Reviewed by Stella Young
As a married forty something couple with 3 young children, we don’t often get a chance for a break away, so when we do it’s usually only one night and we tend not to venture too far from our home in Dundee, Scotland. It was that once a year time though, when we had a willing babysitter due to it being our 11th wedding anniversary. So, I fired up my laptop and started looking for somewhere to go. Edinburgh? Too expensive, with hotel rooms at around £295 a night, just wasn’t an option. Aberdeen? Cheaper, but we did that last year. I recalled a friend saying you get a good night out in Dunfermline, so thought I would investigate that further. On to booking.com and I found a stylish looking hotel at 29 Bruce Street, Rooms at 29, in the centre of the historic town. I always check out the hotel website as well, and saw from there it had its own restaurant attached, Dine at 29, and a nightclub. My idea of a good night away, not too far, and everything in one place.
So off we set. We had reserved a table at the restaurant for 5.30pm, but due to ferrying kids around, we were running a bit late. I called en route, and they said it wasn’t a problem and they booked us in later. The hotel was easy enough to find with our good friend Google Maps. There’s no parking at the hotel itself, but we asked a member of staff who gave us directions to a large car park behind the hotel, and it was just a walk up a few steps to reach the hotel from there. Parking we were told was free till 1pm the next day.
Check in process was smooth, we were located in room 116 on the first floor. A modern room with stylish décor. Not overly big in size, but then we weren’t planning on spending all our time in the room, so there was no issue with that. It was equipped with a desk, wardrobe, hairdryers etc. A lovely touch was two glasses with a choice of white or rosé prosecco with a compliment slip wishing us a happy anniversary. So, we enjoyed a nice glass of bubbly while we freshened up before going down for our meal.
The restaurant, Dine at 29, is in the same building as the hotel, and my first impression was I really liked the rustic feel of it. It is the type of restaurant you would dress up a bit to go for a nice meal. The dishes were Scottish mainly, using fresh and local ingredients for their menu. I had checked out the menu online before we went, I’m a bit food obsessed, and did notice there was no vegetarian option. When I enquired about this, the waitress told me I could have side dishes made up to a main course. Not ideal, but at least there was something. When a second waitress returned to take our food order, this seemed to confuse slightly and she told me I’d be charged separate prices for the dishes and would be served them as side dishes. I had to explain I wanted a main course as this was what the previous waitress had said wouldn’t be a problem. My concern wasn’t what I would be charged, but just having something I could eat. So, I ordered cheese rigatoni with a side of sauté potatoes, and my husband ordered the rib eye. After a few minutes, he realised they hadn’t asked how to cook his steak, so he went to speak to a member of staff, of which there were plenty available to serve at all times. She explained the steak comes uncooked and you do it yourself on the hot rock. So, we waited on our meals arriving whilst enjoying some liquid refreshments, great choice of wine and beers on the menu at a reasonable price. I opted for the pinot grigio which was a lovely smooth wine and my husband had lager. Our meals arrived, my cheesy rigatoni was lovely and in hindsight I probably didn’t need the side of potatoes as the pasta was filling enough. The steak arrived sizzling on a hot rock, this kind of confused my husband as he wasn’t quite sure what to do to cook it. But the hot rocks are obviously the speciality of the restaurant, and well known in the area for it, as we were surrounded by steak loving patrons enjoying them. It was served with a bucket of chips and onion rings. Then on to dessert, now I’m a weight loss consultant as a living, but when I asked the chefs speciality cheesecake and she said tablet, oh oh oh, I was just having to have that, with my other half opting for the raspberry meringue. When they arrived, he was initially gutted he hadn’t chosen the same as me, but after he started eating his (I wasn’t swapping, don’t love him that much) he said it was absolutely beautiful and one of the best desserts he’d had. The tablet cheesecake did not disappoint either, and both our plates were scraped clean. Service from staff throughout the meal could not be faulted, and it was easy to identify who they were as they were all smartly dressed in uniform.
We then decided to go out and explore the area, I say explore… we didn’t get very far, up the road a bit, down the road a bit, with a lot of choice of lively pubs on the doorstep, it really was a great location for a night out without having to traipse very far from the hotel. We finally ended up back at the hotel where we ventured in to Harlem nightclub, free entry for hotel guests. We had great fun in the club, before we finally made it back to our room in the small hours. We did however pay the price for this in the morning, and felt no way capable of going anywhere at 11am. I rang the reception of the hotel and asked if we could pay for an extended check out till 1pm. The lady checked, and told me there was nobody due to check in to our room later that day, so that was absolutely fine and if we needed longer just to let her know. And there would be no additional charge. So, this was definitely the icing on the cake for our visit.
Overall, we had a brilliant night away, thoroughly enjoyed the whole night and no complaints. We will without a doubt return to 29 Bruce Street, hopefully not a whole year away by our next wedding anniversary. Dunfermline is also very easy commute distance from Edinburgh at a fraction of the price, so I’d recommend it to anybody wanted to visit our beautiful capital city as well. I’d give the overall trip a 4.5/5, the only reason for it not being 5 would be the lack of vegetarian options on the menu.
For more information or to make a booking at the hotel or restaurant visit www.thecollective.info.
Rooms at 29, 29 Bruce Street, Dunfermline, KY12 7AG | 01383 840041