Cambo Gardens

Tuesday 18 April 2023

Cambo Gardens is a wonderful place to spend a sunny afternoon. Last weekend they hosted their Spring Plant & Garden Market so we headed over to Fife for a wee jaunt. If you’ve not been before, Cambo Gardens is much more than just a garden - they have a visitor centre and shop, a woodland walk, lots of events, and a vegetarian cafe. It’s all very dog-friendly and there's lots to do for little ones too.

It was lovely to see it so busy when we arrived at the courtyard. There were lots of plants on offer from local nurseries including Rumbling Bridge Nursery, Quercus Garden Plants, St Andrews Botanic Garden, East Neuk Perennials, and Plants with Purpose. There was a beautiful selection of cut flowers from the gardens which were available in ready made posies or you could select your favourites to be made into a bespoke bunch.

We had a wander around the shop which is filled with all sorts of gardening inspired gifts, books, and eco-friendly swaps. I loved the dried flower display and was very tempted by a flower press, or even the little plant pot decorations. The shop continues through to the stables where you’ll find more sustainable garden accessories, and if you pop out the back there’s a whole range of plants for sale there too.

Before heading on a walk around the gardens, we decided to have lunch - a sunny courtyard table became free so we didn’t want to miss our chance. Parlour Cafe run this veggie eatery, so you know you’re in good hands. The menu changes regularly to include fresh seasonal produce and there are always lots of vegan options. We went for the vegan haggis sausage rolls which came with a colourful slaw and side salad, and a slice of chocolate and raspberry cake (which went perfectly with a rose lemonade!).

Suitably full, we bought our tickets for the gardens (which were £3 each as part of the event, usually £7.50), picked up a super cute map, and headed into the walled garden. It’s definitely still waking up from winter but beautiful nonetheless; it was so nice to see all the borders of spring bulbs and listen to the birdsong by the stream. We then walked through the woodlands which go all the way along to the beach and connect to the Fife coastal paths.

When we got back we popped into the visitor centre which is attached to the shop. It has lots of info on the history of the Cambo Estate and house from the 1300s to the present day, with an interactive map too. I bought a few plants and headed back to the cut flowers stall to choose a couple of posies to take home too.

If you’re thinking of visiting Cambo Gardens, they offer membership which is great if you’re likely to become a regular. They have lots of fab events coming up including gardening workshops and craft sessions - check out their website for details.
You’ll find Cambo Gardens at Kingsbarns, St Andrews KY16 8QD (approx 40 mins from Dundee)

5 Things to do When You're in Town for Tartan

Wednesday 12 April 2023

At the end of last month, I was delighted to attend the V&A Tartan exhibition opening night with my friend Kirsten of Design Dundee. The dress code was Tartantastic which was fantastic to see - so many fabulous outfits! There was such a buzz on arrival, watching everyone in the queue whilst listening to the piper (dressed in the V&A tartan, of course) and the drinks were flowing. We managed a quick look around the exhibition but as it was so busy I’ll have to pop back in to see it properly - though I’m sure I’ll visit many times with friends and family as it’s on until January 2024.

If you’ve come to Dundee for the Tartan exhibition, you might be wondering what else there is in the nearby area. Here are some of our favourites:

Hot Chocolate from Heather Street Food by the V&A

1. Heather Street Food.

This lovely little food truck is at the back of the V&A towards the Urban Beach, they do a delicious vegan hot chocolate (or coffees) which is such a treat for a walk around the Waterfront. Sadly Heather Street Food doesn’t currently have any vegan food on its menu.

Dundee Cycle Hub at Waterfront Place

2. Dundee Cycle Hub Cafe.

On a colder day, you could pop into the Dundee Cycle Hub for a cosy lunch with a beautiful view over the Tay. Just a 2 minute walk away via the Tay Whale and the Urban Beach, they usually have vegan cake options and have a very comforting chilli bowl on offer.

Vegan ice creams at Jannettas Gelateria in Slessor Gardens
3. Jannettas.

If the sun is shining walk along to Slessor Gardens and grab an ice cream to keep you cool. Jannettas usually have a few vegan flavours - our favourite is the Biscoff but the chocolate sorbet is a close second as it’s so rich and creamy. While you’re in Slessor Gardens be sure to check out the themed ‘pocket gardens’ and you’ll find a tucked away spot to enjoy your ice cream.

Dock Street Studios at 9/10 Dock Street

4. Dock Street Studios.

If you’d like to do some local shopping Dock Street Studios is the place to go - filled with the work of Dundee designers and makers alongside beautiful vintage clothes and treasures. This multifunctional space also hosts exhibitions and events, there’s even a wee cafe.

Reboutique on 33 Castle Street

5. Reboutique.

If you’re in the mood for fashion after your V&A visit, check out Reboutique for some quirky reworked pieces. You could even book a workshop and get crafty! You can sit in for a vegan cake or coffee and browse their upcycled furniture and gifts.

Speaking of fashion, Dundee is home to some very talented designers - check out Isolated Heroes, Hayley Scanlan, Andie the Label, Dreamland Clothing, and KerrieALDO, to name a few.

There you have it - what’s your favourite indie business near the V&A? I’d love to know any I’ve missed so I can visit them soon.

Innis & Gunn Vegan Versus

Wednesday 5 April 2023

I’d heard of the Innis & Gunn Versus nights before but the menus advertised don’t usually have a vegan option, so when we saw there was a fully vegan night in February, we bought our tickets and popped it in the diary. From Innis & Gunn’s own website: “The Versus Series is a range of experiential evenings hosted in all our taprooms where we celebrate a range of cuisines and beverages from across the globe. At each event, our chefs create bespoke and unique dishes all expertly paired with a range of drinks.”

For vegan night this meant 4 courses paired with 4 gin cocktails and 4 1/3 pints - with tickets at £30 each this is such a steal! We were sat at a communal table and introduced to the running of the night - it typically lasts 2.5 hours and we’d get a wee explanation of each dish and its paired drinks. I’m not going to pretend I remember all of the details - it was a whirlwind of a night and I didn’t make notes.

To start, was a sticky BBQ-pulled jackfruit bao bun with a Bombay Gin and tonic, and Stop Fudging My Tokens beer. The bbq jackfruit was really tasty though the chillis were a wee bit hot for me. Next up we had beer-glazed cauliflower wings which were delicious - cauliflower wings are a staple of vegan menus and can be a bit boring, but these ones didn’t disappoint and were perfectly crispy. This course was paired with a South Side Fizz and Mexican Lager. The cocktail was the standout drink of the night; a refreshing blend of citrus and mint.

Mushroom fajitas with salsa, vegan cheese, and sour cream were our third course and the portion was very generous. I was expecting much smaller plates for the price, and this is when I realised I wouldn’t be able to eat and drink everything! The fajitas were lovely, the homemade salsa was especially yummy. With this course, we had a bramble cocktail and Where’d The Fountain Go beer. I loved the bramble cocktail and by this point in the night the whole table had become friends so we started ranking our favourites.

I was very excited about the dessert as I have such a sweet tooth but I knew I wouldn’t manage much of it. Sadly I didn’t get a picture either, but the Biscoff sticky toffee pudding with Biscoff custard was amazing - could all custard be Biscoff custard now, please? We had Bombay Punch and a Caribbean Rum Cask beer. The drinks came so fast throughout the evening that there was a bit of a backlog. I did end up skipping a couple of the beers in favour of the cocktails as I know my limit (and I prefer a cocktail!).

We had a fantastic night and I’d definitely be keen to book again. We asked about the other menus and were told that if you requested vegan when booking it would be possible, but it would be nicer to see the vegan menu in advance.
You can find Innis & Gunn at 10 South Tay St, Dundee DD1 1PA