Perth by night: where to stay and where to eat

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For our long weekend in Perth we chose the Sunbank House Hotel, as shown above. It’s across the river from the centre but it only takes a few minutes to walk in – always essential for us because we don’t want to have to drive to dinner. The Sunbank is number one on Trip Advisor for Perth and we certainly found it very comfortable, and enjoyed our breakfasts too. The staff member who welcomed us was extremely friendly and helpful and gave us lots of tips about what to do and where to eat, so we felt really at home. At £304 for four nights we thought this was good value for the standard.

We were astonished at how quiet Perth was when we went out to eat on Friday night. In Glasgow, the place is usually heaving. However, we soon discovered that everyone was inside all the restaurants we had been recommended! Walking slightly further out from the centre we went into Tabla which we discovered when we got back was number two on Trip Advisor, so we chose well. It’s an Indian, but because the owners are from South India, the menu was not just standard curries. We shared a dosa and some lentil patties to start, then had paneer tikka and a mixed vegetable dish with rice, a garlic nan and a couple of pints of Cobra. It was delicious and all freshly made – you have to wait about 20 minutes for the dosa because they make the pancake from scratch. Coming from Glasgow, we consider ourselves curry connoisseurs and this was up there with the best. Highly recommended and all for just under £50.

Almost next door to Tabla is a Thai restaurant, the Mae-Ping. It looked interesting and, like Tabla, well occupied but not full so we thought we’d have a good chance of getting in and would try it on Saturday evening. This decision was affirmed by Trip Advisor (9 in Perth) and our friend in the hotel who said it was owned by people from Thailand and therefore more authentic than the other Thai restaurant in town. Again, we were happy with our choice though wouldn’t put it in the same rank as Tabla. We had mixed vegetarian starters, some of which were a bit heavy on the batter, then I had a vegetarian red curry and John had a duck dish. Both were meant to be hot but seemed quite mild to us, though they were delicious. Again, the bill came to under £50 and this included a bottle of wine and jasmine tea, which we thought was a real bargain.

One of the restaurants we were recommended and couldn’t get into on Friday was Sante, so we made a reservation for Sunday night. It’s number 3 on Trip Advisor and I’m told the rib-eye steak was delicious (whisper it, “better than the Chip”). I had the vegetarian assiette, mixed vegetable tapas, which was nice but unexciting compared to other places I’ve had tapas, so I wouldn’t rate this place as highly as the others we have visited, or not for vegetarians at least. For two courses, wine and coffee we paid just over £60, so a little more expensive too. But the olives on arrival and the complimentary bread and oil were nice touches.

On Monday, our final evening, we had rather over-eaten at lunchtime and decided to go out a bit later just for one course. We went to Breizh, another of the restaurants that were very full on Friday. Its owners are from Brittany and it specialises in crepes, or galettes. We each had one and, being easily influenced, followed the suggestion on the menu to pair them with imported Breton cider, and very pleased with it we were too. With a couple of coffees, this came to £31, so our cheapest dinner, but a lot less (deliberately) to eat.

Overall, we have been very impressed with the range and standard of the restaurants in Perth, but if I had to choose my favourite, it would definitely be Tabla.

To finish, here are a few shots of Perth by night – the riverside, St John’s Church, the Salutation Hotel and the Concert Hall:

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Tomorrow, it’s back home, then back to work on Wednesday after a lovely break.

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