Exclusivity and country charm lie at the heart of a stay at Rufflets.
The four-star country house hotel is nestled in 10 acres of picturesque gardens on the outskirts of St Andrews, Fife.
Even during our short winter break, the garden was full of colour and I’m sure it is incredible to see when it is in full bloom during the spring and summer months.
We spent a night at the hotel towards the end of October, on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis.
Our room was spacious, with a super comfortable king-sized bed and a modern bathroom with roll-top bath.
After settling in, we ventured down to the hotel bar and on a cold winter’s night, nothing beats sitting by a roaring fire with a drink in hand.
Its extensive collection of whiskies and gins is sure to keep drinks enthusiasts occupied and it is the perfect place for pre and post-dinner drinks.
Food is clearly an important focus at Rufflets, and the hotel prides itself on having various accolades for its Seasons restaurant, including a 2 AA Rosette.
The culinary team claims to focus on “sourcing the best local ingredients and freshly picked produce from the hotel’s own kitchen garden” resulting in a menu packed with vibrant seasonal flavours.
I enjoyed a starter of grouse from the Lammermuir Hills Estate, while my boyfriend had hand-dived king scallops with prosciutto and a watercress emulsion.
We shared a Chateaubriand of prime fillet of Scotch Beef – the highlight of our stay.
Admittedly we are difficult to please when it comes to meat – my boyfriend is a farmer and I’m a little fanatical, to say the least, about ensuring I only eat Scottish and British meat – but we couldn’t find a fault with anything on our plates.
Dessert was equally impressive – the tart tatin was to die for – as were the petit fours served with coffee.
And the culinary delights continued at breakfast, where an impressive continental buffet was on offer as well as an extensive cooked menu.
Attention to detail is obviously important to the team at Rufflets, and things such as the evening turn-down service and sourcing of the finest local ingredients, coupled with excellent service, make a stay at the hotel a fantastic option for a special break or night away.
And away from the hotel there is plenty to see and do.
The historic town of St Andrews, famed for its university and golf, is less than a 10-minute drive away. We enjoyed a blustery walk along West Sands beach, before a little wander around the shops and a much-needed ice-cream break at Jannettas Gelateria.
The ice cream parlour has been an institution in St Andrews for more than 100 years and its ice cream offering is second to none.
Another place worth a visit is Balgove Larder, located just outside St Andrews. This farm shop, with butchery, cafe and impressive steak barn, is a mecca for foodies.
It features an extensive range of local food and drink and is regarded by many as one of the best farm shops in the country.
And of course, it would be rude not to stop off in Dundee on your way to or from St Andrews.
The newly opened V&A Dundee has hugely boosted the city’s tourism credentials and there are plenty great eateries nearby. One of my favourites is a New Zealand-inspired cafe named The Bach.
Don’t miss the Press and Journal on Monday January 21 for the chance to win a two-night stay for two at Rufflets.