When my editor asked me to write an article for Valentine’s Day my first two thoughts were: how do I make this non cringe-inducing and after a lot of thought, that in the end it inevitably would be. I was also reminded of the first article I wrote for Owl Eyes about a love letter a friend and I found in Mitchell’s Deli on Market Street. The letter was short and beautifully simple – “If you are reading this then you are directly linked to the moment I decided A was incredible, amazing and worth keeping. I’ll let you know how it goes, x T”. With this in mind I decided to write an article about spending Valentine’s Day in and around our little old town – no need to jet off to Paris here!
Here are a few ideas about ways to spend Valentine’s Day if you fancy doing something with your boyfriend/girlfriend/"It’s complicated" friend.
If a walk in a forest surrounded by lanterns, snowdrops and art installations sounds like your cup of tea then pop along to the Cambo Estate for Snowdrops by Starlight which is running from the 13th – 17th February. I went last year with a group of friends and it was definitely one of my favourite evenings spent wandering through the woods with fairy lights strung up between the trees and lots of art to discover along the way. Wrap up warm to enjoy the walk and pop into the tearoom at the end for some homemade cake and a cup of tea.
If that sounds like a romance overload then you could be right but it honestly is worth a visit! If snowdrops definitely aren’t your thing you could always hop on over to Crail and visit the Harbour Gallery tearoom or the Cocoa Tree Café in Pittenweem and discover their amazing and famous hot chocolates. I went to the Cocoa Tree for the first time last week and fell in love with this charming little coffee shop with its mis-matched furniture, cinnamon aroma and homemade chocolates. If you’re feeling adventurous you could always skip the bus and take a walk along the Fife Coastal Path to reach either coffee shop or for some good old fish and chips in Anstruther. Who said romance was dead?
If you’re the outdoorsy type and think a long walk and country pub are the perfect combination you could always escape St Andrews and spend a long weekend away in the highlands or the Isle of Skye. Alternatively you could spend a weekend in Edinburgh if you’re feeling in need of some city time. You could even venture up Arthur’s Seat if you find the outdoors calling! If not, why not spend a day exploring the Grassmarket and head to one of my favourite places to go for drinks – Under the Stairs a bar tucked away under George IV Bridge.
Whether Snowdrops by Starlight sounds like your kind of thing or if you fancy a trip out of St Andrews hopefully I’ve given you a few ideas to subtly hint to your significant other or to get together with a group of friends. All in all Valentine’s Day is just like any other old day and if you do decide to forgo it this year my only advice is to avoid West Sands at all costs, just trust me on this one.
Images countesy of Ruoting Tao.