Oasis of calm in central Glasgow
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
15Glasgow, 15 Woodside Place, Glasgow; + 44 141 332 1263; 15glasgow.com.
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).
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.
The proprietors are not always in residence, so it’s best to arrange a check-in time in advance.
Para Handy by Neil Monroe.
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.
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.
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