Talor Travels….Fife

Recently I attended the 48 hours Feast of Fife, and I have to say it completely opened my eyes as to what Scotland has to offer when it comes to it’s amazing produce, and this was only a small percentage of it.

Not only did I get to try delicious food and beautiful drinks, I also met some fantastic people.

Below is a video of my 48hours squeezed into three minutes, and underneath that is my thoughts on everything I tried.

Day One

I arrived at Eden Mansion outside of St Andrews JUST on time so unfortunately missed out on breakfast, however I was welcomed with a plateful of chocolate, so I was okay about the lack of breakfast.

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The chocolates were the produce of the chocolatier William Curley, who grew up in Fife and has worked with many respected chefs and patissiers. He now has his own shop in Richmond and you can find his chocolates in Harrods.

He took us on a journey through each chocolate on our plate, such as the Millionaires Shortbread that his Granny used to make and how he used to sell Bounty’s for 10p each. The other chocolates we tasted were Piedmont Hazelnut, Juniper Cassis, Japanese Black Vinegar, Muscovado Caramel and Jaffa Cake.

With each bite came a little piece of history on who William Curley is with the Jaffa Cake at the end rounding everything up to the present time.

In my notebook I wrote HOLY JESUS next to the Piedmont Hazelnut (crisp praline feuillantine topped with gianduja ganache), so I am going to take a wild guess and assume this was my favourite.

William Curley’s Website

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After the chocolates came Stephen Whitelaw, who founded Buchanan International Inc in Silicon Valley and 10 years later introduced Actis Technology Ltd to the UK.

Stephen was there to give us some blogger hints and tips, and I have to say I enjoyed his presentation a lot. He had a lot to tell us in a short space of time so he was speaking pretty fast and we had to miss a couple of slides. Regardless, I found him hilarious and interesting and I have taken a lot from it.

Stephen Whitelaw’s Twitter

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The third and final of the three speakers of the morning was the lovely Drew and Helen. Drew’s family bought Lindores Abbey in 1913 and it is a great piece of Scottish History hosting Kings, warriors and noblemen.

The couple are currently in the process of constructing a new whisky distillery, visitor experience and  luxurious event space and it is due to open in 2017.

Lindores Abbey sounds like an incredibly interesting place and from only learning about a small bit of history during their speech I am keen to learn more. Overall I am looking forward to their opening, and I will certainly be checking it out.

Lindores Abbey Facebook

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During the morning we were treated to Janetta’s Gelateria on the lawn of Eden Mansion and at the end we were treated to afternoon tea. However by this point I think everyone had consumed so many sweet treats it was pretty hard to get through the three tiered cake stand. However I did have an egg mayo sarnie, and it was delicious. (Should out to the egg sarnie!)

Eden Mansion Website             Jannettas Gelateria Website

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After a 2/3 hour break we headed to The Newport, a restaurant located in the village of Newport on Tay with a stunning view of the River Tay.  Jamie Scott a contender of the 2014 Masterchef Professionals opened The Newport March 2016 alongside his wife Kelly.

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Before we sat down to eat we were treated to cocktails from Eden Mill and Kingsbarns Distellery (Gin/Whiskey) within the art gallery and then we headed down stairs to a well laid out area for us to watch Jamie cook two of his dishes. Jamie explained to us that he only uses local producers, seasonal produce and has his own foragers that bring him ingredients.

The first dish was mackerel that we would be eating later and the other a lamb dish that he has just introduced to his seasonal menu.

Let’s just say he made everything look very easy and how someone can plate food so beautifully within the space of two seconds is beyond me.

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Now…the best part, Dinner!

During Jamie’s demonstration we were treated to Anster Cheese Goujere, or as I like to call them amazing cheese balls of wonder.

We then sat down in a private dining room at the top of the restaurant with a stunning view through open doors to the River Tay, there is something seriously special about eating dinner while watching the sunset.

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The first of many courses was the Puddledub Pork Bau, which was incredible, a beautifully cooked fatty delicious mouthful (this was my favourite of the 7 courses….yes 7).

We were then treated to Buckwheat Flowers and Curds, or as I like to call them stunning little cracker biscuits that look like butterflies. After the butterflies was the St Monans Crab Rarebit.

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Then the ‘Autumnal Salad’ which I think confused the meat eaters as they found it amazing. Many started to wonder what they had been missing their whole life.

On to the Pittenweem Mackerel which is what Jamie showed us how to create ourselves with our industrial blow torches that we all keep at home.

Then the Starr Farm beef, I am not going to lie by this point I was bursting from the seams so I didn’t quite manage to eat it all, which was devastating because as you can see below it was clearly a masterpiece. I mean even the plate looks delicious.

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Then on to dessert which was the Newport Plums, this was my least favourite dish.

Don’t get me wrong it wasn’t not nice parts of it were delightful.

I just hate licorice and this was COVERED in it. It was as if a licorice oil tank had crashed into the dessert and had a leak everywhere. However the best part was everyone’s black teeth afterwards.

The Newport Website

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Day 2

CHEESE WAS HOW WE WERE STARTING OUR DAY. #BESTDAYEVER

We headed to St Andrews Farmhouse Cheese Company where we met Jane Stewart, she explained how they started to make cheese in 2008 from their own home bred cows who graze on fields that look over the Firth of Forth (lucky buggers).

What I took from visiting the St Andrews Farmhouse Company was how enthusiastic Jane was for her business and how hard she has clearly worked to get where she is today, a true inspiration. She loves cheese, she makes cheese, and she’s happy, who wouldn’t be?

If you are ever in the area I would definitely pop in as they have a lovely cafe, shop and a viewing gallery where you can watch them make cheese.

Oh and by the way, I didn’t have a favourite cheese because they were all fabulous.

St Andrews Cheese Website

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We headed to Balgove Larder  to eat at The Steak Barn a former saw mill with walls made out of potato boxes.

Everything we tried was incredibly delicious, however they gave us one of each dish on the table which was quite difficult to share among the twelve of us. Now have you ever tried to cut a steak into twelve pieces? For incredibly hungry food bloggers? (Twelve is a guess I think there was more of us.)

So unfortunately on this occasion I didn’t get to try everything, I did get a piece of steak that was completely melt in the mouth fantastic.

Steak Barn Website

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We were then split into two groups, one heading towards Gin and chocolate the other whisky and seafood.

In all honesty I was hoping for the gin and chocolate as that is my cup of tea, however I had no idea people could choose before the weekend so I was on the whisky and cheese as the former was in high demand.

At the end of the day,  this was lucky for me as I thoroughly enjoyed trying something completely different to my norm.

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We stopped first at Kingsbarns Distillery, a dream of Doug Clements who was originally a golf caddie at KingsBarns Golf Links.

Kingsbarns is a great tourist attraction as you can learn about the history of the building, Kingsbarns and how the whisky is made as well as enjoy a whisky tasting.

We were lucky enough to experience all of this, and I have to say from a non whisky drinker point of view I really enjoyed it. All of the whiskys were lovely and I particularly liked the one called ‘Hive’.

The whiskys we tried were Wemyss malts and Kingsbarns own Single Malt Whisky will be ready by April 2018. (I’ve touched the first cask fyi….no big deal….it is).

Kingsbarns Distillery Website

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Lastly we were off to Crail Harbour and the Lobster Shack or Hut, we aren’t sure of the name and neither was the owner who hasn’t decided on one yet.

He did however point out  their opening hours sign as a couple of the days of the week are spelt wrong and he said ‘My brother had one job’.

They treated us with dressed crab and fresh lobster which has been caught by the Reilly family who own the shack/hut on their day boat.

I have never had sea food so fresh, I was told that the claw meat was the best, this was after everyone had eaten the claw meat…so I guess I will have to be faster next time!

(Just Googled and even Google doesn’t know their name it comes up with Lobster/Shack/Hut/Store)

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As you can tell, I had a fantastic time.

Thank you to everyone from Welcome to Fife for organising the trip.

Feeling hungry?

T x

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