Aberdeen: Union St

Feature by Kirsty Webster | 03 Oct 2009


Take some time to head down to the Union Terrace Gardens for a quiet place to sit and enjoy a few moments in this surprisingly tranquil spot in the centre of town. Make the most of it while you can as the city decides its fate on whether it is to be turned into another granite block of shops or evolve into the home of Peacock Visual Arts. Watch this space. For those looking for great shopping take yourself away from the main drag and work your way to George St. Mosey your way though the charity shops to Retro Rebels (355 George St) home to fashion of the alternative variety. If vintage is your look The Closet (Jopps Lane) is jam packed with one-off immaculately presented pieces along with accessories and quirky homeware. Continuing on the vintage thread Retrospect (9 St Andrew Street) will kit you out in some fantastic retro plaid shirts, flares and record bags for those truly embracing their newfound student life.


Step off Union Street down to The Green. With a wealth of boutique offerings spend your time (and student loan) in the eateries, shops and hairdresser that all come highly recommended. Those that deserve particular note on the food front, The Earl of Sandwich (8-10 Market St) are purveyors of sandwiches and paninis alongside Aberdeen institution Café 52 (52 The Green) offering a mouth-watering menu complete with their outdoor nest. This edgy restaurant is ideal for long lunches stretching into evening get-togethers. Independent coffee shop Kilau Coffee (9a Little Belmont St) is located off the main drag of the bustling Belmont Street. Sit here with your laptop, a cup of freshly brewed coffee and one of their infamous muffins. Open until mid evening this hideout often showcases some of Aberdeen’s acoustic talents and is ideal for a day after a night of excess. The same can be said for neighbour 99 Bar & Kitchen (1 Back Wynd), Aberdeen sibling of 99 Hanover St Edinburgh, who will take you lazily from day to evening in their kitsch surroundings keeping the food, spectacular-tasting cocktails and grooves coming all day long.


One pub sure to be a new found favourite is The Moorings Bar (2 Trinity Quay). Looking onto the harbour this drinking hole houses a hefty sound system, jukebox and assortment of beers and spirits at student friendly prices. Rock in with pirate attire and say ‘Arr!’ to a hefty discount. If more sophisticated offerings are high on your list and you want an evening to remember, restaurant Musa (33 Exchange St) serves up superb meals with live music and local artwork. Head into the night to Five (Union St) for some pre-club cocktails before taking the short few steps down to the depths of Snafu (1 Union St) directly round the corner. This underground club plays host to student nights Mon, Wed and Thurs with resident and guest DJs at the house, electro and funk based weekends. Recently refurbished, The Warehouse (19 Windmill Brae) lay on a regular roster of gigs and club nights sure to delight every taste. If this doesn’t quite satisfy your thirst for live music The Tunnels (Carnegies Brae) also provide a regular schedule of live music and club nights.