The poet Edith Sitwell famously said “winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home”. We couldn’t agree more, and a winter holiday in the East Neuk is the perfect opportunity to enjoy good food, time with friends and family, and cosy evenings in one of Premier Stay’s beautiful holiday homes. Here is what our perfect winter day out in St Andrews would include… tempted, why not look at our availability for January and February 2023?
There’s no better way to start the day than with a freshly-brewed coffee and a warm, flakey pastry. Head to Spoiled Life St Andrews to sip speciality roast coffee in their recycled coffee husk cups and treat yourself to an almond croissant, cinnamon bun, or pain au chocolat on the side. We love the mezzanine seats which give you a great view of Spoiled Life’s lovely homewares and the hustle and bustle of the street beyond.
Take a walk around the historic streets of St Andrews — there’s a castle and a cathedral that date back to the twelfth century, the third oldest university in the English speaking world that was founded in 1413, not to mention that the town is known as the ‘home of golf’. Its iconic Old Course recently hosted The 150th Open Championship. The town is steeped in tradition and filled with stories. For example, you might spot some undergraduate students walking around the town in their bright red gowns: first years wear their gown fully on their shoulders, second years slightly off their shoulders, third years fully off their right or left shoulder (depending on whether they are arts or science students), and fourth years wear them across their elbows. In addition, you might notice the students jumping over or walking around the ‘PH’ in the cobbles outside St Salvator’s Quad. The ‘PH’ marks the spot where the reformer Patrick Hamilton was burned at the stake in 1528 for his Protestant beliefs, and legend has it that any student who steps on it will have bad luck in their exams!
The salty aroma of chips and the sound of waves crashing against the shore are the perfect pairing: there’s nothing else that can get you into the holiday spirit more than fish and chips by the sea. In St Andrews you are spoilt for choice — there are so many beautiful spots to enjoy your takeaway lunch, whether that be the benches perched on the cliff top by the historic castle, the stone walls of the pier, or on a tartan blanket laid out on the East Sands beach. There are two award-winning chippies in St Andrews, both situated on Market Street, Tailend and Cromars. Stick with the classic battered fish supper, or branch out to breaded scampi, fishcakes, arbroath smokies, or even scallops… and then add your sides, mushy peas, tartare sauce, and ketchup are all good options!
Having refuelled, it’s time for a bracing walk along the famous West Sands beach. It will be hard not to sing the iconic Vangelis soundtrack from the 1981 film Chariots of Fire. If you’ve not watched it, why not add it to your Netflix watch list and cosy up in one of our cottages for a film night, complete with popcorn or a glass of wine, one evening.
And then, before you head home, why not round off your day with a delicious ice cream at the famous gelateria Jannettas. The ice creams are made using traditional Italian artisan machinery, and there are an amazing 54 flavours including classics such as vanilla or strawberry, and more adventurous choices such as ginger and mascarpone or rhubarb and elderflower sorbet. If you’re a bit chilly after your beach walk, there’s a sit-in café, which has been recently refurbished, or you can opt to enjoy your ice creams amidst the quaint cobbled streets of the town.
Embrace comfort, good food, time with friends and family, and conversations around the fire in one of Premier Stay’s homely cottages, houses or apartments. Book now for January and February to avoid disappointment — a winter getaway in St Andrews is a great way to start 2023!