Getting to Dundee used to be so easy: you either spent 12 hours falling asleep behind the wheel of a car, spent 24 hours cramped into a bus that smells like Satan’s bumcrack, or spent an entire year’s wages on a train ticket. Now with advances in aeronautical technology, there is another way. You can hop on a rickety, 40 year old propeller plane that leaves three hours late and takes four tries to start up.
I’d recommend the old fashioned way, to be honest. It would have been quicker for me to learn to drive, take my test, then throw away my new pink license and walk to Scotland.
Having arrived, we’re keen to make the most of this family visit. Our first stop is therefore The Ship in Broughty Ferry, an old sailors’ pub right on the banks of the River Tay.
It’s not much to look at from the outside, but stepping in I’m greeted by a blast of warm air and an even warmer welcome. The inside is beautiful, decorated by the odds and sods this sort of establishment attracts over the years. A ship’s figurehead graces the bar, the lacquer on her nose worn off by punters rubbing it for good luck. Traybakes and teacakes lay seductively on the bar top, threatening to ruin by by-now farcical attempt at a diet. Old ceramic gin bottles line the walls like an apothecary or the world’s least appropriate sweet shop. And obviously the carpet is tartan.
Three ales on tap – Landlord is obviously an old favourite from south of the border, but Nobleman and Raven are both excellent locals. Our compatriots discover The Ship has over a dozen gins to sample beyond the standard Gordon Sapphire far, much to their delight.
It’s a bit far to go, but if you’re ever in the area, The Ship is well worth a detour. 4/5