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Art Night Blog – Graham Black

First off, do yourself a favour. Grab some headphones and bang on some Michael Marra. There can be no better introduction to Dundee, its people, its places, its character. In Lochee, the Marra mural by Michael Corr and portrait by Donald Smart are well worth checking out, you might do the steeplechase down Peddie Street on a Friday night or head for the Tay Bridge Bar hoping for a chance meeting with Frida Kahlo herself . Known and loved throughout the city, his extensive songwriting back catalogue will offer a better insight than it’s possible for me to do… that said, I will try my best to suggest some choice spots worth a visit.

The Whale’s Teeth sculpture by Alistair Smart is a work of public art with few rivals. Situated in Polepark off Lochee Road are three striking concrete obelisks based on scrimshaw whale teeth. Venture closer and you will find them engraved with details of Dundee’s rich industrial heritage.

Head south towards the Tay for a number of excellent drinking spots on the Perth Road, between Sinderins and the city centre. Art Bar has been a popular destination amongst the artistic community and west end residents for over 20 years. Situated opposite DJCAD, it features an intimate and eclectic interior and an ample outdoor seating space adorned with a vibrant mural by Zoe Gibson.

For an evening meal, there are few better options than Jahangir Tandoori Restaurant on Session Street. Established in 1987, they have continually served up some of the finest curries available in Dundee, and the restaurant, complete with a central Koi pond, offers a beautiful ambience for your dining experience.

Situated on historic Peter Street in the city centre, Tony’s Diner is an excellent choice for breakfast, lunch or coffee, offering outstanding value and a traditional setting. Come for the bacon roll or cappuccino, stay for the clootie dumpling. On your way out, head through the archway at the top of the street where you’ll find a memorial to Grissell Jaffray, the last woman executed in Dundee, “for the horrid crime of witchcraft”.

Nearby this is a forgotten gem of Dundee, the Wellgate Centre. Once at the heart of Dundee’s retail sector, it may have lost some of the lustre of its heyday, but it is still well worth a visit. Architectural highlights include the Escheresque 1970s interior ramp, the fabled exterior steps at the rear and the magical Wellgate clock, beloved by generation after generation of Dundonians.

If you wish to unwind and reconnect with nature, Dundee offers a significant amount of greenspace all around the city. One such favourite is Swannie Ponds (aka Stobsmuir Ponds) in Stobswell, a tranquil setting in which to take in some fresh air and sunshine on a clear day, or to feed the ubiquitous avian residents.

Art Night