Glasgow, Edinburgh & Cardiff – The Welge Report

 

 

Hello Fellow Travelers:

 

Welcome to our world of business information, adventure, birding, botanical gardens, good eating and fine wines.  This newsletter provides you with The Welge Report for Glasgow, Edinburgh & Cardiff .

Please share it with your friends, customers and associates.  You can also access more than 100 cities on our website plus lots of other helpful travel tips at:  thewelgereport.com/

Recognition:  We extend special thanks to the people who manage and/or own the institutions, museums and restaurants featured in our guides.  In some instances we have relied on their descriptions and photos

 

Glasgow,  Edinburgh & Cardiff

 

Birding Opps:  Info for our birding friends.  In and near Glasgow you can see these species:  Barn Owls, Hen Harriers, Sparrowhawks, Willow Warbler, Wood Warbler, Jack Snipr and Pied Wagtail.

The Bird Forum (birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=257701) is a little dated but it has good suggestions on areas and transportation to them.

Dave’s Birding Blog (http://davesbirdingblog.blogspot.com/2012/07/balmy-summer-birding-near-glasgow.html) offers tips on birding areas and ice cream.

 The Fat Birder (fatbirder.com/links_geo/europe/scotland_city_of_glasgow.html) offers information on sites and additional species.

 

Transportation:  This is your site for public transportation (spt.co.uk)

Business Information:  Here is help in regard to your business: (http://investglasgow.com/)

Exchange Rates (http://www.x-rates.com/)

 

Day One:  Your first stop is The Hunterian Museum – Tu-Sa: 10-5, Su: 11-4, University of Glasgow, University Ave, 440 141 330 4221

The Hunterian collections include scientific instruments used by James Watt, Joseph Lister, Lord Kelvin and Roman artifacts from the Antonine Wall.

Hunter’s own anatomical teaching collection, a large numismatic collection, ethnographic objects from Captain Cook’s Pacific voyages and a major art collection are on display.

The Hunterian is also home to the work of James McNeill Whistler.

 

Next we suggest seeing the St. Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art – Tu-Sa: 10-5, Su: 11-5, 2 Castle Street, 44 141 276 1629.

It is described as the only public museum in the world devoted solely to this subject.  It has exhibits relating to all of the world’s major religions, including a Zen garden.

There are three galleries, representing religion as art, religious life and, on the top floor, religion in Scotland.

 

Our cousin suggests Number Sixteen – L & D: Daily, 16 Byres Rd, 44 141 339 2544 with a glowing recommendation.

For a starter  share the sautéed mackerel filets with grapefruit, broad beans, artichokes and asparagus.

Then the lamb with new potatoes, red pepper, feta green beans and olives and the halibut with fennel, pickled onions, candied beets and cauliflower.

Our wine was the ’12 Percheroron Old Vine Cinsaullt and dessert was the vanilla rice pudding with cherry compote.

 

The People’s Palace – Tu,W,Th,Sa: 10-5, F,Su: 11-5, Glasgow Green, 0141 276 0788 is Glasgow’s social history museum.

It was opened in 1898 and it gave us a chance to see the story of the people and city of Glasgow from 1750 to the present.

Attached to the People’s Palace is the Winter Gardens, an elegant Victorian glasshouse where you can relax among the tropical plants and enjoy the café.

There is a program of temporary exhibitions and events throughout the year.

 

The Doulton Fountain is the largest terracotta fountain in the world. The fountain has been beautifully restored and relocated to the front of the People’s Palace.

 

At Provand’s Lordship – Tu-Sa: 10-5, Su: 11-5, 3 Castle St, 0141 276 1625 you’ll discover a beautifully preserved medieval “auld hoose”.

It is furnished with a selection of 17th-century Scottish furniture donated by Sir William Burrell, and a series of historic royal portraits. Room settings show interiors from 1500 to 1700.

After touring the house make your way to the St. Nicholas Gardens that were created in the style of the 15th century featuring culinary and medicinal plantings.

 

The Two Fat Ladies – L: M-Sa, D: Nighlty, 118A Blythswood St, 44 141 847 0088 has an interesting menu.

 

Start with the smoked and poached Scottish salmon tian with a horseradish and lime dressing.

For your entrees it’s the whole grilled lemon sole with roasted almond and lemon butter, or the sautéed scallops and Thai style noodles with a sesame and peanut sauce.

Your wine isthe ’12 Chablis Domaine Geoffroy.  You’ll love what they call apricot & Cointreau fool with crush amaretto biscuits.

 

Day Two:  A good way to start your day is at The Epicure of Hyndland – B,L,D: Daily, 159 Hyndland Rd, 0 141 334 3599.

The fresh fruit salad with yogurt drizzled with honey is a favorite  as is the smoked salmon, poached eggs and hollandaise on a toasted English muffin.  This is after coffee, of course.

 

Your first stop this morning is The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum – M-Sa: 10-5, Su: 11-5, Argyle St, 44 141 276 9599.

The museum has 22 galleries displaying 8000 objects. The displays include: Dutch Masters, French Impressionists, Dali’s Christ of St. John Cross, dinosaurs, Arms & Armor, Scottish history and archaeology and significant objects from Egypt, the Americas, Africa, South Asia and Oceania.

 

Your next place to visit is the Glasgow Botanic Gardens  – Daily: 7-5:30, 730 Great Western Rd, 44 141 276 1614.

The topography of the Gardens is the result of glacial action during the ice ages. The Gardens currently cover an area 42.2 acres including a popular section of the Kelvin Walkway linking the City to the West Highland Way.

The arboretum, which opened in 1976, is now well established and displays natural groupings of tree species alongside the River Kelvin. Situated here is an area of plants introduced by David Douglas, the famous plant collector.

The wooded walkways of the River Kelvin provide an ideal habitat for wildlife. Within the grounds the mature native and exotic trees furnish an impressive background for the plant collections which are grouped according to their cultural requirements.

The herb garden and herbaceous borders are attractive in the spring and summer. The chronological beds, in which the plants are arranged in the order of their introduction to Britain, are a popular educational feature.

Rhododendrons grow very well in the Gardens giving a magnificent spring display and providing a background for the other collections during the rest of the year.

 

The Ubiquious Chip – L & D: Daily, 12 Ashton Lane, 0 141 337 6417 is a unanimous choice for lunch.

There is only one way to start at the Chip and that’s the Venison Haggis, champit tattis with carrot crisp and turnip cream.

Then the char grilled asparagus with a mushroom fricassee, cheddar croutons and a rye and pumpkin seed crumble or the wild sea bass with aubergine and grilled cucumber.

Your wine is the ’11 Soli Pinot Noir, Thracian Valley and dessert was the lemon and pinenut parfait.

 

The Burrell Collection - M-F: 10-5, Su: 11-5, Pollok Country Park, 2060 Pollokshaws Rd,  44 141 287 2550 is an important art stop.

This eclectic collection was acquired over many years by Sir William Burrell, a shipping magnate and art collector.

It contains medieval art including tapestries, furniture, weapons and armor, Islamic art and artifacts from Egypt and China.

French impressionist works of Degas and Cezanne and modern sculpture are also featured.  It is home to one of the greatest collections of medieval stained glass in the world.

There are more than 700 Gothic, Renaissance and Romanesque stained glass panels displayed.

 

Nearby is the Pollock House – Daily: 10-5, 2060 Pollokshaws Rd, 44 844 493 2202.

The Pollok House, designed by William Adam and built in 1752, is regarded as one of Scotland’s grandest Edwardian country homes.

It contains Spanish paintings by El Greco, Goya and Murillo plus paintings by William Blake.

There are also collections of glass, silverware, porcelain and antique furniture. The Parterre Garden has more than 1,000 species of rhododendrons

 

High on our list of places to dine is Stravaigin – B,L,D: Daily,  28 Gibson St, Kelvinbridge, 44 141 334 2665.

Starters are the pan-fried cuttlefish and chorizo with ginger relish and toasted almonds and the duck spring roll with grilled pineapple, coconut salted cashews and soy pak choi.

Our suggestion is to share the grilled Angus steak with chimichurri sauce, chips and roasted mushrooms.

Your wine was the ’12 Barbera d’Asti, Frem and for dessert it’s the parsnip ginger cake.

 

Day Three:  Today check out Edinburgh and the best place to start is Edinburgh Castle – Daily: 9:30-6, Castlehill, 44 131 225 9846.

This famous Scottish castle has a complex building history. The oldest part, St Margaret’s Chapel, dates from the 12th century; the Great Hall was erected by James IV around 1510.

The Half Moon Battery by the Regent Morton was added in the late 16th century and the Scottish National War Memorial after the First World War.

The castle houses the Honors (Crown Jewels) of Scotland, the Stone of Destiny, the famous 15th century gun Mons Meg, the One O’ Clock Gun and the National War Museum of Scotland.

We enjoyed the fantastic views from the castle’s ramparts.  There are several itineraries, guided tours, gift shops, restaurants and cafes.

 

Next visit The Scottish National Gallery – Daily: 10-5, Th: till 7, The Mound, 44 131 624 6200.

The Scottish National Gallery is in the heart of Edinburgh and houses one of the best collections of fine art in the world featuring art from the early Renaissance to the end of the nineteenth century.

There are masterpieces from Vermeer, Raphael, El Greco, Velázquez and Rubens to Van Gogh, Monet, Cézanne, Degas and Gauguin.

The most comprehensive part of the collection covers the history of Scottish painting. All the major names, including Ramsay, Raeburn, Wilkie and McTaggart, are represented in depth. Works on display include Raeburn’s much-loved The Reverend Robert Walker Skating on Duddingston Loch or, as it has become known, the ‘Skating Minister’.

 

After this indulgence it is very pleasant to walk through the Princes Street Gardens – Daily: 7 AM-7:30 PM, Princes St, 44 131 529 7921.

The Gardens are the best known park in Edinburgh.  Various concerts and other events are held at the Ross Bandstand.

Within the gardens and running along the south side of Princes Street are many statues and monuments

 

Lunch today is a treat at Angels with Bagpipes – L & D: Daily, 343 High St, Royal Mile, 44 131 220 1111.

Share the smoked salmon with cucumber, mustard, caviar and dill.

Then the pork belly with black pudding, carrots and tarragon risotto or the duck breast with pickled pears and duck liver ravioli.

Your wine was the ’10 Ripasso Valpolicella and to finish we suggest the cheesecake with passion fruit and lime sorbet.

 

The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art – Daily: 10-5, 75 Belford Rd, 44 131 624 6200 is an entertaining indulgence.

The early part of the collection features French and Russian art from the beginning of the twentieth century that includes cubist paintings, expressionists and modern British art. Special highlights are paintings by Matisse and Picasso.

The Gallery also has an outstanding collection of international post-war work and an extensive collection of modern Scottish art.

The post-war collection features art by Francis Bacon, David Hockney, Andy Warhol and Lucian Freud, with more recent works by artists including Antony Gormley, Gilbert & George, Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin.

The gallery is in an extensive parkland, where visitors can discover sculpture works by important artists like Ian Hamilton Finlay, Henry Moore, Rachel Whiteread, Richard Long and Nathan Coley.

The lawn in front of Modern One was re-landscaped in 2002 by Charles Jencks.

This dramatic work, or ‘landform’, comprises a stepped, serpentine mound reflected in three crescent-shaped pools of water.

The façade of Modern One is home to Martin Creed’s prescient work No. 975, Everything’s Going to be Alright.

 

To continue this horticultural bent visit the Royal Botanic Garden- Open Daily: Mar-Sept: 10-6, Nov-Jan: 10-4, Feb,Oct: 10-5, one mile north of the city centre, with entrances on Inverleith Row (East Gate) and Arboretum Place (West Gate and John Hope Gateway), 44 (0) 131 248 2909.

It encompasses 70 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds.  Four gardens provide a collection of plants and a center for plants science and education.

 

For your final Scottish dining experience we suggest The Kitchin – D: Tu-Sa, 78 Commercial St, 44 131 555 1755.

Start with the seared scallops wrapped in pancetta with an asparagus sauce or the razor clams with chorizo, herbs and vegetables. Enjoy a glass of ’11 Leflaive Montagny Premier Cru.

For your mains the saddle of lamb with crispy leg pastille, potato cake and carrot is excellent or one of my favorites the crispy veal sweetbreads with mushrooms and radishes.

Your wine isthe ’11 Combariolles “Terrasses du Larzac”.  Desert is the rhurb crumble soufflé.

 

Before leaving the UK Father Prosser insists that you visit Wales.  The following is a lagniappe for Cardiff.  Visit  Cardiff CastleDaily: 9-5, Castle Street, 44 029 2087 8100.

Cardiff Castle is a medieval castle built in the late 11th century.  Over the centuries several ownership changes and remodeling efforts have taken place.  In 1947 the castle was given to the City of Cardiff.

Today the castle and grounds are a very popular tourist destination. A don’t miss feature is the “Firing Line”, a regimental museum.  It’s also a venue for events that include musical performances and festivals.

 

Next visit  St. Fagans National History Museum – Daily: 10-5, Cardiff CF5 6XB, 44 29 2057 3500.

The museum was modeled on Skansen which is near Stockholm (see Stockholm The Welge Report). St. Fagans includes more than 40 buildings representing the architecture of Wales.  Some of the buildings are: a Unitarian Chapel, a schoolhouse, a toll booth, a pigsty and a tannery.

It has displays of traditional crafts such as:  blacksmithing, pottery making, milling, farming and breeding livestock.

There is a row of workers cottages with period furniture from 1800-1985 and includes several buildings that depict the industrial working life.

 

You will  love a restaurant called The Potted Pig – L: Tu-Su, D: Tu-Sa, 27 High St, 029 2022 4817.

Start with the smoked Haddock and poached egg or their famous potted pig with toast and pickles.

Then the Moroccan style lamb with cauliflower couscous and an aubergine salad or the braised ox cheek with mashed potatoes, kale and roasted shallots.  For dessert share a poached pear pudding.

The Pig has a great bar, especially for a gin drinker.  They have London Dry Gins, Floral Gins, Fruity Gins, Aromatic and Spicy Gins, Fresh and Crisp Gins, Sweet Gins and After Dinner Gins.

We suggest the ’09 Chateauneuf-du-Pape from Domain Pere d’Eglise.

 

Time to visit the National Museum CardiffTu-Su: 10-5, Cathays Park, 029 2057 3000.  It’s  entertaining and educational.

Located in the heart of Cardiff’s elegant civic centre, it houses Wales’s national archaeology, art, geology and natural history collections as well as major touring and temporary exhibitions.

The art collection has five hundred years of paintings, drawings, sculpture, silver and ceramics from Wales and around the world.  A highlight is their Impressionist collection.

Their archeological area took us on a 4,600 million-year journey beginning with the “Big Bang” and brought us face-to-face with dinosaurs and wooly mammoths.

 

Until next time, best wishes and happy travels,

Dick & Dee Welge 

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