On Sunday I visited Glasgow, staying in the Citizen M hotel chain in the city centre. The hotel is known for its ambient mood lighting and prices are very reasonable – £60 per night.

The rooms are compact but well-laid out. They are, however, missing tea and coffee making facilities and a fridge. Self-check in/out was pain free, although we did have to wait for our room to be cleaned upon arrival. Some of the perks of the hotel include free wi-fi, iPod docking station and complementary movie selection. Despite the bank holiday revellers outside, my sleep was peaceful and the huge bed was very comfortable.

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{This patchwork rabbit was there to greet us}

The shower is encased in a sort of futuristic pod, which features a coloured light to suit your mood – every colour of the rainbow. The colour can be changed via remote control and can be left on once you turn out the main lights, bathing the room in a soft, colourful glow. To add to the techy vibe, the blinds are also operated via remote control.

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Kelvingrove

A trip to Glasgow is not complete without a visit to the city’s most popular attraction, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, if only for the beautiful architecture of the building.

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The Museum opened in 1901 and was renovated between 2003-2006 at a cost of nearly £28 million. Kelvingrove features 22 themed art galleries.

One of its most loved works is Christ of St John of the Cross by Salvador Dali, purchased by the then Director, Tom Honeywell in 1952, at a cost of £8200. This enraged the public who felt that the council’s money would be better spent elsewhere.

The vision for the painting was said to have come to Dali in a dream, and his dreams formed the basis of most of his work. Although very different in style to his usual surrealist work, the painting remains extremely popular. It has been repaired twice – once after the canvas was torn by a visitor, and when on loan to France, protective perspex melted on to it due to spotlights being placed too close to the painting. I am not particularly religious but I have much admiration for this painting, particularly the use of colour and light.

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There was some personal confusion regarding ‘Object Cinema’ which I wrongly assumed was a collection of cinema memorabilia. It merely refers to accompanying film footage to enhance the exhibits.

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{The Kelvingrove organ is played daily for half an hour and performances are free}

Scottish exhibits include the Scottish Colourists; Scottish Identity in Art; Scotland’s First People; the Glasgow Boys; Glasgow Stories; Scotland’s Wildlife; and Mackintosh and the Glasgow Style. A current exhibit is More Than A Game: How Scotland Shaped World Football, and a new gallery, Life in the Rainforest.

The Museum is open daily, and best of all entry is free.

Cinema For All

I still hadn’t gotten round to seeing the newest film adaptation of one of my favourite novels, The Great Gatsby, and did so in style at the Glasgow Film Theatre, an independent cinema.

The building dates back to 1939 and it opened as the Cosmo cinema. Although the building is essentially art deco, the interior of the building is more eye-pleasing.

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Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby is typically lavish in style, and the production design and costumes are beguiling. DiCaprio makes for a believable Gatsby, however, some of the other main characters less so. Australian actor Joel Edgerton, who plays Tom, is very well-cast. As is Jason Clarke, who plays George Wilson. Overall, the movie is fairly enjoyable (if you don’t compare it to the book) but the music just does not work.

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