Sauchiehall Street runs from next to the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall near the city center right out to the West End neighborhood near Kelvingrove Park. For all that it is only a mile and a half or so long, it is one of Glasgow’s most varied and interesting streets. Often you will find modern day businesses housed in nineteenth century buildings. The business focus and the diverse natures of people you may encounter span an equally wide range.
The first half of the street is a pedestrian only area. Along it you will find businesses as varied a s Marks & Spencer, Poundland, Burger King, Masala Twist Indian restaurant, a large and fairly new branch of the Tesco grocery chain, small hole in the wall NewsBox shops, betting establishments, banks, Dunne’s Stores and Primark, booksellers and half price stores… and often, flocks of pigeons, musicians busking on bagpipes, electric guitars, and Andean flutes, people asking you to sign petitions of all sorts, some down on their luck folks hoping for your spare change, and all manner of shoppers, workers, and tourists going to and fro.
As you continue past the pedestrian area of the street to the sidewalks along the roadway, things don’t usually quiet down, exactly, but the street begins to seem a bit more local in character. Pizza shops, Indian buffets, kebab places, a branch of Weatherspoon’s pub, several night clubs, a steak house, the CCA Arts Centre, several charity shops, a music store or two, a Starbucks, and flats housing students from the University of Glasgow and other nearby schools are part of what you’ll find along the western end of Sauchiehall. What you’ll also find in this part of Sauchiehall Street (that is pronounced SOCK -ee- hall, by the way, an offshoot of the Gaelic words for willow and meadow by the river, both of which used to be here long ago, it is thought) is one of the best places in Glasgow to have ice cream.
It is called Deesserts. Ice cream is their speciality.
They offer all sorts of flavors, and in combinations of toppings, in sundaes, milkshakes, on top of cakes and cookies, in tubs to go, and as this
which is called a Minty Madness Waffle Basket.
It is one of their simpler offerings, actually. It works well, though — a scoop of deep vanilla ice cream paired with another of mint chocolate chip, set in a crisp waffle basket, all topped with chocolate mints and chocolate flakes. There are small puffs of light whipped topping at the corners of the plate, and the whole is brought together visually with swirls and drizzles of bright green mint sauce.
It tastes just as good as it looks, and offers varying ways to have different aspects of these flavors in each bite, should you choose.
The restaurant itself is not especially elegant but it’s not meant to be. The decor is mainly black and pink, not one of my favorite color schemes, but it suits the slightly hipster atmosphere of the place and the colors are not over powering. Toward the back area of the restaurant there are large booths and tables where groups and families may sit. If you come as a couple or on your own you will likely be shown to one of the small tables up front. From these you can people watch out the front window or counter watch as the staff goes about making their creations.
Once you’ve chosen what you’d like, you head to the till at the counter and advise a staff member of your order. Having taken note of the number marked on your table, you tell counter staff that too, pay for your choice, and head back to your seat. After a short wait, your food is brought to your table.
As you might imagine, Deesserts is popular with families with young children. People from all walks visit, though. When last I was there, on a midweek afternoon, I saw those families, yes. There were several college age couples and singles too, older adults enjoying a conversation, a professional looking gentleman poring over a stack of papers, and a traveler with a large backpack set by his table. Whatever your circumstance, it’s unlikely you will feel out of place at Deesserts.
Dining room service can be bit uneven at times, but often it is quite pleasant. The food is consistently good and the portions generous. Most food items are in the four to seven pound cost range,and you may customize your choices for additional charges. Aside from ice cream and cakes, tea and coffee, milk, bottled water, and a selection of soft drinks are offered.
The main focus of Deesserts is ice cream, though, and they do it well.
There is a lot going on the whole length of Sauchiehall Street. In future, I’ll take you along to several other places along this street you may want to explore on your next visit to Glasgow.
Do you have a favorite spot along Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow, or a favorite place to have ice cream (my colleague Sheila found an ice cream shop she recommends in Austin )? Let us know in the comments.
Photographs by Kerry Dexter, except buildings on Sauchiehall Street by daylight, which is by Stephen Sweeney. Thank you for respecting copyright.
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