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High living in St Andrews

Last week ended with Friday spent at the Old Course Hotel for a company confab. While I’d attended meetings and dinners there before, I’d never stayed a night. After an early arrival I checked in to find that I’d been allocated a suite. I’m pretty sure it was larger than the footprint of our house.

With glorious weather, Friday was an ideal day to be in St Andrews. Unfortunately we spent the morning watching speeches and presentations in a windowless room. That said, the speeches were largely entertaining and informative, and the guest speaker, Ellis Watson, was a hoot.

During the afternoon we played a series of team-building games. I’m not fond of that kind of thing — is anybody? — but they passed the time. One game, involving a treasure hunt around the outside of the hotel, was notably more fun than the others, but felt rushed. As a company we employ a lot of intelligent, technically-minded people. Surely there must be team-building activities that stretch the mind, and don’t resemble children’s party games?

Kilts on for the evening dinner. The haggis was piped in, and the food was mostly decent. For my main course I had a mushroom-free alternative to the veggie option, which was mushroom risotto. I think the meat eaters were more satisfied with their dinners. Pudding was a selection of Scottish cheeses, which was a good change from the usual sweet end to a meal.

After dinner we had music from Miami Vince, a local “yacht rock” band. Live music is significantly better than a DJ — while I’ll dance to neither, a band provides something more interesting to look and and to listen to.

As usual, when I’m surrounded by people who are drinking, I find I have no desire at all to consume an alcoholic drink. Off to bed before midnight; I understand that others stayed up somewhat later.


On Saturday morning, Kate and Beth joined me at the hotel for breakfast. Served in the top-floor Road Hole Restaurant, the views were magnificent. We’re used to breakfasting at the Fairmont when my parents are in town, and comparisons came to mind. It held up well, but (from a veggie-choice point of view) I think the Fairmont works slightly better for me. Odd that neither the Fairmont nor the Old Course seem capable of producing a decent cup of tea.

Following brek, Beth and I hung around the hotel, exploring the corridors and having a walk outside, before heading up into town, with a couple of teammates, to meet Kate for a Chinese lunch at The Dining Room. After we’d bought a supply of buttered brazils from Burns sweetie shop, we met Polly and Will in Church Square, before going on to look around the Bell Pettigrew Museum, a Victorian-style natural history museum at the university. Beth enjoyed filling in an activity sheet, and we met one of Beth’s contemporaries from her toddler-group days.


Polly and Will were heading back down the country this afternoon. They joined us for lunch; I made some pizzas and a big salad. This satisfied Beth; she greatly enjoys home-made pizza, and ate more that I could believe. She didn’t want her Auntie Polly to leave, and tried to lock them in! Hopefully we’ll see them again next month.

We spent the afternoon watching another old Midsomer. Still white.