September 12, 2018
Our designer, Katy, has curated her favourite spots in Dundee in the run up to the V&A Museum opening.
This September marks my sixth year in sunny Dundee, a city that’s changed almost beyond recognition during my time here. In the run up to the opening of the much anticipated V&A museum, I thought I’d share some of my favourite spots in and around the city. If you're coming for the museum opening or planning a trip in the near future, hopefully this post will inspire you to visit some of the places mentioned.
A perfect spot for brunch with excellent Gluten Free options available. Be sure to try their infamous salted caramel brownie if you get a chance. I couldn't mention Pacamara without talking about how good their coffee is, it kept me awake during many an all-nighter throughout art school. They often have unusual guest coffees available to try too.
Aptly named for all your juice & sushi needs. Always fresh & in my experience, always delicious. The fried fish Nigri is a personal favourite.
A quirky Mexican restaurant situated on Dundee’s bustling Perth Road. Màs is home to a small menu that is bursting with authentic Mexican flavour. Excellent website too! ;)
Quayside restaurant, Gidi Grill is fairly new to the Dundee restaurant scene. If you’re a fish eater, I’d recommend the grilled King Prawn and Hake with Jollof Rice. Next door neighbours, Foxlake will keep you entertained during your dining experience.
Another new addition to the ever changing waterfront, Bird & Bear has pride of place opposite the V&A museum. This highly instagrammable bar has all the classics you could want & more. Keep an eye out for its colourful neighbour opening up in the near future too, The Abandon Ship Bar.
Dundee’s (not so) secret 1920’s speakeasy. It sounds cliché, but stepping through the door into Draffens really does feel like you are going back in time; the only giveaway is the clientele. Retro cocktails & music make it the ultimate vintage hideaway. Don’t forget to keep the menus face down.
If weather permits, and it often does in the sunniest city in Scotland, The Boozy Cow has the perfect beer garden. With cow puns left right & centre, it’s hard not to enjoy the quirks of this Scottish chain.
If you fancy a later night, & like me, you’re not really a night club frequenter, then Dukes is a perfect alternative for you. Live music, craft beer & you can dance to Fleetwood Mac judgement free til your feet get sore.
Everything from vintage NHS frames to the latest designer ranges, this wee shop is full of character & the team are always on hand to help you make those all-important eyewear decisions.
Both the newest & oldest addition to the quirkiest street in Dundee. Oh Hello Vintage stocks hand-selected vintage pieces as well as collections from local designers, the interiors & exterior are also very photo-worthy. If you're a lettering geek like me, they’re also offering a brush pen calligraphy class in the not too distant future.
This little shop is full of unusual books & records. They're celebrating their one year anniversary this Sunday too, so pop in for a look & a celebratory drink if you're in the Perth road area.
Another from Exchange Street, if like me you are 'blessed’ with food allergies, this little shop is an aladdins cave. Although it is perfect for everyone - full of unusual ingredients as well as fresh, local produce.
A Dundee institution since 1976, Groucho's is an independent record store located on the corner of Nethergate. Packed full of nostalgia, Groucho's is a must for any record collectors out there!
In between Bird & Bear and Malmaison, Dock Street Studios is packed with interesting curiosities. From vintage typewriters to gorgeous pottery, it's definitely worth a look in. They are having a launch party on Friday 14th, perfect timing if you are coming to Dundee for the V&A opening.
Commonly known as the DCA, this place could technically fit in to all the categories in this blog post. An art gallery first and foremost, the DCA is also home to a great restaurant, a design-filled gift shop, a busy bar, a cinema & it even has it's very own print studio. You could spend all day in here if you really wanted to!
Certainly a more unusual way to spend your time during a city break. Wakeboarding, ringo rides, paddleboarding & an inflatable aqua park all just a 5 minutes stroll from the V&A.
Another one for those who like a more active adventure, the Law offers spectacular panoramic views over Dundee & Fife.
I couldn't do a recommendation blog post without including the town I spend most of my days in! Newport-on-Tay is a 5 minute car journey across the bridge from Dundee & is home to some lovely little independent shops, restaurants and cafés. Newport also boasts great views of Dundee so it's the perfect spot for capturing the city's skyline. The Newport, Amy Annand Flowers & Kitschnbake are a few to get you started on your Fife adventure.
The Tay Bridge is a five minute stroll along the riverside from the V&A Museum. On walking past, you'll notice some colourful artwork painted on the pillars beneath the bridge, this is actually an anamorphic typography piece. If you stand at the right angles, you'll see the words, 'NORTH' & 'SOUTH'. This is also just round the corner from City Quay which is home to Foxlake & the Apex hotel. The artists of this creation, Fraser Gray & Martin McGuinness are running a mural design workshop on Saturday 15th at Slessor Gardens, they will also be creating a gable end mural in Stobswell.
A few hundred yards away from the Tay Bridge is probably one of the most photographed streets in Dundee. Chandlers Lane is a quaint, cobbled street which leads down to views of Fife & the road bridge.
There are many spots in Dundee which showcase graffiti, this one is a 15 minute walk from the train station and is continually evolving. Amusing pieces by the Dundee artist, C.Gull can be found here as well as tributes to well known faces such as Gene Wilder & Prince.
You'll notice on walking about Dundee that there are multiple doors which have been decorated with beautiful artworks & illustrations. Chances are, these are the work of Open/Close. You can buy their Street Art Trail maps for £1 from the DCA, McManus Galleries, Visit Scotland, Butterfly Café, Brewdog, Madigan’s Tearoom, This Way Up, Quirky Coo, The Bach, Ozzy’s, Daily Grind and iArt Supplies.