Nazli Tabatabai-Khatambakhsh, artist and writer

Where is it?  

The Left Bank, Glasgow.

Why do you go there?

It is a gorgeous cafe/restaurant that has been like a sanctuary for me. It has always felt welcoming. There are brilliant tables where you can pitch up with a laptop and write. I could nurse a coffee endlessly and they were always very kind to me. It is a special place to write.

I needed somewhere that could make me feel like I was still in Glasgow, but also a place that felt, in its own way, a bit like an airport. I mean that in a nice way, because so many different people come into The Left Bank over the course of a day.

Medea on the Mic, which I have coming up at A Play, A Pie and A Pint, I did some of the writing for that at The Left Bank. The early shapes, emotions and fragments of that play were forged at one of their tables.

I used the spirit of being transient, but also being able to find a moment to be at peace. Threads of that still remain in the play.

How did you discover it?

I did an MLitt in Theatre and Performance Practices at Glasgow University from 2018 to 2019. It was an exciting time in my life. I was introduced to The Left Bank by a dear friend.

She said, “You are a mature student, you might not always want to be on campus.” Throughout my course, me and my peers would often congregate there to have coffee. A few bottles of wine were had as well.

The Herald: Nazli Tabatabai-Khatambakhsh Nazli Tabatabai-Khatambakhsh (Image: free)

How often do you go?

During my Masters, almost every day. Their coffee is so good. Every time I come back to Glasgow, I make a pilgrimage to nurse a coffee.

What’s your favourite memory?

I met a friend there. It was at the beginning of the changes we are now seeing playing out in Iran. The thing that struck us was the sense of being able to feel safe. The world was changing around us, but we were in a city where freedom of speech and expression are championed.

Who do you take?

I feel confident going there solo. I meet friends there regularly and I’ve had a date there as well, which was lovely. It is a welcoming place at any time of the day.

What do you take?

My laptop, a notebook and a pen.

What do you leave behind?

I take the thoughts of the day and release them.

Sum it up in five words.

Kind. Playful. Discerning. Delicious. Safe.

What other travel spot is on your wish list?

I love being in airports because, for the briefest time, it doesn’t seem to matter where you are from, or where you are going. We are all people on a journey. That is beautiful. Things are possible. Hope is present.

Medea on the Mic by Nazli Tabatabai-Khatambakhsh will be at A Play, A Pie and A Pint, Oran Mor, Glasgow, from June 10 to 15. Visit