Previously known as Ogstons On North Street, Kinnettles occupies an iconic location in the heart of St Andrews. The stone building has stood for over a century, although it is known to most locals as the former host of town favourite nightclub the Lizard Lounge. Recent renovations replaced the Lizard with the Eden Spa, and the hotel itself now hosts nine private suites and a fine dining restaurant. While luxurious in nature, the hotel seeks to embrace the student market with weekly offers on food and drink.
First, the drink. Mere feet above where the Lizard once lived, operates a small cocktail bar. In contrast to the traditional temperament that characterises most bars, Kinnettles claims to provide a bespoke experience. Several classic cocktails grace the menu – the Bramble, Mojito, and Cosmo, to name a few – yet these are balanced by a slew of experimental signatures. The Salted Caramel Martini, in particular, stands out as a masterclass in dessert cocktail creation. In addition to the cocktails on the menu, the bar staff embrace custom creations. This reviewer can attest to the refreshingly unique nature of their Jinzu gin and lemongrass-rosewater blend, served warm in a saké tea set.
The bar’s innovative ethos sets it apart from its contemporaries. Its price tag further ingratiates it to the cocktail-loving crowd: Although the drinks cost between £7 and £9 most days of the week, princes are slashed on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. Classic cocktails are reduced to £5, while the experimental favourites are cut to a mere £6 each. Drink can easily be paired with food, as the Tuesday and Wednesday deal includes a burger with a classic cocktail, for a total of £12.
On the subject of food: Run by award-winning chef James Sherriff, the hotel restaurant certainly lives up to its claim of “unparalleled service.” Meals include homemade bread and amuse bouche, served amidst a formal yet comfortable atmosphere. On Fridays, meat-eaters can rejoice at the weekly steak deal – available for both lunch and dinner sittings. £50 buys two steaks and two large glasses of wine, alongside the aforementioned bread and amuse bouche. Based on quality, a single steak would easily be worth the £50: Juicy, flavourful, and served alongside a phenomenal peppercorn-whiskey sauce, the Kinnettles steak is easily the best I’ve sampled in St Andrews.
Overall, the hotel is a welcome addition to the St Andrews culinary and alcoholic market. It certainly outclasses any venue in town – leaving perhaps the Old Course, Peat Inn, and Grange as potential competitors. That said, the benefit of a luxurious dining and drinking establishment within walking distance of the Union cannot be overstated. I will certainly be returning to Kinnettles in the future, on multiple days of the week.