Desert Tale

Number 10, Volume 3

Nostalgic Nosey Parkers

Queens Hotel, Dundee

You have to relish the warm, crispy, sinfully fattening croissants, and delicious bacon from breakfasts at the Queen’s Hotel in Dundee, owned by welcoming owner, Gordon Sneddon, to feel quite at home.

I always stay there whenever I travel from the USA to Dundee to visit family because I enjoy the attention to detail that Gordon provides with his excellent service as a hard-working manager and owner.

Sadly, he sold the baby grand piano that sat majestically displayed in the window of Nosey Parker’s, his famous bar. As Gordon told me: “nobody plays it anymore.” So I had to sing acapella the Ave Maria with the organist of St. Andrews Cathedral, while waiting for Gail Cameron to interview me from the Scottish Sun. We used one of his conference rooms upstairs for taking photos and dishing the dirt.

This old, but refurbished Best Western enterprise, graces the Tay River near the park where my mother and father would meet on their dates during WW2. Its charm and ambiance is an institution in Dundee that housed its share of celebrities who drank and slept there, starting with Winston Spencer Churchill, who used it as his campaign headquarters in the run-up to the 1908 general elections, which he won on May 9th, becoming a Liberal Member of Parliament from Dundee. Thus Churchill became a regular visitor to this charming hotel on his many constituency visits to the city between 1908-1922, according to the commemorative plaque near the entrance.

Staying at this hotel is a delightful experience and I highly recommend it, but warn you to make advance reservations at: 01382-322515; in the Nethergate, Dundee, DD1-4DU, because it is always full, “except around Christmas time, as we are a businessman’s hotel.” But they also cater parties and wedding receptions.

I think it would make a wonderful setting for my next mystery book, because of its history and personalities who stayed there which sparks my imagination. I wonder whether I should make Gordon one of the characters? What would Agatha Christie write?

Alinka Zyrmont