Wednesday, 28 July 2010

East neuk and crannies

Well on Monday work took me to the the East Neuk, or corner. So to combine work work a little pleasure, we took the tourist route up along the coast towards the East Neuk of Fife. East Neuk is one of the main tourist attractions of The Kingdom of Fife, Scotland. It is a stretch of beautiful coastline starting at St Andrews, followed by a number of fishing villages with working, yet idyllic harbours, such as Anstruther, Cellardyke, Colinsburgh, Crail, Elie, Largo, Lundin Links, Pittenweem, and St Monans.
First stop was St Andrews Beach and I couldn't stop inhaling the smell and taste of the sea salt in my throat.
Along the coast you will find stacked fishing creels or are they crails?! Almost look like works of art.
No woof woofing dogs allowed to run freely on this beach.
Whenever we seem to travel, the Scottish skies always seem to want to threaten to dampen us and make my wavy hair curly (which I secretly love).
This time though, it didn't rain heavy, so we walked slowly towards these collection of ruins that make up St Andrews Cathedral.
I enjoyed walking here, it was pretty quite. It was quite peaceful as there were not too many tourists like us about.
For the golfers amongst you, this is Tommy Morris's grave.
We couldn't leave St Andrew without our own trophy photograph of the world famous course (that's golf course, of course!).
as well as a quick visit to St Andrews University quadrant. I'm a little biased. I went to Glasgow University and think the quads there are just, if not even more impressive. Our next stop would have been Crail which has been described to many as having the most photographed harbour in Scotland, but it didn't happen as we missed our turning and continued onwards bound to Anstruther, prounounced an-struther. Locals call it enster. I read somewhere that in Gaelic Anstruther means ‘the little stream’, if this is wrong I am sure a Anstruther resident will let me know.
Well you've all heard the saying when in Rome, do as Romans do. Well when a tourist in Anstruther, do as tourists do - have yourself a fish supper, or if your a vegetarian or vegan 'a chippy'. The seafront is full of chip shops vying for your custom, the busiest of them all was Anstruther Fish Bar. Many of you will have heard of it has won numerous awards since 2000, namely for serving the Best Fish supper in Scotland and even the U.K. For those of you who live overseas. A fish supper in Scotland means a large portion of chips with two pieces of fish. In Scotland the fish traditionally served is haddock, whereas down South it was traditionally Cod.
Apparently the queues for its takeaway fish supper run for yards along the street at weekends, well this was a weekday and I couldn't see any sign of a queues, until of course we walked in. Oh my goodness it as busy for both the restaurant and the Take-away. I was happy to go elsewhere as there was not a shortage of other chippies on the street, including the Wee Chippy that is popular with the locals and was voted by the Observer last year as the best place in the world to eat fish and chips, but D's attitude was now that we were in the queue, we'd see if the chips were to our liking.
Before tucking in and admiring the view of the harbour opposite us, I insisted that D take a photograph of our rather generous portion of chips. Now onto the taste and flavour. I have to admit, though fresh, I actually was not keen on the potato, it tasted a little waxy for me and for this reason got a thumbs down from me - but hey that is my opinion, all those awards can't be wrong and its about the fish supper, not so much the chips. But before leaving Anstruther, I did get to eat some rather tasty chips (read on).
One of the impacts of having an Award winning eatery in a small place, whether a chippie, restaurant inspired the other places around it to 'raise their game too'. So yes, I have to admit I did get to enjoy some of the best chips I've ever eaten in Anstruther. In the evening, D and me went for a meal, well affordable pub grub. D of course this time had to have a fish supper and me more chips. Oh my goodness these were good and rather tasty. The potatoes were fluffy on the inside and the chips scuffed a little with a coating and so crisp. So where was this place. It was The Bank Bar and Kitchen. It didn't have much in the way of vegetarian options, but eck the chips were good.
Being once a fishing community, you could see traces of its history in the buildings. Just take a look at this weather vane in the shape of a fish.
Away from the harbour
to the streets of Anstruther
I was enchanted by these. Can you guess what it is, there a little aged, (click on image). Its a wall covered completely with shells. This wall is decorated in the design of diamonds and a heart.
Charming or what?!

For those of you this is the birthplace of Thomas Chalmers, one of Scotland's most famous sons. He was the leader of the Free Church of Scotland.
This place won't mean much to anyone but it does to me, it was my first visit to East Neuk. I used to work for an organisation that encouraged young people from socially disadvantaged backgrounds to access the outdoors, both for enjoyment and for therapy. One of these active trips involved practicing kayaking in this safe little spot.
Yesterday, after fulfilling work commitments it was homeward bound. We stopped briefly at Elie and Pittenweem where the High street looked rather festive in a summery kinda way, dressed colourful in bunting. Then finally in St Monan, from a distant we got attracted or should I say distracted by a rather unusual sight in Scotland, a windmill that we just had to have a closer peek, especially as I had never seen one up close. As I got out of the car once again I was inhaling sea salt. Within a few minutes of climbing up the spiral staircase to the top of the windmill, I learned a little more about St Monans Windmill, its background and its connection to the salt production industry.
Ah other than potato chips, I did get to see some healthy growing fruit. One of the largest ever pear trees in St Andrews laden, and I mean laden with pears. Sadly they were about a month away from ripening, so no free food or foraging for me.
I also saw these berries in Anstruther. I am convinced that they are wild cherries, in fact I tasted one (don't tell D, he's worried one of these days I'll poison myself) and I'm still here today. It was bitter. What do you think it is? Well even if they were cherries, they were not quite ripe. So another fruit that was not ready for my picking.


  1. Wow, once again, a TON af amazing photos! I loved reading everything too! I think the University looks awesome! I honestly feel like I can travel through your lens sometimes!

  2. Hello!
    Beautiful photos, you have me craving a portion of chips (with a good splash of Hendersons's relish!)
    The berries are Wild Cherry, you were right! Wild cherries can be quite bitter or sour, depending on the tree. I have 3 wild cherries outside my house, and only one produces palatable cherries, the other two - bleurgh! (still good for making wine, and the birds don't seem to mind sour fruit)
    I love the sea shells on the walls, they're so adorable!

  3. Oh I so enjoyed this...brought back memories of at least thirty years ago and most fondly of Pittenweem...and dear old friends we have lost contact with. What an adventure you both such a beautiful area. The sky in the windmill photo is lovely!! darn sure those are cherries and maybe they are sour cherries, a particular variety..choke cherries are bitter, but don't look like those above.

    Again...a nice day or so, out and about and I really enjoyed it...)))).

  4. Beautiful pictures, I really enjoyed seeing the villages, castles, beaches etc. Some day I want to see it for myself! I also liked your vegan pies from your previous post, yummy, I would have like to have eaten one while I looked at the pictures of Scotland for a more authentic touch;-)

  5. Ohhh, your photos are so gorgeous!! I spent many happy moments just now gazing at them lingeringly...

    Thank you so much for your incredibly kind comments on our upcoming wedding! :-)

  6. What an amazing day you had. It looks so green there, and the town looks just lovely. Those hot chips look delicious :)


  7. I love your pictures of St. Andrews Cathedral. Looks like a wonderful day (damp and all).

  8. I live in such a new country.... :0( those buildings, castles etc seem pretend, like out of someone's dream.

  9. Thank you Morgan.
    I was strict with the photographs.

    Hello littleblackfox.
    Thank you so much for confirming that the berries are Wild Cherries (yay, I was right!) They were rather bitter and to be truthful, not that many in the tree for the size it was, perhaps as they are ripening the birds are nabbing them. Good for them.

    I'm rather envious of the 3 wild cherries outside my house, as cherry wine sounds rather good.

    The shelled walls were def. charming to look at.

    Thank you Gardeningbren.
    I'm happy the photographs brought back fond memories of Pittenweem and sorry to read that you've lost touch with dear old friends. In life these things happen.

    Its funny I was in that area to carry out some work, but was able to fit in this little bit of adventurous travelling too.

    And Thank you for also confirming that those were cherries, I think they were sour cherries.

  10. Thank you Patty.
    I have no doubt you will see Scotland for yourself.

    So pleased to read that you liked the look of the vegan pies. I'd have been happy sharing one with you too.

    Thank you so much Astra - Bride to be
    Your comment made me smile 'happy moments just now gazing at them lingeringly' Ahhhh Thank you to you too.

    Thank you Rose.
    The placesd were both rather green and rather blue, with little bits of grey too :)

  11. Thanks Monica.
    The St. Andrews Cathedral pictures are rather dramatic.

    Oh Little Messy Missy.
    What can I say... I agree with you it is a bit like 'out of someone's dream', even i have to travel to these places.

  12. LOVE the flavor combinations here... And wonderful outing--FAB photos! Thank you. :o) Happy Days ((HUGS)) Oh, I'm having some giveaway fun... stop by if you get a chance...

  13. I have to say having traveled all over the world the east neuk is one of the most beautiful places I have seen. But as an east neuker myself i'm a bit biased. Agree with you about the chips they are not the best. I much prefer Pitenweem thats were the locals go.

  14. Thank you so much for your lovely comment Tracy.

    Thank you for your lovely comment.
    Its is a pretty place and one I would like to go back as well, perhaps with family and friends and if I do, we'll try out a different chippie too.

  15. Lovely shots of Scotland, bringing back many happy memories from the 10 days I spent there, also bringing back the longing for sticky toffee pudding NOW.

  16. Thank you so much Alanna.

    So glad it brought back lovely memories for you.

    Sticky toffee pudding was on the menu, but I did not get to try it this time, maybe next time.

  17. awwh this makes me nostalgic - I was at uni in St Andrews between 1998 & 2002, what great times! What a fabulous blog you have, I may pinch a few of your recipes if I may!! x

  18. Oh Lulu.
    So glad the photographs brought back some good memories.

    Thank you so much for the lovely comment and for becoming a follower. I am humbled. Thank you, And yes, of course recipes are there to be shared. Enjoy!

  19. What lovely photos. I love the fishing creels.

  20. Thank you so much Kateri.
    Its lovely to hear from you. I Hope your well.

  21. I have visited st andrews quite a few times and love it - but only once did I get to visit anstruther - wish I had had your chippy recommendation then

  22. Johanna,
    I liked St Andrews, it was my first time there and I'd be ahppy to go again. Anstruther too - just not for work!

  23. the 16th photo down (the streets of anstruther) i think thats Cellerdyke, the 2 merge with no signs (i lived in st. monans for 18 years)

  24. Wow, what stunning photos! The ruins are beautiful, as are all those tiny shells on the walls, gorgeous :)


If you’ve tried one of my recipes, Please let me know by leaving a comment below or tagging me social media with @SeasonalShaheen.

Thank You