A few days ago, on a beautifully sunny morning, delightful assistant no.1 and I tootled off to the Fife coast.
We made first for Crail, a small fishing village in the East Neuk (‘neuk’ is a Scots word for ‘corner’, referring in this case to the north-east corner of the county of Fife).
Sitting on a bench watching people enjoying the small sandy bay next to the harbour, we felt as as if we were on our holidays.
As with the village of Culross, which lies at the western end of the county, Crail is full of interesting buildings that have been very nicely restored by the National Trust for Scotland.
Quite a few of those near the harbour are holiday cottages available to rent, such as this one with the unusual name of ‘Peppers’.
Across the road from Peppers is a small house squeezed in between two taller ones. Curiously, it appears to have two front doors, one above the other.
The nameplate above the lower door reads ‘Lobster Cottage’. Very fittingly, above the topmost door, two lobsters cling to the panelling around a dormer window.
Like the other East Neuk villages, Crail is known for its seafood and there is a fish and chip shop in the main street that was doing a roaring trade when we went there for lunch.
Delightful assistant no.1 ordered a small portion of breaded haddock with chips and peas, and I ordered the battered version.
Shortly after we arrived, a group of foreigners sat down at the next table. When the waiter came to take their order they asked him to explain the difference between breaded and battered fish. He did his best, but because of the language barrier it was difficult for them to understand. We offered our plates to them for inspection, which appeared to assist them in their decision making.
After lunch we enjoyed a leisurely mooch around the village before heading for our next refreshment stop, a coffee shop called Simpatica in the village of Kingsbarns a few miles away. It had an attractive postbox outside it.
The left hand side of the building contained a few tables, while the right hand side was given over to an antique shop.
After resisting the temptation to buy a small bookcase in the shop, we sidled over to the coffee shop and inspected its wares.
Delightful assistant no.1 plumped for a pot of English Breakfast tea and a slice of fruit loaf.
I chose a bit of nutty ginger chocolate traybake and a pot of Lady Grey tea.
The china was of the mismatched vintage variety, and I was fortunate to get an abundantly floral teacup and saucer.
Still feeling quite well filled after lunch, I had thought I might wrap up some of my cake to take home. Somehow or other, however, it completely vanished in the tearoom.
It’s been a while since I’ve written about a tearoom on this blog, not because I haven’t been to any recently but because it’s been some time since I’ve been to a particularly good one. I’m delighted to say that Simpatica got a big thumbs up from me and my delightful assistant, and we’re looking forward to another visit.