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Glasgow and Reservations

_emilie_ Jan 19, 2012 01:28 PM

Is Glasgow the kind of place where I need to make my dining reservation a month in advance like here in NYC (or as I was just advised on Isle of Skye - months in advance!), or is it the kind of place where you don't even really need reservations?

We're hoping to visit Stravaigin, Crabshakk and Two Fat Ladies (probably at the Buttery), and possibly Cafe Gandolfi. We're only going to be in town a couple of days, not at the weekend (Tuesday and Wednesday, in late May). Are any of these places the type that will fill up far in advance? Do I need to reserve for lunches as well?

Any advice is welcome. Thanks!

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  1. PhilD Jan 19, 2012 01:43 PM

    I assume the Skye booking was the Three Chimneys which is small and globally renowned so best to book early.

    For Glasgow I think booking makes sense but weeks ahead not months, you could probably wing it and not book for mid-week but why chance it for the sake of a few phone calls or emails?

    2 Replies
    1. re: PhilD
      _emilie_ Jan 19, 2012 01:59 PM

      Thanks, Phil. I figure any dinners I will reserve just to be safe (and I know now to do that a few weeks in advance - thank you), but lunch can be a bit harder since we'll be out and about and I'll be unsure of the best time (but I'd book to avoid disappointment if I knew I had to). If it were you, would you reserve for, say, Stravaigin and Cafe Gandolfi at lunchtime midweek?

      And yes, we were advised for both Three Chimneys and Lochbay Seafood to book as early as possible. And that you even have to book to go to the pub (but only a day before or day of)! Now that I found surprising.

      1. re: _emilie_
        PhilD Jan 19, 2012 02:04 PM

        I should say I have not been to Glasgow for years but base my recommendation on general UK dining. At lunchtime you should be OK. Skye is a small place with lots of affluent tourists in search of good food - there is nowhere else to go so booking is essential. The same is pretty much true in all small towns popular with tourists like Padstow.

    2. s
      stilldontknow Jan 19, 2012 02:10 PM

      I'd say yes for the buttery and no for the other two. Personally as far ahead as possible for the Buttery as i wouldn't want to miss it, but practically, a couple of weeks ahead should be safe.

      5 Replies
      1. re: stilldontknow
        _emilie_ Jan 19, 2012 02:16 PM

        Would you say the Buttery's a good choice among the 3 Two Fat Ladies options in town? It looked the most unique in terms of atmosphere, but I know its not the original. (Full disclosure: It and the City Center one are closest to our hotel, with West End being the furthest.)

        1. re: _emilie_
          stilldontknow Jan 19, 2012 02:30 PM

          They're very different restaurants. The city centre two fat ladies is similar in style to original in the west end whilst the Buttery carries on the finer dining feel traditional to that site.

          1. re: stilldontknow
            Harters Jan 28, 2012 02:42 AM

            We havn't been to the Buttery for many years (when it was still the Buttery). Good to hear it continues as a "fine dining" place (doncha just really detest that phrase?)

            1. re: Harters
              stilldontknow Jan 29, 2012 03:39 AM

              I do but it was the best I could come up with to show the difference between it and the more bistro approach of the other two fat ladies sities. :-)

              1. re: stilldontknow
                Harters Jan 29, 2012 04:57 AM


                My partner reminds me that the last time we were at the Buttery was because she'd chosen it as the place where she wanted to celebrate her 40th birthday. Mercifully, she is not vain about such matters so I can say that it was 1993. Many meals eaten since, but I've not been back to Glasgow since then.

      2. s
        stilldontknow Jan 19, 2012 02:15 PM

        Meant to add I've never had a problem winging a weekday lunch at gandolfi but even a wee wait can be spent very pleasantly at the upstairs bar gandolfi.

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