Last week, I drove up to Scotland with my parents to visit family for a few days. As there was a surprise birthday party to prepare for that I couldn’t really help with, I escaped to Glasgow city centre for the day to do some of the things I hadn’t had a chance to do on my previous visits. This (obviously) began with a trip to a coffee shop in the West End, a part of the city I hadn’t explored too much in the past. I chose to visit Avenue Coffee based off the good reviews I had seen online and its location next to the Botanic Gardens; my destination for the day despite the unsurprisingly dreary weather.
Avenue is a bit of a tight squeeze for sure but I know plenty of good coffee shops that do great things in small spaces – Kiosk in York being the perfect example of this – and it’s clear that the baristas are well-trained in there by their impressive latte art skills and knowledge of the coffee. I tried out a coffee flight, which consisted of their house espresso served as a solo shot and as a single shot cortado so you can taste what the coffee is like with and without milk. This certainly appealed to the coffee nerd in me and started my day off right. I do have to admit though, the espresso did taste a lot nicer with milk so I ended up pouring most of the solo shot in to my cortado but it was a fun experience. I have to also say, their menu looked fantastic and I was quite sad that I only had room to taste the French toast with berry compote and nothing else, I guess I will just have to come back.
Full of food and back to a normal level of social thanks to the coffee, I headed towards the gardens but how can I express the sheer excitement I felt when I saw the white greenhouses emerging before me? I had visited the People’s Palace before and thought that was the closest I was ever going to get to seeing something that even resembled what the Crystal Palace must have looked like but the Botanic Gardens could possibly be even more beautiful and grand or maybe my memory is failing me. Either way, I was giddy. Being among trees, plants and stunning architecture is my idea of heaven and there is something unbelievably uplifting about being in an enclosed yet natural area. The way people whisper as they walk around as though they are in a museum and how the air can only be described as smelling simply green and fresh. I couldn’t even calm down enough to really read much of the information that was dotted around about the building itself but I did manage to sit down for a moment and read some of Rupi Kaur’s new poetry collection, “the sun and her flowers”. I’m not sure I could have found a more perfect spot to begin reading it to be honest. I wandered around for about an hour before sitting down for some peppermint tea and then bidding the West End farewell to head back home.
If you haven’t visited Glasgow before, I swear you are missing out because it has so much to give so don’t just head to Edinburgh when you decide you want to visit Scotland, give Glasgow a chance to win you over.