the winter, it’d be desirable to sit inside.

4/5

This brings us to the Finnieston Fez, located on the eastern edge of Finnieston, in the West End of Glasgow.

To be honest, this was a surprise, though I had walked past before, and always had a hankering to sit in the window seat. I shall return.

While inside, I was literally the only one there (later there were more, almost packed), and was confronted with several very lovely people. What a joy, they WANTED to be there! Isn’t that a good feeling, I was not intruding.

The menu is a Moroccan type of Mediterranean thing, and I opted for something simple – a Falafel Panini, and just had to have the sweet, traditional, Moroccan tea – glad I did. And for it to be served in a traditional setting, perfect.

As for the Panini, it was flavourable, and not overbearing. The tee-pee type of container contained slight chillied olives.

I will return.

4/5

CB

Kelvingrove Bandstand Concerts this Summer, Glasgow

Once again, the adage about something being on your doorstep, that you don’t even know about.

Kelvingrove Park Bandstand, West End, Glasgow

Had a walk on the weekend around the West End of Glasgow, and after hearing some music coming from the park, had another walk on the Sunday, and came across the above concert series; and they even had a drinks van from West Brewery in Glasgow!

I have to admit, I didn’t know a thing about this, and thoroughly enjoyed the hour I was there, listening to brass bands, one from the University of Glasgow.

Glasgow University Brass Band Ensemble, Glasgow

I would say that at least the powers that be, who run Glasgow, are attempting to have something for everybody here. This was a very friendly, family-oriented event – more please.

It also it is good, to see this once, run-down venue, being used more and more these days, particularly with their summer series concerts (rock, pop, etc) taking place here the last few years.

Very pleasant.

CB

Euro Trip – A good idea from Germany – the 9 Euro Ticket

So I’m over there in Deutschland, and the partner says to me, “I’ve got you one of these 9 Euro tickets.”

“Ah, I’ve heard of these.”

Yes I have, due to the online job that I have, where I communicate daily with many Germans.

It’s an (was) interesting idea and one that gave even more benefits, besides just being able to use it on a train.

You could use it on buses, trams, underground systems(?), everything BUT the ICE trains in Germany. The ICEs are the Inter City Express trains, that are not only quicker than normal ones, but have a good deal fewer stops as well.

Not only that, but another huge benefit, was that it did NOT expire after you used it, but was valid for the entire month of August (I believe?).


Many of the trains / buses were packed, and some were not, so it was not a panacea; OTOH, it was just SO convenient to use, and no doubt the German authorities wanted to see just how much of the public transport their citizens would use for one month, if it was, in effect, free.

Why oh why don’t we at least TRY to do this here?

CB

Europe – Start of my last trip, Hull to Rotterdam via the Ferry.

Very comfy bed in a double room cabin

I have to admit, normally I prefer DFDS Ferries, but this slightly older P & O one was perfectly fine, though it was packed with families and their kids.

We had stayed the night before in York (blog soon!), and then caught the evening (early, almost missed it!) ferry to Rotterdam, from Hull. I prefer this, rather than going to Amsterdam, as I’ve always felt (perhaps wrongly) that it is easier to get out of Rotterdam.

And the room was plenty big enough, though it did not have a window. Not really bothered, as I was really only in the room to sleep and shower. Also, there was even a “desk”, though the Wi-Fi was simply too expensive to pay for; I believe it was 9 euros for 3 hours.

The partner in crime had the top bunk, whilst I took the bottom bed, and yes the pillows looked and were, not my cup of tea, but two of them together were just firm enough for a good night’s sleep.

And speaking of showering, it has always amazed me, just how much “kit” there is in one of these ferry’s bathrooms!

Complete, even with shower gel.

Next will be the road trip to the Black Forest.

CB

Euro Trip – Germany and France – A random walk in Bavaria

Yes, in Bavaria again, and have always found it very good, to just go for a walk and see if there is anything different that strikes me.

I’ve been to Germany many times, but something always hit me, that many who have not been here, would probably find quite odd.

Yes, the above is a gigantic (not sure if I’ve blogged on this before) climbing wall, right next to a children’s school or nursery (a KITA perhaps).

With a smaller wall, for the children I presume?


It’s part of a club, and is right in the middle of a housing estate; but looks very well maintained. And the walk there, involved some grapes, growing at the rock wall by the sidewalk! Amazing.

Equally, just round the corner, as this was a Sunday walk, came across one of these huge quality / inexpensive German supermarkets, where the amount and variety of goods is amazing.

This was a Kaufland, and owing to German laws, it is not open on Sundays! In fat, NOTHING is open on Sundays, except bakeries, some restaurants, and petrol stations (maybe more, but am simply not sure).


As you can see, NO ONE is there, as the car park is empty.

Interesting.

CB

Cavavin, Hyndland – Cafe’ish & Wine Shop – Wonderful surprise

Cavavin – Street Wine Bar with nibbles

Cavavin has been here at the junction of Hyndland Road and Clarence Drive, only for about two years plus? Not too sure, but recently, or the last few months, they’ve offered a street service, though this may have been here longer (they also have a very small seated area inside, near the beer section in the back)?

Equally, it’s possible to have small side plates with your obscur’ish wine; the usual ones though quite delicious – humous, olives, etc. I had the hummus and pitta bread, which fitted perfectly (some portion!)

I hardly think this is bandwagon jumping, as there are simply not enough wine bars / wine and snacks type of places here; Lord, do we really need more cafes?

Though naturally, it is possible to get a coffee, tea and even a hot chocolate here as well.

I certainly look forward to the winter, when I’ll definitely be here on the odd mid-week evenings.

CB

Jordanhill, Glasgow – the Prancing Stag – Restaurant

Nice touch with a business card

Have you ever walked, biked, carred, etc, by a place, and still never have gone there? This happened to me with the “Stag“, so after needing car repairs, we finally decided to pop in here; a place that has had numerous name changes over the years – I’ll be back.

As the name indicates, it has a Scottish / Scottish Highlands type of vibe going here, with food to match. We were brought out a free Aperitif that was a delight, particularly the butter, if that is what it was. I then ordered the Venison to share – a perfect mixture of meat and fruit.

The menu had a variety of meaty, fishy, and even non-meat dishes, that all were true to this theme and also to many other, “modern” restaurants in Scotland, particularly in the West of Scotland / Highlands.

Pork Belly & Chorizo and the Fish (x3) special on the evening

For the mains, we chose the crispy pork belly, that was perfect; crispy but at the same time, the meat melted from itself. My partner in crime simply loved the fish, it was also devoured.

This was both classical stuff and modern. They pulled it off perfectly, and a quick glance at the numerous reviews on TripAdvisor, will only confirm this.

The dessert was perfect, a parfait, with that new thing called “soil” – merely a crispy bit of crumbs, in this case chocolate.

In addition, the knives are this new type of design, where they can stay “standing up”, if laid on a flat surface.

5/5

CB

Edinburgh Fringe; but first the Yotel Hotel, Edinburgh


Having stayed at the Yotel Hotel in Schlipol Airport, Amsterdam, earlier in the year, this was a welcome return to see just how they do, when it comes to something larger.

A Yotel double bedroom

Yes, it was pricey due to the festival taking place, and it would therefore be quite interesting to see just what the “normal” prices are; but compared to our friend’s choice at the Travel Lodge just down the road (ours included breakfast; an excellent one if I can add); we had a bargain.

A couch & bed combined; the bed comes down

I can only say that whilst it was quite busy, it was still clean, orderly, and had very friendly, efficient staff. You check-in yourself, though we had a small problem which was sorted out quite quickly.


I don’t know why more places don’t do this? It was very easy to check-out, and leave the card.


The breakfast was excellent, and did NOT have watery scramble eggs! A bug bear of mine. And had a full-surround of Edinburgh on the walls.

The room was more than spacious, and had everything positioned, with the exception of having the towels hanging in the toilet cubicle?!, correctly, with a certain minimalistic style.

I would probably go back, if in similar circumstances.

CB

Nowita Ice Cream – Hyndland Street, Partick, Glasgow

Part of Hyndland Street, Partick, Glasgow

What a cool little street this is. Maybe it’s the true diversity of the shops / businesses / cafes here; or maybe it’s that there are no chains?

Hey, I LOVE big chains, but at times, I’ve no time for them; the monotony, the sameness, etc; though I do love the prices.

For example, we will have another new business here (above), Nowita Ice Cream, that will be an ice cream shop / parlour – a welcome addition. Considering we have two on the nearby Byres Road, that have seemed to stay in business during the pandemic; here’s hoping this one can as well.

A new Nowita Ice Cream café

I’ve not heard of them before, so maybe they are a local business? We wish them luck.

CB

Rickshaw & Co, West End, just off Byres Road, Glasgow – Different

The first thing that I had noticed when I was here a few weeks later, just to do a reckie, was that the menu was slightly different, and though there were familiar faves, it said on the label that this was a Bengali restaurant. If so, it must be a first for Glasgow? Though I’m not sure.

Rickshaw & Co, Partick Bridge Street, West End, Glasgow – Complete with Balcony

What really appealed, was that it is again, one of those type of “tapas” places, where the servings are allegedly smaller, and are brought to your table as and when they are prepared.

Believe me, the three of us had about two to three each, and it (along with some bread / nans) was more than enough.

Mural just outside the Restaurant

I had a hamburgy type of thing, that was similarish to American Sloppy Joes, though this was not as sweet, and had more of a slight kick to it. More of this please.

In addition, there seemed to be a multitude of spice bowls, where they certainly did not skimp on the portions.

This combined with a very attentive and knowledgeable service means I will return to check out the rest of the menu.

CB