"V&A DUNDEE is at the heart of the city’s current revival,” says the design museum’s Jennie Patterson as we peer over the silvery Tay from the Tatha restaurant. “But Dundee has always been a creative hub that weaves its past into its future, re-invents old stories to tell new ones.”

I know what Patterson means – Dundee is woven through music into my own story and Dundee’s is a story I recommend you weave into your life too.

I knew about Dundee decades before I’d ever been. My teacher was Alan Rankine’s brother and we were pretty much forced at primary school to buy the seminal The Associates singles Party Fears Two and Club Country.

It was a wise education – they struck me as a sound calling from another world. Looking back they were pioneers in many ways – Billy Mackenzie wearing lipstick and a French beret while singing improbably high notes on the streets of Dundee in the 1980s must have been quite something.

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Those streets have changed massively in the years I have known Dundee. Philip Long – the powerhouse behind the delivery of the V&A – told me it would when I dined with him in 2016. I wasn’t convinced the V&A would open in spring 2018 or help kickstart a Dundee renaissance. I was right on the former but Long was right that the V&A’s first design museum outside London would be a game-changer for Dundee when it opened in September 2018.

If you’ve not walked along the Dundee waterfront in years prepare to be massively surprised. Gone is the architectural carbuncle of the Olympia. In its place is pedestrianised oasis that eases all the way east along the Tay now as far as Broughty Ferry.

There is an “urban beach”, complete with sand and benches; river views too. A cafe selling Jannettas fine gelati has opened in the landscaped gardens, with many more additions promised.

And then there is the V&A Dundee itself. Some critics sniped at this deeply ambitious project but Kengo Kuma’s creation startles the eye, impossible to ignore as it thrusts over the river, all sharp lines and soaring sides.

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Yes, it could have more exhibition space inside, but it looks fantastic and the permanent collection, Scotland’s first permanent design collection, is glorious, a highlight walking through a room bathed in the genius of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. If you’ve not been, go.

Next door the ship that launched the City of Discovery tourist tag sits stuck in dry dock as she once was steadfast in Antarctica’s ice. The RRS Discovery’s most famous passenger was, of course, Captain Scott, whom she took to Antarctica and then delivered safely back to these shores. The onshore centre is essential to build your knowledge and excitement first. The new voiceover from the freshly dehonoured Alan Cumming is refreshing too.

Dundee overflows today with cultural attractions. I wander amidst some of the most famous Scottish paintings in existence and learn more about the city’s story at the McManus Art Gallery & Museum.

Then there is the creative hub of the DCA (Dundee Contemporary Arts) – come here to savour the brace of exhibition spaces, the brace of cinemas, or just to take Dundee’s creative pulse in its welcoming cafe.

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Verdant Works meanwhile quite brilliantly tells the milling part of the “Jam, Jute and Journalism” trifecta that once powered Dundee. It is, of course, housed dramatically in an old mill.

Dundee is surrounded by waters and fields that dish up a rich bounty of food. Daisy Tasker is named after a young worker who was employed at the mill where the restaurant sits today. I dine on spot-on salmon gravadlax followed by a flat iron steak – it’s always good to see less fashionable cuts of beef being used.

The culinary highlight, as it always is for me, though lies just across the Tay Road Bridge, at MasterChef: The Professionals winner Jamie Scott’s eatery, with its epic, always surprising, tasting menus.

I end my trip up Dundee Law. I’m ashamed to say I’ve never been there before. It’s quite the vantage point. This old volcano may only be 174m high but it peers right over Fife as far as St Andrews, soars inland up the Tay and then downriver to clearly reveal Dundee’s Brighton – Broughty Ferry. – and the city itself.

The V&A Dundee and Discovery glint back in the sunshine.