The Apex City Quay Hotel and Spa on Dundee’s waterfront, has launched their Beano-themed family room and Jonah and I jumped on the train up the east coast of Scotland, to check it out. When you have more than one child and no local childcare, it’s a real treat to spend one-to-one time and it’s safe to say that Jonah is delighted his sisters aren’t joining us on our Beano trip.
For those that don’t know The Beano, (where have you been?) it is a long-running comic for kids, featuring the infamous prankster Dennis the Menace. Dundee is home to DC Thomson who in addition to publishing some of Scotland’s local and national newspapers and magazines, also publish The Beano. It’s long overdue that that there is somewhere for Beano fans to stay in Dundee as it’s a brilliant child-friendly city to visit.
After a quick and friendly check-in we head upstairs to find our room. As promised it was fun-filled with Beano characters adorning the walls and cushions. There was no doubt you were in the company of Dennis and friends. There was also a goody bag for fellow pranksters, which included a whoopee cushion and other hilarious jokes. Jonah has been a longtime Beano reader and despite turning 13 earlier this year, the room brought a big smile to his face. The room is spacious and comfortable with two king sized beds and the view over the Quay is fantastic. From our window, we spy Wild Shore, Dundee’s water-based adventure company and their giant inflatables (more on them later.)
We decide to check out the pool and spa, which are on the ground floor of the hotel. The pool was lovely and Jonah tried out the steam room and sauna for the first time. It was great fun to relax together and do something different. The gym looked tempting with some nice new equipment, but dinner was calling, so we headed up to our room to get ready.
The hotel has a brilliant children’s menu and there were plenty of happy families digging into their Beanotown mini cheeseburgers. Jonah was feeling extra hungry and adventurous, so he opted for the Taste of Scotland starter on the main menu – isn’t it great when your kids try things they wouldn’t touch at home? He followed that up with a huge burger. I had grilled chicken, which was very tasty. Only Jonah had space for pudding and really enjoyed the Dundee Cherry Cheesecake.
We had a restful night’s sleep and woke to some very Scottish weather. No worries, I’d booked us a session at Wild Shore on the inflatables. As I squashed myself into a wetsuit in the pouring rain and tentatively peered over the pier, I was wondering if it had been a mistake, but after I’d taken the initial plunge, it was fantastic fun. Jonah was like a slippery eel charging around the course, leaping off things, throwing himself around and deftly jumping from obstacle to obstacle. On the other hand, I was crawling around on my hands and knees, hesitating at the top of slides to look around for an escape route (I didn’t find one) and resembling a seal flopping in and out of the water. That said it was awesome fun and we had such a laugh. Jonah was delighted: “Let’s go down this one together mum”. Me: “errrmmm yeah sure…”. Thankfully Lyndsey one of the managers at the Apex had warned me that I’d need a warm shower afterwards and she had kindly treated us to a late check-out – she’s a wise one and it was very welcome indeed.
Warmed up and ready for the rest of the day, Jonah and I took the short walk under the Tay Road Bridge and along the waterside path to the V&A Dundee. A striking addition to Dundee’s waterfront the V&A Dundee is an amazing exhibition space designed by renowned architects Kengo Kuma. It looks amazing from inside and out and there is a permanent exhibition dedicated to Scottish design, which is well worth having a look around. We also visited the Tartan exhibition which explores the history and culture and runs until 14 January 2024.
After lunch we hopped back onto the train and headed home. The sun came out as we crossed the Tay. “We should do this again” said Jonah and he’s absolutely right.