This city offers chic shopping, new trendy foodie restaurants and even a gorgeous free art gallery — what's not to love?
Dundee just got cool. Officially.
The shiny new V&A opens its doors in September, and it’s not only Scotland’s first design museum – this waterfront temple is also the first V&A outside London.
Its opening ticketed exhibition celebrates ocean liners and life onboard (Vam.ac.uk).
Practically next door is the DCA showing the latest art-house cinema releases (Dca.org.uk), while no Dundonian will forgive you if you don’t poke your head into the McManus – a gorgeous free art gallery housed in an ornate gothic pile that is Dundee’s best-loved building (Mcmanus.co.uk).
Hit the sand
A beach in Dundee? OK, so it might not quite be bikini weather, but this is Scotland’s sunniest city, and the sands start three miles out of town at Broughty Ferry castle.
The fortress was built in 1490, and it’s worth climbing up to the observation post for stonking views along the River Tay – you might even spot a dolphin.
Afterwards, call in to Mitchell’s for the best coffee in town and pick up a picnic of local produce at Clementine of Broughty Ferry for a feast on the sands.
Sun not playing ball? Retreat to Visocchi’s for an ice-cream sundae, from £4.50, and pretend (Visocchis.co.uk).
Eat special salad
Forget deep-fried Mars bars – Dundee has one hell of a larder.
There’s Scottish lamb, aged Angus beef and local venison at chic Castlehill in the city centre.
Two courses cost £32 (Castlehillrestaurant.co.uk). Or head back to Broughty Ferry’s The Tayberry for fab Scottish fine dining – think roasted cod with local baby tomatoes.
Two courses cost £28 (Tayberryrestaurant.co.uk). For something totally different, cross the bridge to Newport-on-Tay and 2014 MasterChef: The Professionals winner Jamie Scott’s The Newport.
The tasting menu has St Andrews lobster, Anster cheese and a super-tasty “salad” to convert even the most hardened lettuce loather. Six courses cost £55 (Thenewportrestaurant.co.uk).
Shop for bangles
Visit jewellery designer Lorraine Law’s boutique to pick up stunning bangles, hammered to a matte finish, from £30 (Lorrainelaw.co.uk).
Back in Broughty Ferry, Lulu & M has contemporary brands such as Sofie Schnoor and Orwell + Austen (Luluandm.co.uk), while Tiger Lily has great affordable dresses and jumpsuits (Tigerlilyboutique.co.uk).
Scotland does a fine line in craft beers, and two of the biggest brands have bars in Dundee.
BrewDog’s industrial-chic bar sits inside the imposing stone Royal Exchange and serves Punk IPA and Dead Pony Club alongside inventive seasonal tipples, from £3.90 (Brewdog.com).
Innis & Gunn’s Beer Kitchen has a similar pared-back vibe and boasts beer from its Perthshire brewery, from £4.20 (Innisandgunn.com).
You’ll find a wider choice at Duke’s Corner, a high-spirited late-night venue with live music (Dukescorner.co.uk).
- Marmalade was invented in Dundee – along with aspirin and Grand Theft Auto.
- Plan your trip at Dundee.com.
Kip by the river
You can see the new V&A as well as the River Tay from your window at Malmaison Dundee, a funky six-storey hotel that has romantic rooms.
Some have huge roll-top tubs and all have supremely comfortable beds. The bar is a cool spot for cocktails, too.
Double rooms cost from £65 (Malmaison.com).
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