My Glasgow: Laura Waddell

  • This article has been written with the support of Scotrail. Find out more.
  • 19 October 2017
My Glasgow: Laura Waddell

The Centre for Contemporary Art in Glasgow / credit: Alan Dimmick

The publisher and writer on her favourite Glasgow haunts

Whether it's shopping, eating, drinking or dancing, Glasgow has everything you need for a first-rate day out. Want to discover the city through the eyes of a resident? We asked a few creative Glasgow locals about their favourite things to do.

Laura Waddell – Publisher and Writer

Laura Waddell is a publisher and writer based in Glasgow.

I love shopping – where should I shop in Glasgow?
Voltaire and Rousseau is a bookshop like no other, with its cascading, perilous stacks of second-hand books and the occasional cat peeking out. Glasgow has some brilliant Chinese supermarkets where I buy frozen dumplings and noodles, and OAKA Supercity near Queen Street station offers a street food menu for a mid-shop pitstop. And when I was once a teenage goth, I couldn't keep away from the alternative clothing shops on Queen Street, which continues to host an array.

Glasgow's one of the UK's artistic hubs: what's your favourite place to see art, inside or outside?
Converted tram terminus Tramway has hosted some great exhibitions in recent years, and in the city centre check out The Lighthouse and GOMA. The CCA hosts events year round as well as being a light and airy space to chill out in with a bookshop filled with interesting zines and arts publications. And if you can catch a sighting of him, the unique Partick Thistle mascot Kingsley was designed by artist David Shrigley.

Edinburgh might be famous for its festival, but Glasgow holds its own too. What's your favourite Glasgow festival of the year?
I'm fond of relative newcomer SQUIFF, a film festival programming international shorts and feature films exploring queer identity.

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It's coming up to autumn and winter, what's the best place to enjoy a chilly or wintry night in Glasgow?
Grab a seat by the crackling fire in West End institution Ubiquitous Chip and pour over their wine and whisky lists (as well as ordering thick, salty hand cut chips from the bar menu), or head to The Belle on Great Western Road for a hot toddy, where there are often fine specimens of pub dogs enjoying the warmth.

I'm seeing a gig at the Hydro. Where can I go for a drink or bite to eat before the show?
The Finnieston and Partick areas are just on the other side of the overpass and filled with bars and restaurants. One of my absolute favourite places to eat in Glasgow is Dumpling Monkey, where the dumplings are cheap, handmade, and filling, and served quickly in a casual environment. As you make your way to the venue, grab a drink at chilled out Dukes or vegan bar The 78. If you're in the area during the day, bakery Seb & Mili is a great spot for coffee and fresh pastry or pancakes.

Finally, it's time to chill – what's your favourite place in the city to take a moment to relax?
Watching the koi carp in the pond of the Kibble Palace of the Botanic Gardens always soothes my soul, and it's a restful place to sit and write or read on a bench under the grand Victorian glass dome, beside the plants and statues.

Did you know ScotRail offer special value tickets? Kids Go Free, GroupSave and Club 50 can all save you money on your travel to the city. Book now at

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