Scotland is not renowned for having the best weather and after the gorgeous week of sunshine we'd had in London I was really happy when the sun decided to stay out for my FAM trip to St. Andrews.
After a short flight in a VERY small plane, we landed safely at Edinburgh Airport. We were then transferred to the scenic town of St. Andrews which takes approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes via road.
It was so nice to see rolling green hills and miles of greenery as a contrast to the skyscrapers of London! Arriving at the Fairmont St. Andrews, our home for the night, I was truly blown away by the views that this hotel offered and at one point I felt like I could have been holidaying in the Mediterranean. Their golf course is one of the most renowned in the world and offers the most beautiful backdrop to play on.
After a quick bag drop and an obligatory glass of champers, we were whisked to Kingsbarns, a small but famous whiskey and gin distillery in Fife. They offer tours giving visitors an insight into how the spirits are made and it’s fascinating! I learned that whiskey is actually a white spirit and it only gets its colour after fermenting for years before it can officially be called whiskey.
There are some lovely event spaces on-site at Kingsbarns, including the barn entrance which can hold approximately 40 for a dinner or larger numbers for a drinks reception. There are smaller private dining rooms which work well for more intimate tastings and gin/whiskey inductions. The huge gin cupboard full of different types was definitely the highlight - having one at home would be handy!
After sampling a few of their best drinks, we were transported back to the hotel to check in and freshen up for dinner. The bedrooms are all really spacious and comfortable in design, with every room having the same huge marble bathroom, regardless of the room type.
Dinner was at the St. Andrews Bar and Grill, which is a short walk from the hotel near to the seafront. Once again I was overwhelmed with the views we dined with as a backdrop. Our meal started with an incredible seafood platter followed by various cuts of steak – I was in my element! After feeling slightly uncomfortable in my food coma, we all returned to the hotel bar for a nightcap before turning in, ready for our busy day of activities the following morning.
Monday morning started with a site visit of the hotel including all of its meeting spaces. The Fairmont St. Andrews has just over 200 bedrooms and you can even take over the 520-acre hotel exclusively. The meeting facilities consist of a large ballroom that can hold up to 600 theatre style, a 120 seater auditorium, and various smaller boardroom spaces. The rooms are all very functional and work perfectly in conjunction with the various dining outlets on-site that can also be utilised for groups.
I particularly loved the atrium area in the centre of the hotel which has recently been refurbished along with the rest of the public spaces.
Fairmont is unique in the sense it has two venues nearby that they cater for, meaning more options for guests if they want to dine off-site during their stay. The Cow Shed Crail based in Fife and is highly versatile in the types of events they can hold but I would recommend it in particular for drinks receptions or BBQ’s in the summer.
Kinkell Brye is only a few metres down the road from Fairmont, a perfect location, and is a rustic converted barn space. It can seat up to 350-450 people and has la variety of different areas to utilise.
After a whistle-stop tour of the venues, we were coached into the picturesque town of St. Andrews. Being in the town that Kate and William first met felt quite special, especially as they announced she had given birth to Prince Louis that morning!
To help up explore our surroundings we were split into teams and took part in a fun GPS activity which involved us finding a Kate and William lookalike and playing a fake round of golf. After running around trying to frantically get as many points as possible (my team obviously won!) we all convened for lunch to finish off our trip at a lovely restaurant called Forgan’s.
Despite only being there for a short time, I fell in love with St. Andrews and thoroughly recommend it for groups.
A big thank you to the team at the Fairmont St. Andrews who looked after us so well and everyone else involved throughout the trip!