The Dear Green Place

It was once considered the second city of the Empire but today it is people, not the powerful, who truly make Glasgow. It has also been known to generations of islanders as Glaschu, a Gaelic name which means The Dear Green Place. Thousands of Hearachs have left our shores to the big city by the Clyde, to work, to emigrate, to learn and to live. It’s a second home for so many of us, our roots run deep here with many ties that bind. So as we spread our wings and good word about our island spirit, it is only natural that it is here we turn our attention, building relationships with old friends and making connections with new. 

Over the past few months we’ve been visiting the city to meet some of the people behind the best bars and restaurants in Glasgow. We’re not sales people, there is no slick marketing or pitch to push, we simply wanted to tell our story and share a taste of this island spirit, distilled in the heart of Harris. We brought nothing with us but an open bottle and some time to talk but we’ve been humbled by the response we’ve found with every door that has opened to welcome us in. And, moreso, surprised by the passion others have already placed upon our work.

      

We’ve met people like Seamus McInnes, of the legendary Cafe Gandolfi (and Bar Gandolfi and Gandolfi Fish), still leading the way in service and supply of great Scottish dining. A Barra boy (Isle of Barra not Glesga Barras!), he has been a font of wisdom from which to draw after many years of championing island produce in the Merchant City. One of the first stockists of our gin, he’s already visited the distillery and we look forward to working with him more in future.

Other incredible places like Hutcheson’s Bar & Brasserie, an award-winning three floor bar and dining destination in a Grade-A Listed building on Ingram street now has our gin in pride of place on their stunning gantry. We recently had the privilege of sharing our story and spirit at a special staff gathering and we hope they in turn can share what they've heard with their customers as the months and years go by. We have no doubt our spirit has been left with them in good hands.

A few hundreds yards away our Isle Of Harris Gin has been making waves at the wonderful Gin 71, a venue dedicated to the love of all that is Juniper based. With 70 other gins to draw upon the city's gin lovers' attention we’re delighted to say our humble Harris spirit has become a firm favourite with their customers. Beautifully served in the opulent surroundings of the restored former Bank Of India, the essence of the Raj is evoked by a team who clearly adore their work. There’s also a new sister venue called Virginia doing likewise.

     

Heading west we reach the phenomenon that is Finnieston, an intense gathering of food and drink purveyors in a once uninspiring enclave of the city spread. Today it boasts some of the finest up and coming bars and restaurants in among some older establishments who broke this new ground in their stead. We’re delighted to work with Andy MacSween of the Bib Gourmand winning Ox And Finch, himself a Hearach with strong Scalpay roots. Nearby the seafood inspired twins of Crabshakk and Table 11 owned by Lewis-born John Macleod  can be found with bottles of our Harris gin to hand.

And there are many others yet to share, we’re continuing to establish and develop new relationships with each passing month, the importance of genuine connections and sharing of our purpose and passion always to the fore. We look forward to bringing you their story as we move forward, these are places with such similar pride and purpose to our own. Meantime, if you’re in this incredible city please do visit our new friends and enjoy a drink or two, perhaps with some rather fine food and always in the best of Glasgow’s company.

 

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