As a relatively frequent visitor to the St Andrews area, (mostly to visit friends in Elie, Ardross Farm Shop and Balgove Larder), we were delighted to be invited to Kinnettles Hotel & Spa for a weekend stay, which included dinner at the newly launched Tayberry restaurant. We had visited Adam Newth’s restaurant in Broughty Ferry and adored it, so we certainly had high hopes for the chef’s St Andrews’ venture.
A weekend at Kinnettles Hotel
Arriving in St Andrews was a shock to the system, even coming from Edinburgh (during the Festival), the town was absolutely packed. We eventually found a parking space, (which happened to be free – bonus!), only to discover that it was the Ricoh Women’s British Open.
Only moments had passed before I adopted my standard hotel attire, a fluffy robe and oversized slippers. Heavenly! After a cold glass of prosecco, my friend and I were ushered down to the spa for an hour long massage. Ruby, the therapist, was wonderful. After a quick sensory test to choose the therapy oil, I enjoyed a Swedish massage – the perfect start to any weekend.
At the end of my massgae, Ruby advised that I should abide by standard post massage rules; lots of water, limited alcohol and light meals. Of course, we had no such evening planned.
The Tayberry restaurant
That evening, after a delicious Tayberry cocktail, we enjoyed a five-course tasting menu with matching wines. Having visited The Tayberry in Broughty Ferry and experienced an outstanding meal, I was slightly concerned that the restaurant here would simply not live up the high standards. But, my fear was unfounded.
We started with homemade chorizo & garlic bread, accompanied by a wonderful smoked paprika & thyme butter. A butter revelation and something that I will try my best to replicate at home.
Alongside a glass of Da Vici Prosecco, our first course of beetroot cured salmon, which was deliciously earthy, was served – accompanied by wasabi crème, fennel and an apple and beetroot sorbet. While the combinations were exciting, both of us felt that the sorbet added little to the dish, but we thoroughly enjoyed the combination of beetroot, salmon and fennel.
Next up, what turned out to be our favourite course. Scrabster hake was served with a cassoulet of chorizo, and lemon & garlic butter. Usually served with mussels, neither of us eat shellfish, but the remaining combination was wonderful and the fish cooked to perfection. This was served with a glass of the Tayberry Chardonnay (2015) from Southern France, a light and crisp wine and the perfect match to the fiery chorizo.
The main course was a duo of Black Isla beef accompanied by burnt leek, parsnip, wild girolles and fresh gnocchi. Served with a Romanian glass of Cosmina Pinot Noir, the dish was perfectly balanced. Although quite an autumnal or even wintery dish, I thoroughly enjoyed the gnocchi and girolles. The beef was packed with flavour and very juicy – exactly what you expect from a beautiful cut of meat like this.
Next up, the cheese. A trio of Scottish cheese was served delicately amongst a combination of pear, endive, honey jelly cubes, quince and bannocks. The Tayberry Shiraz (2015), was full, rich and spicy – a lighter alternative to a port but, nevertheless, hugely enjoyable.
Finally, the pastry chef served up a special pudding – local Pittormie strawberries, white chocolate, elderflower sorbet and baby basil. The dessert was wonderful, especially for someone like myself with a very sweet tooth. The dessert wine that accompanied it, however, was the real star of the show. Chateau Belingard Monbazillac, a rich, sweet wine could easily be enjoyed by the bottle.
After a couple of wonderful cocktails (including a white chocolate, rose syrup and cream creation!), we made our way up to bed, where we (unsurprisingly) slept very soundly.
Breakfast the following morning lived up to the previous night’s standards. While I enjoyed Eggs Benedict, my friend enjoyed a full Scottish, complete with local sausages, bacon and a particularly spicy black pudding.
Our stay in St Andrews was truly lovely, and a perfect way to spend a weekend. Kinnettles Hotel was luxurious, and the staff were courteous, kind and made sure that we were extraordinarily well looked after. Our stay was complimentary, but if you know OH! Taste, you’ll know that I am nothing but honest. We would like to thank all the staff for their generosity, and we certainly hope to visit again soon!
Find them: 127 North Street, St. Andrews, Fife, KY16 9AG