Oa­sis of calm in cen­tral Glas­gow

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel & Indulgence - IAIN SHED­DEN

IT is hard to be­lieve only a few min­utes away from the tran­quil, leafy en­vi­ron­ment of Wood­side Place is the bustling me­trop­o­lis of Glas­gow City Cen­tre. Look­ing out on the ver­dant park­land and the el­e­gant Vic­to­rian ter­races from 15Glas­gow’s Drawing Room guest suite, one can imag­ine be­ing back in 1834, the year in which this charm­ing res­i­dence was built.

This her­itage-listed three-storey Vic­to­rian townhouse is re­splen­dent with tall ceil­ings, or­nate fire­places and a cen­tral stair­case. 15Glas­gow op­er­ates as a “bou­tique B & B ho­tel”, nes­tled be­tween the city and the vi­brant West End, of­fer­ing just five gue­strooms, each with old-style charm but with vary­ing de­grees of op­u­lence. I stay in the Drawing Room on the first floor, one of the more ex­pen­sive op­tions, which of­fers plenty of light and a pleas­ing view of the res­i­den­tial gar­dens op­po­site the front of the build­ing.

One can lux­u­ri­ate in the gen­er­ous space Vic­to­rian drawing rooms were af­forded, with abun­dant room for loung­ing in front of the tele­vi­sion or on the king­size bed. Three full-length win­dows al­low plenty of light, par­tic­u­larly dur­ing sum­mer, where the sun is only on the wane around 11pm. Eas­ily ma­noeu­vrable wooden shut­ters pro­vide an al­ter­na­tive to con­stant day­light.

Of the other rooms, the Tow­ers on the sec­ond floor is slightly smaller and faces the rear of the prop­erty, which is not nearly as eye-catch­ing as the front. The first-floor Bur­rell Bed­room also faces to the rear and, while less spa­cious, is beau­ti­fully fur­nished and de­signed, as in­deed are all the gue­strooms. There are some nice touches in place from own­ers Laura and Shane McKen­zie, who took over the prop­erty in 2010, turn­ing it into a bou­tique en­vi­ron­ment with­out tam­per­ing too much with the orig­i­nal struc­ture of the build­ing or the rooms.

Fur­nish­ings in the Drawing Room in­clude two swirling so­fas that af­ford gen­er­ous couch-potato pos­si­bil­i­ties for watch­ing TV or se­lec­tions from the eclec­tic DVD li­brary in the hall­way. Lo­cally made bis­cuits such as Tun­nocks Tea Cakes and Caramel Wafers (which one can buy now in Australia at se­lected out­lets) fill a jar next to the tea and ket­tle. The bath­room also of­fers plenty of space, with a walk-in shower.

I rec­om­mend order­ing the full break­fast, although maybe not if one has a cy­cling trip to Loch Lomond or some­thing equally tax­ing planned for late morn­ing. It’s a size­able com­ple­ment of fried de­lights in­clud­ing black pud­ding, beau­ti­fully pre­pared and served in your gue­stroom. On the ground floor there is a peace­ful lounge- room, again re­splen­dent with space and com­fort, which would wel­come curl­ing up with a good book and a large dram.

Ven­tur­ing out, take a left from the front door along Wood­side Place and within a few hun­dred me­tres you’re at Kelv­in­grove Park, a sprawl­ing park­land dom­i­nated by the River Kelvin and host­ing the Kelv­in­grove Art Gallery and Mu­seum. This stately con­struc­tion dat­ing back to 1901 was re­fur­bished nine years ago and houses fine art from lo­cals, in­clud­ing Charles Ren­nie Mack­in­tosh, as well as Old Masters and French Im­pres­sion­ists.

Just south of Wood­side Place is the city cen­tre, which within a ra­dius of a few kilo­me­tres of­fers the usual bigc­ity mix of mall sta­ples along­side Scot­tish pe­cu­liar­i­ties and tourist out­lets sell­ing ev­ery­thing from minia­tures of High­land cat­tle to qual­ity millinery. There are also some

CHECK­LIST

15Glas­gow, 15 Wood­side Place, Glas­gow; + 44 141 332 1263; 15glas­gow.com.

TAR­IFF

Rates are sea­sonal. The Mitchell Room and The Bur­rell Room from £99-£185 ($193-$360); The Tow­ers Suite and The Drawing Room from £135-£215. Rates in­clude break­fast, park­ing and Wi-Fi. Min­i­mum two-nights stay at week­ends (un­less a slot has been cre­ated by an­other book­ing).

GET­TING THERE

15Glas­gow is in the heart of the city, about 30 min­utes by car from Glas­gow In­ter­na­tional Air­port and 10 min­utes from Cen­tral and Queen Street sta­tions.

CHECK­ING IN

The pro­pri­etors are not al­ways in res­i­dence, so it’s best to ar­range a check-in time in ad­vance.

BED­TIME READ­ING

Para Handy by Neil Mon­roe.

STEP­PING OUT

Take a five-minute walk to Sauchiehall Street, Glas­gow’s old­est and best-known shop­ping street, or a slightly longer stroll to the im­pres­sive Botanic Gar­dens.

BRICKBATS

Park­ing is limited to two spa­ces at the rear of the prop­erty; street park­ing is me­tered dur­ing the day. There’s no fridge in the Drawing Room but one is lo­cated in the hall­way on the floor above. Wheel­chair ac­cess limited.

BOU­QUETS

Beau­ti­fully el­e­gant and quiet, with calm­ing views of ad­ja­cent park­land. It’s an easy walk to the abun­dant night-life and cul­tural at­trac­tions of the city’s West End.

15Glas­gow, a charm­ing bed and break­fast ho­tel

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