We head for the Jute Bar. which is located beneath the art gallery. It‘s the busiest drinking den in the city every weekend. and we enjoy an early beer with views out over the silvery 'l‘ay as the last of the sunshine
drains out of the day. 6.30pm
Check in at the Apex llotel. lt’s set in a new building on the waterfront. and our bedroom has a fine view out over the old docks. Similar to (iateshead or Liverpool. this former industrial zone is being transformed into a residential and cultural quarter and it‘s starting to look good. But the hotel's interior is its
trtunp card. Our room catches the mood of Malmaison or Wit/lpaper*. with a cool wooden floor giving way to deep brown carpet around the king size double bed. There‘s a widescrecn Samsung TV with DVD player and a fairly wide selection of films to hire. a desk with a leather chair that‘s almost (‘harles liames. And the bathroom has a walk-in shower with wooden decking behind a simple glass screen. We collapse onto the bed and are reminded of a swanky recent stay at the Soho (irand in New York — only that was four times the price. Here we are. in dowdy old Dundee. in a hotel that's up to the standards of the funkiest city in the world. and it‘s not blowing a hole the size of Manhattan in my credit card. 7.30pm
Head into town for drinks at Temple l.ane Bar. llaving launched the Jute Bar in D(‘;\. the owner of this place has struck out on his own. and created a drinking establishment live minutes‘ walk away that’s clearly a haven for the Dundee hip crowd.
Drinks downstairs at llowies. This extension of the lidinburgh restaurant chain has a basement bar which plays host to an older. slightly more academic-looking crowd. We drink wine while waiting for a table in the restaurant. and enjoy a pleasant. if undistinguished meal.
Alexandria Fountain (right) and DCA
We walk out towards the city‘s two main nightclubs — Mardi (has and l’at Sam‘s — but turn away when we see that the queues outside are full of underdressed teenagers. There doesn‘t seem to be much else on offer
in the city centre at this time of night. so we head back
There 's plenty more to Dundee than art, bars and hotels. If you ’re tempted to make a weekend of it, here are Our tips for the best of the rest.
The highly respected. purpose-built repertOry theatre that can USUally guarantee a top rate show. complemented by an extremely good restaurant on the ground floor. Tay Square. 0 7382 223530
An ambitious new dance centre. located in a 95in building that's part of Dundee College. For information on courses and performances see
www. dundeecoll. ac. uk/thespace.
The highest point in Dundee. this extinct volcano otters panoramic views over the City and the Tay. to the Kingdom of Fife beyond. At the top y0u're 500 feet above sea level — and best of all. if you're lazy you can drive up there.
This hugely impressive. thick set railway bridge is the icon for the city -- but it's also a great example of over- engineering. Not Surprising since its spindly predecessor collapsed into the Tay in 1879. a year after completion, in one of Scotland's worst disasters of the industrial age.
to the hotel and have a relaxing bath before bed. Sunday. 9.3tlam
Bagels with salmon and scrambled egg. delivered to our room. On top of that there‘s delicious coffee. natural yoghurt. fresh fruit and toast with a great selection of cheeses and jams.
Relishing the relaxed atmosphere at the hotel. we head downstairs to the spa. A modest-sized swimming pool clad in stylish grey tiles is enticingly empty and we swim lazily for a while before getting into one of the hot tubs: a circular. wood—lined jacuzzi with space enough for six or seven. After letting the bubble jets massage our tired bodies for a while. we get into the sauna and fry our heads for ten minutes — then plunge back into the cool pool 1‘or a final swim. We suddenly realise that we‘ve been chatting all morning about big things —- like love. and the future — that we just don't get time to think about much in everyday life. 12.30pm
We drive our camper van across the lay Bridge. and wind through country lanes for IS minutes to 'l‘entsmuir beach. Parking in woodland. we wander across dunes to a suitably deserted seaside setting. and look out over the calm sea in search of the seals which are said to visit regularly. .\'o luck today. but then it‘s only an hour to get back home to lidinburgh. refreshed and totally relaxed.
For further information on the Apex City Quay Hotel, see www.apexhotels.co.uk. Anna Klamroth’s film ‘Sportfrei’ is on show at Dundee Contemporary Arts until 28 Mar.
I GO LONDON HAS REARED its PR head. A new Totally London campaign from Visit London launched this month, shining the spotlight on the city’s good value gems. Go London’s treats include the Regent Street sale, free pints at London Pride and half price meals at the world famous Café de Paris. For more of a cultural injection, Go Wsit features thousands of exhibits that are free or two for one. See the impressive array of offers at www.visitlondon.com.
I TRAVEL STALWART STA is on hand to make your burning desires a reality whether it's helping to build a medical centre in Borneo or educate and support peeple with AIDS in Africa. The travel company big boys are set to donate 10p from every lSlC/IT'TC card sold and the collected funds will be distributed through partial sponsorships for projects that have “demonstrable benefits to the community'. Applicants must be 18—26 and able to send a summary of the nature and purpose of their chosen project, indication of funds required and timescales. Check out ww.statravel.co.uk Or call 0870 160 6070.
I LAST BUT NOT LEAST Gretna Green’s about to celebrate its 250th anniversary. Romantics and desperados alike from all walks of life and all parts of Britain, Europe and indeed the world, have walked the path to marital bliss courtesy of 66’s quixotic pull. See www.dumfries andgalloway.co.uk to discover how even the most unromantic of souls can get in on the celebratory action.
‘:~t Ma: 1 Al" I’L‘Ali THE LIST 117