Perth’s George Street is brimming with fabulous independent shops, quality food and drink, and a wonderful wee sprinkle of culture for good measure. It's fair to say that small indie businesses rule the roost here. With the exception of a number of reputable estate agents such as Clyde Property, everything is owned by individuals and families who are passionate about their products, and who pride themselves on providing top-quality service.
In fact, the people of George Street love their shops so much that the owners and shopkeepers down this way are known affectionately by their first name and their shop name! It speaks volumes about the level of care that goes into what they do and sell when you become known as 'Provender Brown Diane', 'Whispers Laura' and 'Bean Shop Lorna'!
George Street represents everything that makes Perth the great small city that it is.
George Street represents everything that makes Perth the great small city that it is. It’s a wee bit quirky, brilliantly diverse, offers top-notch quality - and every single one of the retailers love what they do so much, that they pour their entire hearts into it.
So when you’re out shopping in the city centre, walk a little further down Perth High Street and turn left – you’ll be glad you did!
We sent Sam out - creative, stylish and shopper extraordinaire - to meet the Indies and find the treats and treasures that make this wonderful street so unique.
Mouth-watering locally sourced food, some of the finest gins from Bonnie Scotland and beyond, and the rich smell of coffee beans – George Street celebrates a great many highlights from Perthshire’s local food scene.
Provender Brown’s amazing cheese selection, deli counter and bottles upon bottles of incredible wines make them the perfect place to stock up before entertaining guests or enjoying a Saturday night in front of the telly. In more recent years they have become known as Perth City Centre's home of gin, stocking over 60 distillers and hosting the annual Wee G & T Festival as part of their offering to the city.
They also stock a wonderful array of jams, honeys and chutneys, chocolate from some of our country’s finest chocolatiers and a bounty of rapeseed and olive oils - with plenty of samples to help you pick from their huge range. Add to that list biscuits, pies, herbs and spices… in fact, on a recent visit, I spotted banana ketchup!
If artisanal is what you're after, this is the best of the best. They source locally where possible - Perth Farmers’ Market fans will find a big selection of their favourite producers for the buying all month round - and Diane, Martine and the team will keep you right with their incredible knowledge and passion for all things food and drink.
Coffee lovers rejoice: Lorna and John at The Bean Shop know how to brew up a storm. Wafts of gorgeously heady coffee aromas greet you upon entrance, along with a friendly smile. What makes The Bean Shop particularly unique is that they hand roast their beans in small batches right in front of you, bringing out a distinct depth of flavour and a guaranteed freshness. Buy beans, ask for ground or browse their many varieties of loose leaf tea.
As you’d expect from proper coffee geeks, all of the accoutrements one could possibly want are available to buy including unique mugs, teapots and thermos takeaway cups. While you're browsing there’s always freshly ground bean-to-cup coffee to enjoy while you’re in the shop - a lovely touch. Find out more about Lorna in her Big Personality story.
Across the way, Casella & Polegato know a thing or two about bread - to say the least. Head chef Denis grew up in a bread making family in Italy, eventually training to become a professional baker himself. The journey didn't end there though - his deep passion to achieve perfection saw him travel around Europe, and even as far afield as Japan.
The proof is in the freshly baked artisanal loaf: with every bite you can taste the love, passion and craft that have gone into each and every item. A particular favourite amongst customers is their sourdough - which they make in small batches, true to an authentic recipe.
If you need to take the weight off your feet after a busy few hours is shopping, then George Street has some of the city's best cafes, restaurants and bars.
George Street Tea Room, opened in January 2018 and this cute spot boasts the most unique crockery - my personal favourite being a duck shaped teapot! With a friendly, welcoming atmosphere, and delicious soups, cakes, and more on offer, this is a lovely little place to watch the world go by.
Gillies Café at the top of their store is a step up from usual department store eateries: you’ll find homemade baking, great coffee, comfy sofas and enviable views across the rooftop of Perth Concert Hall.
If you want to impress a date, The Post Box Restaurant and Cellar Bar is the place to be.
Then there’s Broth3rs where you will find the staff dishing up pizza and pasta at incredible value. Pop in for a three-course lunch for just £7.95 – a tasty bargain indeed. The open kitchen is perfect for those who appreciate the artistry behind their meals - the sights and smells certainly do whet your appetite, too!
Right at the top of the street, you’ll find The Post Box Restaurant and Cellar Bar. Dave and Kat have years of experience in the trade and poured it all into their own place. Chef Wesley uses local and seasonal produce to create the menu - and their gorgeous arrangement is a feast for the eyes as much as it is for the tastebuds. If you want to impress a date with small plate dining with intricate detail - this is the place to be.
Downstairs in the cosy Cellar Bar there is a fantastic selection of gins and whiskies from independent distillers from around Scotland. Beers on tap or bottled, unusual liqueurs and proper hand-shaken cocktails make this the exact bar that everybody over 30 has been waiting for!
The newest additions to the street, Brewdog, know their craft beer inside and out. If you're new to this growing phenomenon then this is the place to be: they offer a range of beer flights, allowing you to try a bunch out and see what you like best! Fresh stonebaked pizzas are served till late if you get peckish - oh, and they're dog friendly too. The perfect way to kick back on a Friday night and unwind with friends.
Who else could finish this section but Mario? The Scottish-Italian proprietor of Grand Italia throws open a big, fat, warm welcome to runs his family restaurant and offers authentic Italian food such as pizzas, pastas and a la carte Italian specials. The lasagne is, as you’d expect, exceptional and so is the seafood linguine. In fact, it’s all good! So make sure you book up early.
George Street is the place to get a dapper haircut from seasoned professionals. Campbell at Campbell Ewen the Kilted Barber delivers exactly what his namesake promises - a fresh cut and trim with an especially Scottish flair. Around for 21 years, you're in safe hands with this kilted icon.
Ewen Anderson Gents Barber is based on George Street, too. They embody a vintage, classic vibe - if you like retro styled interiors you'll feel right at home. Word from the many regulars on (George) street is that Gallery Hair Studio are the place to hit up for a professional, gorgeous hair-do when you need a little lift or before a night out - you heard it here first!
If you're looking for indies to furnish your home, look no further. One of Perth’s longest standing independents is the brilliant Whispers of the Past. Offering quality vintage way before it became the super-cool choice of hipsters, Laura’s shop is an Aladdin’s cave of goodies. They also stock new items and are a must-visit for gift ideas and little treats.
Speaking of little treats, you'll definitely want to treat yourself a little (or a lot!) when you step into Boo Vake. Not quite George Street, but just a hop, skip and jump across the road on Watergate Arlene's amazing shop embodies the indie ethos of George Street so perfectly, we simply couldn't leave them out!
You can find something utterly unique at Boo Vake, while supporting the Scottish creative scene.
Specialising in crafty wares from independent Scottish artists and designers from jewellery to homewares, you can both find something utterly unique at Boo Vake while supporting the Scottish creative scene. Opened in 1993, co-founder Arlene is an art school graduate herself, meaning her wares are carefully curated with an eye for the best of what is on offer from Scottish contemporary artists.
Fine art and paintings will never go out of fashion and West End Gallery has one of Perth’s best collections of traditional and contemporary art. The gallery boasts an extensive range of originals, pastels, watercolours, sculptures and bronzes. They also specialise in signed limited editions by leading artists such as Doug Hyde, Todd White, Mark Spain, Alexander Miller and Fabien Perez.
Carpets, sofas, tables, beds and everything else a home might need can be found at Gillies of Perth. Three floors of fabulous homewares make this one of our largest independents in the city. Their expert staff are always happy to help and welcome the chance to assist you in making your house a home.
Do floral blooms make your heart skip a beat? You'll be happy to know then, that George Street is home to two of Perth's best florists in the business.
If being surrounded by lush greenery is your ideal living situation, you definitely have to stop by Williamsons, who boast about every plant you can think of - it's like walking into a little greenhouse!
Open for around 50 years now, McIntyre’s offer bespoke bouquets tied by hand and stunningly arranged: perfect for any and all occasions that call for a touch of floral delight.
If you want to fuel your creative impulse, George Street is the place to be!
Fuel your creative impulse with a stroll down George Street and a browse in some of the colourful stores. Bead Crazy is a bright, colourful burst of happiness that offers an amazing choice of beads for crafters of all ages. There are beads of all shapes and sizes just waiting to tempt you – it’s like being in a sweetie shop! They welcome kids' parties, and keep your eyes peeled for fun workshops.
Buttons, fabrics, threads – the lot! The Peacock and The Tortoise is a crafter's dream. Everything you need for quilting, patchwork, embroidery, felting and textile crafts can all be found under one roof. They offer a wide range of courses for beginners and experienced crafters, and these are now available in voucher form for gifts!
Only the best for your big day awaits you here! Wedding dress shopping can be as exciting as it is nerve-wracking. At Ivory Whites, they take pride in making sure their clients find the perfect dress. Not only do they have incredible gowns for brides and their maids, but they provide friendly and knowledgeable service from the moment you walk through the door.
Marcus from Janet Eagleton & Son has honed his craft of sporran-maker to include a list of clients as diverse as Prince Charles, the Blackwatch, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, and Samuel L Jackson. In 2001, his mum Janet Eagleton received an MBE for her services to sporran-making, taking their small shop on George Street into the elite ranks of Scotland’s best artisans.
He has also created his own range of sporran handbags and has attracted attention from British fashion royalty, Vivienne Westwood.
Elizabeth Parker Jewellery – known locally as the diamond specialists - is run by an extremely knowledgeable mother and daughter team who have built up years of experience gold, silver and gem set jewellery. Offering both modern and traditional designs for brides-to-be searching for the perfect wedding band, in true George St style, it’s also conveniently close to Ivory Whites bridal!
If handcrafted, artisan jewellery is your thing then Byers & Co is well worth popping in for a visit. Owned and run by the amazing Linda Byers, you can browse her original designs for sale or chat to her about a commissioned piece.
Linda sources beautiful stones from around the world and there is little better way to spend an afternoon than by gazing at her cabinet and picturing them in a specially commissioned ring.
We’re always being made that little bit more aware of how our shopping habits affect the planet and as a result, upcycling has enjoyed a huge resurgence in the past few years. Revival is Perth’s authentic vintage shop and brings the hidden gems of yesteryear into your wardrobe today.
True lovers of fashion will love Mandy’s collections of designer goods, vintage styles and clothes, new jewellery, gifts, bags and accessories, that offer something just that little bit different. As a dress agency for quality fashion, you can also sell your once-worn and nearly-new clothing through Mandy on a 50% commission basis.
Perth Museum and Art Gallery have a fantastic programme of events, fun and engaging exhibitions and a wide range of different collections. From reminiscing on memories past in Perth, to collaborative community led art exhibitions, the museum is as much a creative cultural hub as it is a preserver of relics.
Many of these are free to view and open to all – and can provide a great day out for children and adults alike. Go on, pop your head in and remind yourself why this is one of Perth’s most iconic public buildings!
J M Richards Cycles have been in the family since 1954. Asking around the office, it’s where everyones' bikes came from as a child, creating some of our favourite Christmas and birthday childhood memories. They’ve built a reputation on service and quality and as well as a top range of great bikes for all ages and requirements they also offer repairs and servicing from their workshop.
Photo credit: Thanks to Marysia Macfarlane for this fantastic picture of George Street. #PerthLoveFest
Spending an afternoon wandering down the Café Quarter and visiting the various eateries, I was super impressed, and definitely a little bit hungry!
October 29th Monday 2018
Matt Henderson is the fourth generation at WTG Henderson Jewellers in Perth, currently owned by his dad, Scott, the family business is was established in the city in 1938.
July 26th Thursday 2018
Sharon Colburn started her business, Arabesque Dancewear, as an 18-year-old just trying to find out what she wanted to do with her life. Thirty years on, she's still going strong.
July 13th Friday 2018