Insider’s Guide: Camilla Halstead (Glasgow)

Our next city guide takes us into the hub of Scotland’s cultural delight with ex pat Camilla Halstead completely enamored by the Celtic charms.

Jimmy Coultas

Last updated: 20th Sep 2013.
Originally published: 19th Sep 2013

If you’re about to head into a new city for the first time one of the reassuring aspects is how quickly it can take to settle in. Case in point our latest insider to drop the goss, Camilla Halstead. She left Liverpool in 2011 doubting that another city could replicate the love she felt for that one but withoin months was bowled over completely by Glasgow’s chamrs.

She’s since set up her own business Love Vintage Events (check ‘em out here), which specialises in adding a kitsch layer of period pizazz to your soiree, be it a hen party, wedding, retail launch or even a kid’s party if that’s your thing. Specialising in everything from the 20s right up to the 60s, LVE can kit your soiree out with everything form clothes to decorations and accessories. It seemed LWE’s vintage penchant filtered out into Camilla’s answers.

Where do you live and why do you live there?

I live in Hyndland in the West End of Glasgow, I moved here two years ago and love it. It’s a beautiful area to live in and close to Byres Road, with some great bars, pubs and vintage shops.

What makes the city so special?

Moving from Liverpool I didn’t really know what to expect from Glasgow as I’d never even visited the city before but I can honestly say that it’s is great, so energizing, diverse and full of culture. The people, the vibe and the nightlife, even the architecture, is what make this city so good.

To me it has a strong resemblance to Liverpool as Glaswegians are always up for a laugh and both cities have great music scenes, which is why Glasgow is so good for gigs and why I like it so much.

Where’s your favourite places to eat there?

There are so many great restaurants that cater for all budgets, so I’ve tried to sum it up best I can. Some of my favourites are the Bier Hall in the city centre for pizzas (2-4-1 all week), the Black Sheep Bistro off Maryhill Road (amazing desserts), Chop house in Merchant City and Ketchup on Ashton Lane for burgers. 13th Note is great for veggies, Cafeizique in the West end for breakfast, Stravaigin for brunch, Curlers Rest for Sunday roast oh and you can’t beat a Buddys for a takeaway. If you’re looking to splash the cash try Ubiquitous chip or Cali Bruich!

For girlie day out then head to the Tea Rooms on Bath Street for Afternoon Tea, such a gorgeous vintage inspired venue and all food and drink is served in vintage crockery, I run my vintage hen party workshops in there and the feedback on their food is always 10 out of 10, plus the butterfly and the Pig downstairs is great for pub grub!

And the best places to go out?

I love the nightlife in Glasgow, there’s a mixed bag of bars and clubs, so something for everyone and you don’t even have to venture into the city for a good night. I tend to stick around the West End so Ashton Lane off Byres Road is great, I usually head to the Lane, an old cinema turned into a bar, also try Hillhead bookclub for the quirky cocktails served in teapots and gramophones, others include Sparkle Horse, Lebowskis and Black Sparrow. If you’re into the Mod scene then Glasgow has some great mod/northern soul bars, head to Blackfrairs and McChuills in the Merchant City or Buff club along Bath Street. For gigs then check out the indie hotspot Nice n Sleazys, Barrowlands, King Tuts or Stereo, all in the city centre. Clubs then you have to check out Subclub, amazing! Also the Berkeley Suite also has some great disco nights on and a cool venue too.

For someone about to come to the city for the first time, what are the three things they must do before the year is out in the city?

If you’re into Vintage, like me, then head to Byres Road, especially on a Sunday where they have vintage markets and vinyl sales on Ashton Lane, theres some great little vintage shops dotted around too, look out for De Courcys arcade on Cresswell Lane or Ruthven Mews Arcade and Handbag and Gladrags on Dumbarton Road, also take a walk around botanical gardens.

Have a cultural day and go round all the museums and art galleries, Kelvingrove art gallery and museum is the most famous and definitely an impressive building, plus the GoMA and House for an Art Lover (designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh) and the Hunters museum in the Glasgow University.

And go to Subclub.

What’s the city’s greatest hidden secret?

SW3G, it’s a warehouse gallery space and gig venue in the West End, hidden down by the rail archways in an industrial type area, not many people know about it but its popular for after hour parties and more alternative nights such as the Poetry club, definitely once to check out. Also its not so much a secret but Flying Duck bar is a great little quirky bar hidden away up Renfield street and Mono, an arty café venue, good for food and gigs in Trongate. For cake lovers try Once Upon a Tart on kings Street in Trongate, they have the best selection of cakes, all homemade and their portions are massive, try once of their 3 layer cakes, biggest slice of cake I’ve ever seen, so good and pretty cheap too!

And finally, what one bit of advice would you give someone hitting the city for the first time?

Bring an umbrella!!

And you need to explore and go off the beaten track, don't just stick to the city centre, visit the West End, see the parks, take in the culture, there's so much more to the city then just the shops, bars and clubs!

For more information Camilla’s business Love Vintage Events head to their Facebook - www.facebook.com/lovevintageevents