Harris Tweed Ride, Glasgow 2013

Since last years’ excellent outing through the best food and drink establishments in the city, I was extremely excited about this year.    It came as a surprise that the organisers had announced the locations of the host restaurants and pubs beforehand as it almost added something to the mystique of the event that we in fact never knew last year.

Once we got started and met up at the Blythswood Hotel to have some coffee and cakes before setting off downhill towards the Merchant City to have Hendricks gin, and Stornoway black pudding at Cafe Gandolfi.    We passed on then over to West Brewery for some fabulous beer in the sunshine.    After this light refreshment we made our merry way to the Riverside museum for what seemed like a pointless exercise as no one seemed to know why we were there?

Pushing on (no against the clock it would seem) we entered the westend to visit the Crabshakk (for Oysters) and The Finnieston (for a beautiful Ardbeg / pineapple cocktail).    And, then we headed over to Brewdog for more craft beer and then further west to Siempre Cafe for oatcakes with mackerel.   By this point, personally I had already made my mind up that the previous year was better, more organised and a little bit more fun.   We seemed to be rushing around a little to much and the group was more split than the previous year.    Although we did have more stops and some more interesting ones; The Tall Ship, and then The Hillhead Bookclub, when we arrived at both these establishments there were no more drinks served, they had run out. . . poor planning, or just not enough poured?

Last stop was the Big Slope where we had a great bite to eat with generous portions and set off to the Blythswood for the finale and raffle.   All in all a great day, but as mentioned earlier, I feel most of the day was planned around a somewhat pointless spot at the STV building and then to make the Hillhead Bookclub for a gentleman ‘rapper’ who actually wasn’t very good.   However its more important that we look at the fun we had, the money raised for the charity and lastly the awareness of Harris Tweed.   Tally Ho!

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Harris Tweed

Another great little documentary piece on one of my favourite items of clothing and fabric, Harris Tweed. I love the way this focuses on the artisan nature and sheer art of creating the fabric.

Tally Ho!

If the idea of riding around the city of Glasgow in a group of around 150 well dressed, finely groomed, Harris Tweed wearing eccentrics fuelled on fine food and even finer beverages, then read on. . .

It was around 12pm when we set off from the Blythswood Hotel, only after registering to receive our fine Harris Tweed badges and route map.   We began the festivities with some beautiful shortbread and delicious freshly ground coffee as we then made our way on the street for the introduction to the day.    Once waved off following the lead of the large gentleman on the penny farthing we were all downhill to George Square, where we had some bloody mary’s and a little yorkshire pudding treat.

It was a short ride then over to Cafe Gandolfi in the merchant city for some fantastic fish & chips, we hung around and had a chat with some of the other riders and managed to take some photographs.    It turns out that it was a good mate of mine from high school that made the previous video for last year’s Tweed Ride (see above), and he is also doing this one too. .

After Gandolfi, we travelled through the wonderful green space of Glasgow Green to have some of the great beer on tap at the WEST Brewery.   This was a great stop and we all relaxed as we sipped our delicious beer in the Autumn sunshine.   It was leaving Glasgow Green that we rode around the roundabout, again and again for some of the photographs.   All good fun!

Next up was the trip down along the River Clyde on the cycleway to the SECC where we entered the tunnel taking us over into the westend of Glasgow to sample some oysters at The Crabshakk and then for some drams over at The Finneston.  This turned out to be one of the longer stop, and I was delighted as they were serving Old Pulteney by the glass.

It was over to Byres Road and into the new Hanoi Bike Shop for some vietnamese noodles, into The Hillhead Book Club for some mojitos in the splendid surroundings of this great restaurant / pub.  Quickly moving on, we made our (now merry) way down to The Big Slope, this was to be a dinner stop and we had some rolls in shredded pork and Joni and I had a few drinks and a wee Laphroaig as we chatted and laughed with two young African gents before moving on to catch the rest of the crew back at the Blythswood where it all started. . .

After some short speeches and some music from a local swing band, there was some dancing and romancing.  I managed to win a delicious bottle of Talisker (wrapped in a beautiful Harris Tweed sheath) and a lovely little Harris Tweed Bag.  I should also mention that I was shortlisted as one of the best dressed men, was in the top 3 but never won, can’t win ’em all.

All in all it was a fantastic day out on the bikes, we had great fun and would definitely do it next year!

Here is the Video

Tally Ho!

Enjoy the photographs below. . .

Here are links to the Facebook for the ride, and the Twitter page.   It was even in the Evening Times.