The Bridge at Rusacks St Andrews – Delicious All Day Dining With a View of the 18th Hole

Rusacks St Andrews presents a captivating tale of history and elegance that could fill the pages of a library. Established in 1887 by German émigré Johann Kristof Wilhelm Rusack, this distinguished property earned its esteemed reputation as Scotland’s finest hotel, largely owing to its strategic location just a stone’s throw from the 18th hole of the Old Course. Following a meticulous restoration by hotel group Marine and Lawn the property now exudes decadence whilst seamlessly weaving in St Andrews’ rich golfing heritage. Three wonderful dining venues grace the premises, including standout rooftop restaurant Number 18 which offers breathtaking views across the Old Course and The Bridge, inspired by the Mediterranean, on the ground floor. The Luxury Editor was kindly invited along to dine at the hotel’s The Bridge.

The Marine & Lawn Hotel group welcomes visitors from across the globe to the birthplace of golf, with its properties in prime locations adjacent to the world’s most prestigious golf courses weaving the legends of centuries of golf history into design details throughout each hotel. The first two properties in the collection, Rusacks St Andrews and Marine North Berwick, launched in September 2021. Marine Troon opened in June 2022 along the Ayrshire Coast with the Slieve Donard Resort & Spa and Dornoch Station and the Adelphi Portrush Hotel in Portrush, Northern Ireland, all in the process of being completed for opening too.

Rusacks itself is stunning with grand stand-out interior design that fits the period property perfectly and Marine and Lawn’s American roots mean diners receive a very warm welcome on arrival, unlike some hotels where you sometimes feel slightly out of place unless you are staying in the property. Russacks couldn’t be further from this so feel free to wander around the communal areas as you explore the hotel.

Once you step inside the lobby there is a real wow factor, which was further enhanced by Christmas decorations being put up. I actually went back the next day to see the finished results – which were beautiful!

The occasion marked my dad’s birthday celebration and this was to be the ultimate destination to enjoy lunch for a golf lover – with a table looking out towards the 18th hole of the Old Course. What a view!

We started our lunch with a drink in No. 18 which is located on the top floor, the space steals the spotlight with its panoramic views across the 18th hole, and here guests can dine, have a cocktail, and relish the finest view in St Andrews.

With a menu designed by Derek Johnstone, a former MasterChef champion and Roux scholar with ties to Le Gavroche, the menu boasts the very best seasonal and locally sourced Scottish beef, seafood, and game that complements the handsomely designed setting perfectly.

After our aperitif we went down to the ground floor to The Bridge, this bright, white-walled brasserie exudes a Southern meets the Hamptons charm. Adorned with cane chairs, marble tabletops, brass fixtures, and cabana-striped banquettes. Along the walls is a who is who of golfing legends and every view from the restaurant is a show stopper, looking out to either the clubhouse or across to the Swilcan Bridge, you will fail to not be impressed.

This space, overseen by Johnstone’s team, offers a relaxed yet equally brilliant culinary experience to No. 18, in March this year the all-day dining offering changed from a British focus to a Mediterranean focus inspired by the coastal landscapes of France and Italy, as well as the charming villages and majestic mountains of Spain, Greece, the Adriatic, and the Levant.

Paying tribute to the rich and diverse flavours of Mediterranean cuisine their wood-fired ovens craft sourdough pizzas and homemade bread while hand-rolled pasta takes centre stage along with their charcoal grill transforming locally sourced meats and fish into mouthwatering dishes.

To start we chose Burrata, served with courgette and mint. The trio of dips and flatbread and the Mussles Mariana. The Burrata was incredible, cutting it open it oozed out and required a spoon to finish it off, paired with the mint and shredded courgette added a fresh element to the richness of the cheese.

The trio of dips was so good we kept them on to go with the pizza and the muscles were some of the best my mother had tried, so I can’t ask for better feedback than that!

For the main course (I am young at heart!!) so I can’t resist a pizza. The Bridges pizzas are made freshly using a sourdough base. I chose The Forager (as did my dad) this is a tomato-less base, instead using a creme di fungi paste which was generously pilled up with ricotta, more mushrooms for good measure, and finished with rocket and a drizzle of truffle oil to add further richness. While my mum had the Scottish Mushroom Tortellini, another rich dish with plum tortellini pasta bursting with flavour paired with truffle butter sauce.  Both were delicious.

Read our guide to the best hotels in St Andrews

After we finished our main courses we announced we could eat no more – but then the dessert menu was presented and we simply couldn’t resist! We chose the Torta Caprese, this indulgent pudding that almost had a biscuit-like texture to it is made with hazelnuts and dark chocolate and finished with a rich custard/cream sauce.

Our lunch at the Bridge turned a Birthday celebration into a wonderful day, the atmosphere was relaxed, the service was polished and incredibly friendly, the food was a delight, and we loved it! If you are planning a visit to St Andrew’s we highly recommend dining at Rusacks Hotel.

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