Ever needed to know how to tempt your guests to a dinner party in the *Badlands (*Good-lands)?
Let me begin. Hutchison court. Have you ever heard of it? (Most taxi drivers haven’t) If not, you should, it’s the ‘bomb diggity’ (my flatmate’s words, not mine, though I think it is an apt description). This little culdesac is right on the outskirts of St Andrews, flirting with the boundary between town and the miles and miles of fields around us.
I have lived in the same little cosy, self proclaimed granny house on Hutchison Court for the past two years and I absolutely love it. It is cute, and flowery and generally just a wonderful place to be, but, there is one big downside… it’s a 20 minute walk from town.
One of my favourite pastimes is dinner parties. I have come to learn that people will brave the 20 minute walk for food and wine and merriment, however, the ratio of guests that come vs the guests that cancel last minute is not great. I cannot count the amount of times I have offered my house as a venue for pre-drinks or something of the like, and it has been met with an awkward silence until someone tentatively says ‘it’s not very convenient… you do live 20 minutes away.’
Convenient? If we always did what was ‘convenient’ we would never stretch ourselves, or explore new places. So in my last attempt to persuade people to come visit me I’ve come up with a little list of routes to turn the 20minute walk into the best 20 minutes of your whole life!
- What does the badlands have that town doesn’t? Percy pigs. That’s right. You could suggest to your guests that they make use of their walk to visit the two best supermarkets St Andrews has to offer; Aldi and Marks and Spencers. Markies for percy pigs, Aldi for everything else (apart from avocados). If your guests are feeling particularly brave, they could take a detour up to Morrisons and stock up on things that cannot be found anywhere else, like curry paste and peonies.
- Everyone hates the travellator. Walking up the travellator with a ruck sack and guitar is the closest I have come to death (not counting the time a goose chased me). However, this is the quickest way, and perhaps your more adrenaline fuelled friends may even attempt to cycle down it. After a nerve racking descent however, you can look forward to a warm welcome from adorable ducks. You can toss them a crumb or two and marvel at how lucky you are to be alive.
- If you walk past the Byre you can momentarily be transported into a wonderful midsummer night’s dream world whilst you walk underneath the fairy tree lights. The Byre is also the best way to go if you want to talk to some cats. There are lots of cats this way, most of which are extremely friendly (although watch out for a little black and white one as he has, on occasion, gotten over-affectionate and had a little nibble of my finger, lil bub). Cats are arguably the main attraction of the badlands, they are everywhere and because no one visits me I have made every single one of them my friends.
- My favourite way to walk out to my house is via The East Sands. This is quite a sizeable detour but when you’re standing on the beach with sand between your toes it is easy to forget the mammoth trek that faces you. East sands is beautiful whatever the weather plus there is a lovely little beach hut where you can buy charming little things like giant bubble makers and buckets in the shape of fish and castles. The beach way provides a whole bundle of instragrammable fun.
So, fine people of St Andrews, I implore you to stretch your horizons and explore the wonder that is the GOOD-lands. After your more than enjoyable trek out to my abode, you can expect top notch food and even better company. A dinner party at mine rarely ends without my beloved guitar being passed around by greasy hands, and I cannot see that ending anytime soon (unless of course I crush it on the travellator). And remember, next time you moan to your friend that they live too far away, think about the consequences… You might be replaced with a cat, because true friends should go the distance.