My Glasgow: food writer Sumayya Usmani on her love affair with the city

From amazing architecture to fine dining, Pakistan-born food writer and cook Sumayya Usmani explains why Scotland's largest city will always have her heart

Wednesday 18 January 2017 15:11 GMT

Sumayya Usmani has lived in Glasgow since 2015. In 2006 she left her native Pakistan and moved to London but after almost decade, with several years spent dividing her time between there and Glasgow, she moved to Scotland permanently. As a food writer and cook, her work is inspired by the vast array of natural local produce on offer north of the border. Here she tells us more about why she loves the city.

The first thing that hits you about Glasgow is how incredibly welcoming and friendly it is. From the people to the atmosphere, everything is so approachable. It’s a very real city. Glasgow has all the buzz of a big city with the raw feeling and warmth of a smaller town. People in Glasgow are friendly and they have a really dry, self-deprecating sense of humour.

Cail Bruich's breast of chicken with boulangère potatoes, peas and chanterelle mushrooms

I’d recommend Cail Bruich restaurant in the West End to people who haven’t been to Glasgow before. It does French-style food using Scottish local seasonal produce and really highlights the natural larder of Scotland. This country is blessed with such incredible natural produce that as a writer and a cook, I find there’s so much more to play with, especially seasonally - it's a lot more intense.

House for an Art Lover

One of my favourite Glasgow haunts is House for an Art Lover. It’s very near to me and it’s a building designed by Glaswegian architect Charlies Rennie Mackintosh - the gardens are lovely. I like to write in the Mitchell Library - it's an inspiring building with great archives.

I think the Glasgow food scene is up-and-coming, there’s loads to discover. That’s the exciting part of being in Glasgow at this time because things are evolving. It’s quite a young food scene, so they’re developing lots of different tastes and everyday there’s a new place opening up.

When the train pulls into Glasgow Central I just feel like I’m home. And I’m not generally that kind of person, I’m not from this country. I know London really well and it will always be a place I love to visit, but I have to say I’ve never felt that same sense of belonging as I do in Glasgow. It could be down to the people, it could be down to the way of life, or perhaps I was Scottish in a past life.

Kelvingrove Park

My favourite view would have to be Kelvingrove Park. It’s where the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is and it’s a very typical Victorian park with a lovely view as you walk around. I love the feeling of it.

University of Glasgow

There are so many beautiful buildings in Glasgow. One of my favourites is the University of Glasgow – it’s absolutely stunning. Generally I think there’s loads of architecture in Glasgow that’s really quite incredible, especially the tenement buildings.

Buchanan Street

There is no place more beautiful in my eyes than when Glasgow is sunny. Especially when you walk down Buchanan Street, when there are really good musicians playing bagpipes or young musicians playing and singing. There’s something really enchanting about Glasgow when the sun shines.

Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery

There are so many great museums and there are some beautiful artworks; I love the Glasgow Boys exhibit at the Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery that tells the tale of Glasgow in its heyday of grittiness. It really speaks about what the city is.

Famed for its spectacular Victorian architecture and vibrant cultural scene, Scotland’s largest city is a must-see. To discover more about Glasgow and the people who call it home visit

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