The Open Shop, St Andrews

I have previously written about my disbelief in the renaming of the Old Tom Morris Shop as ‘The Open’ by the Links Trust.

This morning I was wandering down by there and I saw Old Tom’s great, great, grand daughter (sweeping outside the shop as she owns the flat above and indeed the shop). At least I think she’s direct lineage or maybe she is just his great, great niece or whatever.

Anyway, I asked her what she thought of the renaming of their historic shop and she most politely said ‘I really can’t comment. It’s been sub-let to the R&A’.

Well I said. I can comment.

‘It’s an absolute shocker’

And she carried on her sweeping and made no comment.

While I’m on this theme, I may add that we have finally come up with a name for our bistrot in Edinburgh. It’s to be called ‘Leopardo’

This has been a painstaking process. In fact, it’s taken two years to get to Leopardo, via Old Flower Shop, Wild, Gardner and Costa, Leftbank, The Crazy Duck, The White Duck, The Blind Duck, Riverside Cafe, Sika, Idiom, Air Cafe, Ulysses, Velvet, Untitled, Little Sicily, Palermo, Aeolian and many, many more.

I finally settled on Bang, Bang, Bang. But no one was overly enthusiastic, apart from moi of course.

For I thought it was kind of memorable and had some latent, nuanced, obscure, underlying humour, given Alessandro’s Sicilian heritage.

But it was not to be.

We ultimately had a vote and Leopardo won handsomely.

Let’s say a slightly more conservative choice.


on the benefits of sea bathing

I have been swimming in the sea three days this week and it’s been wonderful for body and soul. I am convinced that this is much better for your mental health than a long dose of anti-depressants. Not that I’ve ever had a long dose of anti-depressants, but I’m convinced that GP’s should be advocating regular dips in cold water before prescribing them.

I was inspired to start doing this again by a new buddy Mark Vigil, aka The Wall Street Caddie, who is here for the summer, writing a book on young Tom Morris and caddying at Kingsbarns. A most affable bloke, he sets his day around drinking coffee in Taste, caddying, practicing his golf, dipping in the North Sea, having a few beers in Aikmans and writing his book. I look forward to reading it.

Our bistrot is very nearly there and we are just waiting for the council to give us building control clearance. The only major factor is that we haven’t got a name yet.

Leftbank has been ditched and there are numerous other possibilities being thrown around. I am now of the opinion that a good name is pretty important and we are finding it very hard to come to a consensus on this. Aeolian, Il Gattopardo, Wild, Old Flower Shop, Sika, Untitled all hit a mark and are there or thereabouts but I want something completely different (which I won’t disclose here because it’s rather hot property in my opinion). It’s completely off the wall but is certainly individual and memorable. And that’s what a good name should be I reckon.

If anyone has any immediate and inspired thoughts please send with haste.