The 134th Open Championship returns to Scotland this July at the Old Course in St. Andrews. If you're planning a trip to the old country, you aren't alone. Championship week in St. Andrews is a circus, with courses and hotels all over the Kingdom booked solid.
While finding a tee time anywhere in St. Andrews will be virtually impossible, it doesn't mean you can't find a good meal. Although food in the United Kingdom hasn't always been regarded as, well, edible by most European standards, the fare has improved by leaps and bounds overall.
The Fife region is no exception, as outside culinary influences have blessed the traditional pub food with a little something else. If you're in Fife this summer - or any time, for that matter - a good meal at a decent price can be had.
Here is a sampling of St. Andrews and the surrounding area's top spots:
Road Hole Grill - The Old Course Hotel is host to the Road Hole Grill, nestled right next to one of golf's most famous holes. And the food isn't bad either. The Grill is on the pricy side because of prestige and the cuisine. Modern Scottish cooking is diverse, featuring fresh seafood including their Oban scallops. The wine list is extensive and the grill serves dinner only. The whiskey selection is the only one in the world to stock at least one malt whiskey from every Scottish distillery, past or present. For a less formal meal, the Sands restaurant downstairs is less pricy, more casual and open for lunch as well. Reservations are highly recommended.
Cellar Restaurant - A prestigious seafood restaurant located near the harbor in the village Anstruther, the Cellar Restaurant is best bet for a romantic meal. The vicinity to the water and cobbled courtyard, along with cozy lounge area makes the atmosphere ideal. Chef Peter Jukes is renowned as one of Scotland's top chefs, and won the chef of the year honors in 2002. The emphasis is on local seafood but there's likely something for everyone. The crayfish bisque gratin and fillet of roast cod is among the more popular dishes. Anstruther is about 12 miles from St. Andrews, and the dining room was recently expanded to about 40 tables. The Cellar is reasonably priced as well.
Rufflets Hotel - Rufflets is one of the oldest country house hotels and dining rooms in the Kingdom. The Garden Restaurant is set on 10 acres of award-winning gardens on the outskirts of St. Andrews. The fare is modern Scottish cuisine with Pacific Rim influences. The fruits and vegetables can't get much fresher, coming from the hotel's garden.
Peat Inn Restaurant - Located six miles from St. Andrews in Cupar, the Peat Inn features some of Scotland's finest French cuisine. The wine cellar is extensive, and the menu highlights some of the region's best produce. The restaurant is set in a stylish blend of contemporary and rustic cottage atmosphere with a slight Gallic theme. Peat Inn has a tasting menu and a fixed-price menu, as well as a la carte. The menu varies from duck, pork, sausage and venison.
Ostlers Close Restaurant - This family-owned restaurant in Cupar, about nine miles from St. Andrews, dates back to the 17th century. The current dining house is filled with charm and character. It's small and the ceilings are low-beamed. The candles and beechwood tables make it slightly more informal than expected from the menu. The modern Scottish menu changes almost daily and reflects a classical background of Mediterranean and European styles. Everything from pot roast to locally caught seafood is served. The service is among the friendliest in the region.
Ostler's Close Restaurant
25 Bonnygate Cupar Fife
Road Hole Grill
Old Course Hotel
St. Andrews, Fife
The Peat Inn
The Garden Restaurant at the Rufflets Hotel
Strathkinness Low Road, St Andrews
24 East Green
The information in this guide was accurate at the time of publication. All contact information, directions and prices should be confirmed directly with the establishments before making reservations and/or travel plans.