Hotel Review: The Bank, Anstruther - Scotland on Sunday travel wishlist
Anstruther, the stunning small fishing port on the East Neuk has come into its own as we rush to rediscover the beauties that lie on our own shoreline.
In a prime seafront location, where the Dreel Burn merges with the Firth of Forth, the thick stone walls of The Bank Hotel provide a safe haven from the storm outside and hearty meals and spacious bedrooms add up to a destination popular with locals in the bar and travellers from afar (when tiers allow). Most of all, it’s the young team of staff here that make this four AA star and four Scottish Tourist Board hotel a relaxing and friendly place to stay or drop in for a drink. Four large screen TVs in the bar showing Sky entertainment mean you won’t miss the match either.
As the name suggests the Bank has been created from a former bank and still has echoes of its former function, from wood panels to artwork that includes bank notes and old photographs of staff and interiors.
Government guidelines on masks, sanitising and social distancing are in place throughout the hotel.
Budget or boutique?
Boutique in terms of bedrooms, yet with spacious public spaces and an air of tradition with leather seating, high ceilings and huge windows.
The eight bedrooms including a family suite, all with Sky TV, complimentary shortbread and water, hospitality trays and bathroom soap.
Wining and Dining
There is a bar lunch and bar supper menu and from large traditional wooden bar, staff dispense an extensive selection of real ales, draught beers, wines and spirits and teas and coffees. Traditional home cooked food made with quality local produce served in the dining conservatory and garden bar includes tempting mains of Pittenweem haddock and hand cut Angus steak and Belhaven pie.
Eating breakfast, chosen from a full hot breakfast selection, in the spacious dining conservatory with its wonderful harbour views, is a great start to the day.
When weather allows, the walled beer garden has space to enjoy a meal or drink and the view, and when the sun shines, the gardens are an enviable suntrap and children’s play area.
Also in the village is the award-winning Anstruther Fish Bar and Restaurant which was justifiably jam-packed when we visited, so we headed for The Wee Chippy for an amazing feast of fresh haddock, chips and mushy peas, served with lashings of tea and bread and butter. Anstruther is a foodies delight with everything from tasty toasties and piping soup in the sun outside Coast Coffee to Billy Boyter’s Michelin-starred Cellar where fine dining delights include cod, dashi poached turnip, Arbroath smokie and caviar sauce.
Worth Getting Out of Bed For
If you’re golfing, The Bank is nine miles from St Andrews’ courses, but has Carnoustie, Kingsbarns and Charleston on the doorstep. If you’d rather walk, the 117-mile Fife Coastal Path from Kincardine to Newburgh runs right past the windows and The Scottish Fisheries Museum in Anstruther itself is a short stroll away and not to be missed. It tells the story of the country’s commercial fishing industry and how the resilience of the communities involved made it such an important part of our heritage. From the herring boat tied up in the harbour in front of the museum to the artefacts inside, it’s a fascinating and fun destination for all ages.
Being able to step outside into the beer garden and enjoy a sheltered coffee or drink is a boon if Covid cabin fever has set in. And if golf is the attraction, packages can be arranged.
In the heart of the village with the sea outside your window, this is a seaside staycation you’ll want to turn into a tradition.