Entering Glasgow’s Lucky Seven Canteen on a sunny July evening was like stepping back in time to my former University early evenings of relaxed times and Summer nights with groups of friends. Bath Street was always a hub of bars and activity even back then whether you holed up in a basement bar or ventured upstairs to a converted Georgian townhouse with roomy space and high ceilings. Lucky Seven Canteen is the latter. A buzzing, relaxed, friendly vibe amid shabby chic’ness that was pounding out ’70s soul by Marvin Gaye and The Undisputed Truth so top marks for music choices even if a little too loud for dinner conversation.
My guest and I were shown to one of the charming little banquettes with decanter and glasses on the table for effect. The room was busy. Very busy so a popular Friday night hang-out, with a long, shared centre table with high stools heaving with both diners and groups catching a quick drink. A private room was filled with birthday revellers and there seemed to be social, easygoing feel as punters walked between the ‘ode to ’70s kitsch’ Flat 01 bar that connects through a short corridor next door. (Though venturing there later, there was quite a different vibe of hip Glasgow student hang out meets hipster Shoreditch).
We started the meal by choosing cider & bacon mussels with rustic bread (me) and grilled halloumi & vegetable kebab (her). The mussels were fat, juicy and flavoursome and had me wondering whether this should have been chosen for a main, but I’d have missed out on the main special I’d chosen, peach & prosciutto salad with balsamic dressing (which, when it arrived, came ‘sans’ prosciutto and had me digging around in the leaves, peaches and dressing wondering if my eyes were actually getting even worse!).
My guest’s rosemary stuffed poached chicken salad with walnuts and balsamic glaze had no such hiccups. Even though by this point we were convinced we would pass on dessert, the temptation was just too much. My guest chose a whiskey soaked cranachan cheesecake (and stated it was the best one she’d ever had as the texture was just right) while I opted for the traditional Scottish double nugget – which, for non Scots, is two scoops of ‘ice cream van’ Italian vanilla ice cream smothered in raspberry sauce and sitting between two malllow filled wafers. We discussed how much this type of ice cream is part of growing up on the West coast of Scotland (lots of Italian immigrants from late 19th & early 20th centuries) and how you progress as a kid from small cone to a ’99’ to a wafer, then a single nugget and the glorious finale, the double nugget. It’s like charting adulthood via ice-cream.
Meal finished (with wine & drinks included for under £50), we headed through to the lively Flat 01, a kitsch take on ’70s living with a full quilted bedim the corner, a living room area and a kitchen area (the bar). It’s a bar and open till 3am with djs after 11pm and theme nights described to me as ‘old fashioned analogue keyboard & synthesizer’ events which made me feel about 103 as *coughs* that was my youth. I made a quip to the friendly young manageress that I actually wrote my Hons thesis with a pen. She thought I was kidding:-/.
And there we have it. Flat 01 is a find if you’ve only ever experienced the digital age and who look on the displayed vinyl classics as quaint and not treasured LPs of one’s youth. Lucky Seven Canteen, however, should be a must-visit for all.