Posts filed under "St. Andrews"

Dreaming of St. Andrews

I'm back from our blogger weekend in Italy
and am already pulling 12 hour work days 
as my new semester starts.

It feels good though.

I like being busy.

Before I get heavy on the Italy pictures
and trying to articulate all that happened during our trip,
here are the dreamy shots I promised
from our trip to St. Andrews.

Even though I lucked out with posh accommodation this time,
what I typically like the most about this town
is how normal St. Andrews is.

There are just a few streets running through the town
lined with approachable restaurants, regular shops & charity shops....
it's just a sweet place for regular people to live and study.

{Or for Royals to fall in love... whichever.}

Regardless of the town being really tiny and secluded
and being, well, pretty much freezing most of the year, 
I actually think I could live there.

Isn't this place the cutest?

To get more information on visiting St. Andrews,
read my post here on things to do
and my review on staying at the famous Old Course Hotel.

And if you wonder if the nut falls far from the tree,
this picture of my dad taking a picture
reminds me that my genetic predisposition is what it is.

No need to keep fighting it.

*all images original to Aspiring Kennedy

Posted on September 26, 2012 and filed under "Jet Setting", "St. Andrews", "scotland", "travel".

Pack Your Bags: {Classy} St. Andrews

If you've read this blog for a little while,
you might have learned that there are certain places
that I kinda get obsessed with after visiting.

And when that happens,
 I visit them again... and again... and again.

St. Andrews in Scotland is one of those special places.

This famous town was listed on the first itinerary I ever had,
so, site unseen, I showed up and spent the day exploring the tiny coastal town.

And ever since that random day,
 it's become one of my favorite spots in the UK.

Since I'm typically there with students, 
I experience the town through the eyes (& budget) of a student....
but last week, I went with my parents
and got to experience the town through their eyes.... and budget.

All of that lead up to say:
we stayed at the St Andrews Old Course Hotel
and it was freakin' awesome.

{Oh yeah, I'm classy and belong in luxury hotels, y'all.}

A few things to know about the famous hotel:

It's owned by Kohler.
Yeah, like the water faucets.

While this seems weird, it results in the hotel having 
amazing tubs and showers in every room
I have ever been to in my life.

{Use of the thermal spa is free for hotel guests.}

I lierally sat in one of the whirlpools and thought:
I feel like a Roman at the baths.

And when we sat in the rooftop hot tub
as the sun set over the coast
drinking my chamomile,
I felt exceptionally fancy.

The breakfast served at the hotel is amazing.
Order some waffles
and tell me if you've ever had better.

You can't. 

It's impossible...
because they are actually, believe it or not, Belgian
and have the yummy sugar pearls in the batter.

Oh my.

Regardless of if you are staying in the hotel or not,
you can come eat at the resort's pub, The Jigger Inn.

It's the cute little white house tucked between the golf course & the hotel.

It's well-priced, 
the service is really great,
and the freshly caught haddock, for the fish & chips, is completely legit.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly,
free on-demand movies in your room.

I totally veg'ed out after dinner
watching movie after movie
in our enormous, American-sized bed
cradled by an obscene amount of fluffy pillows.

So this is my instagram-level tour
and review of our stay at The Old Course Hotel in St. Andrews.

Overall, it's a great hotel that would make the perfect setting
for a trip to St. Andrews... if you can make the splurge.

{It would be hard to imagine being disappointed if you did.}

Wait for tomorrow when I take you on a drool fest
throughout the rest of town and our stay
with the pictures I took on my "real" camera.

*all images original to Aspiring Kennedy.
**follow me on Instagram. Username: aspiringkennedy

Posted on September 18, 2012 and filed under "Hotels", "St. Andrews", "scotland", "travel".

Away We Go: Scotland

And, we're off.

While journeys across islands would sound warm & exotic,
our journey brings us to shrinking temperatures
& windy hills sat in the grey backdrop of Northern Scotland

First stop, a night in Edinburgh.

Where we will stay at The Fraser Suites
right off the Royal Mile,
and relax in the festive city before our real journey begins.

When we are in Edinburgh, I like to...

Have coffee & dessert at The Elephant House- where JK Rowling penned Harry Potter on napkins.

Dream of staying at the Hotel Missoni. The doorman even has a Missoni striped kilt. It's amazing.

Grab soup on a cold day at Chocolate Soup. The hot drinks & desserts are fantastic.

Maybe visit the Edinburgh Castle (at the top of the Royal Mile)
or stop by the Queen's Scottish home, Holyrood House (at the bottom of the Royal Mile).

Shop along George Street in New Town. Can't wait to visit the new Anthropologie.

I couldn't get this close to St. Andrews and not stop by...

We have a day there feeling chilly along the sea.

We probably will warm up at Greyfriar's Pub...

Shop the endless rows of charity shops...

Grab a cone of sticky toffee pudding from B. Jannetta's famous ice cream shop...

Take pictures at the seaside cathedral ruins...

Watch golfers finish up at the famous 18th hole on the Old Course...

and go on a tour of Will & Kate's meeting place,
The University of St. Andrews.

From there, we head to Inverness for the night.

After a couple hours on a train,
we will arrive in Inverness...
way towards the top of Scotland.

When we arrive-
the biggest challenge awaits us:
a rental car.

We've never driven in the UK...
but we will tomorrow!

Off to the country to stay in a country manor, Coul House.

We will spend the evening siting by the fire, eating Scottish winter fare,
and cozying up like our Anglo-Saxon ancestors before us would have.

The next morning,
we continue up to the Isle of Skye.

A gorgeous place that seems like Tolkien's setting for a certain trilogy.

It's a quiet world of waterfalls, craggy cliffs & roaming sheep...
and while it's (obviously) difficult to get to-
it's one of the most amazing places I've ever seen.

{I posted some pictures here from this summer. Amazing!}

We will be staying at the Bosville Hotel 
in the quaint seaside port town of Portree...
wearing chunky sweaters & boots,
eating bowlfuls of Cullen Skink till we can't fit any more in our bellies.

After a night there and a following day roaming the island
(this is all to tour potential hotels for summer programs)...
it's back to Inverness for a BA flight home to London.

And if I'm not a little bit cooler after a trip like this,
there's no hope for me.

I'll do my best to keep you a part of our journey
and blog & tweet along the way...
when wi-fi & 3G allows.

Aspiring Scotland: St. Andrews

Though it can be a bit tricky to get to from Edinburgh,
St. Andrews is worth the trip
if you are up for a relaxing day in this seaside town.

Besides being famous for the historic gold course,
St. Andrews has a great atmosphere that is
friendly, easy to navigate, & relaxing.

It never hurts to remember it is also the place
where Will & Kate first met and started their relationship.

To get to St. Andrews,
take a short train from Edinburgh to Leuchars 
{with a 5 mile bus ride into St. Andrews}
or opt for the direct bus that drops you directly into St. Andrews.

*the bus is an hour longer, but is a gorgeous ride along the Scottish coast*

After lunch, 
{we like Greyfriar's}
head up to the edge of town to 
the famous & long-lined
B. Janetta's for a scoop of ice cream.

The sticky toffee ice cream is hard to beat,

but the banoffee shake is a close second.

If you want to get a good pub feel,
head past the golf course to the Old Course Hotel's quaint pub,
The Jigger Inn.

Try their freshly caught fish & chips 
and don't skimp on the sticky toffee pudding for dessert.

Once you've got your ice cream in hand,
 walk to the nearby end of the street where you'll find
the ruins of St. Andrews Cathedral.

On a sunny day, the grass will be littered with sunbathers
scattered amongst the church's ruins.

{Update 25/09/12: Admission of £4.50 is now charged to enter the ruins.}

The view of the coast offers a gorgeous backdrop,
and the path outside the abbey will lead you on a beautiful walk along the beach.

{Just remember to go left- towards town!}

At the end of the road,
you'll find you've been directly dropped onto 
 the legendary golf course of St. Andrews.

Politely wait until the course is clear 
till you jump on the course for your
obligatory picture on the St. Andrew's bridge.

And of course, when you come to St. Andrews,
you have to play golf on the course.

Most of the time,
golfing at St. Andrews is about $125 per person
with a mandatory overnight stay...

but if you travel like the Aspiring Kennedy,
you can play their putting course,
that runs along side their most famous green and the beach,
without a reservation for only £2.

And that, my friends, is a fabulous little secret.

{The Himalayas are open from April- September.}

St. Andrews is a great place to find yourself on a sunny day.

I hope when you are planning your Scottish trip 
you check back here for some help!
Posted on April 11, 2011 and filed under "Jet Setting", "St. Andrews", "scotland", "travel tips".