ON your right, witness the spectacular, imposing Glasgow Cathedral.

And on your left, some delicious little cupcakes and a fantastic glass of gin…

Welcome to the city’s newest bus tour, complete with vintage double decker, elegant afternoon tea and gourmet burgers.

The woman behind Red Bus Bistro, which combines luxury dining with heritage and history tours, admits she what she calls her “eureka” moment in a decidedly less glamorous setting.

“I was doing some research with a couple of friends, and we bought some sandwiches and ate them on the Edinburgh tour bus,” smiles Alison Simpson, who set up the company almost a year and a half ago.

“I’d been thinking of opening a static restaurant in a converted bus but at that moment, I thought – why not do it while we’re travelling? Why not combine city tours with luxury food and drink? No-one else was doing it. And Red Bus Bistro was born.”

The company has been touring its elegant Routemaster bus around Edinburgh for several months, and this week, it launches its first dedicated Glasgow bus. It plans to run Gourmet Burger and Gin Tea Experiences plus host special events like birthday parties and hen nights as it tours around the city taking in sights like the Tollbooth, Glasgow Green, the River Clyde and the West End.

Alison had the original idea, to turn a vintage bus into a restaurant, many years before when she worked in the Caribbean.

“I was part of the cabin crew for an airline, working on the beach fleet, which took Scots to lovely destinations like the Cayman Islands,” explains Alison.

“There was a restaurant we all went to on our days off, called Deckers, which had been created from an old bus, and I’d always remembered that and thought it would be fun to do something similar.”

She laughs: “My passion is food – talking about it, cooking it, eating it. I’d always dreamed of opening a coffee shop or a restaurant.”

When her son started high school, Alison decided to take the plunge. “Bradley had needed a lot of extra support throughout his childhood but now that he was at high school and a bit more independent, the time seemed right,” she says.

“My husband, Stuart, reminded me about the bus, and it all started from there.”

Alison and Stuart found a 1966 Routemaster bus, developed shortly after the Second World War to replace London’s trolleybuses, and set about transforming it into a stylish, Scottish-themed restaurant with a twist.

The launch of the Glasgow bus is an important milestone.

“We have been shuttling our bus back and forwards between the two cities, so to have one in each place now is just fantastic,” she smiles.

“We’re planning a third bus too – we’ve had a great response.”

At the moment, most of her travellers are Scots, although Alison, who now has a small team working for her based in her home town of East Kilbride, has ambitious plans to capture the tourist market.

“I think we have appealed to people who want to get to know their own city better, and the idea that you can do that over good food and drink has really captured people’s imaginations,” she explains. “We are now working with destination management companies and cruise ships to attract people from all over the world – we really want to showcase these two wonderful Scottish cities.”