Having visited V&A Dundee several times without ever having tried the Tatha Bar & Kitchen, my partner and I decided to rectify that a week or so back by treating ourselves to lunch there.
For years, I’ve driven through the tiny hamlet of Roundyhill (blink and you’ll miss it), near Glamis, and noticed a sign flagging up Armstrongs.
If, as US novelist and poet Gertrude Stein once said, we should forget grammar and think about potatoes then Forbes of Kingennie, a resort in a beautifully rural location mere moments outside Dundee, would be a very good place to let yourself come to a full stop and get back in tune with the land.
Despite having driven past The Old Manor Hotel, Lundin Links, many times over the years, I had never eaten there. I confess to having been a little put off by the modern banqueting suite, partly obscuring the roadside view of the traditional gray stone manor house, and the signage referencing the hotel’s wedding and conference trade.
We are always on the lookout for restaurants that are child-friendly without compromising on grown-up ambience or the quality of the food. In our neck of the woods they are few and far between, without trekking to St Andrews or settling for fish and chips every time we want to go out for tea. Well, it turns out there was one on our doorstep all along and I didn’t even know. Don’t you just love it when you find a hidden gem?
It’s been a few years since I last dined at Little Italy in St. Andrews, and since I was last there it is not so little any more… it has in fact doubled in size. I was always fond of this restaurant, but was worried that since it has expanded the quality of the experience would have been affected, but my fears were soon gone.
I’m kicking myself for not watching the recent series of MasterChef: The Professionals. Although it did mean that I experienced finalist Dean Banks’s new venture, Haar, without expectation or preconception. And, after meeting Dean, the concept makes perfect sense. Riding the tide of MasterChef success, everything about Haar is fresh-faced and brimming with his contagious enthusiasm.
When we go out to eat what are we really looking for? The expectation of great food is a no brainer. Kind lighting, maybe, for those of us of an earlier vintage? Somewhere restorative and/or celebratory? A transformative, cossetting experience – somewhere to relax and forget our everyday worries?
Tucked away by the harbour in St Monans is one of the East Neuk’s dining gems although the downside to eating here in winter is that you don’t get to enjoy the beautiful sea views. Upon being welcomed by the friendly staff, we were shown into the cosy bar area, where we sat by an open fire, sipping G&Ts while we perused the menu, and made our choices.
Location, location, location? If that’s the criterion for buying a house, purchasing a meal might just have other priorities built in, too. Suffice to say that when you take yourself off to The View at Wormit, right on the river Tay on the Fife side of the estuary, you get location, location, location and good, good food.