The Apex is a landmark in Dundee, a bright, modern hotel where the clientele happily mixes business and pleasure. I have attended plenty of functions there in the past which all seem to have rapidly descended into tipsy chaos – the kind that involves cheesy dancing and that feeling of dread the following morning when you realise there may well be photographic evidence.
Over the years, I have been lucky enough to have been invited to some posh do’s and I am always especially excited when I hear Wilde Thyme are doing the catering because I know the canapés will be amazing. It does means there will have to be extra planning involved as I’ll clearly need to position myself close to the kitchen in order to make the most of the passing delights but the effort always pays off.
The crocuses are out, the birds are singing and even the daffodils are showing willing. Is it tempting fate then, to say that spring is on the way? Is it too soon to start dreaming of summer, of long walks in the evening sun, of icy cold glasses of rosé and fish suppers on the beach?
Scotland is blessed with a myriad of independent eateries and insanely talented and creative chefs leading the way to Michelin stardom. As much as I love haggis, neeps and tatties, there is so much more to Scottish cuisine right now.
Dundee is a city full of hard working people, many of whom may not have the luxury of leaving their workplace at lunchtime; but for those who do, there is a vast amount of choice for just grabbing a bit to eat. Having options is wonderful, but when thrown into making a decision quickly about where to grab a swift lunch with a friend, I wanted quality and convenience - so to Avery & Co we went.
Charwood Restaurant & Bar
If you lived in St Andrews in the early 1980s you’ll remember the Britannia Hotel by the West Port in St Andrews. Run by two spinster sisters, it was a sea of tartan carpet, and you were never allowed more than half a pint before being sent on your merry way home.
Just as I love a bargain or a sale, I also love a secret discovery - finding somewhere new that is not run-of-the-mill and not widely known about but that exceeds expectations. When out and about in Perthshire at the weekend, we happened upon just that at Poppy Seed. Not to be judged by the rather special avocado bathrooms or kitsch decor but rather by the charming service and great passion and effort being taken to produce modern and interesting food.
The Wine Press majors in wine. You might have guessed, the clue being in the name and all. But it’s not one of those limited places where it only does what it says on the impressively labelled bottle and nothing else.
From the outside, the Kingarroch Inn is everything a country pub should be, from the pristine creamy walls to the fairy lights twinkling around a rose arch.