Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Wonderful City of Granite Shows off Its Soft Centre

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Wonderful City of Granite Shows off Its Soft Centre

Article excerpt

Byline: By Jennifer Bradbury

Getting to Aberdeen, the oil tycoon's favourite Scottish city, couldn't be easier now there's up to five direct flights a day from Newcastle with Eastern Airways.

It's just a quick half-hour flight and then, after a short taxi drive, you're there, in the heart of this historic city.

We flew after work on Friday and returned Sunday afternoon, which gave us just enough time to explore the city.

The Copthorne Hotel in Huntly Street was our base for the weekend, and was perfectly placed for discovering the city. It's just off the beaten track so you don't hear the noise made by revellers, but it's close enough to make everything within walking distance ( and stumbling distance after a night on the pop.

By the time we arrived it was a bit too late for the shops, so after dumping our bags, slapping on the makeup and changing, we headed down to the hotel bar for a pick-me-up.

Then it was a short stroll to Howies for dinner. It's just off the famous Union Street ( you'll find that everything's on or just off Union Street ( so easy to find and very convenient.

This place comes highly recommended. I've tried the one in Edinburgh and waxed lyrical about that, and this one is just as good.

Subtle lighting and a friendly welcome creates the perfect ambience. Food at Howies is exciting, contemporary and most importantly, delicious. And it comes competitively priced as well. Fine food without the faff.

After filling ourselves we headed out to see what was on offer and ended up in an Irish bar, just off Union Street (what did I tell you?).

The craic here (as the Irish say) was brilliant with wall-to-wall live music, and plenty of beer. And at the end of a busy day we headed back to our hotel for a welcome nightcap ( or three.

The next day, it has to be said, the weather was freezing, so we made the most of the hotel's delicious full Scottish breakfast, wrapped up well, and headed out to brave the Arctic conditions.

I had expected Aberdeen, because of the granite, to be very grey, and it is but in a stunning way. Some of the buildings are truly breathtaking. It's a prosperous, cosmopolitan city with one of Scotland's most stunning skylines.

It's also an incredibly clean and makes other British cities look like dumps.

Now you might not think of Aberdeen as a shopping destination, but it's a little treasure for those of us who enjoy a bit of retail therapy.

On top of all the high street names, there's plenty of designer options and interesting independents.

We went for a stroll around the cobbled streets of the Old Aberdeen area, and to the Botanical gardens near the university. The famous Union Street caters for niche retailers, and is well worth a stroll, as is Thistle Street, where many more upmarket boutiques can be found. …

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