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Ceramic Painting at Ferry Potty

Sunday 28 January 2024

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ceramic painting at ferry potty broughty ferry
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ceramic painting at ferry potty
ceramic painting at ferry potty
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ceramic painting at ferry potty
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ceramic painting at ferry potty
ceramic painting at ferry potty baby foot print
ferry potty hand painted pink and red gingham picnic scallop plate
I went ceramic painting while I was on holiday not long ago, and had forgotten how relaxing it is, so when I got back I knew I had to plan a visit to Ferry Potty. I’ve often peeped in the window when walking past and thought it looked super cute but this gave me the nudge I needed to actually book it. We managed to squeeze in a wee painting session before Christmas and I had a lovely wholesome mate date with Lyndsey.

You’re best to phone ahead and book, though walk-ins are welcome too. There’s a huge range of blanks to choose from at a variety of price points (starting at £10, most pieces between £15-£30), the price includes your paints, then they glaze and fire it for you in the kiln. We each decided to paint a small plate as it’s a nice flat surface and completely blank canvas - some of the pieces are quite specifically shaped so it seemed they’d be more of a colouring in situation.

There are paints, brushes and sponges on each table, along with a water bowl for cleaning your brush. If you’re feeling cautious (like me!) you can draw a design on lightly in pencil first as it’ll fire off in the kiln. The paint colours go darker once they’re fired but you can see the little heart chips which show the final glossy colours for reference. They recommend you paint 3 coats for a solid colour, though 2 will show some brush strokes which can be a nice effect.

I went for a picnic-inspired design with a pink scalloped edge shape and a red sort-of gingham grid. Lyndsey made a keepsake plate using her wee boy’s footprint which turned out so cute. They also do clay imprints for tiny hands and feet but that’s a 4-6 week process and is by appointment.

We were there for around 2 hours in total, and it was such a nice chill way to spend a morning. We got a text when our plates were ready to collect around a week later. It’s so cool to see them glazed and ready to use - they’re food-safe but need handwashing. I actually love how my plate turned out and am quite tempted to go for a few more sessions to make a multi-coloured set!
Find Ferry Potty at 39 Gray Street, Broughty Ferry, DD5 2BJ
https://www.ferrypotty.co.uk/ / @ferrypotty

Jute Cafe & Bar at DCA

Friday 26 January 2024

jute cafe bar at DCA vegan burger and flatbread
jute cafe bar at DCA mocktails
jute cafe bar at DCA vegan coronation chickpea flatbread
jute cafe bar at DCA vegan burger
jute cafe bar at DCA vegan pavlova dessert
jute cafe bar at DCA vegan coffee
Dundee Contemporary Arts is the place to go for contemporary art exhibitions, cinema screenings (especially indie films), and creative events. At the heart of the venue is Jute - a relaxed cafe and bar offering a range of food, drinks, coffee, and cake. It’s a great spot for a quiet coffee during the day but really comes to life at night.

It’s actually somewhere we regularly go for drinks, sometimes with a cinema visit, as part of Creative Dundee meets and book club, or for the beer garden in summer. It’s always got a great atmosphere so I’m really not sure why it took us so long to go for a meal! Nonetheless, we booked a table at the end of the Christmas holidays and treated ourselves to lunch.

We started with a couple of mocktails. I had the strawberry and apple crush, and David went for the raspberry spritz. These were both lovely, I’ve had the strawberry one a few times when we’ve been to the cinema and it’s always so refreshing and nicely sweet. We double-checked the vegan options on the lunch menu as it turned out there was a typo on the fries (marked vegetarian only but they were vegan too).

I went for the plant-based burger which came with kimchi slaw, crispy kale and gochujang mayonnaise on brioche. This was delicious, I especially liked the crispy kale and would have loved a wee bit more of it. David had the curried coronation chickpea flatbread with crispy shallots, and fennel and apple slaw. It was more of a chickpea curry-type sausage, but the spices were satisfyingly warming and fruity. These dishes both came with rustic fries but we upgraded one to piri piri fries - the piri piri seasoning was tasty but it was only a tiny sprinkle on top rather than tossed through.

The portions were pretty generous, especially for lunch, but I was determined we were going to share a dessert as I’d spotted something exciting - vegan pavlova! This is something I’d made a few times as it’s a favourite in our house, so we were looking forward to trying it. Luckily it lived up to my expectations! Presentation wise, it’s a bit blob-like but it tasted incredible. It was topped with whipped cream rippled with raspberry coulis, and a sprinkling of passion fruit. There was a slice of pineapple between the meringue and the cream which I wasn’t totally keen on, because of the texture, but we still enjoyed it a lot.

David had an oat latte to finish. We noticed a vegan chocolate cake on the sweet counter on our way out so will definitely be adding Jute to our coffee date list for the future.
Find Jute Cafe & Bar at 152 Nethergate, DD1 4DY
https://www.jutecafebar.co.uk/

Black Mamba Tapas & Cocktail Bar

Saturday 20 January 2024

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new black mamba tapas and cocktail bar dundee nethergate
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vegan tapas dish at black mamba dundee
vegan tapas dish at black mamba dundee
vegan tapas dish at black mamba dundee
vegan tapas dish at black mamba dundee
Black Mamba opened at the end of last year - a tapas and cocktail bar, serving “tapas without boundaries” from the people behind Giddy Goose. I saw some vegan options on the menu so we went to try it out.

First impressions, the interior is gorgeous; contemporary luxe vibes and I love the attention to detail with the little lamps on the tables. There’s a long marble bench in the centre which would suit communal dining and drinks, or could be fun to book for a special event. The bathrooms are beautiful too, with gold accents and emerald tiles. I’m sure that’s enough about interiors (though it’s very much a topic on my mind as we’re mid bathroom renovation), time to talk food.

I had a tangerine & cinnamon mojit-no to drink which was lovely and refreshing but with delightful warming spice flavours. I love to see a more unique mocktail and there were plenty of interesting alcoholic ones too. We ordered our food and were recommended 2-3 dishes per person and told that they would come out as they were ready.

We basically went for all of the vegan dishes to share; patatas barbacoa (crispy potatoes, Korean with BBQ sauce), padron pepper poppers (tempura, onion ash), Korean fried oyster mushrooms with sticky Gochujang sauce, roasted butternut squash (adapted to be vegan, with whipped tofu), and stir-fried greens (long stem broccoli, bean sprout, spring cabbage and chilli crisp). The food was beautifully presented and the dishes all complemented each other deliciously. I think the stir-fried greens were actually my favourite, but David loved the mushrooms and BBQ potatoes.

The menu has clear labelling for vegan options, though we were dining with non-vegan friends and found that our waiter seemed a bit confused about which dishes were vegan when they were brought out which gave me a wee bit of food anxiety. We were also a bit disappointed that there were no vegan desserts on offer - especially as some of the brunch options include desserty sounding vegan French toast which sounds amazing.

Black Mamba have a selection of offers for weekdays, such as 2 tapas for £9.99 (Mon-Fri, 12-4pm) and Mambacita Club on Fridays (3 cocktails & 2 tapas for £27.99). They also have a wee kids’ menu and high chairs are available. You can even bring your furry friends as Black Mamba is dog-friendly! It’s so great to have new places like this open up, we’ll definitely be back in to try brunch soon.

Follow @blackmambadundee for updates and let us know if you go!
Find Black Mamba at 141 Nethergate, DD1 4DP
https://www.blackmambadundee.co.uk/

Discovery Point + RRS Discovery

Tuesday 16 January 2024

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rrs discovery aboard the ship
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discovery dome projection
discovery dome 360 view of the city
It had been ages since we last properly visited the Discovery Point but since it’s Dundee Goes Free month we thought we’d pop in and see what’s new. As part of the offer you can visit Verdant Works too - you just need to bring proof of address with photo ID for 1 in every 2 adults in your party. (DD1-DD5 postcodes only.)

Discovery Point is home to RRS Discovery. This award-winning visitor attraction tells the story of the iconic ship ‘Discovery’ from her beginnings in Dundee, her amazing Antarctic expedition with Captain Scott and her voyages and uses thereafter. Through extensive galleries, video and film shows, interactives and artefacts, Discovery Point is a fascinating visitor attraction which appeals to all ages.

The last time we visited was for Art Night, which was a very different experience with music being played on the ship after hours! The museum was buzzing on this occasion too, as locals make the most of the free entry. First off you take a journey through the museum to learn all about the history of the ship’s design, build, crew, and voyages.

Next, you can climb aboard the ship and explore all the levels to see the crews’ quarters, engine room and more. It’s a bit of a maze below deck and really gives you a sense of how it would have been to be part of the expeditions. As you climb to the upper deck you can imagine being out at sea as you look across the Tay.

Since its recent refurbishment, the main update is the Discovery Dome in the top of the Discovery Point. We took the spiral staircase up with its futuristic feeling blue lights, and came face to face with the impressive suspended globe - ‘Gaia’ - by Luke Jerram. The show begins with a climate crisis introduction then turns to the past with an incredible 360 projection on screens at the windows of how the city was once filled with smoking factory chimneys. Afterwards the screens retract to reveal the current skyline. Just a wee note that it was absolutely roasting up here so it may be worth bringing a bottle of water so you don’t feel you have to rush the experience.

It’s been lovely to start the year visiting some of Dundee’s most popular tourist spots, especially when the days are short and you’re looking for indoor activities.
You’ll find Discovery Point & RRS Discovery at Riverside Drive, DD1 4XA
https://www.rrsdiscovery.co.uk/


Verdant Works Museum

Thursday 11 January 2024

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verdant works museum window
We’ve lived here six years and still hadn’t gotten around to visiting Verdant Works but this month Dundee Goes Free so it seemed a shame to miss out. As part of the offer you can visit Discovery Point too - you just need to bring proof of address with photo ID for 1 in every 2 adults in your party. (DD1-DD5 postcodes only.)

Verdant Works is a world class visitor attraction which tells the story of Dundee’s industrial textile heritage in the atmospheric setting of a beautifully refurbished Mill building. Hear the tales of the mill workers, see how they lived and worked in an industry which enveloped Dundee. Explore this amazing building, see (and hear) the machines at work, and step back to a time where the Mills were the heart of Dundee.

The museum takes you on a journey through the textile process - history, technology, global connections, and more. There are interactive elements, activities for children, and short films to watch throughout.

The social history is fascinating, I remember learning about the Broadford Works textile factory in Aberdeen when I was at school but this is so much more immersive. From the tiny classroom to the home and leisure exhibits it really brings the history to life.

At the end of the museum route, you’ll find the beautiful high mill with intricate ceiling structures. The architecture alone is worth visiting for, as soon as you’re inside the museum courtyard it’s like being transported back in time.

There’s a wee museum shop and cafe too. We didn’t stop on this occasion but they did used to have some vegan options so we’ll have to check back soon. If you’re wondering how long to allow when planning a visit, I’d say you would easily spend a couple of hours in the museum. At a push, you could whizz around it in an hour if you have a packed schedule on a day trip!

Tickets usually cost £14 for an adult and free for under 16s but your ticket gives you a free annual pass allowing you to return as often as you like for the next 12 months at no extra cost. You can also purchase a joint admission ticket to include Discovery point. If you’re visiting both I would recommend Verdant Works first, as it will help you appreciate what you’ll see at the Discovery Dome.

You’ll find verdant works at West Henderson’s Wynd, DD1 5BT

How to Have Your Own Hallmark Christmas Movie Moments in Dundee

Tuesday 14 November 2023


The fairy lights are twinkling in City Square and the snow begins to fall as carollers sing… okay maybe not, but if you’re a fan of a classic cheesy Christmas film there’s still plenty you can do to have your own Hallmark movie moments in Dundee!

Hallmark movies are a tradition in our household, last year we got really into Christmas Movie Bingo (we used these printable bingo cards) which was a lot of fun. This year, I’m taking it a step further and I’ve been inspired to try and recreate those classic movie scenes in our very own city. Below you’ll find my list, and if you keep an eye on my Instagram you’ll see me trying to complete it before Christmas. These are lots of fun whether you’re going on a mate date, solo adventure, or with your other half. Enjoy!

1. Look the part.

You’re going to need a Christmas jumper, the uglier the better. Before you head straight to fast fashion, check the back of your wardrobe or see if a friend wants to swap one. A third of young adults buy a new Christmas jumper every year and 65 million are reportedly sitting forgotten at the back of our wardrobes! If you do need a new one, where better to find one than a charity shop? You’ll want to pair that sweater with a chunky scarf or something tartan. Also consider wearing mainly red and green.

2. Visit a Christmas Market. 

I’ve made a handy guide to Dundee’s festive markets which will help with this one, it includes markets such as The Yard at The Steeple, Tea Green Festive Design at V&A, and Crafted at the DCA. The more handmade stalls the better, and bonus points if Santa is there to make some Christmas magic happen.


3. Cosy up with a Hot Chocolate. 

Ideally, it would be snowing for this one so you could have an adorable snowball fight beforehand. Otherwise, pick a window seat at one of Dundee’s cosiest coffee shops and people-watch with your chunky knit fingerless gloves wrapped around a hot drink. Try Blend at Dock Street, EH9 Espresso, Little Things Cafe, or Espresso Lab for a cute window seat.

4. Go on a crafty date.

You can’t beat a wee Christmas craft session - just imagine the wholesome bonding opportunity as you learn a new skill together. Think ceramics painting, wreath making, or other decorations workshops. There are loads of thrifty options if you use recycled materials and have a cosy night in to do it - for example, check out this gingerbread jumper garland using cardboard. Wreath making is especially good as you can use natural foraged materials and give your front door a makeover too.

5. Visit the Christmas Tree Farm. 

Speaking of decorations, you’ll have to level up your Christmassy home to get it looking beautifully cinematic. For that, you’ll need the most perfect tree. I don’t know if we have the most idyllic looking Christmas Tree farm nearby but I will investigate further. You could always head to Tayside Forestry and pick a real tree or there’s Easter Rattray Farm if you’d like to cut one down by yourself (which I'm hoping to do, flannel shirt at the ready!).


6. Attend a Musical Event

This could be an open mic night (spontaneous serenading with your secret beautiful voice perhaps?), a carol singing concert, or how about a traditional ceilidh dance? The more ‘quaint’ the better, for that big-city-American-visits-tiny-town-in-Scotland vibe. Blend often has open mic nights, and you’ll find ceilidhs at Duke’s Corner on Sundays and Forgan’s on Saturdays. Ceilidh’s are also great for grumpy types who won’t dance (my husband) as it’s much easier when there are instructions.

7. Baking Montage 

Aprons at the ready, it’s time to bake some Christmas cookies - don’t forget the perfectly accidental flour on your face. For vegan recipes, I love The Little Blog of Vegan. If you want an easy baking option check out Love Your Planet for baking bags of ready-weighed ingredients, and The Little Green Larder who may have a Christmas Cake kit this year. Or you could just buy some biscuits to decorate - that’s fun too!

8. Give Something Back

It might be a cliché, but the Christmas season really is about giving. Whether that's a small donation to your local Food Bank, volunteering time at a community event, or donating Christmas gifts. The Stobswell Christmas Appeal is collecting the following items at 170 Albert Street: children's toys, teenager gifts, selection boxes, blankets, hot water bottles, cosy clothes, toiletries, non-perishable food, nappies and baby supplies.

9. Three…Two…One… Christmas Light Switch On! 

A must for the holiday season, where all the townspeople join together for the countdown. Broughty Ferry has their Light Night on Thursday 16th November. Special mention to Sweetpea Cafe who is having a Cosy Crumble Pop-Up that night too (sounds very Hallmark movie!)

I’m feeling very festive now and can’t wait to get started. Check out Wee Dundee on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok if you’d like to see how these mini Christmas adventures go! I’d love to know if you’ve been inspired to try any of these too!