Firsts, Falls and Fred MacAuley – A Night Out In The Big City

A while ago I mentioned in my post “And The Winner Is – a beginners guide to being a comper” that I had been lucky enough to win a trip to the Glasgow Comedy Festival, well last weekend myself and Mr B headed off to enjoy our prize and also our first night away alone together!

In the almost 2 years we have been together, we have been on several short trips with friends and family in the UK but never just the 2 of us, so with the babysitter briefed and our bags packed off we headed to the big city!


An hour and a half later, we arrived give or take a few wrong turns at The Fraser Suites which were to be our base for the night. We had a gorgeous apartment (room 101, which made me smile), with cooking facilities, a lovely bathroom and amazing shower but also a distinct aroma of the food from the takeaway next door (luckily we love curry), and as we were to discover later that night looking out onto an extremely busy and noisy street (especially it would appear at 2am on a Sunday morning with people making there way home from the evenings festivities).

A quick change and a redo of make up (though note to Fraser Suites, girls need a socket somewhere near a mirror as straightening hair otherwise takes on an undesired element of risk!) and we were ready to go.

The Beautiful Kelvingrove Park

Mr B’s first “first” of the day was his first trip on an underground as we travelled from St Enoch to Kelvin Bridge from where it was a short stroll through the beautiful Kelvingrove Park to our first pit stop The Old School House, for a couple of pints of the reassuringly expensive lager before our dinner appointment.

Stravaigin sits in Gibson Street amidst a world of student haunts it is a little oasis of style and class without being at all intimidating. The cafe on the ground floor is casual and welcoming and serves I’m sure lovely food but we never found out because we were lucky enough to experience the restaurant menu which is served downstairs (and as it happens upstairs). Our prize included 2 courses, bread and a bottle of wine. I went for the Fife wood pigeon breast, kale and radicchio salad, candied walnuts, neep and anise cream followed by Parmesan and parsley hake fillet, sautéed chorizo and romanesco, garden pea veloute, soused red cabbage both courses were gorgeous, well cooked, well presented and just really, really tasty.

I’m no food snob but this was the perfect step up from pub grub without being too pretentious (as someone who recently experienced an 8 course taster menu which included candied carrots in the ice cream and bone marrow scooped back into the bone I know pretentious). Mr B’s second first of the day was eating the crispy skin on the fish in his Scottish Seafood starter (don’t ask me why he has never eaten the skin before as he declared it delicious).

Stravaigins – Scottish Seafood Broth Starter

All in all we could not fault a thing about it and felt incredibly guilty about the fact that we weren’t actually paying (though we did leave a tip) because it was well worth it, the staff were lovely, as was the food and atmosphere.

A quick taxi trip later and we arrived at The Kings Theatre just in time to see Fred MacAuley. Being Scottish I had of course heard of Fred MacAuley but only really in relation to his role as a sports commentator or game show panelist so I wasn’t sure what to expect from his stand up show “Twenty Fifteen”.

I needn’t have worried it was hilarious, I have never heard Mr B laugh so much, though as the was the first comedian (yes another first), he has been to I have nothing to compare it against, but I have seen a few including Sean Penn and Danny Bhoy and Fred definitely holds his own. There was no one topic as such but of course the Independence Referendum crept in there with amusing mention of the 45 (if you don’t know ask a Scotsman), but the best bit about it was Fred’s obvious ease with the crowd and ability to react and flow with the audience, one of the best examples I have seen of a comedian thinking on their feet and his brilliant interaction with the members of the Tartan Army in the audience was one of the highlights of the show.

I wish I could remember the name of the warm up act as his tales of relationship woes and parenting teenage stepchildren were both funny and so true, if anyone knows who he is please tell him he was great.


So with the show over and the surrounding pubs too busy for a small town couple not used to big city living we jumped in a cab back to our room for the night, and there I will leave the story but to say it was a great night out, I would highly recommend Glasgow for a day/night out and particularly Stravaigin for eating and if you’re looking for a laugh head to Glasgow Comedy festival next year,  might see you there.

Thanks to Shortlist and Glasgow Comedy Festival for this opportunity and particularly Katie Hughes the Marketing Officer who contacted me with regards to the win and couldn’t have been lovelier or more helpful, without her information pack we may still have been wandering those big City Streets 🙂


Think of this as the bonus bit (or the bloopers) you get on a DVD, they didn’t really fit with the main story but were too good to leave out altogether.

1. After 2 pints of lager and half a bottle of red wine at dinner, I attempted to cross the road to hail a taxi, I blame my wedged boots as after a comedy stumble across the pavement I tripped over the kerb and ended up sprawled in the road where a stranger had to help me up as Mr B was stood doubled up with laughter while simultaneously trying to pretend I was nothing to do with him. I still have the bruises to prove it.

2. After returning to our rooms at just after 10pm and despite having had the best meal I’ve had in a long time I insisted I wanted chips and curry sauce, after 40 minutes of wandering around Glasgow in the pouring rain I relented when Mr B asked if a pizza would do instead, and ended up eating a not very good pizza I neither wanted nor needed before falling asleep, but I still want to know where are all the Chinese takeaways in Glasgow?


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