Patrick Melrose: How to follow in Benedict Cumberbatch’s footsteps… in Glasgow

Scotland doubles as 80s New York in the new Sky Atlantic drama

Patrick Melrose is a witty, well-bred twentysomething who’s partial to pretty much every narcotic imaginable. When news of his father’s death breaks, who knows if it’s the heroin or their terrible relationship that causes him to react with such indifference. Patrick must dutifully collect his father’s remains from New York, where, he confidently declares, he will get clean. But getting sober in the Big Apple is less a piece of cake, more a rancid slice of cold turkey and he’s soon hitting the city’s seedier back streets to score a fix of anything and everything on offer.

In the first episode of Patrick Melrose, Benedict Cumberbatch careers around early 80s New York on a bender.

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Cumberbatch looks pretty dreadful as bereaved, tormented, heroin-addicted Melrose, but New York has never looked cooler. Even the funeral home is fabulously decorated.

In fact, the whole episode was shot in the UK – and much of it was filmed in Glasgow.

Here’s how to follow in Cumberbatch’s footsteps.


1. Don an eye patch, oversized specs or shoulder pads and saunter down Cochrane Street. Imagine it’s full of yellow taxi cabs and Melrose is in one of them, sweating profusely. This is how his New York trip begins: with a traffic jam.

2. There’s no need to hail a taxi to reach your next stop. Simply saunter on until you reach St Vincent Street. 149 was the exterior of the funeral home where Melrose collects his father’s ashes.

3. In nearby Bothwell Street, look out for number 95 – a grand sandstone building with an elaborate gold sign. In real life, it’s the home of the Scottish Legal Life Assurance Society, but it doubled as the exterior of the five-star Drake Hotel, where Melrose soon makes himself at home in his luxurious suite.

100 Bothwell Street has a cameo in a later episode, when Melrose’s money has run out and he’s reduced to a budget hotel.

4. Book a table at Glasgow’s oldest restaurant, The Rogano. Its gorgeous Art Deco decor hasn’t changed since 1935 and was modelled on a ship called Queen Mary – a steamer that used to run from Glasgow down the River Clyde to Arran.

Patrick Melrose

This is where Melrose dines alone, scoffing steak tartare and red wine, while arguing with the voice in his head. If raw meat isn’t your thing, order the fantastic seafood, fresh from Scottish waters.

5. Go for a post-prandial stroll around The Barras, which was turned into a meat market where Melrose scores heroin. This indoor and street market has been going since the 20s and is a Glasgow institution. It’s well worth a visit if you’re fond of curios, designer knock-offs or a bit of banter. Don’t go at night though – it’s only open at weekends.

Patrick Melrose is on Sundays on Sky Atlantic at 9pm

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