St. John Street is one of Perth’s most iconic areas. The glorious St John’s Kirk backs onto this beautiful pedestrianised street, lending the area an air of historicism that merges effortlessly with the laid-back atmosphere of a continental shopping promenade.
The wide paved walkway, stunning architecture and rows of brightly lit and windows bring a bit of wide-eyed magic and wonder as you saunter downwards.
From the fantastic choice of high-quality, independent retailers which sit alongside renowned brands; family owned jewellery shops that have been in business since (far) before we were wee; and the newer indie businesses that have been welcomed in with our traditional Small City warmth – this little street is a treasure trove of wonders.
So let us guide you along St John Street, and illustrate to you how it’s earned its well-deserved reputation as one of our Small City’s shopping hotspots. We hit up all St John has to offer - check out our video below, too!
This one’s for the romantics. St John Street houses three of the city’s oldest and most respected jewellers at its heart: together, they offer an array of contemporary designer brands and stunning antique treasures.
With over 80 years in business, you could say TB Mitchells know a thing or two about the jewellery trade – to put it lightly. With over 100 (!) years of collective experience between the staff here, and a range of brands – including some exclusive brands like Omega that you won’t find anywhere else in Perth – you’re in very capable hands.
Another old romantic guaranteed to make your heart skip a beat, Cairncross were founded all the way back in 1869. To this day they are an independent family jeweller that deals in extravagance, with a knowledgeable and warm service. Notable too is that they are a stockist of many luxury brands including Rolex, and they are one of only two shops in the United Kingdom with a license to sell natural Scottish River Pearls.
If antique treasures and vintage pieces are what you’re yearning for, Timothy Hardie is your man. Unique one-offs and opulent opals glint and glow, drawing you further into the curiosities of the past. Timothy has over 50 years’ experience in antique jewellery, first established in London before the allure of our Small City streets drew him Northward! Alongside jewellery, browse through their extensive selection of Victorian, Edwardian and modern silverware. They really don’t make them like this anymore.
Because your new diamond necklace would reaaaaally pop with a fresh new do. Right? Right. If you’re looking for some pampering indulgence: look no further - we’ve got you.
Retail therapy is best followed by some beauty therapy, as Nepalese Beauty Therapy know all too well. With no lack of loyal clientele, a large range of treatments are offered by owner Sarita with skill and approachable, expert service, from lash lifts to waxing and more. Sarita opened her own salon after training in her sister’s beauty parlour in Pokhara, Nepal where she developed her own unique threading technique that minimises irritation and redness. Nepali head massages are also on offer, sending you into a deep relaxation that gets your blood blowing and your skin utterly glowing!
If you’re looking for some pampering indulgence: look no further.
For luscious locks, pop into internationally acclaimed stylist John Gillespie at his namesake salon. Run by himself and his wife Dorothy, John Gillespie Hairdressing is no stranger to the limelight. John has made many TV appearances, from BBC’s Style Challenge, to Good Morning Britain, and their stylists are talented and ambitious - this 2018 having come fresh from a stint at London Graduate Fashion Week. One to check out for sure.
When it comes to your wellbeing you can never go wrong with asking the experts. Lucky then that there is expertise aplenty at the Highland Health Store! The most unique thing about this store is its layout – its split into two sections which sit directly opposite from each other on St John Street.
One houses their extensive speciality food selection – veggies, vegans and gluten free eaters of Perth, this is where you want to be. Directly opposite are their hub for homeopathic and bach flower remedies, vitamins, minerals and natural skincare. Established in Perth in 1989, this family run company offer expert service with a personal touch.
Perthshire is known the world over as Scotland’s outdoor playground, with its amazing landscape of hills, rivers and lochs. You’d be hard pressed to find a moment of greater clarity than when surrounded by the crisp fresh air and babbling brooks of our landscapes.
Now if you’re planning to explore our beautiful horizons, you’ll need to come prepared for that unpredictable Scottish weather. Stock up at one of the two great outdoors shops on this street. First up are Banks, who boast the enviable title of being the oldest business in all of Perth, having first opened in 1831 – and they’re still family owned! So with nearly 200 (!!!) years in the business, I think it’s safe to say that they’re absolutely one to stop by prior to your hillwalking/skiing/skydiving adventures.
Next up are Rohan, a multinational brand with a track record for light, quick drying, protective and easy to care for clothing. They are fashion conscious and ensure everything they make is hard-working, made to last and feature hidden clothing technologies. Chic camping chic? Check!
There’s something just universally nice about spending a lazy Sunday picking up little things for your home, isn’t there? Whether you want to bring in a cozy ‘hygge’ vibe, or you prefer a sleek modern chic, you can find everything you need to express your own personal style, right here.
If you need it for your kitchen, they’ve got it! If you didn’t even know you need it for your kitchen, they’ve still got it! One of the city’s all-time favourite stores is Lakeland and its little wonder with their amazing choice of items for baking, cooking, creating and making. Let the friendly and fantastic staff take the stress out of shopping and help you find what you need. So you can get to the fun part – filling your house with the warm aroma of home-cooking! We’ve got some recipes to help you out with that, by the way…..
You can also pick up some great things for your home from Beales. Based in the famous building formerly occupied by McEwens of Perth, at Beales you’ll find fantastic furniture and homeware ideas, as well as nifty little gifts for your garden. The department store keeps you on trend with the latest beauty and fashion styles, and counters full of high-end beauty products. You could quite literally spend a full day browsing their selection…and honestly, why wouldn’t you?!
The Rose House are owned by team Audrey and John, and here you can pick up a wide array of houseplants and flowers to make your home look blooming bloody beautiful! Audrey is a florist with 25 years’ experience and individually hand makes all of her bouquets, wreaths and arrangements. Bonus: you can sip some coffee amongst their flower selection too, and duck in for a spot of quiet relaxation during your shopping extravaganza.
Perhaps one of the biggest draws on St John Street is the fantastic fashion on offer. Honestly if you want to turn a look, and serve some angles this is where you need to get yourself down to, ASAP.
Let’s kick off with a classic. Joules are based in the old Austin Reed building and the premium clothing brand caters for men, women and kids, offering up the best of British fashion and style. They have a baby collection if there are any new-borns in your life with an eye for style…or just really fashionable parents. Probably the latter.
Perhaps one of the biggest draws on St John Street is the fantastic fashion on offer.
Kids in the City are an independent children’s clothing boutique specialising in high quality, unique European fashion that you’ll want to check out for the little ones, too. Specialising in fashion for 0 – 12 year olds, they stock an admirable list of designer brands such as Mayoral and Tutto Piccolo. They also provide dresses for special occasions like weddings and communions for those important, photo-worthy moments.
If you’re looking for something warm to keep you cosy in the final months of winter – also known as literally every other day in Scotland - then pop into Scottish favourite Edinburgh Woollen Mill. Everyday cosy basics at terrific prices and in every vibrant colour and pattern you can imagine are stocked – ditch your old fleece (you know the one) and give your wardrobe a revamp.
Famed for its happy outlook, White Stuff in Perth takes its quirky windows to a whole new level as their colourful graphics sing out of the stunning architecture of the old bank. This may be a lifestyle brand but its original textile prints, carefully chosen locations and real sense of ethical values make it a great fit for the street’s quality indie atmosphere.
So you talk the talk, but do you walk the walk? You will when you’ve got a fresh new pair of shoes from none other than Mostyn McKenzie. Their almost independent but almost a chain store status brings you the service and welcome of a small, family owned store and the choice and range of a bigger outlet. Their Perth branch is one of only five and they have carved a name for themselves in the comfortable, fashionable footwear market. You’ll be skipping out with style!
Last but not least, you can style yourself from head to toe at Wilkies, where you’ll find everything from designer Barbour jackets to fashionable scarves and handbags, stunning jewellery and the latest trends in footwear from the hottest brands around.
A favourite with the people of Perthshire, when you’re on St John Street and feeling a little bit peckish you’d best get yourself into Tower Bakery. Go for your lunch, take a fresh loaf of Perthshire bread home with you and whatever you do, make sure you have a pineapple cake at least once in your life! Straight from the ovens of our very own local bakery, you will find pies, pastries and cakes made to Scottish recipes for our sweet Scottish palate!
Need a coffee break? You’re in luck! Coffee and Things are the perfect little brunch and coffee spot. Serving up gorgeously delectable dishes – hi, cheese and caramelised onion baked soufflés, where have you been all my life?! – and a blend of Italian and Scottish cuisine, this is THE hottest new brunch spot – ya heard it here first!
Chester’s are where you need to be if you love quality coffee. Set in the premise of an old butcher that dates back to 1898, when revamping their space they made the unique choice to keep in some of the pre-existing interior tiles – honouring the history of their premises in a very eye-catching way. They roast all of their (Fairtrade) beans on their premises too – you’ll see their impressive roaster proudly displayed in their shop window! With a warm ambience, friendly service and great coffee, this is the perfect little hideaway to while away a few hours.
For an after shop tipple or a delicious meal, then The Venue on St John Street is the place to be. Their fantastic menu will set your taste buds tingling, and their extremely popular gin and rum bars serve up fancy drinks well into the night. A highlight of the Café Quarter scene, too….
All in all, St John Street has everything you need to enjoy a day out in Perth with fantastic indies, a great choice in fashion and jewellery, a bustling department store and more. What better way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon than wandering down this city street?
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.
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