Earlier this year the Trading House opened near Guidhall in London, transforming an old grade II-listed bank into a well-received Victorian styled (perhaps even slightly steampunkish) bar/restaurant.
Glasgow’s Trading House has followed suit with a home that is equally lush, occupying the site of the former Evening Citizen newspaper printing offices on St Vincent Place. Nestled between the Clydesdale Bank HQ and the Anchor Line, this is a historic building that has lain dormant for far too long.
So what better way to check out the opening than to arrive on a horse-drawn (omni)bus? This was something you don’t see everyday in Glasgow and as a result it drew a fair amount of attention from passers-by. In fact we were late leaving due to a few people who insisted on taking selfies with the horses (we also discovered, due to city centre traffic, that horses have a reverse gear)!
Thankfully it was a glorious day and no one was in a hurry so we were treated to a pleasant stroll along a sunny George Square, round the back of the City Chambers then along Ingram St catching the eye of many a Glaswegian and tourist.
We felt like celebrities on our journey which took us past Glasgow landmarks like the Gallery of Modern Art – what you can’t see is the workmen on the scaffolding opposite GOMA who were taking photos of the bus and horses too!
The lovely trip was over far too soon; it was time to disembark and check out The Trading House (with optional shoe-polishing services available at the door!)
The interior captures the essence of the old Evening Citizen building (built in 1889) but with some quirky tweaks, mixed lighting styles and taxidermy. I loved the separate dining room which is ideal for a private party.
Of course we had to check out the alcohol section, and there’s a good range of gins and cocktails, but Mr Foodie was especially pleased with the plentiful beer selection which was varied, unusual and included Samichlaus (Santa Claus) Christmas beer from Austria – once the world’s strongest beer at 14% and brewed only once per year!
But 14% was a little too much for a leisurely lunch so Mr Foodie went from one side of the world to the other, settling on a hoppy Hawaian IPA instead.
We then moved into the rear of the restaurant, which was a bit cramped with all the other guests, to order food.
After perusing the menu we made our orders, and after a very short wait, the starters arrived.
Scotch Egg with Piccalilli (£5.95). A good strong sausage and coating which wasn’t glued to the sausage. The egg was perfectly gooey with crisp radish and tart piccalilli.
Mr Foodie choose a deli board at £9.95 (as starter/main), with this you have a choice of four items from various categories.
He went for Scotch Egg (I wasn’t sharing mine!), Russian salad (which you don’t see too often in Glasgow), chorizo, pomegranate and minted pearl couscous, which was rather nice.
Cauliflower Cheese Pie £10.95 with HP sauce and chips or mash – we opted for the chips which were bog-standard. It’s a crumble-style topped ashet pie and it needed the peas and sauce as it was a bit dry, however a good one for accompanying a beer or for a colder day.
Mr Foodie had to dash so I had to make the dessert choice myself!
The strawberry and marshmallow kebab sounded delicious and I am a big Sailor Jerry fan – that was possibly what swung it.
Gooey marshmallows and fresh strawberries, nom! You drizzle the sauce on yourself, I was surprised I didn’t dribble any all over the table knowing me. The vanilla ice-cream was pretty standard but with a yummy sauce, though I’m not sure if I could taste the Sailor Jerry from it.
There’s also a reasonable choice of teas and coffees for afterwards.
Overall, it was great to get a peak inside what was once a building at risk and actually see it in use. The Trading House provided competent food, an excellent drinks selection with on-the-ball staff and is well-located in central Glasgow for offices and transport so I’m sure that it will make an ideal spot for post-work/shopping drinks, either beer for the guys or cocktails with the girls but it may need to up its game in the food department to compete with some of the more established restaurants in the area.
+ Beautiful historic building, great interiors and location
+ Alcohol selection, especially beer is excellent
+ Friendly staff
– Lots of tables packed in the rear room, might get a bit too loud and crowded at weekends
– Food needs to go up a notch to match the surroundings
Check our their lovely website at http://thetradinghouse.uk.com/location/glasgow
We were invited along to a media launch of The Trading House.