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Get to Know: Tailend

 

Situated in the heart of the historic town of St Andrews, just a short walk from The Walled Gardens, Tailend is a multi-award-winning seafood spot – featuring a fresh fish counter, takeaway and vibrant restaurant.

Restaurant manager, Jessica Spink, runs through how the G & A Spink business became a local favourite and why fish and chips on West Sands beach is not to be missed.

What’s your position at the Tailend?

I’m the restaurant manager. I'm a Melbourne girl at heart and moved to Scotland about eight years ago. Fairy tale romance led me to meeting my now husband back in 2009 and the rest is history.

Seafood was always there for me growing up, but not as much as it consumes my life now! The crazy thing is when I moved to this beautiful country, I had never heard of Arbroath or the Spinks, and now I’m married to one! I love the history that surrounds my husband’s family and Arbroath, and of course the delicious fresh sustainable seafood that I’m now obsessed with and eat almost every day.

What’s the Tailend’s story?

My husband, Darren, had a foodie upbringing. His mum and dad, both delightfully creative and incredible business entrepreneurs, always had a part to play in the Spinks set up from the get go.

Gordon and Aileen had a chip shop called The Star in Arbroath which they both owned and ran. Darren’s grandad was always in the fish industry, sourcing, filleting and smoking for most of his life in Arbroath along the harbour and taught both Gordon and Darren all the skills needed to be both a successful businessman and how to make the tastiest Smokies and hot smoked salmon.  

Gordon also worked for many years out on the boats in the North Sea, catching fish and cooking for everyone on the boats too! He did this for many years until he retired from it to go into his own sourcing, filleting and smoking business with his wife, out of which came
G & A Spink Fish Merchants Arbroath. They started small more than 20 years ago and now supply many chip shops and restaurants around Scotland, and both of the family's Tailend Restaurants in St Andrews and Dundee.

My beginnings at Tailend began at our Edinburgh branch nine years ago. After settling into life with Darren in Edinburgh he eventually asked me to work with him at the restaurant.

His dad soon decided to open another branch in St Andrews, on Market Street, and we eventually sold the Edinburgh business to focus mainly on St Andrews. We never imagined we could have such success!

What is the most interesting thing about the company?

We are a family-run business which has been in the fish industry for four generations. Darren and I, alongside his sister Hayley, run the front and back of house together, meanwhile his mum and dad provide us with all the delicious seafood Scotland has to offer!  Its delivered fresh daily - making it super tasty!

What is something many people don’t know about the company?

The restaurant is owned by G & A Spink Fish Merchants of Arbroath, who also supply the fish, including their famous hot smoked salmon & Arbroath Smokies.

What is new for the business?

We recently opened another restaurant and takeaway in Dundee - right in the city centre and a five-minute walk from the new V&A Museum. I know my husband is very keen to keep updating and improving the family business and to create a more modern brand image that’s easier to interact with on social media and to create a real buzz about the Arbroath Smokie.

The Spink/Tailend empire can hopefully keep growing and seeing success and eventually we can teach our children about the importance of it all – and create some lasting foodie memories for them as well.

What can people expect when visiting you?

We are an award-winning seafood restaurant with casual dining. We also offer event nights like our most recent FOOD SAFARI event with Eden Mill and our Lobster & Champagne night with Taittinger and Luvians Bottle Shop! We can cater for all types of celebrations with gin tastings, bespoke menus, 'Fish & Chip' experiences and Scottish seafood tastings to name a few.

We want to challenge the façade of a chip shop with a 'sit in bit' and really strive towards being the most amazing seafood restaurant that also does a quality take away!

We want to inspire at home chefs with recipe ideas and masterclasses, educate on what’s local and fresh and we want to create those nostalgic, vivid memories that people will remember for years to come about how they had that most amazing dining experience when they were just out for a 'fish supper'.

What is it like to work in St Andrews?

St Andrews is incredible - for a small town it certainly generates some buzz! Especially over the summer months as the atmosphere is just incredible with golfers and tourists intertwined with locals and students. It’s certainly busy!

When is the best time to visit St Andrews?

I would say over the summer - there is a delicious array of Scottish seafood available including lobster, langoustines, crabs, oysters, halibut and lemon sole.

What is your favourite thing about St Andrews?

I think the dining vibe is incredible. The array of quirky cafes, delicious restaurants and fine dining options along with the possibility to stumble across a gin tasting or two - most of which support the other local food producers - make it a real 'food from Fife' experience.

Where is the best view in St Andrews?

I would say West Sands with a takeaway Tailend Fish Supper!

What are the people of St Andrews like?

Very friendly. I’ve never worked in a place where so many of the regulars stop and speak to you in the street! It’s wonderful!

Looking to begin a new chapter and thinking about downsizing?

Our final remaining one and two-bedroom retirement apartments at The Walled Gardens start at £182,625.

If you’re interested in tips for downsizing, have a look at our Downsizer’s Guide.

We want to make your move as smooth as possible and we have put together some fantastic incentives. Visit or call our Marketing Suite to find out more.

To arrange a viewing, call Carol on 01334 460 644 or contact Thornton’s, Bell Street, St Andrews, 01334 474200.

The Marketing Suite is open Friday through to Monday from 11am to 5pm.

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