Archive for November 2011
You may not realise it, but St Andrews Golf Hotel in, you guessed it, St Andrews, Scotland, is part of the Hotel du Vin Group. The area is synonymous with golf, but there’s much more to it to entice you to visit.
I checked into the hotel on a dreary, windy autumn day. The warmth and friendliness I was greeted with immediately lifted my spirits, as did the fantastic sea views from my room.
Once settled, I decided to explore and the great thing about St Andrews, is that everything you need is nearby. A 5-10 min walk and you’re in the town centre, where a mix of high street favourites and independent boutiques await. It’s those precious one off shops that draw me in. The ones that that stock items you’re not likely to find elsewhere, like Bonkers on Market Street.
There are plenty of cafes and places to rest your feet as you explore. A visit to the place where Kate met Wills (for coffee) is a necessity if you’re a royal fan. If not, how about treating yourself to a haircut, complete with a free whisky?
Or for the ladies, a pot of tea, Scottish style.
St Andrews is steeped in history and nowhere is this more apparent than at the castle ruins, just a couple of minutes from the Golf Hotel. The stories connected with this place are violent and bloody, yet fascinating at the same time. This is where men fought the wars of independence, where the religious wars took place and where power was lost and won many times over. On this particular, windswept, cold and drizzly day, the power of the past was like a blanket that covered me from head to toe.
One battle from centuries ago included an attempt to attack the castle from underground through a tunnel. The defenders dug an opposing tunnel to cut them off. It worked, after several attempts, and the cramped, dark, claustrophobic mines still exist today. You can walk through them, which I tried to do. I failed miserably.
I was glad to get back to the cosy hotel, where I popped myself down in the front room with a pot of tea and took in the panoramic views of the beach in complete comfort.
The beach is stunning and the location from the 1981 film Chariots of Fire. Already I know your singing the tune. And yes, I did have a slo-mo run across the sands the next day.
That evening I sampled the Number 40 restaurant. I can recommend the mozzarella and tomato starter. The quality of the local produce used is a treat for the taste buds. A whisky in Ma Bells downstairs (where Kate and Wills were frequent guests) and I retreated to my huge bed, Egyptian cotton linen and LCD HD TV.
The next morning I had breakfast in the number 40 bar.
The view again was beautiful and I watched the early morning seagulls dancing for their breakfast.
St Andrews may be known for its golf and the meeting place of our future king and queen, but there is plenty more on offer. St Andrews Golf hotel is perfectly placed, with stunning views, beautiful architecture and comfortable, relaxed surroundings. I truly felt it was retreat and will definitely be back.
St Andrews are currently gearing up for Christmas. They are now on Facebook and twitter too, so be sure to follow them for special deals, offers and news.