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Vicky Dreyer and Matt McCulloch

Support local: why the hidden lane in Glasgow is a must-visit

September 08, 2020

Explore the colourful buildings of the Hidden Lane in Finnieston. Home to a community of artists, designers and independent shops, there's always a buzz in the air.

Vicki Dreyer and Matt McCulloch, who run Porteous & Co in the lane, tell us why the Hidden Lane should be on everyone's must-visit list.

Can you tell us a little bit about your business and what you sell?

Porteous & Co is a small independent lifestyle store owned and run by the two of us and ably assisted by our dog Biba, who offers the best of welcomes to our customers.

We moved to the lane two and a half years ago to set up shop and love being part of this community of creatives.

Using 40 years of retail experience and our creative backgrounds, we carefully source traditional, well-made, ethically-produced goods for you and your home. From Irish linen wraps to inspired-by-nature scented diffusers.

We sell my (Vicki's) art and prints, including an illustration of the Hidden Lane itself, plus original art from various other artists. Find out more by visiting Porteous & Co's website.

What makes the Hidden Lane a unique retail experience and a must-visit place in the city?

The lane is totally unique and an oasis in shopping terms. It is a great place to shop anytime as it is a relaxed and stress-free atmosphere, where you'll receive a friendly personal service, often directly from the makers themselves. With its quirky appearance and original buildings that have been and continue to be sympathetically restored, it feels like an old-school retail experience like that of an old town main street.

There are so many different types of creators from artists to soft furnishing makers, from florists to musicians - each bringing something a little different to the lane and customers' lives. As well as this we are home to the wonderful Hidden Lane Tearoom for a pit-stop and treats between shops.

What range of products can people expect to find in the Hidden Lane and what experiences can be enjoyed?

You can get hand-picked quirky gifts from the likes of Neon Gray and Bubblegum Kitcshville. For fashion-conscious shoppers, there's zero-waste sustainable fashion at House of Black, custom-made contemporary jewels at Shona Jewellery or for something more permanent, there's Primrose Path Tattoo Society.

If your home is your place for indulging your style, then there is Pipsylils for abstract artwork, the skilled team at Bobbin & Fleck will bring upholstery back to life, Hidden Lane Soft Furnishings for bespoke curtains, blinds and cushions, or there is, of course, us - Porteous & Co - for an eclectic range of lovely things for you and your home.

To participate or get creative, you can take part in pottery classes at Spin Pottery, Bikram Yoga at Damn Hot, physical therapy treatments at The Reform Clinic, floristry workshops with Briar Rose flowers or sewing classes at Sew Confident.

The Hidden Lane is bold and colourful. Can you tell us a bit about the location, design and inspiration behind its look?

The lane is a colourful quirky spot tucked behind Argyle Street and specifically behind the hip Finnieston 'strip', which is home to some of the city's best restaurants. The lane is known for its higgledy-piggledy buildings sitting on a little cobbled lane. Many buildings have colourful exteriors, lovely stained glass windows and well-kept flower boxes out front (bunting and fairy lights are optional!). This complex of old stables and garages tucked in a tenement backcourt was rescued and brought back to life by Joe Mulholland and his late wife, the talented stained glass artist Claire Mulholland.

There is such a large number of creatives based in the Hidden Lane together. What is it about Glasgow that helps the creative community thrive?

The community within the lane is very friendly and we can often be found out blethering in the lane to one another. While everyone tends to work independently within their own business, we know we can call on others' expertise from time to time.

We are part of a collaborative community, which I think is true of the wider Glasgow creative scene. I think Glasgow has the ability to attract and nurture creative talent. There is an openness and energy that appeals to creative people.

The Hidden Lane is always developing and changing. Visit the Hidden Lane's website to check individual retailer's and studios opening times. Please note that parking is prohibited in the lane but it is easily accessible on foot, by bike, (bike racks are available) by bus or train.

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