It’s Getting Toastie in Here

In Scotland, you will see the word “toastie” as an option for your sandwich.  What this means is that it will be toasted, or griddled like a grilled cheese.  At St Andrews Brewing Company, I ordered their cheese toastie alongside a mug of their tomato basil soup, and it felt like a taste from home.  The soup was really thick and creamy, and the grilled cheese reminded me of my mum, who would make that for the four of us kids growing up.  Dipping the toastie in the soup was definitely the way to go.img_5769

I really liked the vibes of the Brewing Company.  Their menu is stacked with stick to your rib favourites like mac and cheese, burgers, and nachos.  The bar is the central focus of the restaurant where you can order their homemade beer.  The dark wood and slightly narrow layout makes it feel really cozy and intimate, especially as more people saunter in throughout the night.

Definitely give it a go! And check out their merchandise and beer bottles as well.  Their logo is a really cool design.

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Pizza Express

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A couple of weeks ago I was talking to my little brother about the food options in Scotland, and he was horrified that there were not that many good pizza places. Before speaking to him, I had only eaten from the local St Andrews Dominos to fill my Italian cravings.

So, I rounded up a friend and we headed to try Pizza Express, an Italian chain in the UK.

I ordered the Fiorentina, which consisted of spinach, free-range egg, mozzarella, tomato, garlic oil and black olives, and finished with Gran Milano cheese.

This was obviously much better than Dominos, and the salty olives reminded me of Bertucci’s back at home.  However, the dough was quite thick, and next time I think I will get their Romana style, which is stretched thinner.  The atmosphere was family friendly, and it was nice seeing kids running around with their parents.

You can make reservations online, to make sure that you get a table.

Up next on my list of restaurants to try is Little Italy, the last Italian restaurant left in St Andrews!

 

 

 

Soup bro?

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I have never been able to complete work in a completely silent environment.  At home I will play music as I study, and I need some sort of background sound.  When it is deathly silent, I hear a pin drop and become distracted.

At the Union, St Andrews’ student centre, there is Rector’s Cafe, my favourite place to do homework.  Rector’s plays pop and oldies music, and is open in the early morning when I bike into town.

Every Monday I have lunch at Rector’s with one of my friends, and either bring a sandwich from home, or order their soup of the day.

It is a great hang out spot because it has wifi, outlets for laptops, and huge windows which let a lot of natural sunlight in.

They also have a fine selection of sandwiches, snacks, tea, and pastries.  If you are a student and frequently buy hot drinks, ask for a stamp card.  They will stamp it every time you order a hot drink from Rector’s or the Old Union Coffee Shop, until you receive a free hot drink (around the 8th buy).

Lox of Love

As I have already previously stated, smoked salmon is one of the fine delicacies of Scotland that I have fallen in love with.  It is better than the variety I have back in the States, and tastes more fresh and less “fishy.”   I have three different plates around St Andrews that offer this local favourite.

North Point 

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My absolute favourite smoked salmon dish I have yet to date.  North Point is an adorable cafe on the end of North St. that claims Kate and William would get their coffee there together!  I ordered their peppermint tea, toast, scrambled eggs, and smoked salmon.  It was HEAVEN.  The sandwich bread over here is also better, it tastes less like card board, and is more fresh.  Huge dollops of butter were added on top of the toast to slowly melt on top.  The eggs were perfectly well done, and were not too runny.  And the smoked salmon was the star of the show.  Perfectly salty and it melted in my mouth!

Bibi’s 

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I have already posted about Bibi’s, one of my first finds in St Andrews.  It is located on the opposite end of North St as North Point.  This salad was a delicious medley of vegetables topped with potato salad, avocado, smoked salmon, and a lemony vinaigrette.  The richness of the salmon and avocado, was well balanced with the crisp vegetables, and the tang of the dressing.

Gorgeous 

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What better way to eat smoked salmon than on a bagel?  Gorgeous tops their toasted bagel with smoked salmon, greens, cream cheese, and a balsamic drizzle, which puts this sandwich on another level.

We Are Family

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Moving into October, I find myself amazed at how quickly this semester is moving.  In less than two weeks I will be reunited with my mum, which marks the midway point of my time abroad.

I have officially fallen in love with Scotland’s lifestyle.  As I have said before, there is an appreciation for the smaller things in life, and the slower lifestyle results in less anxiety.  I live better here.  And I am truly content.

But part of this is also attributed to the people I have surrounded myself with.  And my experience would have been much different if I did not have such strong support from newfound friends.

I have been blessed with a core group of friends who ground my everyday.  We are from different regions of the US and world, but we are linked by common ideals, activities, etc.

These are the people that I go hiking with.  The ones I eat gelato with.  The ones I live with.

Abroad would be much different if I did not have buoys holding me down somewhat.  These friends will float alongside with me on adventures, but they also are markers that I can always return to.

These friends are my “family” away from home.  They are the people I wake up to eat breakfast with.  And the ones that wish me good night on my way home from socializing.  I can’t tell them thank you enough.  Because their presence allows me to truly let myself enjoy being abroad, take advantage of as many opportunities as possible, and know that at the end of the day, I can feel loved no matter what continent I am living on.