Tearoom of the Week (5)

This week’s Tearoom of the Week comes to you from the Kingdom of Fife. As my delightful assistant and I were driving through Fife the other day I wondered why Fife is known as the ‘Kingdom of Fife’. Apparently it goes back to Pictish times (about 2000 years ago) when Scotland was divided into 7 kingdoms. Fife was one of them and for some reason the name ‘Kingdom of Fife’ has stuck, although it’s the only one we still refer to in that way.

The tearoom in question is a favourite of mine that I’ve been using as a carrot to help me finish my self-imposed task of collecting tearooms in the areas of Perthshire, Angus and Dundee. It’s so close to Perthshire that I’ve often been tempted to sidle into it over the past few weeks, but somehow I’ve managed to keep away until now.

What could be better than a tearoom that grows its own food? That’s precisely what happens in this place, for it’s attached to an organic farm. The farm was established in 1983 and grows a wide variety of salad items and vegetables, and produces lots of free range eggs from its 150 hens. The tearoom is fully organic and vegetarian, with most of the menu items being available as vegan and gluten free options. Here’s what greets you when you’ve bumped down a rough pothole-filled track:

The outside decking area has been built around a tree:

It was a bit chilly for sitting outside, not to mention a tad damp and very windy, so we headed indoors and found a nice little table for two tucked in a corner with pretty cushions on the chairs:

As soon as you open the door to this place your senses are assaulted. It has the kind of earthy smell you often get in healthfood shops, a creative mixture of herbs and spices, and right inside the front door is a magnificent array of fresh and organic fruit and vegetables:

Once you’ve successfully negotiated the fresh produce you’re hit with lots of other exciting things on shelves, many of which are edible. In addition to freshly baked bread, packets of biscuits, interesting chocolate and the many other food and drink items, there are organic shampoos, soaps, brushes, detergents and all sorts of other environmentally friendly products:

The whole place has a rustic, healthy, wholesome feel about it and it always makes me (and other customers, by the look of the lady below)  happy to wander round the shop or sit in the cafe.

One of my favourite menu items here is the salad, and I’m sure there’s nowhere else I’ve been that serves a fresher salad with fewer food miles. My assistant and I both chose the salad, with oatcakes for me and seeded bread for her (rice cakes are another option):

I was particularly surprised by the broccoli, which is not normally one of my favourite vegetables, but was prepared to perfection in this salad bowl. I could very happily have eaten a whole bowl of this broccoli, which I find quite astonishing. Every time I’ve been the salads have been different, because the ingredients change with the seasons. This is the way we should eat food, I suppose.

After a most delicious lunch, which included some excellent Rooibos tea for me and a glass of sweet cloudy apple juice for my assistant, we had a look round the shop and I bought a toothbrush, and three replacement heads (for the toothbrush, that is):

One thing I was tempted to buy, but didn’t, was some of the beautiful earthenware they had on display. The glaze was sort of pearlescent and I thought some of the individual pieces were very attractive. I was particularly keen on the domed butter dish towards the bottom right of this picture, which I thought was a most pleasing shape:

Some of the bowls had a magnificent lustre:

Before tootling away from this organic haven of healthiness, I visited the facilities, which are situated in what is more or less a large garden shed:

The somewhat basic privy arrangements might not please everyone, but I quite like them because they remind me of happy childhood camping holidays.

I feel I’ve come to the end of this tale, but the only problem with finishing here is that when this post is put onto my Facebook page it displays the last photograph. I have a feeling that ‘Tearoom of the Week (5)’ and then a picture of a toilet might not inspire many people to read on, so here’s a salad I had at the same tearoom last year instead:


33 thoughts on “Tearoom of the Week (5)

  1. Promise I’m not stalking you but were literally just there! In fact, I got notification of your post as I was taking my seat. Small world… One of our favourite eateries (cake!) and definately the best place locally for a decent vege selection.

  2. Amazing place! Awesome pictures, I like the organic veggies and fruit. We used to do organic or local conventional as much as possible while we lived in Nova Scotia, Canada

    Funny thing though, the McCain company and factory where they process frozen goods ranging from frozen peas and mixed veggies to frozen french fries (chips) and ship them around the world. You’ll find them in the freezer section of supermarkets was local. In fact the company was founded there in Nova Scotia, and has been based there since.

      • Nope, they’re a big conventional company who sell prepared frozen goods. They really save you time on cooking veggies for a family of 6. Just boil up some pasta and frozen veggies and serve for those nights where you’re tight on time.

    • Such a place would lift most people’s spirits, I feel. They have an organic food delivery service if you live in the area: a box of veggies, fruit and eggs (if you want them too) in a box at your door every week. It would be very tempting!

        • Oof, just imagine the postage! These box schemes are a good idea if you have lots of mouths to feed, but I know people who’ve struggled to get through all the stuff that’s delivered every week. I think they usually include some basics, such as potatoes, onions and carrots and then vary the other stuff depending on what’s growing at the time. I had a friend who was always desperately trying to find new things to do with carrots because she could never get through them all! She did make some excellent carrot cake, mind you.

  3. I love this place. The smell you describe reminds me of our local whole food shop (the Daily Bread Cooperative in Cambridge) which hits you with a huge waft of fresh spices as the door swings open. My 6yo son calls it ‘The Smelly Shop’ and it is, but it’s a heavenly aroma.

    And I couldn’t help but notice the Green and Blacks chocolate in the photo of the cafe with the happy lady. Maybe she’d just bought a bar of the G+B ginger chocolate!

    • I’m sure you’re imagining exactly the right smell and this would be a great place to take children incidentally, as it has a farm trail and lots of countryside to run around in. So the Green and Black’s Ginger is your favourite is it? I had a comment about G+Bs chocolate in a different post and I think I feel a tasting session coming on…

    • I hope that by the time you get over here it’ll be public knowledge! I couldn’t let you come all the way to Scotland from the other side of the world and not know where all these tearooms are.

  4. I collect and love earthenware! The colors blow me away. You have found yet another magical tea room. They have so much character! I love how the porch wraps around the trees and the lights.

    • Thank you Boyd, it’s great isn’t it? I was really tempted by that earthenware, as you say the colours are amazing. It’s a most unusual and characterful place, and one of my favourites.

  5. This place looks so cool and very natural. I like your diction in describing how your senses are assaulted. At first, I thought this was a country shack, but then your descriptions changed my image of the place.

    • Thank you very much, what kind comments. It does have a very rustic feel, but inside it’s well organised and modern and everything blends in very well. They’ve done an excellent job on it.

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