When Two Fat Ladies migrated from 88 Dumbarton Road to The Buttery in 2007, a patient refurbishment and some flair in the kitchen established one of the best restaurants in the city.

They source ingredients from across Scotland, owner Ryan James told me. "Most of the fish that we use is landed at Peterhead, and comes down to Glasgow. We're all fighting for the best of that produce to a certain extent, but there's certainly a plentiful supply of fish. There's also great beef, very good game as well, especially from Ayrshire."

The job of the kitchen is to make these ingredients shine and to ensure customers have a good time.

"We let the flavours speak for themselves to a certain extent. I'm not looking to educate people or teach them new things about food, I just want to serve up the best dish at a fair price."

Tourists who visit The Buttery are impressed with what they find. "I think people should be very proud when they talk about Scotland's larder. Sometimes we don't say that loud enough. We find visitors are totally impressed with how good the food is in Glasgow."

Tourists are back, director Rory McGinley says. "Spanish visitors will want to eat later, Americans tend to come in early. We are starting to see more group bookings. They'll often want to hear about the history of the building, I point out the stained glass windows, the bar, our Brigadoon side plates."

Glasgow Times:

Glasgow Times:

Glasgow Times:

The Buttery dates back to 1870 and incorporates the Shandon Belles, a former pub that's now a basement dining room used for private dining and events. They are continuing a tradition of Glasgow hospitality.

"We can't escape the history of this dining room. There are people that have been coming here for 40 or 50 years. We are always looking to keep the menu quite contemporary but the story of this place goes back generations and we're proud of that", Rory says.

They retained most of their team during the pandemic so that insulated the restaurant from much of the scramble for staff when they reopened. "We've managed to hit the ground running"

Rory says, "we're open six days instead of seven, that's the only real change and it hasn't impacted on business. We've been concentrating on looking after the staff and making sure we have the right balance".

We talk about the Glasgow tradition of restaurants. "I think our style of service is rooted in fine dining but we are always looking for our staff to engage with guests as much as possible, sometimes they want to hear from us, sometimes they want to tell us their own story."

The last time I visited was for The Buttery's grand dessert, an astonishing platter of sugary treats including crème brulée, lemoncello and strawberry trifle, almond cake, poached pear and vanilla panna cotta: "People feel like there's an element of lost time, we're catching up on missed celebrations, I have found in the last few months people are ready to enjoy themselves, so don't skip dessert".

The Buttery has the type of dining room you can't simply create, it has to evolve over time. A time capsule of local hospitality, traditional without being stuffy. Waiters glide between staff, there's a buzz of easy conversation.

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Always order the pan fried west coast scallops starter with Stornoway black pudding mash and califlower purée. Venison or halibut for main course. Or perhaps the grilled sole with pink prawn thermidor and potato scone nibbles.

Two Fat Ladies continues onwards with a sense of optimism although, like the rest of the independent restaurants in the city, they keep a watchful eye on storm clouds ahead.

"We are probably not seeing the true reality yet" Rory says.

"We've noticed that wine prices are okay so far but food prices are starting to creep up now and it will be a challenge.

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"At the moment we're trying to find that compromise, still offering good quality without passing the price increase on to the consumer.

"The margins are getting thinner. Something needs to happen to help small businesses or we are going to be a country just full of chain restaurants.

"Independent restaurants will be priced out of things. The electricity bill is the biggest worry at the moment.

"Luckily we have a beautiful dining room that looks lovely lit by candlelight if we need to turn off the lights to save money over the winter."