About Madison S
Lives in London, United Kingdom
Since Sep 2014
Hello! I'm Maddie- a native NYer whose Wanderlust has taken her abroad again and again. Having lived in six countries, and visiting others for school, work, leisure, and sport, I've adopted many localities, and am an admirer of a great many more. An avid scholar of language and culture, I hope to keep expanding my travel repertoire, and sharing great stories with the rest of the travel community. To give you some background on my travels, I spent months each year since childhood in Old Montreal, where part of my family lives. Summers were spent visiting folks in Ft. Lauderdale and L.A. My first big trip outside of the US on my own was to Australia & New Zealand at 12- I caught the bug early! I then moved to Japan where I studied for part of high school & uni. I am very familiar with Japanese cities, Sapporo and Osaka especially. Some of my favourite travel destinations include Goreme, Dubai, Marrakech, and Queenstown. (Plans for 2015 include China & Uganda!) Nice to meet you!
Beaches, Nature & Wildlife Areas
Bars & Clubs
Bars & Clubs
Castles, Historic Sites
Game & Entertainment Centres, Shooting Ranges, Surfing, Windsurfing & Kitesurfing, Water Sports, Scuba & Snorkeling
Architectural Buildings, Concerts
City Tours, Distillery Tours, Private Tours, Sightseeing Tours, Day Trips
Fifteen minutes outside of the city centre, sand and waves await. Balmedie Beach, a solid spot favoured by locals, is a great location for swimming, light surfing, boogie boarding, or a romantic picnic. If it's warm out, you might even get in some sunbathing! For those not inclined to take a dip (especially when it's cold), the Balmedie seascape makes for a lovely walk hand-in-hand on the boardwalk or a scenic riding trail (nearby horse stables offer couple's rides along the coast).
To spice up a date night with a little culture, pay a visit to His Majesty's Theatre to take in a play or show. This early 1900s space was built in a sumptuous Edwardian style, with four tiers and box seats where you can cozy up. It's the northernly home of the Scottish Ballet and Scottish Opera, and frequent destination for shows straight from London's West End — so you can be sure that the theatre has a great variety-studded schedule.
The Johnston Gardens provide a tranquil retreat in which to enjoy each other's company, outside of the hustle of the city centre. Located in the Seafield district, the park's picturesque walks include a duck pond, immense shrubbery and trees, gently hilly climbs, and a little bridge that straddles a burbling waterfall. This is a relaxing spot to enjoy a long walk or a sit down among the chirping birds and the honied smell of flowers.
The Dusk Bar is a great start to a date night. Here, engaging and energetic staff serve up an impressive menu of cocktails, and bartenders always have a suggestion on-hand or can whip up something bespoke upon request. Once you have your drinks in hand, you are welcome to try out the gourmet buffet (duck sausage roll, anyone?) or sit back snugly while you enjoy the musical vibe at one of Aberdeen's hippest cocktail bars.
Another option for a night on the town with your special someone, Casc is for the connoisseur couples who enjoy fine beer, whiskey, and coffee. An unlikely selection? Not so at Casc, where they pull it all together with old-world charm by offering guests cigars, schnapps, and a seat on the deck. Knowledgable staff can help guide you to the right drink, while Casc's meat and cheese platters pair well with most choices. Grab a table to while away a few hours in each other's company at this warm, bohemian location.
Fasque House, a country estate with a baronial manor sitting in the centre of its extensive grounds, is mostly used for events and lodging. For couples looking to plan weddings, engagement parties, and soirees, the magnificent rooms and lawns of Fasque House can be rented out, inclusive of the professional manor-house staff. Plus, for those who are simply seeking a snug weekend getaway, self-catered cottages on the grounds also make for a scenic retreat. Most event and stay requests can be accommodated, from the simple to the lavish (arriving by helicopter... no problem), and couples' privacy is taken seriously by onsite staff. This is an extraordinary place to tour around, sleep, or banquet in.
Massages, heat treatments, facials, and general pampering... what couple couldn't use a little 'we' time to have a break, and relax? With an amazing massage menu ranging from deep tissue to hot stone, Thai to relaxation (not to mention nourishing and detoxifying body therapies), it's safe to say that Pure Spa & Beauty is the perfect place for a couple to unwind after a long day of travel or sightseeing. Both facials and grooming are tailored specifically towards both women and men, so every kind of couple can enjoy a visit here.
The bustling atmosphere at Breakneck Comedy Club is all thanks to its regularly hilarious acts. A casual, kick-your-feet up spot with a well-priced bar, with an engaging host and guest comedy acts that routinely have crowds in fits of laughter, Breakneck is a cool way to unwind and let loose together in Aberdeen.
They say the best way the heart is through the stomach, so what could be more romantic than cooking a meal together? Nick Nairn Cook School offers classes in international cuisine, but there's nothing like whipping up Scottish beef fillet and whiskied Cranachan together while you're in Aberdeen. So have a spot of wine and learn some techniques that are sure to go a long way towards spicing up the kitchen at home, too!
City Beach is even more of a local's spot than Balmedie. With a beautiful promenade straddled by a summer funfair (when in season) and townie restaurants, this charming location is a great place to wrap up and go for a stroll. If it's cold, get toasty at one of the seafront cafes, and if you go early enough, you may even spot the dolphins playing in the surf!
For the adventurous couple, Core 94 has you covered. They focus on water and field sports, as well as games and paintball, and their scuba diving outings in the North Sea are especially recommended for couples. Novice and advanced divers are both welcome, and for super-advanced divers, Core 94 has all the equipment you'll need to go on your very own expedition. Plus, for real adrenaline junkies, a land-based game of paintball might be just the thing to have you high-fiving in your war paint!
The Aberdeen Music Hall has been delighting listeners since 1822. Home to decadent architecture and even better bands, the concert hall hosts celebrity music makers and amateurs alike for concerts and shows. While seating isn't nearly as large or dramatic as at His Majesty's Theatre, the more intimate and romantically decorated setting here includes balconies and high-domed rooms. The sound quality is also wonderful, and touring bands often choose the music hall as their destination-of-choice while in town.
With recent renovations aiming to modernise the complex while enhancing its original glory, the Tivoli Theatre is another romantic location to take in a operatic show. This venue hosts a number of both popular and off-beat productions (from 'Sleeping Beauty' to 'Persuasion'), set in an atmosphere representative of old idea of the arts, with fantastic reliefs and red velveteen seats. A date here will feel like opening night at the Met, but with far more economical pricing!
No romantic guide is complete without a nod towards a fine dining spot. At Moon Fish Cafe, couples can share a romantic dinner from a luxurious menu that includes rabbit, lobster, and mackerel, as well as house specials such as salt-baked carrot with feta - yum! Top this off with a delicious cheese board and some wine, and you have the perfect evening (or leisurely afternoon) meal. Portion sizes are normal, the setting is bright and modern, and the staff is helpful. This is an Aberdeen favorite that will leave you full and happy from dining on fresh artisanal food.
Cafe 52 is a great spot for lunch, dinner, and tapas, featuring a wide breadth of menu options, including local and farm-fresh dishes. While you wouldn't go amiss having a trendy, high-energy meal at this lively spot, I recommend that couples visit here to indulge in a spot of dessert! Mrs. B, Cafe 52's baking master, is famous for her homemade cakes and sweets, especially since she makes them using ripe ingredients from the Aberdeen area. The Eton Mess with fresh strawberries and Chantilly cream, chocolate chip brioche bread and butter pudding... need I say more? Save room for dessert, lovebirds!
Ready for your fairytale ending? At Karl's Scottish Castle Tours, you can relive the Happily Ever Afters of former Lords, Ladies, and royalty as you hop from one castle to the next. Aberdeen is known for its castles, both in tact and in ruins, and with Castle Tours, you can opt to explore them privately, as you're chauffeured around areas ranging from Aberdeen to Inverurie to Huntly. You'll view castle grounds and towns, including gardens, distilleries, and heritage sites; but best of all, you'll be accompanied by guides who know a ton about the history of Aberdeen and its surrounding environs.