When you think of Ashton Lane you can’t help but think of Brel, the iconic Belgian themed gastropub that’s been a staple of the West End.
Inside it has narrow wooden alcoves and hidden corners, the atmosphere of age and distinction, with winding stairs leading to a private function room, but what makes it unique is its capacious beer garden.
It was refurbished in spring of 2017, with tiered seating on the grassy hill and a fifty-seat outdoor dining area. So long as you get there before outdoor licensing laws force drinkers inside at 10pm, you can enjoy your beverage of choice on the hill. I made use of one of the new benches at the top of the hill, as nice a place as any for a relaxed pint. Expect it to be busy on the first sunny days of the spring, although it was only moderately busy on a sunny Wednesday this summer.
Brel has weekly events bringing people to the pub, from fondue nights to raclette nights (both involve cheese), and you can book it for a fire pit or a barbeque. They have an extensive dinner and lunch menu, and if you get there before 6pm, you can have mussels and chips for only £6. I didn’t make it before 6pm this week, but I will.
Their drinks menu will delight any beer aficionado, especially if Belgian beers are your thing. No surprise, given it’s a Belgian pub. There are 66 beers, including local Scottish ales and many rare ones from Belgium, the US, Germany, and elsewhere.
On tap, they have an international collection as well, which includes Leffe and Affligem from Belgium, as well as St. Mungo’s, Joker IPA, Maltsmiths, Amstel, Birra Moretti, Guinness, and Strongbow. They have a reasonable range of whiskies, which you’d expect to see at most pubs in Scotland, a few gins, and a decent collection of wines. There is something for everyone.
The real downside? It’s expensive, even for the West End. The Leffe on draught was £7 for a pint. The local ales were cheaper, but still priced high, with the Joker, for instance, at £4.90. The menu shows the bottled beers roughly within this range as well. That said, the food prices were average for quality pub food, so it is really only the drinks that cost more than you might expect.
But if you want a bowl of mussels, the best beer garden in the West End, or you fancy experimenting with a Belgian beer, it’s worth the extra pound or two. Brel is at 37-43 Ashton Lane and is open from 12pm to 12am Monday to Thursday and Sunday, and open from 12pm to 1am Friday and Saturday.
37-43 Ashton Lane G12 8SJ
0141 342 4966