Aberdeen is Scotland’s third largest city and yet Glasgow and Edinburgh still hog the limelight. Chris Collins, of Aberdeen Performing Arts, highlights some of the best places to check out.
‘Located in the heart of Aberdeen, Carmine's is a truly unique wee restaurant. Open for a few hours over lunch and again at dinner (last orders are usually taken around 7.30pm), this tiny restaurant serves excellent pasta and pizzas. It might not look like much, but the characters who own and run the restaurant give you a real Italian experience. It’s quirky and old-school, hence credit cards are not accepted. It’s like stepping back in time onto an old Italian village restaurant.’
Carmine’s Restaurant, 32 Union Terrace, Aberdeen (A3), 01224 624 145.
The Lemon Tree
‘Situated just a short walk from the city centre and the main train and bus stations, The Lemon Tree has been the epicentre of live entertainment in Scotland for almost 20 years – hence I’ve had a fair few good night here. They showcase up and coming talent alongside established acts from across the world and in almost every genre, from comedy and rock to jazz and contemporary dance. The venue is open for lunchtimes Friday to Sunday with free live entertainment and rather tasty freshly prepared bar food.’
The Lemon Tree, 5 West North Street, Aberdeen (C3), 01224 642 230.
‘If you're looking for a good place to drink in Aberdeen look no further, is a metal-themed bar - but don't let that put you off. What you have is the most unpretentious pub you'll come across, with a great jukebox and the finest selection of alcohol in Aberdeen. Instead of the main brands of spirits and beers, the owners have gone out of their way to give you an array of excellent bespoke and weird spirits and beers. But note, mixing your drinks can be a recipe for disaster!’
The Moorings, 2 Trinity Quay, Aberdeen (C4), 01224 587 602.
‘Wanting to crack out the dancing shoes? Snafu is the top nightclub destination in the city, regularly attracting the very best dance music talent on the circuit - catering for almost every form of electronic music you can think of. The low ceiling and often packed dance floor make for a great atmosphere, and the bar is well stocked and has an excellent cocktail menu to go with it (yes, I am partial to the odd cocktail!). The venue also hosts live gigs with plenty of local talent.’
Snafu, Castle Street, Aberdeen (D3), 01224 596 111
‘Aberdeen has many nicknames, and not all of them favourable, but 'The Flower of Scotland' certainly is, and this wonderful park beautifully demonstrates why the city earned the moniker. Regarded as the grandest and most attractive of the city's many parks, Hazlehead is located on the fringes of the city, easily reached by bus or you can take a walk from the West End. And the grounds also house a petting zoo and maze. I am a child at heart!’
Hazlehead Park, Hazlehead, West End, Aberdeen