Jacques and Finnieston

In today’s episode of ‘haven’t things changed since my day?’, Finnieston. This isn’t an area I spent a huge amount of time in back in the day, to be fair, a few jaunts to Mother India, Bar Miro and Macnabs (Macphabs?) aside, but in my defence that’s because there wasn’t a lot there other than those places and an array of Costcutters and takeaways.Now, of course, it has become a Foodie Destination, with every other shopfront an award-winning seafood / small plates restaurant. Speaking to a local, the gentrification hasn’t been an unalloyed good – when a place goes upmarket, there are always local casualties – but as a visitor there was a lot of love, even if some of the places were far too hip or fancy for me.We started out at Jacques – billed as Brel’s little brother. A spacious venue with a laid back vibe, friendly service and a penchant for pop girlband soundtracks – at least on our visit, where it wasn’t full (even just with a party of two, we got one of the big leather booths). We opted for snacky sharers – halloumi fries and regular fries, with some broccoli so this trip doesn’t give me scurvy – and it was very tasty.We then had a wander round some shops in the neighbourhood – the delightfully kitschy Shop of Interest and Hidden Lane – the latter a mini-shopping arcade – where there were so many goodies I was glad again that I had brought a small suitcase, which at least limits me a little as to what I can buy.My friend (and fellow Geordie) J and I hadn’t seen one another in a long time so it’s perhaps unsurprising that when we stopped at the Parlour off Byres Road (chosen, I admit, for no other reason than being in staggering distance to my flat) our ‘cheeky glass of wine’ turned into a bit of a session and my ‘booze free Sunday’ went up in fumes…

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