Discover Scotland’s hidden gem before the crowds do.
SEE & DO
Step inside the V&A — named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert — and you’ll find a celebration of Scottish and international design, including a restored tearoom interior by revered Glaswegian architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
You’ll also see products created in Dundee, the UK’s only UNESCO City of Design, which has a proud history of excelling in creative fields — the Lemmings and Grand Theft Auto video game franchises were spawned in Dundee, and the city’s universities are known for their cutting-edge courses and genius graduates.
The V&A also hosts temporary exhibitions, such as Ocean Liners: Speed and Style, which pays homage to the golden age of ocean travel, flaunting furniture and fashions from cruise liners like the Queen Mary and QE2, which were both constructed in Scotland’s shipyards.
Incidentally, the V&A sits next to Discovery Point, which houses the RRS Discovery, a Dundee-built ship that made a groundbreaking expedition to Antarctica in 1901. Here you can tread the decks and look inside the cabins of legendary explorers Captain Robert Falcon Scott and Sir Ernest Shackleton.
EAT & DRINK
Away from the waterfront, there’s much to savour in Dundee’s compact central core, including a raft of trendy cafes and bars that have opened in recent years, buoyed by the so-called ‘V&A effect’. Seek out The Wine Press, a chic venture from Dundee’s oldest wine merchants that pairs globally-sourced wines with local cheeses and charcuterie.
Nearby, Exchange Street is home to cosy tearooms, bake shops and Hard Grind, which triples up as an artisan coffeeshop (The Daily Grind Speciality Coffee Bar), barber and clothing store. On Nethergate, one of Dundee’s busiest thoroughfares, you can enjoy locally caught fish and seafood at Tailend, one of several establishments that serve the Dundee-brewed 71 Lager by 71 Brewing. There are more dining choices in Broughty Ferry, a desirable suburb a 10-minute drive east of central Dundee, including The Ship Inn and The Tayberry Restaurant, where top chef Adam Newth crafts seasonal menus packed with Scottish produce, such as salmon, lamb and beef chateaubriand.
Although you can daytrip to Dundee from Edinburgh, it’s worth staying longer, not just to soak up the city’s charms, but also to take in historic nearby landmarks like Glamis Castle, the childhood home
of the Queen Mother.
Accommodation-wise, Dundee’s Malmaison is an elegant four-star hotel near the waterfront set in one of the city’s many glorious refurbished Victorian buildings, while Urban Quarters has four stylish self-catering apartments that are ideal for families and small groups. Handily, it’s a stone’s throw from Dundee Contemporary Arts, a multi-purpose hub that marks its 20th birthday next year. Offering a selection of exhibitions, movies, theatre, craft workshops, and food and drink, it has helped drive the city’s cultural renaissance.
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