Snow, snow and a touch more snow. Our corner of Scotland has been thrown back into winter this week – but we are ever hopeful that Spring is just around the corner. In fact, as I write this blog, sun is streaming into the hotel and I can see golfers venturing back onto the Old Course in preparation for a round of their lives. Lucky things!

Mother’s Day came and went at the resort – and we welcomed many-a-Mum with their families for a very special Mother’s Day ‘afternoon tea’ served in our beautiful Conservatory overlooking the Road Hole. In fact, so popular was the scrumptious teatime that we spilt over into our sumptuous ballroom … and the feedback we received from all was wonderful.

We are now counting down to Easter – and will be repeating the teatime decadence. Finger sandwiches, fabulous cakes, homemade scones and pancakes – all served with an array of the finest teas. Sound tempting? It is priced at £19 per person (£10 for children) … or you can be a mad hatter and choose our Pink Champagne Afternoon Tea for £32 per head. For reservations call +44 (0) 1334 474371 or drop us an email - reservations@oldcoursehotel.co.uk For those of you further afield who fancy a wonderful break at Easter in St Andrews, we have a terrific ‘Luxury Bed & Breakfast‘ stay. You can find more on the package and rates here.

A big ‘congratulations’ is due to David Scott, our Manager at The Duke’s Golf Club, together with all of his staff in the Clubhouse and out on the course. The Duke’s is celebrating two accolades in one week! It is back in the UK’s ‘Top 100′, having been selected to feature in the online ‘top100golfcourses’ website – and has also won a ‘silver flag’ from the ’59 Club’ for providing an ‘outstanding golf experience’ for members and visitors. David told me he is “delighted” with the news. We all know that golfers the world over are influenced by testimonials – so to have the Duke’s ranked at 96 out of more than 2,700 courses in the UK is wonderful news. David tells me there are more than 580 courses across Scotland – where The Duke’s is now ranked 27th – and in the Kingdom of Fife, the very cradle of the game, our stunning heathland course is now 5th. Praise indeed. The 59 Club recognition is for much more than our golf course as it measures every aspect of what we deliver for golfers – from ease of booking tee times, through the golfing experience to our catering offer, club house facilities, golf shop and customer service. Hats off!

And whilst I am in congratulatory mood, a huge cheer for Scotland’s rugby team for their performances in this year’s Six Nations Championship. Finishing third to Wales and England – but second on the ‘points scored’ tally – deserves a mention in dispatches! The team played some wonderful rugby and a we hope to see some of you back in St Andrews before too long.

For those of you reading this Blog who are lovers of wine and food, we have another exceptional Wine Tasting Dinner coming up (28th March) where we’ll be serving a five course meal of the finest Scottish produce with accompanying wines from the award-winning Yealands Estate in New Zealand’s Awatere Valley, Marlborough.

I spoke earlier today with our Executive Chef, Martin Hollis. Martin tells me the event promises to be a real gourmet evening pairing New Zealand’s and Scotland’s best. It begins with West Coast Scallop & Langoustine, Brown Shrimp, Beurre Noisette, White Bean Puree with Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2011, followed by a Ballotine of Rabbit with Kohlrabi Remoulade. That is accompanied by a 2010 Pinot Gris. The fish course is a Fillet of Ghiga Halibut with Harissa Spiced Peppers and is served with a Gruner Veltliner 2012. We caught up with Peter Yealands, owner of Yealands Estate, and he sent us this message: “There are many links between Scotland and New Zealand – especially with the South Island – and we are very proud that our wines are to feature in such a prestigious event at the 3 AA rosette awarded Road Hole Restaurant at the Old Course Hotel. The main course – Martin’s Shoulder of Iberico Pork from Dornoch, Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Spinach, Garlic & Lemon to be enjoyed with our delicious Reserve Pinot Noir 2011 – sounds mouthwatering. I only wish I was there to enjoy it!” The final wine, a Gewurtztraminer 2011, accompanies the desert of Warm Criffel Wrapped in Medjool Date, Apple Puree and Anise Sauce.

Whetted your appetite?  The evening begins with a drinks reception in the hotel’s Road Hole Bar at 7pm. Tickets are £50 per person to include the five course menu paired with wines followed by coffee and petit fours. If you’d like to come along, please call reservations on +44 (0)1334 474371 or email Reservations@oldcoursehotel.co.uk

On the same day, we welcome guests who are taking part in the second Belhaven Spring Cup. It runs from the Thursday 28th until Easter Sunday and includes three-nights of luxury accommodation combined with a 54 hole tournament over The Duke’s, Kingsbarns Golf Links and the famous Old Course in a quest to win the trophy. It is an incredible three days including fabulous food across the resort – with dinners at the world’s most famous 19th hole, Jigger Inn, our Sands Grill and a final Awards Dinner served in our 3 AA rosette awarded Road Hole Restaurant … high on our fourth floor overlooking the Old Course links. Fast becoming a ‘must play’ tournament at the start of the golfing calendar, we’ve got two last minute places for teams of two . Tempted? Please call our reservations team on +44 (0)1334 474371 or email us Reservations@oldcoursehotel.co.uk

That is all from me for now – duty calls! We look forward to welcoming you soon. Until next time, have a wonderful Easter.

You can keep up to date with us on social media – Facebook or Twitter. And if you have visited us recently, whether for an overnight stay, dining in one of our restaurants, playing a round on The Duke’s or simply popping in for a pint at the Jigger, please share your experience here: Trip Advisor.