Antwerp being off the agenda for a festive weekend away with friends our destination was re-adjusted to Glasgow where we planned to mix sophistication and boozification in equal measure, sometimes at the same time.
Untainted sophistication was enjoyed on Saturday morning in the company of no-one (except a jobsworth security guard) in the exquisite rooms of the Hunterian Art Gallery. (Well, a few of them, loads of them are still shut, the project of renovation or whatever they’re doing seeming to take longer than it did to build the pyramids.)
Thankfully, my favourite Chardin was on show as well as an excellent temporary exhibition in which the star was Carol Rhodes. Her washed out modernist landscapes are what I want for my walls but have not the budget for that.
After a tootle around Kelvingrove it was time for sophistication and boozification to get it on in the environs of The Gannet. Prior to lunch Mike warned us that Jay Rayner had ripped a new arse for a very similar Glasgow restaurant in a recent review. Being immune to the Cult of Rayner we all agreed that we didn’t give a shit and were happy to be eating together ANYWHERE not London for the first time in two years. Besides we were hungry and we’d pre-ordered the tasting menu.
First up was a round of brighteners of which mine was a peatily delicious cocktail consisting mostly of Highland Park and all the better for that. I made a mental note to invest in a bottle of HP sauce prior to Christmas. Riding in with the cocktails came a trio of hors d’oeuvres, the star of which was a smoked and pickled mussel. It immediately became apparent to me that the food was going to be very good indeed.
The Gannet prides itself on using local, seasonal produce and it really comes through in the menu with a series of imaginative and thoroughly delicious courses gracing the table alongside some excellent wines. The highlight for me on the food side was a gigha halibut done ceviche style with apple, nori and horseradish. And the wine alongside that, an unfiltered French (?) white was really interesting and complex.
The room swiftly filled up with easy-going locals and it turned out that Mike was quite right that we were lucky to get a Saturday reservation at relatively short notice. The service was attentive but relaxed, as we were (well, relatively a and completely r) by the end of a proper three hour lunch with a high quality espresso and DJ Steve Grappa to round it off.
It wasn’t a cheap lunch and I did need a bowl of chips in the pub by 5 o’clock but The Gannet is still good value at £85 for the set menu and matching wine with coffee and petit fours included given the quality of all aspects of the restaurant.
To see where else I’ve been click on the google map below.
Blue Badge guide to London and academic specialising in early twentieth century history. Blogging on history, academia, and food and culture in the capital (and occasionally elsewhere).