NATALIE Walker tries a “babymoon” break at the Fairmount Hotel in St Andrews
WITH just three weeks to go before our first child was due my partner and I were excited. We were also on tenterhooks… and much in need of a place to wind down. A colleague suggested we try a “babymoon” break, so we promptly booked in for just such a deal at the Fairmont, near St Andrews. This was a 24-hour getaway on a different level – the ideal place to recharge our batteries in the run-up to the birth of our little bundle.
BUDGET OR BOUTIQUE?
This was an all-out five-star luxury experience. The drive up to the hotel is spectacular as you sweep by stunning cliff-top views of nearby St Andrews and the sea. The entrance to the hotel is grand, but nothing compared with the regal fireplace (complete with life-size portrait) which greets you as you enter. The hotel oozes class, and everything is on a large scale – from the chairs and bespoke wooden ornaments in communal areas to the staircases and windows, contributing to the grand scale of the establishment as a whole.
WINING AND DINING
With five different dining options on offer there is something for every taste. We opted for a three-course dinner in the brassiere style Squire Restaurant which, with its clever night lights and huge trees, gives you a sense of dining outside while indoors.
The varied menu was a mix of Scottish and French cuisine – and every dish was divine. The Banff smoked haddock starter, served with a light pea mousse so good I could dine on it daily, was delicious. My main, the fillet of plaice, was gigantic. Three beautifully cooked pieces of fish were served with a walnut and caper butter. Daddy-to-be opted for his usual – a sirloin steak with man-sized chips – and he was equally impressed with the quality. Pudding was the icing on the cake… passion fruit mousse with pineapple sorbet. Lip-smackingly good.
Next time we visit, we aim to try La Cucina, the new Italian eaterie whose pizzas looked and smelled like the ones served up when you holiday in Italy, with fresh and simple toppings and not too much tomato sauce.
With two seating areas, an American-sized bed (luxury when 37 weeks pregnant), several enormous windows with views of the sea and an award-winning golf course we were in relaxation heaven. We chilled in the voluminous embrace of the sofas. On hand were a luxury coffee maker and handmade chocolates. But this was nothing to the ideal treat for a mum-to-be – a Bath Butler. A what?! Yes, a beauty therapist came to our room and ran a piping hot bath filled with essential oils and adorned the bathroom with candles to relax and rejuvenate me. I didn’t want to get out. Needless to say, it did the trick.
WORTH GETTING OUT OF BED FOR
We both enjoyed a 70-minute spa treatment suited to our needs. I had a luxurious leg, arm and head massage, which chilled me out for hours. The oils used are pregnancy-friendly and designed to relax and moisturise the body. My partner opted for a deep-tissue, anti-stress massage and got so in the zone he found it hard to drag himself off the treatment bed. Afterwards he enjoyed a glass of fizz in the rest area while I had fresh fruit juice and home made biccies. Dad-to-be enjoyed a few lengths in the sizeable pool before visting the sauna and steam room. For those seeking an outdoor pursuit there are two superb golf courses with dramatic views of the Fife coast.
Stockpiling on sleep and not wanting to rise too early we were thrilled to be served breakfast in bed. We devoured well-stacked plates of sausages, bacon and French toast. The croissants – chocolate, almond and plain, were delicious. Super large pots of coffee were much appreciated giving us just the energy we needed to leave our room after our 24 hours of relaxation.
GUEST BOOK COMMENTS
It’s well worth visiting the two bar areas – complete with gigantic furniture. We chilled in the sports bar where we played pool and darts.
• Room rates start from £149 B&B. The babymoon package is available to both parents, from £409. The Fairmont, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 8PN (01334 837000, www.standrewsbay.com)
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