MOST people come for the Salvador Dali, the stuffed animals or to catch a glimpse of those famous expression-filled faces floating in the sky.
But there’s so much more to Kelvingrove Art Gallery than glass cases filled with old treasures.
In fact, a growing number of visitors go through the museum’s doors simply to sample one of the attraction’s newest additions – its eaterie.
On stepping into the grand foyer, I’m greeted by a cheerful concierge, handing me a map.
“Anything in particular you’d like to see?” he smiles.
“The café,” I respond.
“You mean the coffee shop? Or are you feeling a little flush? If so, there’s a more posh restaurant downstairs,” he laughs.
The self-serve coffee shop looks nice. Soups, sandwiches, sausage rolls – and a seat with a spectacular view of the Spitfire hanging from the ceiling and the enormous elephant.
And if you arrive around lunchtime, there’s the lovely sounds of the daily organ recital filling the air.
I opt for the KG café.
It’s in the basement, but the glass-fronted conservatory, with stunning views of Kelvingrove Park and Glasgow University, makes it feel light, bright and airy.
Sadly, I’m seated at a table at the opposite side of the café, which has a very different view – of a dug up road!
Actually, it’s a sculpture, by the Boyle family, a life-size replica of a Glasgow road under construction. Quite a talking point.
The rest of the café is fairly clinical and contemporary, aside from a few paintings on the walls.
The hustle and bustle includes an array of accents, but there’s plenty of Glasgow banter, proving the venue is popular with the locals, too.
The menu is pretty varied –soups, sandwiches and salads, but also sizeable mains such as haggis, neeps and tatties and shepherd’s pie.
And there’s free food for babies, which would explain the number of doting mums and grans lunching with tiny tots.
I plump for a chicken and bacon pesto sandwich and, of course, a scone with a hot chocolate on the side.
The service is quick and attentive, always with a smile.
The sandwich, on artisan bread, is delicious and the scone, served with butter and jam, light, soft and fluffy.
Heaven on a plate. The fact that the hot chocolate is served with lashings and lashings of marshmallows and cream makes me feel like a big kid again.
As the waitress hands me the bill, I’m so stuffed I can barely pull myself up from the chair.
I thought the KG in the café’s name stood for Kelvingrove…but perhaps Kan’t Getbackup would be more apt.
I wonder if they have an exhibit of a beached whale among those stuffed animals?
I could certainly help out this afternoon.
Warm welcome 8/10 Location, Location 9/10, Scone Score 8/10
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