Exploring Glasgow's East End

Dennistoun, Glasgow G31, UK

 Hello, friends! You may be aware of the age-old (friendly) rival between Edinburgh and Glasgow with locals from each city adamantly declaring their own city is the best. However, there's a small group which adore both cities and I fall into this group. Therefore, after nearly two years of being away from Glasgow, I was so excited when my friend and I book a two-day staycation to 'The Dear Green Place'. We spent our first day in the city revisiting our old favourite haunts of the West End. From Ashton Lane and the University of Glasgow to Tchai-Ovna and Kelvingrove Park, you can watch our adventures on YouTube, click here.

However, on our second day, we decided to take a bit of a gamble, despite the stormy weather, and visit somewhere neither of us had been, the East End/Dennistoun. I'll skip past the slight low points of the day, including my friend being soaked by a car driving through a giant puddle and accidentally "waiting" for a table for lunch for half an hour then finding out the restaurant was unaware of us, and share our highlights with you:


Glasgow's East End - Dennistoun

1.  Zennor (354 Duke Street)

We began our day by walking from our hotel, The Maldron Hotel, down Buchanan Street and George Street until we reached Duke Street. It had rained during our entire walk so we were both relieved to see the warm, cosy glow of a coffee shop. We happened upon a delightful neighbourhood coffee shop called Zennor that serve speciality coffee and food. We were unaware at the time but apparently, Zennor is a new addition to the high street, having only opened on 24th September. To us, it looked very much like a well-established cafe with a beautiful interior and friendly staff. We both decided on Bare Bones hot chocolate then sat at their window table the rest of our day. 



2. Alexandra Park

Although we could have easily spent the day cafe-hopping, we decided to visit at least one of Dennistoun's landmarks, Alexandra Park (I'd love to visit the Necropolis next time). The park is just a short walk from Duke Street and right beside Alexandra Parade station. I've since found out it was named after the Princess Alexandra of Denmark and opened in 1870. Unfortunately, due to the weather, we didn't spend too long in the park and missed out on views over to Ben Lomond and the Tinto Hills (which you apparently get when walking up to the highest point of the park, but did get to see Saracen Fountain. The Walter MacFarlane Saracen Fountain was gifted to the city after the 1901 International Exhibition and remained in Kelvingrove Park for 12 years after the exhibition, before moving to its permanent home in Alexandra Park.



3. Scran (594 Alexandra Parade)

There are numerous great places to eat in Dennistoun but unfortunately, as we weren't 100% sure of our plans we hadn't booked and it seems to be a popular neighbourhood when it comes to lunch. We were keen to try Scran after reading online reviews but, sadly, they had no space but we did enjoy having a browse (and drying off) in their adjacent shop which was filled with products made by local artists ranging from photography prints and dried bouquets to candles and jewellery.


4. Akara Bakery (537 Duke Street)

By this point, it was nearly 2pm and we were desperate to find somewhere to eat and thankfully we stumbled across a little gem, Akara Bakery. With its misted up windows, rows of delicious sweet treats and friendly welcome, Akara was the perfect, cosy spot for us to enjoy lunch. My friend opted for their pastrami baguette and I had their potato and feta bureka, both of which was delicious! I also treated myself to one of their dainty red velvet cakes along with a cup of green tea.

A few more photos from Dennistoun for good measure:

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