Bowhouse Food Market, East Neuk, Fife.

This weekend OH and I visited Bowhouse Food Market in the East Neuk of Fife.

The first time we visited the food weekend we happened upon it by chance and ventured in for the want of something better to do and were immediately enchanted with the large barns full of stalls selling produce all grown and/or made in Fife. This visit however, there didn’t seem to be as many stalls but as the market is now a regular event I’m guessing sellers perhaps choose which weekends they want to attend. IMAG0108

Saying that, there was still a large number of stalls all displaying tempting produce. Flowers, plants, fruit, fish, seafood, cheese, meat, bread, ale, gin, condiments, soap and coffee were all on offer. It isn’t cheap but it’s good quality and it’s always good to support local artisans and to help keep Fife on the food map. The majority of stalls offer free tastings, which always entices the taste buds and often results in sales. We ended up buying a Pumpkin Latte Loaf (£2.50), a lamb, harissa and almond sausage roll (£3), a cheese scone (75p) and a cherry one (75p), a bottle of Gorse Gin (£20), a jar of beetroot and horseradish chutney (£3), a bottle of blonde ale (£3), a small bottle of apple flavoured spirit (£5) and at the butchers I bought some slice sausage and a white pudding (£3).

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Once you have wandered around the stalls you can then go through to the street food barn where there is even more food and drink on offer. This is where you can grab a St Andrews Brewery Ale, sit on a hay bale to eat some fish and chips or a burger and listen to some live music in a great atmosphere.

There are also some live animals for the kids to meet with pigs and lambs in pens in another area of the farm.

To find Bowhouse drive through Elie and it’s on your left before you get to St Monans. It’s open from 10am till 4pm on a Saturday and Sunday. The rest of the dates for the food weekends are:

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Sept 8-9
Oct 13-14
Nov 10-11
Dec 8-9

I’m hoping the December one will be very festive and will be the thing that puts me in the Christmas spirit.

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Penguin Parade, Broughty Ferry

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Penguin Paradise

OH and I had lunch in The Ship Inn, Broughty Ferry yesterday and it bored me. Over the last few food blogs I have realised that I am getting more and more fed up with bar lunch menus and the food that then appears in front of me.  I realised if I was going to write my usual blog the ‘highlight’ would be ordering Venison Lasagne and getting a beef one instead. You see? Boring. There’s nothing new happening unless you want to spend loads of money on lunch so I think I’m going to give blogging about bar lunches a miss for a while.

In fact, the only interesting aspect of lunch was the elderly woman (dressed in a multi-coloured,

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Captain Scott

striped jumpsuit) sat at the table next to us who had set her stall out for the day with a bottle of Rose wine in a cooler and a glass of lemonade. Over the course of our fish pie and beef lasagne lunch she steadily poured herself glass after glass of wine each time topping it up with the lemonade. Her husband was on the pints and was making loud conversation with 2 others in the bar, the kind of mundane chat that only locals can have. I could see why the wine was a must.

 

Filled up yet again with too many carbs we went along the waterfront to walk off all the potatoes and pasta we had just consumed and to do some penguin spotting.

Yes you read that right. Just now until the middle of September, Dundee and its surrounding areas are having a penguin parade.

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R2Dundee2

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Bonnie Dundee

As a way of raising money The Maggie’s Centre and Wild Art have produced 80 giant, individually designed penguin sculptures, which are scattered around Perth, Tayside and Fife and will then be auctioned off on the 24th of September. We had already seen the 2 that are in St Andrews but DD had said there was an invisible one in Broughty Ferry so we thought we’d try to find it.

As it turned out OH spotted it from the pub we were sat in so it wasn’t a hard hunt.

If you live in the area and are at a loss for something to do with the kids at the weekend I can recommend tracking down the penguins. There’s a map of them all here Maggie’s Penguin Parade.

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Absent Penguin

. btw king prawn starter, 2 mains, 2 pints and 2 cokes = £37.60

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Old Uncle and New Deer Abbey

When my great Uncle Jim died, approxiamately 12 years ago, my mum and her sisters were left with the task of clearing the house that he had shared with his brother, Tom, in Old Deer, Aberdeenshire. As they slowly emptied the house into black bin liners my mum came across a book she had heard Tom talking about with her mum many, many years before. It turns out Uncle Tom was the Custodian of New Deer Abbey and it was being closed to the public. What she had overheard was Tom telling his sister he had taken a book for safekeeping as, like the Abbey, it would go to rack and ruin if left unattended. The book he had been talking about was a 1st Edition of A Book of The Parish of Deir dated 1896.

My mum, obviously, spared the book from the bin bag and it’s been on her bookshelf and her IMAG0001conscience ever since. Inside the book was a newspaper cutting with a story, “He looks after historic ruins”, and a photo of Uncle Tom  tending to the grounds of the Abbey. The newspaper was dated 1962.

This weekend, OH (other half) and I were intending to head west for a weekend of camping but as Sean Batty was forecasting a very wet Tayvallich we decided instead, to head north to a hotel, The Saplinbrae Hotel in Mintlaw. The hotel is very close to New Deer Abbey so I mentioned this and the book to my mum who jumped at the chance of finding a new home for the book.

When we arrived at the hotel I explained about our dilemma and was told that although the Abbey was once more open to the public, no-one actually ‘manned’ it. I was also advised to go to the farming museum in Aden Country Park and if I couldn’t find someone to talk to about the book there, the chap who does the pat tests for the hotel was a historian and they could contact him for me if needs be. I think they were just as eager as my mum was to find a new home for the book.

OH and I went first to the Abbey and had a IMG_20180811_163530_231look round. It was easy to work out where my great uncle had stood in the newspaper photograph since nothing had changed since 1962 but not so easy to picture the Cistercian monks as they wandered around what would have been an amazing abbey in 1219.

As no-one else was around we headed off to Aden Country Park and the farming museum. In there we looked at old pieces of farming equipment and black and white photographs of people who used to live in the area. Disappointingly, I saw none that could have been relatives of mine. In the Horseman’s House, where you could see how people used to live in the 1830s, one of the museum curators chatted to us about the difficulties of living in a house with no electricity, running water or indoor toilet (I was immediately reminded, and thankful, I wasn’t camping) and whilst chatting I decided to share the book with her. She was in awe. She told me she should be wearing gloves but this did not stop her fanning the book open and gasping at the photos inside it. She then radioed her Supervisor, Pam, and asked her to come and see the book. Pam was entranced by the book and said she could sit and read it all day. She asked if my mum would want to donate it to the museum and then went onto explain that we would need to go through the proper channels and take the book to HQ and get a receipt for it. With no other plans I said that would be fine. We then went back to reception and she phoned HQ.  It turned out it was only admin on site and the woman who would normally deal with donations doesn’t work Saturdays.  Pam then wrote down all the woman’s details and asked me to phone her on Monday. Basically this meant taking the book back home, making a phone call and then having to post the book back up. Due to red tape I could not simply leave the book at the museum.  IMAG9988

Pam then asked if she could photocopy the newspaper cutting of my great uncle and the front of the book. She explained she wanted to have something to share the story with the public as the book would possibly sit in HQ and her and her staff would have to make appointments to go and see it in HQ after I had posted it up.

She then took me into the back room where the photocopier was stored. As we waited on it heating up she told me she was just back from Colonsay where her and her husband had been on holiday. Her husband was a minister so he had taken the sermon and she had written the address for the children. She said although the walk up to the church had been covered in sheep poo she was surprised to find 30 people in the congregation as well as 2 dogs plus her own. She said the atmoshpere was amazing.

As she looked through the book, picking things to photocopy, she showed me a picture of her house in the book and told me other interesting anecdotes. I could tell she loved it.

Copies made, we said our goodbyes and I walked away with the book under my arm. As I spoke to OH I told him about my conversation. How she had completely appreciated the book and how much hassle taking the book back home was going to be. We both knew what we were going to do. We turned round.

I went back in to reception and said, “I’ve been thinking. My mum would want this book to go to a good home, to someone who appreciates it so I want to gift this book personally to you Pam.”

Pam looked stunned but really happy. “Do you want to donate it to the farming museum?”

“No, personally to you and then you can do whatever you like with it. If you then want to donate it to the museum that is up to you but I am giving it to you.”

She made me sign a piece of paper saying I was gifting it to her and got her colleagues to witness it to ensure everything was above board. She said she was going to share the book with her staff and the woman who was in charge of The Book of Deer Project and she could not have looked happier.

I left feeling like I had done the right thing, it felt great.

My mum now also feels really good, knowing the book is now going to be appreciated and not hidden from view but most of all because her conscience is now clear.

The Saint, St Andrews, Fife

Yesterday OH and I were in St Andrews to do some research for my new book – a murder mystery set in St Andrews (if you’re interested my last book is available to download here The Same Individuals) Anyway, it was lunchtime and I remembered that the West Port Bar had undergone a revamp and had changed its name so we decided to try it out.

We discovered it was now called The Saint. Inside it was still the same layout but there was new fancy wall paper and some lovely lighting. We were sat in an intimate little niche, which would have been great if I wasn’t such a nosey bint and wanted to see what everyone else is eating. Immediately we were offered a jug of water and when the waitress returned with it she asked us if we wanted any other drinks. And when she returned with our drinks she took our order for food. It’s a simple way of attending to a table but it works really well and more restaurants and bars should do this.

The menu was big and had the same old pub food – fish and chips, burgers, scampi and pies but additionally there was duck, salmon and pork chop. To me it was a pretty boring IMAG9975menu and nothing jumped out so I ordered the  fish and chips. However, I asked if I could get some Bloody Mary Ketchup on the side, which was offered with the scampi. It was the only thing that did stand out and I really fancied trying it. The waitress said it wasn’t a problem at all. When my fish arrived I was disappointed not to see tartare sauce as well but as I had asked for ketchup it was justified. Initially, the fish melted in my mouth but then it got a bit greasy. The chips were a big hit, chunky and obviously hand cut. The ketchup wasn’t as spicy as I thought it would have been and lacked any kind of kick. Overall it was an okay plate of food.

OH ordered the IMAG9974Fish Pie – Scottish peat smoked haddock, leek and garden herbs, topped with creamed mash. Surprisingly, the waitress asked if he wanted potatoes or chips with it. Automatically OH asked for chips.

When the pie arrived I could see they hadn’t taken much time in piping the mash on top and had went for the dodding it on method instead. It took ages for OH to eat his pie as it was so hot, which meant he ate all his chips and veg first so there wasn’t a lot of room left for the pie but he battled on regardless. OH said the potatoes on top were dry but this wasn’t a criticism. Inside there was loads of smoked fish within a nice creamy sauce. He enjoyed his pie although he felt completely stuffed after overdosing on carbs.

When we asked for the bill the waitress appeared with it and the card machine at the same time. More service bonus points!

2 mains, 2 pints and a coke = £34 so not the cheapest bar lunch we’ve  had recently but OH did get the opportunity to waddle for the rest of the day and complain he could no longer see his feet.

 

 

Starbank Inn, Newhaven, Edinburgh

OH wanted to go to Edinburgh today to buy some fishing and camping gear so after visits to Go Outdoors and the Edinburgh Angling Centre in Granton and spending a small fortune, we needed to find somewhere near by to eat that was not going to break the bank any further.

The Starbank Inn was only a short drive away and there was a parking place right outside the door so that’s where we ended up.

The inn is a Belhaven pub so had  a large 3 folded menu offering all the normal kind of bar food – burgers, fish n chips, pies, pasta etc. On the black board was Cullen Skink soup and Scallops.

I was betwixt and between and wasn’t sure whether to order soup and a sandwich or one of the pies. After ordering our drinks I decided on the IMAG9957Haggis and Potato Pie – Spicy haggis, layered with neeps and tatties, topped with Cheddar cheese and served with a creamy whisky sauce. When it arrived it was nothing to look at. The vegetables, carrots and courgettes, were bland and tasteless. The whisky sauce was creamy but I’m not sure it had even sat next to a bottle of whisky. When I first cut into the pie there was only potato and turnip with no haggis in sight. It turned out I had started in the wrong corner as the opposite corner was all haggis and no turnip. Unfortunately, rather than there being layers, there were lumps. However, after finding the spicy haggis the pie did get better and I loved the lid of baked cheese even though I did have to chisel it off the plate.

IMAG9956OH had decided on the Chicken Tikka Skewers – Served with tikka masala sauce on a bed of rice, with naan bread, tomato & red onion salad and a yoghurt & mint dressing. I asked him what his thoughts were and he replied – alright, average, middle of the road, could have done with more sauce and it filled a hole. Definitely not high praise. Mind you, he loved the Trade Winds ale that he had 2 pints of.

As usual when pubs have large menus with deals like 2 meals for £11 (not on a Saturday though) you know what you’re getting. Don’t get me wrong. There was nothing wrong with the food it just wasn’t anything special. However, service was special and everyone was friendly, chatty and helpful, which made the Starbank Inn very cheap and cheerful.

2 mains, 2 pints and a diet coke £27.43

 

 

 

The Bank, Anstruther, Fife

IMAG9861A few months ago I was at a meeting in the Dreel Hall in Anstruther. As usual, I was far too early and went for a walk around the graveyard. Sitting on a bench, overlooking the Dreel Burn merging with the Firth of Forth, I noticed a conservatory sticking awkwardly out from the back of where I knew to be a bar. However, in my mind I thought it was an auld man’s kind of pub. It got me wondering and therefore it went on to my list of places for OH and I to visit (btw I’m always looking for recommendations).

We parked the car just dIMG_20180721_175027_504own the side of the Dreel Halls and crossed the Dreel Burn using the large square stepping-stones that take you on to the beach next to the end of Shore Street. From there we followed the Fife Coastal Path up to the back of The Bank and through their beer garden. Following our noses we climbed some stairs and ended up in the bar where we were taken into the conservatory and given a table with a lovely view of rooftops and the Forth and given a lunch menu along with a leather-bound one. When I opened the bigger menu the first page was a list of drinks so I closed it again and looked at the lunch menu. 2 courses for £12.00. There was fish and chips, burgers, mac n cheese etc, which was fine but nothing really jumped out. Bored I opened the leather menu again and discovered a page of starters, a page of chefs specials, a page of burgers and  a whole page of seafood. Ignoring my normal annoyance at it now being too big a menu, I was back in a good mood and made my decision as did OH. However, no-one appeared to take our order so we sat in a hot conservatory without a drink for far too long. Eventually a different waitress appeared and was about to disappear again when I called her over and told her we were ready to order.

I asked for the ‘Haddock Timbale – Smoked ourselves with oak shavings, poached with prawns and saffron cream, finished with chef’s vegetables and buttered baby potatoes’. When it arrived I was surprised to see the haddock was white and not the usual smokey yellow. However, IMAG9855the sauce was electric yellow and I immediately worried for my white top. The fish was good but white and not smoked, the sauce was a bit salty, the vegetables were good, crunchy and not over done but the best bit was the prawns that were hidden in the drum of haddock. They were large and succulent.

OH ordered the ‘Roasted Sea bass, Crispy skin sea bass fillets, tomato, chorizo, cashews, rocket & new potato salad. It looked fantastic and I was immediately jealous. IMAG9853

It’s not often that OH wins at the food ordering competition we have but he definitely hit the jackpot with the Sea bass. He could not talk more highly about it. The textures, taste and amount were all perfect and created a memorable dish. The cashews and thinly cut chorizo were a big hit as were the fresh tomatoes and crispy skin.

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Leaving a empty plate OH then ordered a pudding from the full-page of desserts. ‘Dutch Apple Flan – Dutch apple pie filled with apple, raisins and cinnamon topped with a glazed lattice pastry, served hot or cold with cream, ice cream or crème anglaise.’ He decided on it hot with ice cream. He was disappointed to find it must have been heated in a microwave as the pastry was soggy but still enjoyed it and managed to leave another empty plate.

Overall, it was a good lunch and we will probably go back just so I can have the Sea bass.

2 mains, 1 dessert, 2 pints of ale and a pint of coke = £40.05

19th Hole, Earlsferry, Fife.

Yesterday OH and I went for a walk along the beach next to Elie Golf Course, it was a fabulous day and there were a number of golfers making the most of the links course. Of course, after a walk in the summer sun, the next sensible thing to do is go for a pint and it just so happened that next to the golf course is The 19th Hole.

We went in just for a drink but once in, we checked out the menu, the decor, the clientelle and decided to stay for something to eat.  The menu had the normal kind of bar food options such as burgers, steak pie, mac and cheese but with more local fish dishes than your average pub. However, what made it stand out were words like freshly delivered, made to order, artisan and East Neuk, which is the local area just in case you didn’t know.

OH decided on a Crab Salad and I asked for a starter size of mussels. As we waited, I looked around and noticed the coat rack was made out of golf clubs and the leg of the table was hidden in an old leather golf bag. There was tennis on the large tvs and also a fireplace to relax in front of. I nipped to the loo and the sign on the door was a lady putting, the door handle was a putter, there was another door with turf on it. Inside there was a display of golf balls under the sink. Yes they have taken the golfing theme to the nth degree but actually, it works.

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By the time I returned from the loo my mussels were already on the table and OH was tucking into his crab salad. Now, normally I’d be annoyed that someone had delivered my food when I wasn’t at the table but we were sitting in the bar rather than the restaurant as we had the dog with us. In the restaurant you are able to see the chef at work as it’s open plan and I’d like to think if he could see our table he would have held it back until I was there.

The crab was abundant on OH’s salad, which was good to see. He enjoyed it immensely describing it as light and fresh. Even the potatoes got a special mention.

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Along with my plate of mussels was a finger bowl and empty plate for the shells. My mussels were plump and very hot. The sauce wasn’t salty or gritty as can often happen. Instead it was creamy and the onions had a nice crunch. There was a couple that weren’t open and one had a beard but overall I enjoyed them. The accompaning bread was chargrilled and dunking it into the sauce was lush. I even asked for a spoon so I could sup the rest up.

Whilst we were eating it was the chef that popped out to ask if our food was okay, which meant so much more than one of the bar staff asking.

The 19th Hole is a place you need to seek out as it’s well off the beaten path but I would definitely recommend it.

2 pints, a starter size of mussels and a crab salad = £24.40

The Fishmarket, Newhaven, Edinburgh

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During the week I saw on my Twitter feed someone raving about the new restaurant that had opened in Newhaven Harbour, The Fishmarket. (next to the Loch Fyne Oyster Bar in Edinburgh) I looked up the website  and had a look at their menu, which looked great. There was crab, lobster, langoustine as well as haddock, cod and lemon sole.   The main hook for me on the website was ‘From the Boat Straight to your Table’. What’s not to like?

I, therefore, suggested to OH that we could lunch there on Sunday. I felt it was prudent to phone ahead and book and I was glad I did as when I asked for a table at 1.30pm I was told I could either have 1.15 or 1.45.

We arrived promptly and were given a table in the window with a good view of the harbour. The restaurant was busy with family groups and other couples. There was also people sat at the bar who I am guessing maybe hadn’t phoned ahead.

The decor was clean with white tiles and contrasting dark green ones. The staff uniforms were nautical, white and blue striped tops so be pre-warned and don’t be like the woman who didn’t know and was sitting dining with friends and family but equally could have been clearing tables.

The menus were already on the table. However, a waitress walked past me holding heaped plates of mussels, which looked amazing but there was no mention of mussels on the menu. I looked around for a specials board but to no avail. When the waitress appeared to take our drinks order I asked about the mussels and was told the other table had phoned and requested them in advance. Oh. My first disappointment. A different waitress then appeared to tell us that the only draught lager, which had been recommended, had run out. Oh.

My next one was when a couple that came in after us but got their food order taken before us and received their food before us too. I realise all food is cooked to order but that was bad service and it was a full 40 minutes from entering the restaurant to getting our food.

As we waited, I noticed the two women sitting next to us orders arrived. One had fish and chips and the other 4 hand dived scallops, which all arrived on separate shells and took over the table. I checked the menu. The 4 scallops, each no bigger than a marshmallow, would cost her £24.

Anyway, I had decided on the lemon sole as I had realised on further scrutiny of the menu and checking other people’s plates that everything was deep-fried and I wanted something that wasn’t. OH knew before we got there that he was having dressed crab. So when the waitress eventually appeared we gave our food orders. Her first question to me was “do you want it battered or breaded?” Oh. Battered I replied disappointed. Her second question to OH was “do you want chips with that? It’s not that big.” OH agreed to have chips. My question is – If a waitress is suggesting you get chips with something why doesn’t it already come with chips?

The next disappointment was when OH’s dressed brown crab arrived with no shell in sight. It came on a plate in a circle with some sauce and chivIMAG9674es on top. As my mum pointed out when I told her, “it could have been tinned if there was no shell.” Saying that, OH did enjoy it but also said he was glad of the bread that came with it. OH also suggested that some side salad with some spring onions or strong herbs would have added to the dish. If OH is making serving suggestion then I know the dish is lacking.

IMAG9673My lemon sole was good. The texture, unlike haddock and cod that easily flakes, was mushy but it didn’t taste muddy as some bottom feeders can do. The chips were chip shop chips (there’s a take away chip shop attached to the restaurant, which is where the deep-fried dishes are cooked).

If getting shit-faced on Prosecco or Pinot Grigio is the acceptable face of afternoon drinking then The Fishmarket is the place for middle class people to go and eat unhealthy, deep-fried food without the same guilt.

Normally, I would have another glass of wine and OH would have a dessert but we decided we would just ask for the bill. When we got it, there was no drinks on it and the waitress had to ask what we had to drink.

Overall, the food was good. Fresh, tasty and very fishy (there was nothing on the menu that wasn’t fish) However, I had been expecting a classy seafood restaurant but instead I got a posh fish and chip shop so I won’t be needing to go back.

A pint, a small glass of wine, 2 mains = £38.80

The Crusoe, Lower Largo, Fife

Anytime I get asked where I would recommend for a meal in Fife I generally say The Crusoe, in Lower Largo. It has good food, it’s in a picturesque location and always has a lovely ambiance. Therefore, for my mum’s birthday, we chose to take her there for lunch.

As it was a beautiful day I pre-booked just in case we couldn’t get a table but as it turned out the majority of people were eating outside. However, it did mean we got a nice table with a view of the Forth.

We were given 2 menus. The regular one with light bites, starters, mains and desserts and a specials one. The soup on the specials menu immediately jumped out to me as it was White Onion with Cider and Cheese Croutons. Ever since I first had white onion soup in a Belfast restaurant, which was the most amazing soup ever, I have been a big fan so although it was a gorgeous, sunny day and the last thing I needed was a starter or soup, I just had to have it.

OH decided on the smoked haddock tartlet with poached egg and Mum decided not to have a starter and save herself for her main.

IMAG9638My soup wasn’t as white as I had thought it would be as the cider gave it a brown tinge. However, it was still very tasty with just a light hint of apples. The crouton was a large soggy thin piece of bread that could have been left out. Disappointingly, the accompanying bread was too thick and dry as if it had been sliced in the morning and left out.

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OH’s tartlet looked amazing. The poached egg was soft but not runny and when I asked him if the tart was really fishy he said, “Not yet. Oh wait a minute I got a bit there.” Overall however, it was a tasty, satisfying dish that he demolished and was happy with.

 

IMAG9641For my main I ordered from the specials menu again and had Fillet of Cod, with Prawn and Green Pea Risotto and Samphire.  Again it looked amazing when it arrived. The risotto had a bit of bite and the little prawns through it were a nice touch. Unfortunately, the skin of the cod wasn’t crisp and I had to get my bit of crunch from the samphire. My favourite bit of the dish was the creamed leeks that weren’t mentioned on the menu. They were a delight.

IMAG9640OH also ordered from the specials menu and had Braised Shin of Beef with horseradish hollandaise, roast root vegetables, mash and Madeira jus. His beef looked melt in the mouth and was surrounding by roasted carrot and turnip. OH’s only complaint was that he could have done with more gravy/Madeira jus. Again he cleared his plate.

Mum, in a surprise selection, went for Chicken and Ham Pie from the main menu. When it arrived it was a proper pie – it had a top, bottom and did not arrive in its own dish! I haven’t seen one of them in a restaurant for a long time. The mash was in abundance and although mum gave it a good go she had to leave some. She said that the pie was packed with chicken and ham and you could tell it was home-made.IMAG9639

Mum and I continued with our wine as OH, as is his norm, ordered a dessert. Pineapple Carpaccio. From memory there was mention of meringue, freeze-dried raspberries, pistachio, coconut jelly and blueberries.

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When it arrived it was like a Caribbean disco on a plate and was easily the brightest dessert I have ever seen. The dish was jam-packed and no-one could complain about portion size. The thinly sliced pineapple had a hint of coconut but it wasn’t overpowering and the whole dish was a fantastic fresh and fruity fun feast.

 

On the whole, a brilliant birthday meal.

2 Starters, 3 mains, 1 dessert, 3 glasses of wine, 1 pint of coke = £67.00

 

The Harbour View, Kinghorn

Saturday was a beautiful days so OH and I thought we’d try to find somewhere with a beer garden to have lunch.  Driving along the Fife coast we decided to stop at Kinghorn at a pub we had only ever driven past before. The Harbour View. 

Trying to get into the pub car park was our first challenge as we had to squeeze in between 2 walls, which were just wider than a car’s width.  The car park was busy, which was a good sign but also a bit tricky to manoeuvre.

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The second test of the day was trying to decide where to sit. Initially we sat at a picnic table on the grass, which had fabulous views of the harbour and the Forth. However, it was on a slant so I knew there’d be no chance of managing to keep any food on my plate and would be more hassle than it was worth. Another option was to sit at tables on the flat next to the bar but unfortunately they didn’t have any view. We, therefore, decided to sit in the bar to eat, although we could also have sat upstairs in the restaurant.

I have to say, the menu was not very exciting. Soup and sandwiches, mac cheese, fish and chips, burgers, hotdogs, goulash and salads.  We talked about going elsewhere but neither of us could be bothered thinking of anywhere else to go so we both just ordered fish and chips. IMAG9581And I am so glad we did. They were amazing. The fish was practically tasteless it was so fresh with large chunky flakes. The beer batter was  hot and crisp without being the least bit greasy. The chips were tasty and straight out the fryer. The tartare was a bit uneventful  but still passable and the peas were as described on the menu – not crushed or mushy but garden. They came in their own small dish – possibly in case you were eating outside.  Portion size was good too – I managed to clear my plate and didn’t feel overly stuffed at the end.

The interior of the Harbour View bar was tastefully decorated, the toilets were nice and clean and the staff, along with the regulars, were all friendly and welcoming.  I’d definitely go back.

A pint, a coke, 2 mains = £22.40.

 

PS  getting out the car park wasn’t that easy so next time I will be on the pints and OH can drive.