A bit o’ this, a bit o’ that

We had one single focus today – our last in Glasgow. We went only to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, though it hardly allows for a single focus on any area of art or history.

This lovely Baroque-style building is considered the “Scottish Smithsonian,” so one moves from Van Gogh to stuffed elephants with barely a break in between. The building itself is magnificent and worthy of some study.

Though there is a bit of everything here for the art lover, the two new groups we were introduced to here were the “Glasgow Boys” and the Scottish Colourists. The Boys flourished from the 1890’s to around 1910, and they showed Scotland what was going on in Europe at that time, John Lavery being perhaps the most notable of the group.

The Scottish Colourists consisted of Samuel Peploe and Francis Cadell – my personal favorites – along with John Duncan Fergusson and Leslie Hunter. They had all studied in France and brought home the strong use of color they absorbed during the 1920’s and 30’s.  

So many other odds and ends in this museum! Dali, great medieval works, Bonnie Prince Charlie, Queen Mary, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, of course, (who dominates the gift shop), strong contemporary paintings – it’s all here in a wonderful jumble.

It was a lovely final day in Glasgow. The sun was shining as we walked to the museum, and the city looked beautiful, with its trademark spunky humor.

As we leave, we join in wishing the city well and repeating its motto, full of thanks for a wonderful visit:

“Let Glasgow Flourish!”

Don’s Food Corner

For our last meal in Glasgow and, in fact, for our entire trip, we went back to the restaurant that billed itself as a contemporary Scottish restaurant.

I tried to stick with Scottish products. First, a nice serving of mussels in a peppery tomato broth. And then a Scottish version of bangers and mash, with sausages from a farm in the Hebrides offered up by a special breed of pig. The sausages I’ve tasted in Glasgow — including a daily serving at breakfast that claims to be Cumberland sausage — have been very mildly seasoned compared to sausages in the southern part of the isle. But they are always nicely fried to deliver that crispy casing that you want with sausages like this. The mashed potatoes were creamy and lump-less.  I guess the “contemporary” part of the dish was the inclusion of two sprigs of fresh thyme criss-crossed on top.

Jo went a little Italian for her starter: a bruschetta. This bruschetta seemed to have been invented by someone who had never been to Italy. It featured Isle of Arran brie (!) on top of caramelized onion and drizzled with honey. Heather honey, I assume. An international culinary tour all on one plate.

Jo then paid a final salute to fish and chips. While restaurants and pubs rarely reveal exactly what type of fish is used in the fish and chips put on the plate, this restaurant boldly said it was haddock. It was a stronger flavored fish than we usually encounter, but maybe that is because this haddock came from the bold waters of Scotland rather than the milder waters to the south. Or, more likely, cod is more frequently served. The batter used with today’s version was lighter than usual and the chips were crispier and more thoroughly cooked than usual. Very nice.


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