Rascals / Perth

Wednesday 24 May 2023

Have you been to Rascals in Perth yet? If not, you’ll want to plan a visit soon! This fully vegan eatery is tucked around the corner from the river with an easy to spot green exterior complete with a silhouette of Rascal the dog. The menu is full of tempting comfort food and I’m sure you’ll be spoilt for choice.

We were given a warm welcome and shown to a window table. Rascals is dog friendly, so we brought Daisy the chihuahua with us and she was offered water on arrival which is always appreciated. The interior is simple and bright with pops of green and flowers on the table, and there’s a counter covered in sweet treats under glass domes. 

It’s so nice to have another fully vegan cafe in Perth, since 269 Vegan sadly closed. There’s lots to choose from on the menu with a mix of classic comfort dishes and some more unusual offerings. There are light options including open sandwiches with ‘happy tuna’ and sweetcorn, coronation chic’n with crispy fried onions, or a BLT.

We went for more indulgent mains - I had the Thai fish cakes with chips and tartar sauce and David went for the mac and cheese loaded fries. The fish cakes were made with banana blossom which kept them light and they had a lovely delicate flavour. David loved the mac and cheese (me too - I had this on our second visit!), it was rich and creamy, and very moreish. On our more recent visit, David had the Rascals house burger which he has not stopped talking about - he wouldn’t even let me try it as he wanted it all to himself!

Back to our first visit, we had a pot of tea and a hot chocolate to drink, and even though we were very full we had to try some of the sweets. After much deliberation, we shared an apple and cinnamon mini loaf and a hazelnut Danish pastry. These were incredible, though our eyes were bigger than our bellies, so had to take the rest home as a treat for later! They also had their own homemade Jaffa cakes which I hope to try another time.

Since Perth is just 30 minutes away it’s definitely worth popping over for a weekend lunch, you won’t regret it! I’d recommend booking though, as it filled up quickly when we were there on a weekday lunchtime.

Rascals is part of Starting Step, a social enterprise set up to work with the harder to reach young people, people with convictions, their families and those socially isolated from society. You can find out more about their mission here

Find Rascals at 13 George St, Perth PH1 5JY

Nooch Bar & Kitchen / Stirling

Tuesday 16 May 2023

When we saw that Fletcher’s Hotel had an off-season offer for a two night stay it was Nooch which sealed the deal for us. Just a 2 minute walk from our accommodation, Nooch Bar & Kitchen is Stirling’s only fully vegan eatery. It opened in December last year and is one to add to your list for vegan fine dining at affordable prices. We managed to squeeze in two visits on our short stay and I’m so glad we did!

First off, we popped in for a pre-dinner cocktail (we had dinner included at our hotel) but spotted the small plates, so treated ourselves to a wee snack too. We each had an espresso martini which were the perfect balance of creamy with a coffee kick and came served in beautiful vintage glasses. We had some posh chips, and whipped feta and beets and knew right away that we had to book dinner for the next night to try more of the menu.

The next evening was their weekly quiz night so we were advised to book. That evening there was a full on blizzard as we ran from our hotel, but Nooch was super cosy. The interior is all mismatched retro furniture and fairy lights and it just felt so welcoming on that freezing cold night. The quiz was a lot of fun, the questions were a nice level and the crowd was friendly - plus we didn’t totally embarrass ourselves which is always a bonus!

We chose a bottle of wine and ordered a mix of dishes to share - ‘crab’ dip and sea crackers, haggis bon bons, Mac and cauliflower cheese, and a Korean fried mushroom burger. The crab dip was a standout; it’s so great to see something different on a vegan menu. My favourite was the Mac and cauliflower cheese, it was deliciously rich and creamy and one of the most authentic vegan macaroni dishes I’ve had. We couldn’t manage dessert sadly but when we were leaving at the end of the night David couldn’t resist grabbing a Bahn mi from the deli counter for later.

Nooch is also dog-friendly and accessible which is fantastic. We can’t wait to visit again soon. Follow @noochbk for menu updates and let us know if you go!
Find Nooch Bar & Kitchen at 44 Upper Craigs, Stirling, FK8 2DS

Think Thursday

Monday 8 May 2023

delicious food and drink at Parlour Cafe
rickshaw at City Square
Louise Kirby's interactive art mural
Last week we headed into town for the evening, to see what Think Thursday is all about. There’s so much happening on Thursday nights in Dundee now, with lots of local businesses and attractions open 5-8pm offering deals, events, and workshops.

I hopped on a bus to get a head start, David would be meeting me after work but I wanted to cram in as much as I could in the three hours. There are discounts on buses and £1 parking available after 4pm which is a great idea - though I don’t have anyone under 22 to travel with on the bus so that offer didn’t apply to me.

I’d had a look at the directory of businesses taking part and made a wee mental route to wander. I started at City Square where there were hourly performances by Shaper Caper, the Who Is The Designer? exhibition as part of Dundee Month of Design, the chance to add colour to murals by artists Whimsical Lush and Louise Kirby, bubbles and rickshaws! It was fab to see the spotlight on 18 local designers and I did manage to doodle a little on Louise Kirby’s artwork despite how busy it was.

The Botanist & The Bee
The Mantuary
Next up, I headed along to check out some of the shops taking part. The Botanist and The Bee (Whitehall Street) is such a lovely spot bursting with greenery, they were hosting a plant care and propagation workshop later that evening. Upcoming Thursday workshops include macrame, terrarium, and repotting. I went around past a couple of other businesses which were listed but unfortunately not open (I think they had workshops on later), so I thought I’d have a nosy at The Mantuary (Commercial Street). It’s such a cool space which I’ll definitely have to send David to so we can get it up on Wee Dundee.

Double Door Studios shop
marbled mirror workshop at Double Door
Spex Pistols
Spex Pistols
After that, I popped into Double Door Studios (Ward Road) where they are hosting a series of artist talks and workshops - the marbled mirror workshop which was on looked like a lot of fun! I then wandered along to the iconic Spex Pistols shop (Johnston’s Lane), their offer was 10% off for the evening and I was very tempted by some sunglasses. We also visited the Newport Bakery (West Port) where they had a vegan coffee cake that David bought for later - I forgot to take a photo but you’ll spot it in my reel on Instagram.

vegan mezze board at Parlour Cafe
The highlight of our evening was a delicious vegan mezze platter at Parlour Cafe (West Port). Instead of a menu, you simply let them know any dietary requirements/dislikes, and your food is freshly made. They are offering mezze and a drink for £15 per person - we didn’t have long so we had a condensed experience but it was such a treat. Just loads of gorgeous salads, dips, and flatbreads with falafel and some homemade vegan sausage rolls too.

rickshaws at The McManus
Can't You See the Sea Changing? exhibition at DCA by Zineb Sedira
V&A & RSS Discovery
The Adventure Begins... at Discovery Point
On the first Thursday evening of the month, you can grab a bargain with 50% off tickets to the Dundee Science Centre, Discovery Point & RSS Discovery, and the V&A. The McManus (which usually has free entry) will be open too with free activities and the DCA gallery is open late too. We had a quick look in at Discovery Point at the end of our evening but had run out of time to see the ship so it’s on my list to go back soon.

I’m amazed at how much we got done in an evening, it really made it feel like the weekend started early, and was wonderful for town to have a buzz about it. You can check out the Think Thursday website to find out what’s happening soon or take a look at @visitdundeecity on Instagram for weekly updates. Think Thursday will be happening every Thursday until 29th June so make sure you pop along to make the most of your city centre.