JUGGLING my career as a PR and a travel writer, I spend a lot of time telling other people’s stories and exploring various destinations to unearth foodie gems and hidden away places to share with the world.

This year, I want to spend more time travelling around Scotland, visiting places of the past and adding some new adventures to explore our culinary gems and tucked-away treats.

I spent most of the 1990s studying at Glasgow University, hanging out in the west end. I rooted myself in the nearby student scene of The Cul De Sac and Curlers before graduating to a flat in Hyndland, with Friday nights at Cottiers and Saturday nights at Ashton Lane.

So, to kick off my approaching 50th birthday celebrations, my husband and I headed to the west end for a weekend of memory lane tripping.

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I won’t say the restaurants that I’ve chosen for my top five are a definitive list of the best. They represent memories and recently enjoyed experiences and serve excellent food.

Ubiquitous Chip – 12 Ashton Lane

An oasis of koi carp-filled ponds, hanging greenery, trickling fountains and twinkling lights, the Ubiquitous Chip Restaurant has always felt otherworldly to me. A place where time and the outside world stop.

I say this as one of many, I’m sure, who have spent the afternoon in the courtyard restaurant, before heading up to the bar for “a glass of wine” and leaving many hours later, having bumped into a string of familiar faces.

The National:

One of the things I look for in a restaurant is an atmosphere and energy of enjoyment; people enjoying food, wine, conversation, life. I love that energy.

The Ubiquitous Chip has it in abundance.

Eusebi – 152 Park Road

Eusebi puts outstanding food and hospitality at the heart of its offering. Every time I visit, I leave feeling like I’ve had a giant, warm hug. My husband and I regularly swing by for a Smoky Calabrese Roman Sourdough pizza (Calabrese salami, smoked tomato, Buffalo Mozzarella and orange blossom honey) and a glass of Sangiovese.

I never leave without a few portions of their delicious (and as yet, inimitable in my kitchen …) “Yesterday’s Lasagne” – the ultimate in comfort food.

Kaf – 5 Hyndland Street

Kaf has a focus on Viennoisserie – breakfast pastries originating from Vienna – sourdough, sandwiches and deli food. Highlights on the menu include the Salted Caramel Brownie, Amaretti with Vanilla Swiss Buttercream and the Cubanos (a pastry with Swiss cheese, ham and pickles).

Fill a bag with goodies to recreate the kaf experience at home. I can heartily recommend the Green Goddess Soup, a lemony, creamy soup of broccoli, kale, spinach and green herbs for some lunchtime virtuousness and the Roast Leek, Confit Garlic and Pumpkin Seed Pesto if you’re taking those wholesome vibes through to dinner time.

Mother India – 28 Westminster Terrace

There is no meal I have cooked more times than butter chicken. I’ve been perfecting my recipe for years and for the last four have been making it every Saturday for the family.

Except for last Saturday, when this mum was looked after by the matriarch of Glaswegian Indian cuisine, Mother India. The most popular menu item is apparently the Butter Chicken, so I was eager to compare and contrast.

The National:

It has a smooth, velvety sauce, creamy but light and sweet to taste which opens up to a surprisingly spicy, punchy journey – a real slow builder and sensory delight.

I always feel better, more evened out and uplifted when I’ve had the right blend of spice. Utterly sublime and spirit liltingly good on a cold January night. Mother India does food for the mind, body and soul.

Le Petit Coq– 21 Byres Road

Le Petit Coq is a relatively new addition, offering a selection of sandwiches, soup and coffee.

My husband and I went for the classic Jambon-Beurre – deliciously salty, silky slices of ham, lashings of butter and the Oui Dip - sliced roast beef, Dijon mustard, gruyere, caramelised onion and rocket dipped with garlic.

The home baked baguettes are crispy and delicate – the perfect balance of chewy and melt in the mouth with the ideal ratio of ingredients – nothing’s too much or too overpowering and it all feels like sandwich perfection.

The simple pleasure of a cold, fizzy Orangina with a Jambon-Beurre takes me straight back to my childhood holidays in France and picnics on the beach.

Mhairi Wilson is the founder of Shine PR