Art Lovers Café
An elegant café for impressive lunching in a Mackintosh-designed visitor and events attraction in Bellahouston Park.
The decorative interior of the House for an Art Lover, constructed in the 1990s from original Mackintosh designs, offers a unique perspective on his range and innovative style. The House has a café, a shop and an outdoor seating area. Effectively a French-style lunchtime bistro, the café offers nicely priced set and à la carte menus, and buzzes with tourists and locals enjoying the ambience and the attentive without being intrusive service. Although coffee, cakes and afternoon teas are available, the real focus of the café is lunch, including the traditional Sunday options. Food is characterised by its freshness both in terms of produce and product. Dishes are individually prepared to order; the confit chicken leg starter with smoked tomato relish and crispy bacon is moist and moreish in its elegant simplicity, while the succulent roast cod accompanied by mash, a sprout top and chestnut fricassee and a wholegrain cream is delicate and delicious. With a dedicated pastry chef to hand, desserts such as dark chocolate delice with orange and brownie crumb should not be missed.
Cafés attached to arts venues are often little more than a necessary sideline to make the main attraction more attractive. The Art Lover’s Café, however, is a culinary destination. Yes it’s sited in a beautiful park in a beautiful house, but the food is the main draw here. It’s surprising, ambitious and delicious. Good value, too, with a two-course set menu priced at £11.99, so book ahead, even for a mid-week lunch. The à la carte menu features crisp ham hough croquettes, a meaty, comforting, way to start. The duck breast with pomme galette is tender and simply cooked with a port wine jus bringing out the strong flavours in the meat. Cheesecakes may be ubiquitous and generally disappointing, but here the passionfruit and orange cheesecake has a delicious tang, balanced by the sweetness of orange sorbet. Gluten-free cakes are on offer, with the victoria sponge a light and airy classic. Pop-up evenings are planned, and with a reasonable selection of low-alcohol wines and beers on offer, drivers are looked after as well.
- Private dining: Up to 40 covers
- Provides: Gluten-free options, Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access, Outdoor tables, Free wi-fi
- Music on stereo: Background easy listening
- Capacity: 100 
- Largest group: 40
- Open since: 1996
- Number of wines sold by the glass: 13
- House wine: £17.95 per bottle
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