St Andrews summer guide: Where to eat, sleep and shop in the Fife town

Visit the Home of Golf while it’s sunny

As a fresh batch of graduates are released from St Andrews University, the town becomes slightly quieter, as far as students are concerned.

They’ll be replaced by tourists, who come to visit the golf courses, castle, botanic gardens, aquarium or the cathedral; jog along West Sands, or just hang out in the rare sunshine.

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We think it’s the best time of year to visit, while there’s no chilly sea wind to whistle up cobbled North Castle Street and along The Scores.

If it’s been a while since you last visited this Fife town, then here are our summer suggestions for holiday-makers or day trippers. This is where to eat, sleep, shop (and repeat).


If we could stay anywhere in this two-year-old five-star hotel, where the decor is lavish and theatrical, it’d be in their vast Links Townhouse, which is spread across four floors. Otherwise, we’ll take an 18th View Deluxe Suite, as it looks out over the Old Course. For similarly spectacular views, try their 18 rooftop restaurant, with a menu overseen by MasterChef: The Professionals’ inaugural winner, Derek Johnstone.

Pilmour Links (0344 879 9136,


You’re correct, this is the restaurant from another MasterChef alumni, Dean Banks, who also has places in Edinburgh and Dollar. However, this location is different from the others as it also has a selection of top floor suites, with prices starting from £280 a night including breakfast, so you can roll up the stairs to Bedlington after eating St Andrews Bay smoked lobster and mirin butter or grass fed sirloin with courgette and five spice.

1 Golf Place (01334 479281,

The Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa

If the only birdie you know has a beak, you can still stay at this five-star destination. The bedrooms are old-school plush, with mattresses like marshmallows. Stuff yourself at one of their food offerings, which include a newly launched menu at the Road House Restaurant, and try something from the new Highland Park mini drinks list at the Jigger Inn. Also visit their Kohler Waters Spa, which boasts a swimming pool, steam room sauna and all the trimmings, including new CBD and HydraFacial treatments.

Old Station Road (01334 260300,

Any other suggestions?

Try Rufflets or Fairmont, which has an excellent spa and has recently refurbished its clubhouse, now called St Andrews Bay Clubhouse Bar & Grill. If you don’t fancy a hotel, there are plenty of five-star bed and breakfasts or self-catering properties in the town (especially while the students have gone home).


Clelland & Co

This is probably St Andrews’ newest shop and is perfect for those who want to up their specs appeal. The Scottish ‘styling optician’ has one other store in Montrose, and they source their glasses from across the world, with frames from Paris, Munich and New York. If you buy a pair, you’re guaranteed to look 35 per cent more intelligent, without going to university at all.

1c Greyfriars Gardens,

Spoiled Life

Visit this hip lifestyle boutique for homeware, MODM beauty products, fragrance from the likes of Bon Parfumeur and Edinburgh’s Jorum Studio, and mens and womenswear by brands including YMC. Up the spiral staircase to the back mezzanine of the store, they’re serving towering cakes, pastries and coffee made from Burntisland’s The Roasting Project beans.

15 Greyfriars Gardens (01334 478187,


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Stock up on wine and whisky at this 66 Market Street merchant and join them for one of their regular free weekly tastings on Thursdays and Saturdays. In St Andrews, they also offer their own ice-cream, which is made at their Cupar store.

(01334 477128,

Any other suggestions?

Topping & Company for books, author events (and free tea if you’re browsing), Artery and Bonkers for gifts, Johnstons of Elgin for jumpers, Kartel of Scotland watches. There’s also no shortage of golf shops should you be so inclined.


This popular venue has recently transformed into a brunch spot, with a menu of ‘comforting dishes, coffee and breakfast cocktails’. Under head chef, Rory MacCrimmon, the menu includes baked eggs with ras el hanout and The Scottish Fling, aka eggs Benedict with haggis. After noon, among other things, they’re serving salad as well as toasted sandwiches, including a fancy version with beetroot, lime hummus, chickpeas, feta, pickled shallots, sumac and basil.

129 South Street (01334 475 557,

Rather than making a bee-line for their take-away bakery at 13 Church Street, why not sample the signature fudge doughnuts at this company’s one-year-old cafe instead? You can sit in, and put a few hairs on your chest with a hearty lunch of pie, stovies, macaroni cheese or croque monsieur, as well as many other casual dishes. We’ve been told that the ice-cream fudge doughnut is soon to make a comeback too.

197 South Street (01334 473339,

The Bothy

We haven’t paid them a visit yet, but this place, formerly Doll’s House, opened just three months ago. Their menu offers traditional Scottish starters including Ramsay of Carluke haggis, turnip and skirlie, alongside another option of whipped yellow peas, gochujang, aubergine and fennel. We’d stick around to experience the main course medley of quince-glazed Ayrshire pork belly, potato press, shredded apple and celeriac, grapefruit and blue cheese.

3 Church Square (01334 477422,

Any other suggestions?

The Seafood Ristorante has the best views in town. The Tailend is your best bet for excellent fish and chips. The Adamson (HA+CH’s next door sister venue) and Rogue for cocktails. Forgan’s for a relaxed feed, cakes and their deli. Jannettas Gelateria for gelato or their new range of handmade tiramisu. The Cheesy Toast Shack if you fancy a toastie delight.



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