Glasgow has some great pubs that can trace their roots back a century and more; there are also great places to dine out where the focus is the food rather than the functionality of the décor. But sometimes you want an atrium, a chandelier, an elegant cornice or a gilded capital to go with your Hibiscus Fizz cocktail or flute of Mumm Cordon Rouge. Bling on.
The best bling bars in Glasgow
A discreet private members club next to the Gallery of Modern Art, individual membership costs £180 a year, including VAT. This gives you access to a sumptuous city centre complex with restaurant, oyster bar, roof terrace and more. Although the venue sells itself as a space for business networking and events, it also suits those who like a degree of chic exclusivity with their evening prosecco.
The Grand Central Hotel sits next to the hurly-burly of Glasgow Central Station – its Champagne Central bar even overlooks the station concourse. But while the people below struggle with delayed trains, skinny lattes and tickets you could be sipping a superior cocktail in the classy columned, corniced and marbled surroundings of this gorgeous bar, above the noise and stress.
By day, this is the Cup Tea Lounge, a popular café for tea and cake. The venue dates to the late Victorian period; its striking interior tiling and decoration carry you back to when Glasgow was second city of the British Empire. At night however it transforms into specialist bar Gin 71: the same impressive aesthetics except with gin rather than tea.
Blythswood Square is a contemporary city centre hotel, occupying a pre-Victorian terrace overlooking the greenery of Blythswood Square Gardens. The Salon is its first-floor lounge, fitting all the fresh appurtenances of 21st century design into a 19th century structure. You can drop in for morning coffee or afternoon tea but its cocktail book is an ever-evolving wonder, the distillation of years of expertise.
If you’re going to go over the top, then do it properly. That’s the philosophy at the Corinthian Club, a glorious Victorian-era bank transformed into a pleasure palace with all kinds of opportunities for drinks, eats and events. The most jaw-dropping part of the interior must be Tellers however, the ground floor bar and brasserie, with its intense ornamentation, glass dome and incredible sense of light and space.