Cat's Eyes on Glasgow: why I love a walk in the park

This week, walking the Glasgow walk, a fancy Mar Hall wedding and pudding at Stravaigin

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People's Palace in the Glasgow Green.
People's Palace in the Glasgow Green.

Out and About

I overindulged at the weekend (Easter eggs, so called because if you eat too many you'll need rolled home!). So, this week, with the sun shinning - and in preparation for the Kiltwalk this Sunday - I decided to get off my (slightly rounder) backside and explore some of the best walks in the city.

The Gaelic translation of Glasgow is 'the green place', and I think she's at her most lovely in the spring. The greenness comes from - not, cheeky monkeys, too much Bucky - but the fact that there are over 90 parks in and around the city. And more woodland, trees and conservation areas than you could shake a stick at.

The Botanics are an obvious place to start for a dose of the green stuff, but I like to head through and down to the back to the pathway along the River Kelvin. You'll often spot folk fishing along the way, making you feel more like you're in the countryside than a hop, skip and a jump (if you're feeling energetic) away from Great Western Road.

You don't get more Glasgow than the Clyde, so my second favourite city walk starts here. Wandering along the water from the Riverside Museum, across the Squinty Bridge, then the Squiggly Bridge then ending up right back in the heart of the city - given it's namesake - at Glasgow Green.

The Event

Hands up who's a Downton Abby fan? Well, this week, I had a chance to play at being Lady Crawley. I went to my friend's lovely wedding at Mar Hall, a hotel that's only a short drive away from Glasgow, but feels a million miles (and a hundred years) away!

The grounds are beautiful - smashing for wedding pics - looking out and across the lush Kilpatrick Hills. There's an Aveda spa to make you feel whole again and a cracking golf course for those after a hole in one.

The rooms were lovely too and the bride was over the moon with their suite - apparently Beyonce and Jay-Z stayed there when they were recently in town. It was a really special weekend and there's no doubt the bride and groom are Crazy in Love!

The Restaurant

Stravaigin's breakfasts are very good. I've often wandered along for that perfect Sunday pick me up. It's partly the delicious and locally sourced produce but, on the side, their Bloody Mary's are Bloody Mary good too.

However, this week, I went along for my first taste of dinner. It's a busy old place Stravaigin and always worthwhile booking ahead. We hadn't, but they were very accommodating and sat us quickly. It's buzzy and the only restaurant in Glasgow to get any form of nod from the Michelin star lot - who awarded them the Bib Gourmand in 2012. Fancy.

It is a wee bit fancy, but the right side of it. The pub side of fancy, let's say. The menu has some interesting combinations, but for the less brave - or delicate (see above) - there are burgers and fish suppers and haggis, neeps and tatties, albeit with added Straviaginness. I went for the roast hake with chicken wings, potato and artichoke salad and a cauliflower and coriander puree. Quite a mouthful. I wasn't entirely convinced by the chicken and fish medley but the hake was lovely. I cleaned my plate, meaning - thanks Mum - I was allowed desert.

Like breakfasts, Stravaigin comes into it's own where finish-off things are concerned. I'd happily have had three courses of pudding - especially the chocolate delice. Delice indeed.

Wee Bird Recommends

Wee Bird might has shaken her tail feathers at the Shed many a Friday night, but increasingly this venue is becoming known as a thriving arts venue. Live at the Shed was launched last year and has produced lots of great productions. Next month (from the 7th-11 May), a play that's just our cup of tea - the story of Sir Thomas Lipton - 'Scotland's Greatest Irishman'.

Food and drink

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