If there’s ever been a time to enjoy your own surroundings, it’s 2020. This year we’ve all spent a more time at home, tidying and freshening things up as best as we can with some people even spending holiday budgets on home renovations and decorating instead.
Of course, international lockdowns have resulted in limited travel for everyone, and even when restrictions have been lifted a lot of people have chosen to wait until they feel it’s safe again. Instead, they’ve been ‘staycationing’ their own towns, cities, and regions – it’s provided a unique opportunity to rediscover what’s on offer right on our doorstep.
Visit Scotland’s campaign Hame Town Tourist encourages us to experience the local attractions where we live, to really see what our town has to offer, and, I guess, to spend some money and support local businesses wherever we can.
I’ve been doing my best to enjoy Dundee and Broughty Ferry this year. How lucky are we to live somewhere that is so close to a beach, the countryside and a city too? We spent a lot of time as a family at the beach in the summertime, and we continue to use green spaces and parkland whatever the weather. A few weeks ago we went up the Law and even though the weather was ghastly, I had forgotten what a wonderful view awaits at the top.
As far as shopping and eating out goes, I met some colleagues for a coffee and a chat in local cafes, or take away coffee and a walk. My husband, kids and I have met family for brunch as it’s the only way we can see them indoors, and we’ve visited shops to pick things up for the kids when it’s felt safe. This Christmas, I’m trying a combination of supporting independent small businesses and online shopping for gift giving.
To demonstrate how much Dundee area has to offer for the Visit Scotland campaign, we decided to take the kids to have a look around V&A Dundee – generally speaking the museum is welcoming towards, and tolerant of, young kids. They love running around the museum exploring, climbing the stairs, going up in the glass lift, looking in the gift shop, even some of the displays – the coronavirus exhibition captured Nathan’s attention quickly, as did the windows (large or small) that allow for that epic view of The River Tay.
After 20-30 minutes in the museum we took a walk through Slessor Gardens where the sensory garden entertained the kids for ages (here we could relax a little more, there was significantly less chance of them breaking something) and piles of dried leaves provided endless fun as we made our way to brunch.
We ate at Bird & Bear, a stylish restaurant that recently re-opened having changed its hours to open early for breakfast (8am). They accommodated the kids really well, with poached egg on toast, and Kittie’s dairy-free diet wasn’t an issue. When she spilled her entire glass of almond milk they were super friendly and chatty while clearing it up for us, despite our embarrassed and futile attempts to mop it up with paper napkins.
Kris had Harold’s eggs (baked, with chickpeas and chorizo) and I had poached eggs and avocado on sourdough, with lime and chilli. Both were delicious. It would be a really cool place to go with friends (they play hip hop music on repeat) but maybe with Bloody Marys… we were in parent mode though, so it was a breakfast tea and a flat white instead.
We headed home with tired-out kids and full tummies, reminded of how lucky we are to live in an area that offers both culture and outdoor space within close proximity, making life much more convenient. I hope that if you’re in Dundee you’re able to get out and enjoy all that the city has to offer, and if you live elsewhere I hope that you’re having fun exploring your own town. While we are enjoying the advantage of staying local, let’s hope that we can start to visit each other’s homes again soon.
Thank you to Visit Scotland for working with me and to you for reading my sponsored posts.