Perth’s George Street is jam-packed with fabulous independent shops, quality food and drink, with a sprinkle of culture thrown into the mix. There are no big chain stores, no multiple retailers and no fast food outlets. With the exception of a number of reputable solicitors and estate agents (George Street is the home of our good friends at Clyde Property), everything is owned by individuals and families who are passionate about their products and the service you receive.
In fact, the people of George Street love their shops so much that all of the owners and shopkeepers down this way are known affectionately in our city by their first name and their shop name! It speaks volumes about the level of care that goes into what they do and sell. You’ll find Diane from Provender Brown, Pharos Fiona and Sporran Bag Marcus to name but a few.
It 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!
A Cut Above
For gents, George Street is the place to get a dapper haircut from seasoned professionals. Campbell Ewan the Kilted Barber and Ewan Anderson Gents Barber are both on hand to give your hair a tidy up and trim that beard for a big night out. For the ladies, Gallery Hair Studio is there to give you that new look and colour you’ve been looking for!
Food Lovers’ Heaven!
This street is a paradise for foodies! 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 the best of Perthshire’s local larder.
Provender Brown’s amazing cheese selection, deli counter and bottles upon bottles of incredible wines and gins make it the perfect place to stock up before entertaining guests. Diane also stocks 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. Add to that list biscuits, pies, herbs and spices… I could go on and on!
They source locally where possible and Perth Farmers’ Market fans will find a big selection of their favourite producers there for the buying all month round. And if it’s advice you need then Diane, Martine and the team will keep you right with their incredible knowledge and passion for all things food and drink.
Someone who needs that extra boost to keep you going throughout the day? Then you’ll want to visit Lorna and John at The Bean Shop! You will be welcomed by a waft of amazing coffee aromas and a friendly smile. Lorna and John roast their bespoke blends right there in the basement – there really is nowhere else in town you’ll find coffee this fresh! Buy beans, ask for ground or go really crazy and choose some loose leaf tea.
As you’d expect from proper coffee geeks, all of the accoutrements one could possibly want are available to buy including quirky mugs, teapots and thermos takeaway cups for your coffee. The nicest thing is that they’re always brewing and there’s freshly ground bean-to-cup coffee to enjoy while you’re in the shop. You can find out more about Lorna in her Big Personality story.
Come In, Sit Down, We’re Glad to See You!
If you need to take the weight off your feet after a busy few hours is shopping then stop in at one of these tasty places for a break.
Why not try Gillies Café at the top of their store? A step up from usual department store eateries, you’ll find homemade baking, great coffee, comfy sofas and enviable views!
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.
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 they have quickly become a favourite of the foodies. The menu changes often and rest assured it’s all very, very good!
Downstairs is the cosy Cellar Bar with 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!
Looking for a quick stop for some breakfast or lunch? Then Café Canto Bistro is ideal for you. Soups, hot filled rolls and hot drinks to warm you up after a day out shopping.
Who else could finish this section by Mario? The Scottish-Italian proprietor of Grand’ Italia runs his family restaurant with absolute passion and throws open a big, fat, warm welcome and offers authentic Italian food that ensures it’s packed out every night of the week. Pizzas, pastas and a la carte Italian specials will please young and old alike. 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.
Make a Home, a Home
Nothing makes a home like flowers and on George Street you’ll find two of Perth’s best florists. Williamsons at the High Street end and McIntyre’s halfway up both offer delivery services and professionally hand-tied bouquets.
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.
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.
Bikes, Brides, Beads and Buttons!
Ok, so none of these things go together but when you have a street full of proper bespoke shops then categories can get a little bit tricky – and alliteration always raises a smile!
J M Richards Cycles is a Perth institution and it has been in the family since 1954. It’s where all of my bikes came from as a child and created some of my favourite Christmas and birthday memories in my early years. 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!
Wedding dress shopping is one of the most exciting and nerve-wracking times in a girl’s life and at Ivory Whites, they pride themselves on 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.
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 without the calories! Bead Crazy welcome kids parties, and keep your eyes peeled for fun workshops.
Buttons, fabrics, threads – the lot! The Peacock and The Tortoise is a crafters 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!
The Talented Artisans
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.
The extremely talented Marcus has also created his own range of sporran handbags and has attracted attention from British fashion royalty, Vivienne Westwood.
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.
Vintage Fashion & Designer Jeweller
If you’d like to own a beautiful piece of designer jewellery then drop in and chat to the mother and daughter owners at Elizabeth Parker Jewellery – the diamond specialists. You’ll find they are extremely knowledgeable and can help you find exactly what you’re looking for. They stock gold, silver and gem set jewellery in modern and traditional designs for brides-to-be searching for the perfect wedding band. Oh, and it’s conveniently close to Ivory Whites!
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.
Parcel it up…
What do you do once you’ve found the perfect gift for someone who doesn’t live in Perthshire? Well, you pop into Pharos Parcel and chat to Fiona about the best way to send it away of course! Pharos takes on the Post Office and wins every day of the week, with her fantastic worldwide parcel delivery rates. Find out more about Fiona in her Big Personality story.
Soak up the Culture!
Perth Museum and Art Gallery has a fantastic programme of events, fun and engaging exhibitions and a wide range of different collections. 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 it one of Perth’s most iconic public buildings!
Photo credit: Thanks to Marysia Macfarlane for this fantastic picture of George Street.
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