“LET me tell you a story …”

“Oh! You’ve gone all Max Bygraves on me, Tec!”

I smiled and reached for the hand of my tall, droll Moll as the low sun sprinkled through Tec Towers in the early days of December.

"Almost 80 years ago my aunt, the definition of 1930s glamour had gone again to sea, yet this time was to be traumatic.

"She was on the Athenia, the first ship sunk in the opening hours of the Second World War."

Blondie blinked.

“She survived, returned to Glasgow and often spoke of the style of the great liners she played such a part in and yes, she returned to sea for many years.”

“Oh, Tec, that glamour, that luxury,” said the Moll.

“Yes, my dear, and today we are going to relive the style and the sensation of the great cuisine and attentive attention of the Atlantic liners, all in the heart of Glasgow.”

We left the Buick at home and arrived by black cab in dandy fashion on the well-dusted St Vincent Place.

We’ve both dressed up to the nines, she in sharp stilettos and a crimson town tailored dress that snug gently to her hips; me in French cuffs and my traditional suit.

The welcome at the foot of the stairs leading into the basement joy of the Atlantic bar and bistro was among the friendliest and relaxing in Glasgow.

“Oh, Tec! We’ve gone back in time!” shivered the Moll.

“And you’re welcome to sample our style,” said the stylish young man guiding us in and towards our table.

This is one of Glasgow’s heavenly stars. Beautiful people serving beautiful food in beautiful surroundings. What’s not to like?

The doll took her seat and gave me a smile I returned with gusto. She has an air of the Taj Mahal in moonlight.

“I can see you are both settled and happy. Time to choose, sir,” said the chap.

It is lunchtime in Glasgow. The Christmas lights are on in George Square and a happy band is parading by.

We are enveloped in the style and splendour of a bygone age …

“Chips,” said the delicately-framed hourglass figurine opposite me.

“Chips, madam?” said the only slightly hesitant chap.

He suggested they be accompanied by a splendid slab of Scottish fillet, only to be met by an overwhelming flutter of the doll’s bri-nylon lashes.

“And for you, sir?”

It had to be La Bouillabaisse, a classic fish stew packed with flavours of the sea, cooked in a tomato and saffron broth with a dash of Pernod, served with samphire, potato dumplings, garlic bread and aioli.

It awakened senses I had forgotten. Every mouthful was divine and had a fragrance that whizzed and whirred memories of days gone by.

“You think you’re at sea, don’t you, Tec?!”

“I’m very much there and with you, my dear, and also thinking of my aunt who would not be unaware of such excellent choices and décor.

“It certainly makes a change from me dwelling on cases and sinister faces.”

Her Majesty’s steak was simply divine. It cut splendidly and was caressed by the most succulent Café de Paris sauce.

“Just like that day in France,” she ventured. “Mais, oui,” I ventured as I gazed around at the images around us recalling the Empire Exhibition in Glasgow in 1938.

The steak was divine and cooked perfectly to order. No utterance of chef’s preference here. You get what you ask for.

This place has class, it has style and it is amazingly relaxed.

Over yonder is a couple with shopping from Ted Baker. Another over there has shopping from Primark. I have tucked our Goldberg’s carrier under the table. All life is here.

“Desert?” said the increasingly beautiful doll.

“Let us savour the menu over our Chardonnay-Pinot fizz,” I suggested.

After lingering, we opted for a meringue nest with berries and a warm sticky date pudding.

“If this place was a case, Tec, what would it be?”

“A box of crackerjacks.

“An explosion of great taste and a saloon of stylish folks that make you feel at home.”

Time to walk.

We climbed the stairs, took a left and sauntered towards George Square.

Yes, the Christmas lights are a spectacle.

“Oh, Tec! What are they like?!”

“Warm, welcoming, inviting."

“Just like you, my dear.

“Merry Christmas.”

“Oh, Tec,” she said gliding closer to my vintage gabardine. “Let’s make it the best ever.”

And who could argue with that.


Le Filet 230g Prime Scottish Fillet £30

La Bouillabaisse de poisson £20

Le vacherin sorbet cassis et compote de fruits rouges £6.50

Le pudding Atlantic beurre caramel sale £6.50


Gustave Lorentz, Cremant D’Alsace, Brut NV £6.95 x 2




Atmosphere – 4 stars

Food – 4 stars

Service – 4 stars



Lower Ground

12-16 St Vincent Place


0141 551 9595