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Glasgow is a fantastic city for shopping but away from the bustle of the high street there is a fantastic selection of small and independent retailers too who offer an eclectic mix of products and services. This Saturday is Small Business Saturday, a day where we are all encouraged to get out and support small local businesses.
This month, I’ve teamed up with American Express, the founders of the initiative to celebrate some of best small retailers in Glasgow. I spent a day wandering round my home city visiting some of my favourite shops and places along the way too. Even as a local it can sometimes be hard to miss these little gems as a lot of them are located down hidden lanes and within small arcades.
W2 Store is one of my favourite menswear stores and somewhere that I always recommend people visit. The shop itself is an old cow shed set just off Byres Road and its range features a fantastic mix of Scottish and International menswear labels. The owner David is one of the most knowledgeable men I’ve had the pleasure of chatting to about fashion, there isn’t much about menswear that he doesn’t know. Before heading to the centre of the city take a stroll through the beautiful Glasgow Botanic Gardens
Subversion Gallery is like an Aladdin’s cave of modern art and a must visit for anyone looking for a unique piece for their home. The gallery stocks pieces by some of the most exciting new artists from the UK and abroad. The art they sell is either an original or a numbered limited edition print. It’s a great place to pick up a unique gift for someone.
Robert Graham is one of the oldest whisky merchants in the UK and a Glasgow institution. The shop offers one of the best ranges of whisky in Scotland and also offers intimate small group tastings. This is a great place to go when you are in need of a great gift for a special occasion.
Candle companies are increasingly popular these days, but the Isle of Skye Candle Co has a great point of difference from the others. Its scents are based on the typical aromas of Scottish nature. The candles are made by hand in the highlands of Scotland and make great gifts for a friend or for myself. After a browse here I like to walk one of my favourite buildings in the City, the Glasgow City Chambers, before visiting the Gallery of Modern Art, both are great symbols of the city.
GoMa (Gallery of Modern Art), is one of my favourite places in Glasgow. It’s inspiring to wander around. It has a really great gift store that stocks items by modern Scottish artists, designers and authors including David Shrigley and Sarah Lowndes. They do some unique greetings cards too to send to friends further afield.
We are spoiled for choice when it comes to quality bars and restaurants in the Merchant City area of Glasgow. The Spanish Butcher is one of my favourites for bite to eat for lunch. It’s located on Miller Street but on entering, you instantly feel like you have been transported to a bustling restaurant in Madrid. The vibe is electric but cosy and the food is too tasty for words my favourite is the roast rack of lamb. After lunch here, take a walk around the area known as Merchant City.
After a walk around the local area, I like to go and try out new sunglasses for my upcoming holidays at Niche Optical Tailor. From the outside, this optician looks much like any other but once inside you get to appreciate the extensive collection of optical glasses as well as sunglasses. They cater for men and women and have one of the most varied collections of styles and designers I’ve ever seen. Pop in and open a few of the wooden drawers to have a look for yourself.
To end the day, I like to visit the Drygate Craft Beer brewery. The craft beer company has started to spread its wings in recent years but it all started here in Glasgow. I go the brewery (just off Duke Street) for a quick drink after a day of exploring the city or sometimes pick up a few bottles to take home from the bottle shop too. It’s a fun place to hang out with friends and have a bite to eat too.
Hopefully reading about my favourite small shops in Glasgow has got you inspired to support some great small business near you. Head over to amexshopsmall.co.uk to find some near you! What’s more, if you’re an American Express Cardmember you will be rewarded for supporting your local high street with the Shop Small offer. When you spend £10 or more in a single transaction using your American Express Card at a participating small business during the campaign period (2-17 December 2017) you will receive a £5 statement credit. There is no limit to the number of participating businesses you can receive your £5 statement credit from – however, you can only claim it once at each small business.
But the Shop Small offer is just one way that American Express can make every day more rewarding. The range of Cards from American Express is packed with ways to reward you for your purchases*; from Membership Rewards® points that can be used to treat yourself to virtually anything (and that never expire) to discounts at top restaurants and hotels, money back on everyday purchases, or collecting frequent flyer miles* – check out the American Express website for more information.
*Selected Cards only. Terms and conditions apply. Subject to availability.
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