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!

Lunch at The Little Green Larder

Wednesday 8 November 2023

The Little Green Larder has been a favourite of ours for years, we originally featured it in early 2020, back when this blog was Vegan Dundee. Since then, this eco-friendly shop has evolved (with the help of a Crowdfunder earlier this year) into a great spot for a TASTY AF takeaway lunch - as the new mural says!

They still stock a fab selection of refill products, such as grains, pulses, nuts, dried fruit and other pantry essentials, alongside plastic-free household accessories and, of course, vegan pick and mix. But now, on arrival, there’s a deli counter stocked with fresh salads and daily vegan specials which aren’t to be missed.

We’ve been popping in regularly for lunch treats - the haggis nachos and breakfast burrito with homemade hash browns get a special mention, but I do love a wee salad box too. On this visit, Jillian invited* us to try a range of the specials while I took some photos of the upgraded space.

We were truly spoilt with this feast - we had a coronation haggis toastie with coronation chickpea side salad (David’s choice - he loves coronation so doubled up!), Mediterranean veg hummus focaccia roll with potato salad, a mezze box, and Thai green curry soup with fresh crusty bread (my favourite, love a warming comfort soup). Jillian also made us an incredible Oreo milkshake complete with vegan whipped cream - it was so good!

Lunch options are from around £2.95 (soup or a mini salad box) to £6.50 (sandwich with soup). You can add a tea or filter coffee for £2. The teas are lovely loose-leaf ones which you can also purchase in the shop by weight, I chose the apple dream one for its cosy seasonal vibes.

We also had a box of vegan sweet treats which were part of the Crowdfunder reward that I forgot to pick up. Inside was a banana chocolate cupcake, Oreo brownie, empire biscuit, and (an amazing) chocolate cookie sandwich. It's so great having a vegan-friendly lunch place at this end of the Perth Road - perfect for grabbing food to eat down at Magdalen Green in the warmer months.

Little Green Larder also has a fantastic pay-it-forward scheme where you can donate your loose change in store, online, or buy a lunch or hot drink voucher so someone in the community can redeem it when they're in need. They’ll also be taking part in the West End Christmas Fortnight and have monthly community soup kitchens. Follow The Little Green Larder on Instagram or Facebook to see daily specials and upcoming events. 

Find the Little Green Larder at 272 Perth Road, DD2 1AE

*The Little Green Larder gifted us our lunch, all opinions are my own.

Dundee Festive Events Round Up

Wednesday 1 November 2023

Now that the nights are drawing in, it’s easy to want to stay cocooned in the comfort of your home, but Dundee has a fab calendar of events worth wrapping up and venturing out for. Explore charming Christmas markets and pop-up shops, adorned with twinkling lights, where every product tells a story. Discover the joy of shopping small as you peruse handmade crafts, artisanal goods, and festive treats. Once you’re organised with your Christmas shopping, enjoy a wholesome evening at a light switch on or show.

I’ve organised the main part of this list by date, but scroll to the bottom to see full details for the pop up events which are running for longer. Events are free to attend unless otherwise mentioned.

November Events

Thursday 16th

Broughty Ferry Lights Switch On / 6pm
Panto performances, Christmas sing along, rides, catering and more

Festive Market & Cosy Crumble Pop Up at Sweetpea Cafe / 6pm-8.30pm
Shop small and enjoy a cosy vegan crumble to keep you warm while watching the lights switch on.
find out more

Saturday 18th

Brawnches Festival Begins* / Keiller Centre / 10am-4pm
A week long community celebration with workshops and activities to encourage you to connect and reset for the changing season.
find out more

Monday 20th

Dreamland and Vintage Clothing Pop Up Shop Begins*

Thursday 23rd

West End Christmas Fortnight Begins*

West End Christmas Market / Miller’s Wynd Car Park / 4pm-8pm
Christmas gifts, hot food and drink stalls, music and entertainment. Lights switch on 7pm. Many West End shops will have late opening and special offers too.
find out more

Friday 24th

Tea Green Festive Design Market / V&A / 10am-5pm
Curated pop-up market featuring a fab selection of Scottish designers and makers. Line up varies each day.
find out more

Saturday 25th

Tea Green Festive Design Market / V&A / 10am-5pm
find out more

Cambo Festive Green Market / 11am-4pm
Local makers with a focus on sustainability for a greener Christmas. Lots of Cambo grown dried greenery and flowers for your festive decorations and gifts to grow from our plant shop.
find out more

Christmas Fayre at Discovery Point / 11am-4pm
Local makers, crafters, food and drink with choir performance and activities for children.
find out more

CRAFTED / DCA / 11am-5.30pm
Browse and buy work from contemporary makers from across Scotland, with a wide range of great gift ideas.
find out more

The Yard Dundee / The Steeple / 11am-4pm
Independent makers from across Scotland with guest food pop up - Marwicks Vegan kitchen. Entry £2 (under 16s free)
find out more

A Christmas Carol begins at the Dundee Rep
Tickets from £15
find out more 

Dundee Hooley / City Square / from 3pm
The streets will be filled with a torchlit procession led by the Lord Provost, accompanied by community groups and performances from Thingumajig Theatre and Urban Moves.

Sunday 26th

Tea Green Festive Design Market / V&A / 10am-5pm
find out more

Cambo Festive Green Market / 11am-4pm
find out more

Christmas Fayre at Discovery Point / 11am-4pm
find out more

CRAFTED / DCA / 11am-5.30pm
find out more

December Events

Friday 1st

Wreath Making / Sew Confident Broughty Ferry / various times across 1st-3rd
Create a festive wreath to hang proudly on your door, materials supplied. £70
find out more

WinterFest / details TBC / begins*

Saturday 2nd

Christmas at the McManus / 10am-4pm
Pop-up festive market with independent makers, festive family crafts, activities and storytelling
find out more

Kingennie Christmas Market / Forbes of Kingennie / 12-4pm
Carefully curated stalls with a range of homeware, foodie finds and seasonal decor
find out more

The Yard Dundee / The Steeple / 11am-4pm
Independent makers from across Scotland with guest food pop up - Marwicks Vegan kitchen. Entry £2 (under 16s free)
find out more

Sunday 3rd

Community Christmas Ceilidh / Gate Church / 3pm-6pm
find out more

Kingennie Christmas Market / Forbes of Kingennie / 12-4pm
find out more

Thursday 7th

Christmas Concert of Music and Light / Morgan Academy / 5pm-6.15pm
Come along and be treated to performances by the local school choir and watch the magical light show in the fantastic grounds of the iconic local building.

Double Doors Studios Pop-Up Begins*

Saturday 9th

The Yard Dundee / The Steeple / 11am-4pm
Independent makers from across Scotland with guest food pop up - Marwicks Vegan kitchen. Entry £2 (under 16s free)
find out more

Verdant works Christmas Fun Day / 11am-4pm
local crafters, designers, food and drink, performance from Loadsaweeminsinging choir and children’s activities
find out more

Tea Green Festive Market / Bowhouse / 10am-5pm
Curated pop-up market featuring a fab selection of Scottish designers and makers
find out more

Andie Christmas Pop Up / Creative Studios / 10am-4pm
Annual pop-up of Creative Studios brands and invited friends. Metallium Jewellery workshop and Poppy Bubbles show for the kids. More workshops to be announced
find out more

Sunday 10th

Tea Green Festive Market / Bowhouse / 10am-5pm
Curated pop-up market featuring a fab selection of Scottish designers and makers
find out more

Andie Christmas Pop Up / Creative Studios / 10am-4pm

Thursday 14th

Light Show at Baxter Park / 6pm-6.45pm

Sleeping Beauty begins at the Whitehall Theatre
Tickets from £16
find out more

Saturday 16th

The Yard Dundee / The Steeple / 11am-4pm
Independent makers from across Scotland with guest food pop up - Marwicks Vegan kitchen. Entry £2 (under 16s free)
find out more

Sunday 17th

Generator Winter Market / Generator Projects / 12-6pm
music, food, refreshments, and makers
find out more

Thursday 21st

Light Show at Malcolm Street Pocket Park / 6pm-6.45pm

Night Market / Larick Centre / 5.30pm-8.30pm

*Pop-Up Event Details

Festive Boutique at Double Door Studios

Double Door Studios are once again transforming their exhibition space for the fourth year of their popular Festive Boutique! The studios in central Dundee offer a unique and welcoming shopping experience, and showcase a curated selection of handmade gifts with a focus on items you won’t find elsewhere.

7 Ward Road, DD1 1LP / 7th-24th December

Open: Tuesdays 11am-8pm, Thursdays 5pm-8pm, Saturdays 10am-5pm, Sundays 11am-4pm
find out more

West End Christmas Fortnight

A wonderful fortnight of events hosted by businesses, community groups, libraries and schools in the West End. Christmas concerts, workshops, craft making, soup kitchen and more.

23rd November - 6th December / various events

find out more

Dreamland and Vintage Clothing Pop-Up Shop

Dundee Design House / 20th November - 3rd December
Open: Weekdays 12-5pm, Weekends 11am-5.30pm
find out more


Details to be confirmed
1st-24th December

We’re certainly spoilt for choice this year! I’ve popped quite a few in my diary and will be sure to share them on my Instagram stories @wee_dundee. If you have an event you’d like me to add to this list email and I’ll pop it on.

Saorsa 1875: A Vegan Visit to Pitlochry

Tuesday 17 October 2023

Last week, I finally had the pleasure of staying at Saorsa 1875. It’s been on my wish list of places to visit for ages as it’s the first vegan hotel in the UK, located in the beautiful Pitlochry.

Pitlochry is just an hour away from Dundee which makes it perfect for a wee day trip or short break. There are lots of lovely shops and cafes, though it’s known for the impressive dam, distilleries and festival theatre too. There’s plenty of vegan options to be found and you’d be hard-pressed to find a more dog-friendly town. 

On this occasion, we were visiting for the Enchanted forest. We booked two nights at the hotel so we could have a cosy evening in as well.

Saorsa 1875

Saorsa 1875 has the most gorgeous interiors, with an eclectic mix of vintage and contemporary design which complement the history of the building and its fresh approach to plant-based hospitality.

We stayed in Wildcat, furnished with plush velvet cushions and the sweetest little window seat looking out onto the autumnal trees. The room was complete with vegan magazines, Hooglea teas, coffee, and a cafetière. In the hall there’s a mini fridge kept stocked up with fresh oat milk, which I was far too excited about.

After a chilly walk, we returned to the hotel for the dinner we had booked. Depending on the day of the week that you visit, there’s either a 3-course set menu for £35 per person, or 5-course at £65.

We started with cocktails in the bar, then were lead through to the dining room. The menu on this evening had three courses inspired by vegetables - carrot, courgette, and parsnip. Carrot was our favourite; coffee pickled carrots, smoked celeriac purée with walnut granola & carrot jus. We had plenty to eat and almost couldn’t manage it all, but still couldn’t resist sharing a cheeseboard by the fire afterwards. It’s not every day you have the option of a vegan cheeseboard after all.

Breakfast is included and featured a selection of delicious granola pots, overnight oats, porridge with a little station of toppings, and a couple of hot options to go with the tasty toast. The first morning there was potato hash and house baked beans and on the second there was tofu scramble too. We had a mix of oat lattes, fruit juice, and smoothies during our stay in an attempt to try everything!

We felt so at home, with such a friendly and welcoming team running the hotel. We’re already planning our next trip - next time we’ll take Daisy the chihuahua as she’d love to sit by the fire in the bar.

Plant-based options in Pitlochry

We had a full day of wandering around Pitlochry, and although we only had one lunch to eat out we still did some research for future visits. Here’s some of our vegan foodie finds in Pitlochry:

  • Hetties Tearoom: vegan soup and toasties, ask for separate menu. They had vegan-friendly cakes too
  • Chinese Village: lots of options on the menu including vegan chicken fried rice!
  • Fern Cottage: separate vegan menu with 3 courses (changes regularly)
  • Cafe Calluna: homemade pastries and tarts as well as a few cake options. We ended up going here - I had a yummy Mediterranean tart and David had a panini with soup

As for shopping, there’s Handam which is a lovely wee eco-friendly refill shop. We also bought some treats at the classic sweetie shop, Love Your Sweets, as it had a vegan corner (and fudge!). On the other end of the scale, was the decadent Explore Chocolate where you’ll find the most luxurious little vegan chocolates. They look absolutely beautiful and taste incredible too.

Eating vegan at The Enchanted Forest 

On the second night of our mini break, we ventured into the enchanted forest. This was our third year visiting and it just keeps getting better. This year’s From the Deep theme was such a fun one, with jellyfish and eels and sea monsters galore. I’d definitely recommend it for a magical evening - book an early slot and make sure to go around more than once!

The vegan offerings have improved this year, though we felt the salt and chili broccoli wasn’t much of a meal compared to the options for meat-eaters at the Fish & Chips stand. On the other hand, the pizza was great and it was fab to see lux hot chocolates and marshmallows for toasting. Maybe next year there will be a vegan dessert option as the churros and donuts smelled amazing, here’s hoping!

We had a wonderful stay in Pitlochry and will certainly be back soon, it’s so close to Dundee it would be silly not to.

Find out more at:

Pumpkin Picking at Cairnie Fruit Farm

Monday 16 October 2023

pumpkin picking cairnie fruit farm fife

pumpkin picking cairnie fruit farm near dundee
pumpkin picking cairnie fruit farm fife
pumpkin picking cairnie fruit farm wheelbarrow
pumpkin picking cairnie fruit farm fife
Every year I say I’m going to go pumpkin picking but then it gets booked up before I get the chance. Not this time! There are quite a few places nearby offering this seasonal activity, but Cairnie Fruit Farm is where we chose to go as I know their cafe serves vegan treats so it meant we could make an afternoon of it.

Cairnie Fruit Farm is under a 30-minute drive from Dundee. From June to September (but mostly July), you can pick your own strawberries, raspberries, redcurrants, blackcurrants, gooseberries, cherries, and sunflowers. You don’t need to book for those, but you do for the pumpkin patch. You can choose from a morning or afternoon slot, it costs £1.50 per adult then you pay for the pumpkins you pick, priced by their size.

It was super busy when we got there but it’s such a lovely atmosphere. They went all out with the decorations and the wee shop is stocked to the brim with autumn treats and accessories. There are loads of backdrops set up for photo opportunities; from spooky hay bales to face-in-the-hole scenes, and crates filled with pumpkins.

We walked around to the ‘pumpkin patch’ which is actually two massive fields filled with a wonderful variety of pumpkins in all different sizes and colours. You can grab a wheelbarrow or cart (another photo op if you have a wee one!), and fill it up with your haul. It’s actually really hard to choose but we ended up getting a giant warty orange one, medium green, and a couple of tiny white ones. We shared a wheelbarrow with our friends and when it came to payment there was a bit of confusion so we accidentally got charged twice for some of theirs but didn’t notice at the time - might just be easier to have your own wheelbarrow if you can.

We then stopped at the cafe for a quick bite to eat. We had the spiced butternut soup which was delicious and warming, just what we needed after a slightly chilly walk around the fields. We finished up with some chocolate cake which was absolutely perfect - it reminded us of how you'd imagine the one from Matilda tastes - properly sticky and fudgy, yum! There was also a vegan toastie and carrot cake available, though you’ll need to check the specials on the day. I totally forgot to photograph lunch but you can see a peek of the chocolate cake in this video.

Next year Cairnie’s Pick Your Own Pumpkin Patch will be celebrating 25 years! Make sure to follow @cairnie_fruitfarm so you can get your slot booked in. We had such a lovely time, it’s just a really wholesome activity.
Find Cairnie Fruit Farm at Cairnie, Cupar, KY15 4QD

6 Alternative Ways to Explore Dundee by Foot

Wednesday 4 October 2023

girls who walk dundee coffee stop

If you, like me, find yourself working from home and yearning for a change of scenery or a reason to explore new corners of Dundee, then you've come to the right place. Read on to find out six fun ways to explore Dundee by foot.

1. Open Close Dundee

A series of street art trails that take you off the beaten track. There’s one in the city centre, another in Stobswell, and the newest in Lochee. Take a walk around forgotten corners of the city to see colourful murals and painted doors by local artists. You can find out where to pick up a map for £1 on their website:

2. Girls Who Walk

If you fancy a more sociable walk check out girls who walk. A new walking group with regular get-togethers. Check out their Instagram or Facebook to find out about upcoming walks and socials. It’s such a welcoming group and a lovely way to meet new people too.

3. Get Geocaching

You’ve maybe heard of the world's largest treasure hunt before. To join in you just need to download the free app, sign up, open the map, and choose a Geocache you want to go find. There are different sizes and varying levels of difficulty, along with hints and comments from fellow Geocachers. Once you find it, sign the log and log it on your account, then put it back for others to find. This is such a fun way to explore new places but it can get addictive - the ones you find turn to smiley faces on the map.

4. Take a Tour

Learn all about Dundee’s dark history with DD tours. Louise and Stewart offer guided walks with “Thrilling tales and hidden narratives”. Look out for Perth Road walks in the summer and tours of the Old Steeple. At the moment they're offering tours of The Vaults.

5. Gather a team for CluedUpp 

These quirky outdoor escape room style experiences get you exploring whilst solving puzzles. The game is played through an app, takes 2-3 hours on average, and costs £30 for a team of up to 6. The most recent one in Dundee was Witchcraft & Wizardry: Murder by Magic! Check out their website for upcoming events:

6. Grab a Trail Map

If you head down to the Waterfront there are lots of trails in the area. Pop into the V&A or Discovery and grab a map - some are *technically* for children but they're still super cute. There's the Selkie Trail, the V&A's Seek and Peek map illustrated by Cara Rooney and Friend Ships illustrated by James Gemmill (to name a few). For those keen on a more advanced map, there's the Maritime Trail taking you on a 1.5km walk around historical waterfront spots. Look out for Heather Street Food for a delicious coffee to fuel your stroll. 

I have almost done all of these but I'll make sure to check off the full list so I can share some videos on Instagram too. I'd love to hear if you've found any interesting ways of seeing more of Dundee!