scotland 1620

The Finnieston

Glasgow, Scotland

I didn’t get the memo that Glasgow would be 24C – bizarrely hotter than London at the time I visited. But despite my long jeans, boots and jacket, and the fact that my former Floridian ability to withstand heat has withered, we trekked on to Glasgow’s West End, a gloriously green area that’s home to hip shops, bars and restaurants, the University of Glasgow, Kelvingrove Art Museum and Gallery, and Kelvingrove Park.

The bright side of the unexpected heat was that I had an excuse to get a drink, so I stepped out of the sun and into The Finnieston.

Standing strong since 2011, The Finnieston is a seafood restaurant and bar with a cocktail menu just as classy as its catch of the day.

The Isle of Barra scallops were plump and sautéed to perfection

From the outside, The Finnieston looks like your typical traditional British pub. Its façade is a modest blue, decorated with only its name and various plants and shrubs above it. Inside, you’re greeted with an elegant bar, preserved wooden beams holding the low ceiling, a modern wall of black tiles that complement the surrounding brick and stone, golden fixtures, cushioned booths and a cosy fireplace.

The host –  busy, but kind –  immediately welcomed me and sat me in a booth opposite a family digging into a fresh, butter-drenched lobster. I was already salivating.

But first, cocktails. The Finnieston is known throughout Glasgow, and further afield, for its impressive gin selection and gin-based cocktails (including, of course, the martini, one version of which they make with their own dry vermouth, or their lethally strong Vesper which is made with Plymouth Navy Strength gin and Grey Goose). But, as always for me, I couldn’t resist testing them with my own regular classic go-to, a margarita. Inside the generously poured glass – salt and chili on the rim– was a single ice cube, perfectly sized and “branded” with an anchor. Immediately, it hit the spot.

I ordered the Isle of Barra scallops, which were plump and sautéed to perfection. These beauties were served with charred corn and a corn and coral mayo, topped with bacon crumbs and caviar. It was pricey for two scallops, but I got over it after the first bite, and forgot completely after scraping everything off the plate.

Then, my main dish arrived – half a portion of Loch Fyne langoustines and a side of fries seasoned with seaweed-infused blackthorn salt. Three thick boys lying side by side served with garlic butter, lemon and lemon mayo. After the satisfaction of cracking ‘em open, I was left with three big bits of juicy, langoustine flesh. I squeezed the lemon, took the first piece, dipped it in butter and slam-dunked it into my mouth. Fresh, sweet, brilliant. I recommend you repeat the process as many times as needed. Enjoy.

Pudding was tempting as the current seasonal dessert menu offered chocolate fondant, a refreshing coconut and lemongrass panna cotta, frangipane with poached peach and dulce ice cream, and other assorted ice cream flavours and sorbets, but that margarita was too damn good. I ordered another, paid the bill and soaked up some sun in Kelvingrove Park.

The Finnieston
Food & Drink56
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1125 Argyle Street
G3 8AB

July 2024


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