Tongs of praise
Emma Newlands searches for the perfect barbecue
Summer wouldn’t be summer without the irresistible smell of something sizzling away on a barbecue. Although the traditional BBQ may conjure up images of basic burgers and sausages, there are plenty of pubs now offering something more upmarket, whether it’s venison burgers or something for the traditional BBQ outcasts – vegetarians.
In Glasgow’s West End, Cottiers (0141 357 5825, www.cottiers.com) is legendary for its BBQs, and on summer weekends it serves everything from merguez or chorizo sausages to salmon and king prawn skewers – and even barbecued sirloin steak.
Also in the West End is the Blue Sky Hostel (0141 221 1710 www.blueskyhostel.com) which runs a barbecue whenever the sun shines, offering a hard-to-beat £2 burger and beer deal as well as veggie burgers.
In the city centre, Sloan's (0141 221 8886, www.sloansglasgow.com) does its famous courtyard barbecues on a Friday for the after-work crowd, and Sundays from 1pm to chill out. Accordingly, the music ranges from ambient to upbeat, with new resident DJ Gordy Goudie of Echo and the Bunnymen and Simple Minds fame manning the decks. Food includes Aberdeen Angus beef burgers, traditional pork sausages and veggie burgers as well as chicken burgers and an addition to the menu this year of fruit or vegetable kebabs.
The City Inn Glasgow (0141 240 1002, www.cityinn.com/glasgow) at the SECC runs BBQs overlooking the river, weather permitting. They’re for private groups of any size, need to be booked in advance and a chef is assigned to cook steaks and burgers to order.
In Edinburgh, the vast beer garden at The Pear Tree House (0131 667 7533) makes it the ideal setting for a BBQ – and the pub’s policy is that if the sun is shining, then it’s time to bring out the grill. They serve traditional barbecue fare such as burgers, sausages and chicken burgers.
Capable of catering for equally large groups is the Smart City Hostel Edinburgh (0870 892 3000, www.smartcityhostels.com) just off the Royal Mile which promises to run a BBQ every night, weather permitting, during the summer in its suntrap courtyard and roof terrace. Among the dishes are Cumberland sausages, pork steaks marinated in garlic and thyme, Aberdeen Angus beef burgers and Mediterranean vegetables.
The Outhouse (0131 557 6668) on Broughton Street Lane has a burger theme every Sunday – and once a month it holds afternoon ‘party BBQs’ which combine grilled meat with live DJs and free burgers – entry is £2 .