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Pocket guide to Glasgow

Before you go

What to read about Glasgow: The father of Tartan Noir – the name given to Scottish crime writing – is often cited as William McIlvanney, who wrote a series of novels that are based in Glasgow and cover the city’s gritty past. Laidlaw, his 1977 novel, is widely considered to the first work in the genre and is well worth picking up. Another, slightly less underworld, book is Kevin Bridges’s autobiography We Need To Talk About… which charts the comic’s life growing up outside Glasgow and cutting his teeth in the city’s notorious comedy clubs.

Glasgow City Chambers

What to watch about Glasgow: “Still Game”, the sitcom about two Glaswegian pensioners, has attained almost cult status among fans. The series, which ran from 2002 to 2007, is still enormously popular and has scenes set right across the city.

What to listen to in Glasgow: Glasgow has always boasted a prospering music scene, with legendary live venues showing off local talent. Franz Ferdinand, Primal Scream, Orange Juice and Belle & Sebastian all formed in Glasgow, setting the bar pretty high. One new band to check out is White, who aren’t far off being a Scottish Talking Heads.

When you’re there

Where to eat in Glasgow : Given that Glasgow is the home of the tikka masala, you can’t go wrong with one of the city’s renowned curry houses. Mother India is widely considered to be one of the best, and is great for a special occasion. Alston Glasgow is great for steak, while Fanny Trollopes offers beautiful dishes including rabbit lasagne, made with the very best Scottish ingredients.

Where to drink in Glasgow : The Sparkle Horse is one of our favourite watering holes along with the Beer Café, the Rum Shack and the famous West brewery, which is housed in an incredible red-brick Victorian building.

Where to stay in Glasgow : The Hotel du Vin, in Devonshire Gardens, is one of the grandest places to stay in Glasgow. Housed in a Victorian terrace, the hotel is minutes from the city centre but only half an hour from the idyllic Loch Lomond. The Dakota Deluxe is another very smart option, with stylish rooms and a very appealing bar to boot.


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Pocket guide to Mumbai

Before you go

Goldfrappe in Mumbai

What to read in Mumbai: Shantaram, the story of an Australian bank robber who escapes from Pentridge Prison to flee to the Indian metropolis, is a (slightly embellished) version of author Gregory David Roberts’s own experiences.

What to watch in Mumbai: Mani Ratnam’s “Bombay” is a bona-fide classic. One of the Chennai film industry’s biggest success stories, it was received well both critically and commercially upon its release in 1995. It depicts the religious tensions that led to the Bombay riots of 1992, and is not without controversy.

What to listen to in Mumbai: Singer Mubarak Begum, who passed away last month aged 80, was best known for composing the title of the 1961 film “Hamari Yaad Aayegi”, and was considered one of the last remaining links with the golden age of Hindi cinema.

When you’re there

What to eat in Mumbai: For a true Mumbaikar experience, forget upscale restaurants and embrace street food instead. Sarvi has been on Dimtimkar Road for the best part of a century and, as ramshackle as it might look, serves the best kebabs in the city.

What to drink in Mumbai: Mentioned extensively in Shantaram, Leopold Café is one of Mumbai’s best-loved bars. It was founded in 1871 by an Iranian émigré and is located in lively Colaba; its inexpensive beer and icy cool air-con make it a great place to escape the intensity of Mumbai’s streets.

Where to sleep in Mumbai: Where else but the opulent Taj Mahal Palace Hotel? Across from the Gateway of India stone arch, which sits beside the Arabian Sea, the 5-star hotel is one of the city’s most iconic buildings.

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Pocket Guide Sheffield

Before you go

What to Read about Sheffield: The Northern Clemency by Booker prize-nominated author Phillip Hensher is a sterling tale set in Sheffield during years of the Thatcher government. It plots the lives of two families amid an England that is changing before their very eyes.

Sheffield station fountains

What to Watch about Sheffield: Arguably the most famous film set in Sheffield is the Oscar-winning “The Full Monty”, featuring Robert Carlyle as one of a group of unemployed men, mostly former steel workers, who become strippers. A more recent film is the brilliant black comedy “Four Lions” by Chris Morris, about a group of homegrown terrorists.

What to Listen to in Sheffield: Richard Hawley, the former Pulp guitarist and bard of the Steel City, is Sheffield through and through. Each of his albums, from “Lowedges” to “Hollow Meadows”, is named after somewhere, or something, in Sheffield.

When you’re there

What to Eat in Sheffield: Located in Leopold Square, Aagrah is a posh curry house that doesn’t disappoint. The restaurant takes pride in its “fruits of the sea” (fish) but we recommend the lamb Hyderabadi, which is superb. Larger groups may consider ordering the whole stuffed lamb…just remember it needs 36 hours to prepare.

What to Drink in Sheffield: Sheffield has a ton of great pubs and bars across the city. Proper local pubs like the Red Deer and Fagan’s are always worth a visit. Anyone looking for trendier bars should head to Division Street where Bungalows and Bears, a former fire station, and the Old House, which has 100 gins, are great choices.

Where to Sleep in Sheffield: Brocco on the Park is a small boutique hotel that has beautiful 4-poster beds and free-standing copper bathtubs, but is slightly out of the way. More central hotels that are also worth a visit include the Leopold Hotel and the Mercure, the latter of which is right next to the city’s impressive Winter Garden.

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How to deflate inflatable mattress

There are four steps to deflating an inflatable mattress;

  1. Open the valve on the inflatable mattress.
  2. If you have an electric pump you may be able to change the setting to deflate function to suck the air out.
  3. If you don’t have an electric pump, roll the mattress from the opposite end to the valve, pushing the air to the valve and out of the mattress.
  4. Keep the roll tight and then close the valve when get to the end, when all the air is removed

Getting all the air out of the mattress keeps it small helping you to back and means no moisture remains in the mattress.

If you have a question, then Ask John, submit a question in the comments below or via the contact form.