The Ship Inn has been an iconic pub in Scotland for decades but we can now officially call it The AA Pub of The Year 2016. Owners Graham and Rachel Bucknall have certainly earned this incredible accolade, presented to them in September, as since they took over the pub in late 2014, it has undergone a complete renovation transforming it from a very traditional and quite dark pub into a bright and characterful bar area with lovely dining rooms both upstairs and down complete with views of the spectacular beach.
The new kid on the Carnoustie block is Maxibell, promoted as "a touch of French" which opened three weeks ago. This tapas bar and restaurant is run by a husband and wife team who have moved back to the area from London. They are front of house and happy to chat about their newest venture even detailing the teething problems they've had since opening - not that we would have noticed any had they not been mentioned.
They say, in spite of our current, rather more than little local difficulties with the European Union, that if most people were asked what nationality they would like to be in a perfect world, they would say Italian. Partly because of the sunshine, the culture, the beauty of its cities and coasts, the charm of its people – and its food.
Tis the season to be sociable; to sit inside, relax and chat with friends while gazing at the cold noses outside.
The East Pier Smokehouse does what it says on the tin. It’s a haven for the best of locally caught fish and seafood. There’s also a guiding ethos that if it’s edible, they can smoke it. And in this little shop and eatery perched on the edge of the water, they do just that, often to terrific effect.
I don’t want to tell you about this place. I don’t want you to know about it. Well, I don’t mind YOU knowing but I don’t want EVERYONE to know. I want, completely selfishly, to keep it to myself and maybe to those and such as those that I really like.
Choosing a spot for lunch in St Andrews can be a daunting proposition.
When you eat out as often as we do, many restaurants well worth their salt threaten to become a real home from home. So one actually called Home, with an interesting and socially significant meaning to the name, is right up our rue in more ways than one.
I can’t remember when I had a better lunch and certainly not one of this standard for the price. I think that’s what you call starting as you mean to go on.
Sometimes even a weekday lunch can be special, whether there is an occasion for it or not. And once in a while a Tuesday needs a little bit of sparkle. I had just such a Tuesday recently and decided to try the "reborn" Seafood Ristorante in St Andrews.