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House ad lies across the iconic bridges of the River Forth less than 20 minutes from Edinburgh International Airport. Famous for the Old Course in St Andrews, known worldwide as the home of golf, Fife is so much more. Offering year round attractions, events and a vibrant cultural scene, Fife sits amid rolling hills, lush countryside and a striking coastline. An essential part of Fife is its rich larder celebrating locally grown and produced food and drink. So why don’t you indulge yourself in some of our culinary delights and enjoy a warm welcome to Fife.

www.welcometoĂ… The Fife Larder

Introduction The Fife Larder Part of The Larder series of food and drink publications. Editor Donald Reid Editorial assistance Sylvie Docherty, Hannah Ewan, Allan Radcliffe, Claire Ritchie Writing & research John Cooke, Hannah Ewan, Lynda Hamilton, Ian Hogg, Courtney Peyton, David Pollock, Donald Reid, Tracey Reilly, Keith Smith, Christopher Trotter Design & Production Simon Armin Map © Stirling Surveys/Fife Council 2012 Sales Juliet Tweedie Publishers Robin Hodge, Simon Dessain Larder Project Director Peter Brown ©2012 The List Ltd. First edition published 2010. This second edition 2012. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior permission in writing of The List Ltd.

Published by The List Ltd with the support of SFQC – a foundation partner of The Larder 14 High Street Edinburgh EH1 1TE Tel: 0131 550 3050 Fax: 0131 557 8500 Extensive efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this publication, however the publishers can accept no responsibility for any errors it may contain.

escribed by James VI as ‘a beggar’s mantle fringed with gold’, Fife has always been a place of hidden treasures. This is a guide to the edible gold of Fife’s larder. It tells you about the food grown, made, landed and created in the region of Fife, and just as importantly where to find it, from seasonal farm stalls to restaurants of international renown. The information in the Fife Larder is independently selected to reflect the contemporary food culture of Fife and to aid access to and appreciation of local food. Here you will find stories and profiles, history and innovation, everyday staples and indulgent treats, culinary insight and lots of inspiration. You’ll also find food to connect with, and no doubt a few hidden treasures to discover and enjoy.


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This guide has been developed by The List working with Fife Council, Fife Tourism Partnership, Promoting Fife and the Fife Food Network. Fife’s Tourism Partnership, made up of a range of businesses within Fife’s tourism sector, exists to help visitors choose Fife as an ideal holiday destination and experience the very best the region has to offer by showcasing its natural assets, attractions, heritage and locally produced food and drink. The Fife Larder is supported by Fife Council and the European Regional Development Fund under the Lowlands and Uplands Scotland Programme 2007-2013 with the aim of raising the profile of Fife’s food and drink product. EDITOR’S ACKNOWLEDGMENTS: The editor would like to thank Toby Anstruther, Roger Brown, Vivien Collie, Jen Gordon, Mike Small, Barbara Wardlaw and Jimmy Wilson for their contributions and knowledgeable advice. FEEDBACK To correct or update any information contained in the Fife Larder, or to provide comments or feedback, contact, or write to the Editor, The Fife Larder, c/o The List, 14 High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1TE The Fife Larder is available as a page-turn version at The Fife Larder 3


What’s in the Fife Larder? There’s a lot packed into these 48 pages. Here are a few of the highlights

Where to Buy

The Puddledub People

Our listings of the best delis, butchers, bakers, fishmongers, farm shops and food specialists. From page 26.

The story behind the Mitchell family and their success in making Puddledub a by-word in Fife for great pork, bacon, beef, buffalo and lamb. See page 6.

From Fife


A comprehensive round-up of the food grown, farmed, made and landed in Fife. See page 21.

Did a Fife baker save the Scotch pie? Read about the rescue on page 13.

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Chefs’ Choices

Kitchen Gardens and Orchards

Fife’s top chefs select their best local produce. See panels from page 22.

How the National Trust for Scotland is protecting forgotten foods at its historic houses. See pages 14–15.

Fife’s Fisher Folk The East Neuk of Fife has always been wedded to the sea. Find out how fishing has influenced the county through the years. See page 13.

New Brew

Where to Eat

An insight into the creation of a new local brewery for Fife. See page 16.

Restaurants and cafés all over Fife. From page 35.

Introduction Features Where to Buy Where to Eat Food Festivals Farmers’ Markets Index

3 6 26 35 45 46 47


A Place Called Puddledub The name Puddledub has been prominent in the shaping of Fife’s food identity in the past decade, yet there may be no such place. Lynda Hamilton sets out to find it.

ollow the long and winding road about half a mile outside Auchtertool, halfway between Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, and you’ll come across what might be known as Fife’s ‘Bermuda Triangle’, because no matter how hard you look, you will never find the village of Puddledub. Despite the road signs, just over a mile apart and pointing in opposite directions, dir there is no sign of the elusive spot. Yet it’s this seemingly mythical my place which inspired Tom To and Camilla Mitchell of C Clentrie Farm, just one and a half mile miles down the road, to brand their home home-grown produce ‘Puddledub Pork’, and ttheir coveted bacon, gammon and sausag sausages have gone on to become a mainstay at farmers’ markets, also winning aacclaim from the likes of chef Nick N Nairn and the former Prime


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Minister’s wife, Sarah Brown. The Mitchell family has been farming the cusp of this mysterious location since about 1904, but their ancestors’ agricultural history in Fife dates back to the 18th century – something which came as a pleasant surprise as the Mitchells researched their family tree. Learning about his family’s deeprooted heritage in the area was a defining moment for Tom, who says it helped cement his connection with the surrounding land and reaffirm his sense of purpose as a farmer – as if confirming what he already knew in his heart. Tom has since become a major player in championing Fife’s food movement over the past decade and has continued to diversify while times have been tough. Tom’s farm might only be one hundred hectares, but he has grown the business from a two-man team to a complete farming and processing outfit


employing 25 people. He’s also bucked the trend by keeping animals indoors during winter to avoid the water-logged land, which is steep and exposed, while preserving the grass until spring. He’s even been doing his bit to drive home the message that ‘farmers are the good guys’ and that, when it comes to the future of Fife’s food culture, education is the key. ‘When I started out in 1999, farming was a much sullied industry,’ says Tom. ‘Farmers were perceived to be destroyers of the environment and people didn’t trust us but, thankfully, things are changing. ‘The pressure to produce low-cost food is enormous but people are slowly beginning to realise that the farmers are the good guys. We’re enthusiastic, motivated and care about our animals – we’d just like to make more money! ‘But people’s perceptions are based on lack of knowledge and some have never been exposed to farms. That’s why we’ve been working with local high schools and inviting groups of pupils along for the Clentrie tour. Food education needs to be on the curriculum and will ultimately improve the health of the population.’ But Tom’s focus on the next generation doesn’t end there. Of course, he’s already paved the way for nephew Steven, who operates a distinctly different business on the same farm. Steven, 29, specialises in beef and water buffalo – with as many as 400 cows on site at any one time. He, too, feels farming in his blood and has a distinct

connection to the land surrounding Puddledub. But mainstream agriculture is not for him. ‘My main passion is cattle,’ he says. ‘I’ve been fascinated by them since I was a child. But, unlike us and farming, it’s so difficult to get the right bloodlines. ‘I wanted to do something unique so I branched out into buffalo, which contains only half the fat of beef and is lower in cholesterol. I think it’s great to have something on your plate with a story. ‘Buffalo also sells really well at events and I’m hoping to do T in the Park again this year. You can’t beat the instant feedback from a thumbs-up, wink or a smile.’ But Steven isn’t just a familiar face at festivals and farmers’ markets; he runs his own shop in Kennoway and has butchery counters at Craigie Farm and Blacketyside. In fact, he’s the largest supplier of buffalo meat in Scotland, being the only farmer to specialise in them as his core product. He’s now keen to follow in his uncle’s footsteps and help to educate the next generation by taking on a further apprentice this year. And as for Puddledub? ‘There’s no such place,’ he laughs. ‘But legend has it that there’s a dip in the road at the back of nearby Templehall, which fills up with water. Maybe that’s it?’


Should you be passing The Scottish World project at Kelty and spy a flock of sheep grazing on Charles Jencks’ grassy spirals, resist the urge to call the authorities. You’ve spotted the Flying Flock, the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s answer to conservation grasscutting. For ten years 180 sheep have rotated around Fife’s wildlife reserves, as well as council and private wildflower meadows. ‘Sheep graze the dominant, coarser plants, allowing rarer plants to flourish,’ explains shepherdess Laura Cunningham. The originally Shetlanders have been crossed with Cheviot and Texel tups, breeding sheep relaxed about constant travelling. They also taste good: Flying Flock lamb has graced Tom Kitchin’s Michelin-starred table in Edinburgh, and is available through Puddledub’s outlets. Qswtflyingflock.

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Cured Foods


A Cure for Local Food Christopher Trotter sets out to find why the ancient arts of curing and smoking food are still relevant today moking, curing and preserving are all part of the Scottish food story, and while the onset of refrigeration and improved transport made a lot of preserving methods redundant, smoking has remained one of the few traditional practices with prominence in today’s food production. Smoked salmon – regarded as a typical Scottish product – and Arbroath smokies are evidence of the wider recognition of the role smoking takes in creating unique local foods. In Fife there are a number of small businesses who smoke fish, mainly around the east coastal fishing villages. Ru an Fhodar, one of the more traditional smokehouses, is based in St Monans. Along with traditional smoked haddock fillets, they also hot and cold smoke farmed salmon from Shetland, and west coast mussels make an unusual addition. Also in St Monans is James Robb, who initially began smoking food for his catering operation in Edinburgh. His East Pier Smokehouse sources salmon from RSPCA monitored farms in Loch Duart. ‘It’s the freshness and quality that are important,’ he says, ‘and getting the right

S Elmwood College, established as a learning centre for land-based and golf industry related skills, has ambitious plans for its Cupar Muir site in the Howe of Fife. Under the leadership of principal Jim Crooks, the proposed Artisan Food Centre would be the first of its type in Scotland, creating a facility available to both students and small-scale local producers. Building on Elmwood’s existing school in Production Horticulture, initial plans are to focus on cheesemaking, breadmaking, charcuterie and juicing, with partners including established local producers already employing these skills but looking for better practical facilities. As well as food-related skills, students would learn about product development, business management and supply chain issues for quality food production. Q

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balance of salt and smoke.’ He has three styles: a robust three-day smoke, a lighter lox style and one cured imaginatively with beetroot providing a beautiful rich colour. Inland two businesses have used the preserving style to develop their product in imaginative ways. Seriously Good Venison proprietor Vikki Banks extends her product range by curing haunches of their venison farmed at Fletchers of Auchtermuchty. The meat is cured with salt, sugar and light spices, and thinly sliced. It is delicious served with a little grated Parmesan and olive oil. At Woodmill near Collessie, Steve Wade is new to the curing scene. As a game dealer Steve became disillusioned with the fact that, compared to European countries, British people didn’t eat much game, and frustrated with the fact that often the pheasants and deer from the estates he manages were not being put to full use. Spurred on by a Spanish holiday, he experimented with making salamis from the two meats using a curing process taking anything from 6 to 10 weeks. He hopes to have the salamis on the market in 2012.


Oat So Successful

Fife is regarded as one of Scotland’s premier oat-growing areas. Hannah Ewan spoke to one farmer making the local connection riorletham Farm has provided John Picken’s family with a livelihood for 90 years. In contrast to his grandfather’s day when livestock played a big role, the emphasis is now on the ingredients of Scotland’s most iconic victuals: wheat for whisky and oats for porridge. As farming hits the news for a variety of gloomy reasons, from dairy farming difficulties to the ethics of intensive piggeries, Picken is upbeat. ‘Oats are a natural success story for Scotland,’ he says. ‘Fife has a lovely climate for them, and they fit well with modern farming methods – they enhance the land they’re grown in, breaking the cycle of disease. Modern varieties are bred to reduce the straw length so there’s more grain per acre, which has had a big influence in making harvesting less problematic.’ Five-hundred-acre Priorletham, located just to the south of St Andrews, supplies Quaker Oats and Fife family bakers Fisher & Donaldson. That relationship began during a conversation with Sandy Milne, a director of the bakery, about the importance of localism.


Picken says: ‘I asked him why he didn’t buy his oats in Fife and that was that, we now supply them with 100 tons a year. I keep telling Sandy he has the best oats in the country!’ Picken advocates that, for global success, modern farming can, should and must encourage localism, something that relatively new organisations like SFQC (Scottish Food Quality Certification) aid. ‘The consumer nowadays wants to know it’s local,’ he points out. ‘The worldwide oat market is caused by good marketing, good products and professionalism. We no longer just rely on planting something; we’re trying to satisfy a market. ‘The customer wants more than just an oat. They want to know what’s happened to that oat, the process of storing and drying it, and our Scottish Quality Crops accreditation can give them that. It’s like buying anything with a stamp of approval: you know what you’re buying. We’re trying to tell people we’re a modern industry now. I think Scottish oats are in a good place.’

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Food & Activities in Fife

All-action Food There are plenty of ways to get active in Fife. David Pollock works up an appetite lthough Fife’s home-grown food industry is receiving evergreater attention across the country, a typical foodie family day out in the Kingdom isn’t just about eating in nice cafés and digging through baskets of dirty vegetables. For ma many businesses here the food fo goes hand in hand with the experience of Fife’s green and leafy Fi countryside, and a co visit is sold as a chance vi to get out in the clear, fresh rural air as much as it’s an opportunity to fill your ba basket. Pillars of Hercules farm shop and café near ne Falkland is one such place place, with a farm trail designed to get visitors not just walking but experiencing. ‘It’s a wander around, really,’ says Pillars’ Judy Bennett, ‘so people can watch our crops grow or walk amidst our hens, or just climb a few stiles and get a little bit muddy if they want. I think it’s important that people see where their food comes from, because there’s the sense that people are quite disconnected from it these days; they buy it in shops ready-wrapped and don’t think that it was ever grown in a field.’ For those who want to get even closer to the process, one of Fife’s longstanding rural occupations is that of fruit picker, a job which attracts many casual labourers in the summer months. Should you wish to have a go on a casual basis and then take home what you’ve pulled from the ground or off a vine, the Cairnie Fruit Farm near Cupar grows a range of berries and currants; or for those who fancy the full summer’s worth, Allanhill Fruit Farm near St Andrews takes on 350 casual staff to pick strawberries every


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summer, most of them students. Every year Cairnie also grow a ‘Maize Maze’, a challenging children’s puzzle created out of the crops themselves (2012’s shape is Olympic-themed), and they’re not the only ones to have thought of the kids. Both Allanhill’s café and Blacketyside Farm Shop near Leven also feature outdoor play areas, while Muddy Boots farm shop and café at Balmalcolm near Cupar offers a dazzling range of outdoor and indoor activities including grass sledging, body zorbing, a giant sandpit and pedal tractors. ‘I think each part of what we do is as important as the next,’ says Treina Hartell of Muddy Boots. ‘That means when people visit us they can have a full day out.’ There are plans to expand their business further, with a new education room intended to emphasise the farming and countryside aspect of what they do. As Hartell points out, Fife is within easy driving distance of Edinburgh, Dundee and Perth, and you have to give city families as much reason to visit as possible. Those on an adults-only holiday, on the other hand, might be interested in something a little more intensive – for example the Fife Coastal Path (, a 150-kilometre walking route around the dog-shaped coast of the Kingdom from the Forth to the Tay, which can be broken up into easy day-trip chunks. One attraction of this for a Fife food-lover is the series of ‘welcome points’ along the way, a collection of more than fifty local businesses which will either feed you or point you in the direction of good food in their area. Alternatively, Fife Cycleways ( provide a network of routes on quieter back roads for those looking to explore by bike.

Enjoy Food from Fife In many areas the wish to buy local and eat local would be difficult to pull off, but not in Fife. It’s blessed with some of the best seafood, meat, fruit and vegetables in the world. The area boasts some of Scotland’s best farm shops, a fantastic range of soft fruit, and beautiful orchards in historic settings. Fresh prawns, crabs and lobsters are caught off the coast of the East Neuk and landed in its picturesque harbours. Along with high quality artisan bakeries and award winning locally made cheese; these products find their way into cafÊs, pubs, hotels and Michelin starred restaurants throughout Fife. As part of the Fife Tourism Partnership, Fife Food Network and Promoting Fife have produced Food from Fife postcards which offer a guide to the region and its many culinary delights. Buy local, eat local Food From Fife and celebrate Fife’s farmers and fishermen, wholesalers and retailers, craftsmen and chefs who bring you the fruits of their labour.

Fife welcometoĂ…






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Taking a view on cheesemaking Fife’s pioneering cheesemaker is delighted to share her art with visitors to the farm, as David Pollock found out Rarely has one cheese gone so far. Not only has the Stewart family managed to spin a delightful café business out of their award-winning Anster cheese, but the building on their family farm Falside also houses a viewing gallery where customers can watch cheesemaker Jane Stewart and her assistants prepare it from scratch. It’s a unique and distinctive visitor attraction but, as she points out, ‘people are increasingly fascinated by their food and where it comes from, and here they can watch every stage of our cheese being made.’ Although watching the Stewarts’ herd of Friesian cows being milked would require a very early start, the rest of the process occurs in full view of the public all day from Monday to Thursday, with an instructional video and printed displays telling the condensed story while the curds and whey are

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separated or the cheese is pressed into muslin-lined pots. ‘Some people will watch a part of the process, pop out and come back later in the day to see what’s going on,’ says Stewart. ‘They take a great interest when they see what’s actually happening.’ Perhaps the most pleasantly surprising aspect is just how labour-intensive the whole process is, but then Stewart’s cheeses – the original, crumbly Anster has recently been joined by a cheddar –are artisan products and its makers aren’t afraid to demonstrate that. But doesn’t Stewart feel selfconscious working in the public gaze? ‘No,’ she laughs, ‘I actually quite enjoy it, and we’ll pop into the gallery ourselves and answer questions. Of course, the comment we get the most is, “It’s just like my granny used to do it. . . .”’


Who saved all the pies? A Fife baker has played a key role in preserving an iconic Scottish snack, as John Cooke discovers he world was crumbling for piefilling is raw and cooked in the pie. Of makers in the latter half of the course, every baker has his or her recipe 1980s. Scares about meat had when it comes to flavouring the filling, the public shunning their products. Sales but pepper is invariably involved. The slumped by 40 per cent, which was casing is a hot water pastry using lard for despressing news for bakers who sold flavour and richness. half the pies on the market. Stuart points out that the style n of Sc Step forward Fifer Alan Scotch pies is distinctively ‘HERFEE diff Stuart, sixth-generation baker different in different parts of I IN F OUR Sc and owner of the Stuarts Scotland. ‘A pie in Glasgow is WE LICKREISPER mu of Buckhaven chain. His much paler with softer sides, a S PIE AND bit peelie wallie. Here, in Fife, first idea to raise the profile ’ we like our pies crisper with a N E of quality pies and reassure D L O G golde the public was a Scotch Piee golden colour. We add a bit of sage soya flour flou to add that dark tinge.’ Club, modelled on the Sausage S iis clear that a Scotch pie is best Appreciation Society. Stuart The Club soon launched their big idea eaten as fresh from the oven as possible. in 2002: the Scotch Pie Awards. The ‘I think when you make a pie to have a first winner from 60 or so entries hailed long shelf life, it’s never going to match from Greenock. ‘I thought it would last a proper fresh one.’ about three years,’ says Stuart, ‘but it’s Fife is a great place to find a fresh still going strong. We had 90 companies pie and not just at one of Stuart of entering 450 pies in 2012.’ Buckhaven’s 16 bakeries and three In the dim and distant past, the Scotch butcheries.‘We’re lucky in Fife to have pie contained mutton, but these days is kept hold of so many independent filled with minced beef and maybe a Scottish bakers. I think we’re the baking little lamb. Unusually among pies, the capital of Scotland.’


> FIFE’S CABIN BISCUIT Not to be confused with a hard-packed ship’s biscuit that’s built for longvevity, a Cabin biscuit from a Fife bakery like Alan Stuart’s is big, flat and sweet. Individually handcut from dough and pricked with holes, it’s a great basis for a sandwich. Some local Anster cheese or smoked fish will create a snack that smacks of Fife.

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Heritage Gardens

Digging for History The work of the National Trust for Scotland doesn’t stop at the back door of the historic properties in its care. Across Fife it spills into kitchen gardens, flower beds and ancient orchards, as Hannah Ewan found out

here used to be six or seven thousand different varieties of apple native to Britain. Now there are only around two thousand.’


As Kellie Castle’s Head Gardener, Mark Armour maintains its fully organic, traditional walled kitchen garden. Just as in the days when it was home to the earls of Kellie, the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) property near Pittenweem grows an array of vegetables, with borders of flowers that can be cut for the house. What the earls wouldn’t recognise are the kiwi fruit that have been growing in a sheltered spot for at least 30 years. ‘They can grow outside quite happily in Scotland,’ explains Armour. ‘We do 14 The Fife Larder

tend to pick them in December, but they taste much better than shop kiwis. ‘These houses used to have pineapples, melons – if a head gardener couldn’t produce a melon for the table there and then, he was fired on the spot.’ There are no pineapples at Kellie any more, but there are 75 different varieties of apple, 50 of potato and 30 types of rhubarb. These include rare and unusual varieties such as Coul Blush, a nineteenth century apple originally raised at Coul House in Ross-shire; the redfleshed Bloody Ploughman apple from Perthshire; and Shetland Black, a potato famed for its purple-black skin. All four of Fife’s NTS houses grow

Heritage Gardens


some sort of heritage food in their Falkland takes part in annual apple gardens. Culross Palace attracts visitors days. One is held at the property itself, to its reconstructed seventeenth century while several are run by local community grounds, with their medicinal herb groups, including the Fife Coast and terrace, vegetable garden, and orchard Countryside Trust. The trust is working filled with traditional Scots pears, apples to reverse the decline of traditional and Dumpy hens. ‘We can’t grow enough orchards, 95 per cent of which have been for the visitors,’ Head Gardener Mark lost across Britain in the last fifty years. Jeffery says of the produce they sell from The 260 fruit trees planted across schools the gardens, though he remains agnostic and community sites in Fife are still too about some plants’ long term prospects. young to harvest, so Falkland Palace ‘Some of these varieties don’t grow too provide their apples to give pupils a taste well, or taste that nice. It’s probably why of what’s to come. they started to die out in the first place.’ As well as the cider Kellie’s gardeners He cheerfully describes the ancient rustle up for their own enjoyment, the produ Alexander root as ‘revolting’. produce is sold through their shop, in tthe tearoom and at a local Hill of Tarvit, an early ‘KIWIIT twentieth-century family restaurant (see Craig Millar’s FRU EEN res B Ch mansion, is currently limited Chef’s Choice on p.35). HAVEOW G GR I3N0 Ar to a small amount of fruit Armour hopes more people will R FO RS’ com but plans are afoot to bring come to recognise the charms A YE of th the kitchen garden back these often unfamiliar fruits. and ‘Superm into production. And Falkland ‘Supermarkets think people want cked with perfectly uuniform apples without any Palace’s large orchard is stocked many Scottish varieties of apple, as well marks on them, so other varieties are as the ancient Jargonelle pear. Replanted more commercially viable for the big during the Palace’s restoration in the production growers. 1800s, Head Gardener Sonia Ferrás ‘Some of the older varieties are more Mañá recently introduced varieties susceptible to spots and canker,’ he likely to have been grown in the original admits. ‘But visitors don’t seem to mind sixteenth century orchard, including misshapen apples; they certainly sell medlar, quince and cobnut trees, with well from our shop. After all, beauty’s heritage apples coming soon. only skin deep.’

Newburgh Orchard Group celebrates its tenth anniversary in 2012. Founded by local people, it aims to preserve and develop the Newburgh orchards, and to research and keep alive the links to their twelfth century monastic origins. To this end, grafting workshops were started in 2011, and now run throughout the year for their heritage apple, plum and pear trees. All but the February classes are held in the Community Orchard, and teach locals how best to propagate the wide range of historic fruit varieties, some of which are exceedingly rare – even, in the case of the Lindorsii pear, unique to Newburgh. Attendees can typically take two or three self-grafted trees home, to help the rarer branches of Newburgh’s orchards flourish for another 800 years. Qnewburghorchards.

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New Beer in Fife Fife has become famous for its quality produce and foodie destinations, but breweries have been thin on the ground – until now, as David Pollock discovers sk Bob Phaff what is the unique selling point of his new range of St Andrews Ales, and the answer is simple: ‘We’re really the only guys in Fife doing this at the moment.’ The Kingdom hasn’t exactly had an illustrious history of brewing, yet the St Andrews Brewing Company is seeking to create an identifiable brand for Fife based around its most famous town. Originally from Sheffield, Phaff has seen the industry from many angles, having worked in Milton Keynes’ Concrete Cow brewery and written a book about the breweries of Idaho while living in the States. He came to Fife when his wife got a job lecturing at St Andrews University, and his decision to bite the bullet and start his own brewery was the fulfilment of a long-held ambitio ambition. Having worked with ‘I man many brewers on his travels, O he’ he’s enlisted the help of WANTTTHE MEETE WHO a master brewer friend fro from Yorkshire to get the PEOPLRINKING rec recipes just right. ED



His four-barrel brewery is actually based in Glenrothes for the moment and currently operates at a two-and-a-half barrel capacity. That’s around 760 bottles per brew, says Phaff, which is around the right level to supply local farm shops, restaurants and the occasional artisan alcohol shop in larger Scottish cities. ‘My aim isn’t to get into Asda or Tesco,’ he says. ‘I don’t want to take on lots of staff; I want a company that’s just myself running around like a madman and meeting the people who are actually drinking the beer.’ He’s started with an enticing range of five bottled beers, including a traditional IPA which Phaff declares himself most happy with for its combination of malt and floral hops character, an oatmeal stout with a hint of a citrus kick and a ‘Neuk’ Scotch ale, a dark ale packed full of hops for a long, bitter flavour. Does he feel any concern about stepping into a Scottish market that’s going strong at the moment? ‘It seems like Scotland has a lot of breweries,’ he laughs, ‘but compared to Yorkshire o Lancashire there’s hardly any. It’s a or m market ripe for tapping, where people h have the opportunity to start up and m make beers that are a little bit different.’ Also on the cusp of commercial c craft beer production at the time of g going to press are the folks behind t the Eden Brewery. They’re planning t make use of local ingredients, to a authentic maturation techniques and l lots of customer consultation. Based a a 20-barrel brewing plant near St at A Andrews, production is pencilled in for J June 2012, and the production plant will b open for visitors to look around. be Q Q

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Whisky & Gin

Just A Little Sheep Dip

Inverkeithing-based Spencerfield Spirit champions the place of a small company in an industry dominated by multinationals. Hannah Ewan met its founders ow do you make a splash when you resign as CEO of a company that turns over hundreds of millions of pounds a year, taking two of their least marketed whisky brands with you? For Alex and Jane Nicol, who founded the Spencerfield Spirit Company in 2005 with Sheep Dip and Pig’s Nose, the answer was a horsebox. ‘The listing fees for supermarkets and wholesalers meant we didn’t have a cat’s chance in hell there,’ explains Jane. So they took a twopronged approach in an attempt to compete with the giants. ‘We focussed on exporting to places where the brands had always been popular. It helps that there is, among older people at least, a remembrance of the Sheep Dip brand; it has a sort of cult status. At the same time in the UK, we filled a horsebox with the product and went to agricultural shows – something big companies don’t do!’ They’ve never tried to mimic the multinationals, but Jane’s happy to admit that without her husband’s background at companies such as


Glenmorangie, Beefeater and Whyte & Mackay, Spencerfield wouldn’t have been possible. ‘I don’t think we could have started it without Alex’s knowledge of the spirits industry and the contacts he had built up. As it was, he went from being a big cheese to a very small one. People say “no” a lot when you start out, which is very hard.’ They began to say ‘yes’ when the Nicols settled on their markets. Not sitting on supermarket shelves has helped them fit into delis and farm shops that wouldn’t have taken them otherwise, and they don’t sell to more distributors than they can handle personally. ‘Face-to-face contact is important. We still go out and talk to people a lot, all of us. It particularly works in the US, where they’re delighted that it’s not a salesman they see, but the brand owner.’ And with their recently launched raspberryinfused Edinburgh Gin and a second limited edition Sheep Dip – Sheep Dip’s Oloroso Amaroso – coming out soon, Spencerfield might not be a small cheese for much longer.

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Fishing in Fife

A Long Line of Fisher Folk > FRESH FROM THE SEA If you want to see the current Pittenweem fishermen in action, the best time to be at the quayside to see the boxes of wriggling lobster and crab being winched ashore is between 1 and 2pm. Look out for the ‘supercreels’ being used these days. Twice as big as the traditional creel, they’re generally placed out in rows of 10, and usually taken up every two days.

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Even with all of Pittenweem’s remaining 40 or so working boats in harbour together, it’s still hard to picture Fife fishing in its heyday, as John Cooke explains n the latter part of the 1800s and early decades of the next century, the harbours of places like St Monans, Anstruther and Pittenweem were the centre of local life. Busy and buzzing, all the industries depended on the sea. Boat builders wielded adzes to handcraft wooden fishing craft, then sealed the hulls with hot black pitch (local children would pick up globules of this pitch to use as ‘chewing gum’). Then, there were blacksmith, sailmakers, the rope works (or ‘Roperee’), cork factory, net makers and the iceworks. There were gutters to clean the fish, and packers to fill the wooden barrels made by local coopers. The village would truly come to life when returning boats were spotted on the


horizon. The cry from sharp-eyed fisher lads would go out, identifying the boats, and the quay would swarm with dealers, buyers, and ‘cadgers’. The latter looked to buy fresh herring to sell around the country. The rest of the catch would be preserved in salt then packed in barrels to be sent as far as Russia and Scandinavia. Before the boats were even tied up, the skippers had shouted across the harbour waters to barter deals that would hopefully get the best price for their catch. The accents on the quayside weren’t all Scottish. Just as the local fisherman would go ‘Sooth’ to follow the herring shoals, and fish out of ports like Yarmouth and Lowestoft, so the southern fleets would come north too. Their boats

Fishing in Fife


were of a different design and whereas the Fifers would remove the fish from their nets at sea, the English habit was to empty their nets only once they reached harbour. It made for a great sight as the masses of silver fish glittered in the sunlight (if the weather played ball). The ‘North’ boats would not come to Fife alone. Their wives and families came too, along with fish-buyers from England, and all the clerks, porters, horses, carts and lorries to transportt the fish to the way stationn as soon as it nearby railway was salted. ng usually lasted l about The fishing he end of ten weeks and by th the ets were March, the herring ne nets s ‘barked’, dried and stored. as time forr the Then it was nes. ‘gartlins’ orr great lin lines. g for whit te This fishing white m fish was done from four-man smaller nd used boats and hundreds of hooks h mussels baited with brought by the om the bedss lorryload from in the Tay estuary. day, with some Like today, m boats making m Pittenweem their way to the westt coast ustine, in pursuit of langou langoustine,

fishermen from Fife’s past would also use the Caledonian Canal in pursuit of better catches if the East coast herring shoals were a little thin. Unlike today, they can’t jump in the car and pop home to spend time with their families on the weekend. Another local tradition which doesn’t seem to have survived is the custom of giving a string of herring to any onlookers drawn to the quayside to watch the catch being landed. It was also customary to ha give herring, or a fry of haddock or cod, neighbbour. to a friend or neighbour. the cra Today, much of th crab, langoustine eeled and trawled and lobster cre creeled from the Firthh of Fo Forth is, like the herring off the past, destined apppreci for appreciative diners field (Spain is one far af afield desttinatio destination). The best bett to int intercept some of thaat catc that catch is probably at a good local seafood restaura restaurant, though eveen th even then it’s not guaarante guaranteed. Y co You could have more k by cracking open luck a llobste lobster from The Storre run seasonally by Lobster Store amily in a wooden the Reilly fa family shack on thee qua quayside in Crail harbour.

The routines of Fife fisher households were dictated by the tides. Most boats would go out on the afternoon or evening tide, fish all night, then return on the morning tide. With no two days alike, the woman of the home had to have a hot meal ready day or night. Soup from a simmering pot was a staple ‘fast food’, along with bread, butter and tea. During the week, breakfast was porridge and milk, mid-day dinner a Scotch broth. Tea at six ‘o clock usually included something solid and savoury, mostly fish, often made into a pie with potato. Weekends were special – Saturday’s dinner might be a meat pie fresh from the local baker, while Sunday morning had the treat of a fry-up of ham, steak and sausages. QFind out more about Fife’s Fishing Heritage at the Scottish Fisheries Museum, Anstruther,

The Fife Larder 19

Jams & Chutneys

Preserving the Kingdom What makes Fife’s newest condiment producers stand out from the crowd? Hannah Ewan sets out to discover their secrets

MERS ‘NEWCOE FIFE TO TH NEY CHUT AVE SCENE FHIERCE FOUND TITION’ COMPE ou don’t have to search hard at any of Fife’s farmers’ markets to find tables of tidy little jars stacked in pyramids. Colourful tasters are neatly laid out in front, with broken crackers or torn chunks of bread for dipping. With four major fruit farms, Newburgh’s heritage orchards and an increasing number of people dedicated to scouring the hedgerows for wild berries, it’s no surprise that newcomers to the Fife jam and chutney making scene have found fierce competition. Byam Trotter, 24, launched Trotter’s Independent Condiments in 2009, and concentrates on flavours that are not already stocked by shops. His first chutney was Mostarda, a popular Italian recipe that his mum perfected after returning from holiday. Byam then took over, and moved into his first professional kitchen in January 2012. ‘When I started, I didn’t do much research,’ he admits. ‘Then when I decided to make it a business, I


20 The Fife Larder

realised the competition was furious. So rea Iw worked on different flavours.’ Fife’s farm shops have relished the shake-up. sha As well as producing their own ranges, you’ll now find shelves of Trotter’s Trotter’ foraged wild garlic pesto sat next to rowan chutney ch and home-made bramble jam. Patricia Galfskiy is hoping to add her chilli chutneys to those shelves. After starting Chillilicious with her daughter Stacey in 2010, she now makes a range of medium-spiced chilli chutneys which sell alongside Stacey’s chilli-inspired fused glass artwork. Again, they’ve found an unoccupied niche. ‘The chilli chutney market is inundated with mega-hot chilli products,’ Patricia explains. ‘We want to educate people that chilli is not all about the burn.’ One thing the start-ups and the seasoned preservers have in common is a commitment to buying locally where possible, and to using traditional methods. Byam Trotter may have a professional kitchen and aspirations to internationalism, but he swears by his great aunt Dinah’s hot pepper jelly recipe and still uses the same spoon and pot that he started with.

Fife Food Round Up

On Fife’s Menu Looking to discover a taste of Fife? This round-up by Donald Reid and Hannah Ewan introduces you to what’s grown, reared, made and landed in the region For fuller information on many of the producers mentioned, as well as places to seek out Fife food, see the Where to Buy and Where to Eat sections on pages 26 and 35 respectively.

FRUIT & VEG lenty of fruit and veg is grown in Fife, with large areas of farmland given over to potatoes and root vegetables in particular. A good deal of this heads directly into nationwide distribution , so can’t always be identified as coming from Fife. To find Fife fruit and veg grown at source, the farm shops at places such as Blacketyside, Muddy Boots, Ardross and Balgove are good places to pick it up. Pillars of Hercules at Falkland is exclusively organic; they sell from the farm and can deliver a box of local organic fruit and veg, as will Bellfield Organics. Many of these smaller-scale operations will have fresh herbs grown on the farm for sale; the Little Herb Farm near Pittenween specialises in them. Various fruit farms open up during the summer months, including Pittormie, Cairnie , Blacketyside , and Allanhill; pick-your-own is available at all but Allanhill. Newburgh Orchard Group ( was formed to preserve, maintain and develop Newburgh’s heritage as an historic fruit growing area. They hold plum, apple and pear markets of fruit picked from local orchards in August and September each year. Other apple pressing days are held in September and October at Fife’s National Trust for Scotland properties (see p.14).


One way to eat local fruit and veg all year round is to take advantage of the region’s jam, chutney and preserve makers. Many of the fruit farms and farm shops mentioned above will make their own varieties, and many will also stock jars from small local producers including Chillilicious and Trotter’s Independent Condiments (for more on both, see p.20), Days Gone Bye, who mostly make jams and chutneys to order from a kitchen in Leuchars (they can be bought from the Leuchars Butcher), Knowehead Products from Newburgh and Wren Cottage Preserves of Letham. A number of these producers can be found at Fife farmers’ markets.



ife has only one farm making its own cheese. The St Andrews

Farmhouse Cheese Company’s signature Anster is hand-

made from unpasteurised milk using traditional processes. Anster is also available smoked and their newer farmhouse cheddar became available in 2012. Nineteenth-century Italian immigrants to Fife began a tradition of making ice-cream for the seaside holiday resorts. You can still find ice-cream traditionally hand-made inhouse at a number of shops and cafés, including Luvians, with branches in Cupar and St Andrews, B Jannettas, also in St Andrews, and Divito’s in Crossgates. A trip to Italy also inspired Nelson’s of Culross to diversify at their dairy farm in 1999. Look out for their ice cream at farmers’ markets and in local restaurants. The Fife Larder 21

Fife Food Round Up



leavened, slowly fermented loaves made with stone-ground wholegrain flour in a wood-fired oven. Steamie supply some local shops and cafés and run a bread club with weekly drop-offs in the local community.


I grew up in rural Kent near fruit farms which allowed you to wander among the perfumed rows of strawberries and raspberries, hand picking your own. The Peat Inn provides an unexpected sense of home from home: within a ten-minute drive of our kitchen are three superb fruit farms with berries, black- or whitecurrants, sometimes loganberries and tayberries too. Scotland, and Fife especially, provides some of the finest soft fruits in the world yet my favourite is the much less used and, in my view, more elegant gooseberry. Whether pale jade green or dusky pink, this is a fragrant, sophisticated addition to desserts, especially combined at the height of summer with the heady muscat scent of elderflower. Q Geoffrey Smeddle is the chef/proprietor of The Peat Inn, near St Andrews. See p.38

22 The Fife Larder

ordered by coastline on three sides, it’s to be expected that seafood is a Fife speciality. Although the Fife ports historically landed catches of herring, mackerel and white fish, the majority of landings these days are of creel-caught lobster and crab, along with trawled langoustine. Some of these make their way to local fishmongers; in Crail harbour the Reilly family’s Lobster Store boils up the crustaceans and dresses crab for sale in the summer months.

B ats are one of Fife’s staple crops (see p.9), and such is the quantity and quality of local supplies that Pepsico-owned Quaker Oats, producer of well-known brand Scott’s Porage Oats, have a large operation near Cupar. A business that dates back to Victorian times, Adamson’s Pittenweem bakery has only one product, its thick, crumbly triangular oatcakes that some like with cheese and others regard as almost a meal in themselves. The comparatively much younger but widely stocked






( uses Fife oats and artisan Fife bakers to snazz up oatcakes, shortbread and biscuits. Famous family bakers Fisher & Donaldson are the first port of call for keeping Scotland’s traditional pies and confectionary on everyone’s lips – it’s all made, along with hand-crafted chocolate, in their eco-conscious bakery in Cupar. For meat pies 155-year-old Stuart’s of Buckhaven were founders of the World Scotch Pie Championships. Never say Fife’s stuck in the past, however – Bibi’s Bakery, specialising in the trendy cupcake, opened the first of their three stores in St Andrews. You’ll see branches of Dunfermline-based craft bakers Stephens around Fife, along with GH Barnett of Cellardyke, who have recently expanded into artisan bread baking, a specialist skill also performed by the tiny Steamie Bakehouse ( in Dunfermline. They bake naturally

Smoked fish products are the speciality of the East Pier and Ru An Fhodar smokehouses (see p.8). While not a Fife resident, Iain Spink’s famous Arbroath smokies (arbroathsmokies. com) are freshly cooked in traditional style in half barrels set up at all of Fife’s farmers’ markets and are well worth seeking out.

BEEF, LAMB, GAME & OTHER MEAT our first stop for sourcing Fife meat is likely to be either Fife farmers’ markets, a local butcher or one of the local farm shops. Of the


Fife Food Round Up

latter, Balgove Larder by St Andrews and Ardross Farm by Elie are the most prominent, with beef from the respective farms their main line. At the farmers’ market you’ll find Aberdeen Angus and lamb from Balhelvie ( on the Tay coast and Dalachy ( from near Aberdour. Highland cattle are raised at Craigluscar Farm (craigluscarfarm. near Dunfermline. Puddledub’s pork, bacon and sausages are widely found in local shops and at the farmers’ markets, as are neighbouring farm S. Mitchell’s Puddledub water buffalo, Jacob sheep and Auchtertool Angus. Organic Aberdeen Angus beef and pork can occasionally be obtained from Falkland Estate. Fletchers of Auchtermuchty

is Scotland’s oldest deer farm, with a wide variety of venison cuts and products sold under the Seriously Good Venison name, while small game is occasionally available at farm shops and local butchers. Steven Wade provides a plucking and preparation service for pheasants and other game birds at his Game Cart near Lindores (gamecart.; he’s also intending to produce salamis using the meat. Many of the butchers listed on pages 26 to 35 will stock meat from local farms, and a number make their own sausages, puddings and pies. The Canny Cook ( is a new business based in Dunfermline

making small batches of ready meals with traditional recipes using local ingredients – not just with meat but also fish and vegetables. Local eggs, often from small free-range flocks of hens, are normally easy to pick up at farm shops, butchers and other outlets. Kilduncan Eggs ( at Kingsbarns are a specialist producer of duck, hen and quail eggs.

WHISKY, BEER AND OTHER DRINKS ne of the largest distilleries in Scotland is at Cameronbridge by Levenmouth. Capable of producing 30 million litres of spirits per year, it’s a central part of Diagio’s UK operation, with the spirits for brands such as Gordon’s Gin, Smirnoff vodka and Pimm’s distilled on site, as well as the grain whisky components of brands such as Johnnie Walker and J&B. Much smaller in scale, Fife’s whisky brands The Spencerfield Spirit Company (see p.17) and Wemyss Malts ( have an entrepreneurial attitude to drink that focuses on sourcing, blending and bottling select whisky from different Scottish distilleries – though none yet based in Fife. Both also produce distinctive gins, Edinburgh and Darnley’s View respectively. Daftmill Distillery in the Howe of Fife is aiming to create a Fife whisky using barley from the surrounding farm and water from an adjacent artesian well, while another farm distillery is in the planning at Kingsbarns by St Andrews ( Neither has a product available yet for sale. Fife beer is now available, made in Glenrothes by the St Andrews Brewing Company (see p.16), with a separate craft brewery, The Eden Brewery (, hoping to have its beer available by summer 2012. Another newcomer, Fife Fruit Merchants (, are in the business of selling pure fruit juice mixes.



In 30 years of running Ostlers Close, I have always based my menus on the best of seasonal local produce. In the last few years, this has become more mainstream through the Fife Farmers’ Market, helping us to strengthen our contacts with producers and introduce us to Jim and Jennifer Wilson of Balhelvie Farm, set on the Tay just outside Newburgh. Previously, we would only feature new season’s lamb, but now it features year round – the flavour and tenderness of the meat never diminishing through its growing cycle. The winter hoggit is still delicate and not coarse – this can be put down to the excellent husbandry of the farm and, as a chef, I can cook it with confidence. Q Jimmy Graham is the chef at Ostlers Close, Cupar. See p.42.

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24 The Fife Larder

The Fife Larder 25

Where to Buy


Ardross Farm Shop, by Elie

In addition to the shops, websites and other outlets listed below, Fife produce can be found at local farmers’ markets (see p.46) or obtained directly from producers featured elsewhere in the guide. The entries in this section are organised first by geographical area, then alphabetically

THE EAST NEUK & ST ANDREWS Q Allanhill Farming Co. Farm Shop Grange Road, St. Andrews 01334 477999, May–Sep: Mon–Sun 10am–6pm

Within walking distance of St Andrews, Allanhill grows 47 hectares of soft fruit – 45 of those strawberries. In 2012 their farm shop celebrates a decade of selling these alongside blueberries, gooseberries and raspberries, as well as local meat and eggs. The tearoom also sells their own jam and home baking, and there’s an outdoor area for children to run it off. The farm also has an online drink retail business at

Summer: Mon–Sat 9am–5.30pm; Sun 9am–4pm; Winter: Wed–Sat 9am–5.30pm; Sun 9am–4pm. Closed Mon & Tue

Set in an old steading and attractively designed with old stone, wood and glass, Ardross Farm shop started off as a way of selling vegetables and traditionally raised beef from the surrounding Àelds. Despite its classy appearance, the own-brand basics continue to impress, from dirty veg in baskets, fresh and frozen meat, farmprepared pots of stock, meat pies and their own honey and jams. There’s also a wellpresented range of items from independent local producers.

Q B Jannettas 31 South Street, St. Andrews 01334 473285, Mon–Sat 9am–5.30pm; Sun 7am– 5.30pm

The ‘B’ in the shop title is for Bennett Jannetta, who came to Scotland in the nineteenth century carrying a recipe for Italian ice cream. Since then, the shop has been passed down through the family and the number of ice cream Áavours has grown to Àfty-two, including specialities such as Snickers, Scottish tablet and Turkish delight. Open every day, this colourful shop churns their ice cream on site and also maintains a café next door.

Q Andrew Keracher 73 South Street, St Andrews 01334 472541, Mon–Sat 8am–5.30pm. Closed Sun

Run by brothers Mark and Stephen Keracher, this smart, contemporary Àshmonger is a cosmopolitan trove of fresh Àsh, seafood, game and upmarket grocery and kitchen items. The shop window displays not recent hauls, but artist Richard Bramble’s ocean-themed plates in collaboration with Jersey Pottery. Inside, however, is an impressive range of Àne produce including smoked duck, venison, scallops, lemon sole, rainbow trout, PaciÀc oysters and even shark steaks.

Q Ardross Farm Shop Ardross Farm, A917 East of Elie 01333 331400, 26 The Fife Larder

Q Balgove Larder Strathtyrum Estate, St Andrews 01334 898145, Mon–Sat 9am–5pm; Sun 10am–5pm (times extended during the summer)

Located a mile outside St Andrews on the Leuchars road, this relatively new venture is at the glamour end of Fife’s range of farm shops and farm cafés. There’s a keen focus on beef, game and pork from the estate, with an on-site butcher, a well stocked fresh-meat and deli counter, and plenty of evidence of farm sourcing on the café menu. The shop is an attractive showcase for Scottish – and especially Fife – producers, and offers a sufÀciently broad range to encompass everyday items, picnic or quick-cook meals, special treats and gifts.

Where to Buy

Q Bibi’s Bakery 131 South Street, St Andrews 01334 461387, Mon-Sat 10am-5.30pm; Sun noon4.30pm

Brightly coloured cupcakes with artistically peaked icing can be found in this popular shop. Baked fresh daily, the 20-plus varieties include cappuccino, chocolate orange, banoffee and Victoria sponge. There are gluten-free and other vegan options on demand, as well as brownies and wedding and birthday cakes. Cake decoration classes are run from this shop, as well as in Edinburgh and Aberdeen where there are branches of the franchise. A linked Bibi’s Café is located a few blocks away at 5 Ellice Place (an extension of North Street).

Q Butler and Company 10 Church Street, St. Andrews 01334 476777 Mon–Sat 9am–5pm; Sun noon–4pm

A recent takeover by Minick of St Andrews shows in this deli’s large butchery counter and wrap shop. A closely chalked board offers such beguiling choices as the Duncan Disorderly, the Hearty Heart Stopper, or the Stevie Wonder Special – spontaneously created from whatever takes their fancy ‘for those who can’t make up their mind’. The deli side veers from Mrs Jeffery’s hyper-local, handlabelled marmalade to cult US and Asian products like Fluff and Lucky Charms.

Q East Pier Smokehouse East Pier, St Monans 01333 405030, Sat 10am–5pm; Sun 11am–5pm. Jul/Aug: Mon–Sat 10am–5pm; Sun 11am–5pm

The winner of two Great Taste awards in 2011 for their salmon and cold-smoked venison, East Pier Smokehouse sources its Àsh from the RSPCA Freedom Foodmonitored farms of Scotland’s west coast. Their product range is striking, with a traditionally smoked salmon supplementing one which has been cured in beetroot juice before being smoked.

Owner James Robb also intends to open a café within the smokehouse’s premises on the pier in time for summer, selling buckets of Pittenweem langoustines and boiled lobster.


Q Elie Deli 55 High Street, Elie 01333 330323, Sep–Jun: Mon–Sat 8am–6pm; Sun 8am–5pm. Jul/Aug: Mon–Thu 8am– 6pm; Fri/Sat 8am–8pm; Sun 8am–5pm

Family-owned under its current name since 2009, this well-stocked shop is entrenched in the heart of Elie as a source of both speciality deli items and general groceries. When it comes to local produce you can Ànd Puddledub pork, meat from Penmans Butchers in Crail and local fresh Àsh. The highlight, though, are owner David McCulloch’s baked goods, which can be enjoyed with a coffee at the deli’s small sit-in area.

Q Fisher & Donaldson 13 Church Street, St Andrews 01334 472201, fisheranddonaldson. com Mon–Fri 6am–5.15pm; Sat 6am-5pm. Closed Sun

For more see entry for main Cupar branch on p.31.

Q G&J Wilson 1c Netherton Industrial Estate, St Monans 01333 730537 Mon–Fri 9am–5pm (closed 1–2pm for lunch); Sat 9am–noon

Despite its unassuming location in an industrial estate on the edge of St Monans and the fact it’s a large supplier, G&J Wilson is well known by locals as one of the best places to buy a wide selection of fresh Àsh. Local prawns and crab can be bought from their sales counter in summer and ordered at other times of the year, while smoked salmon is available from their own smokehouse.

Fife’s most affectionately held product might well be a type of cream bun. The custard-filled fudge doughnuts made by Cuparbased Fisher & Donaldson are such cult confectionary they have their own Facebook page, devoted blog entries, a place on the menu of some Burns’ Suppers (as a traditional dessert) and, in 2002, a oneway ticket to Masirah Island, off the coast of Oman. ‘Some fudge doughnuts left here and arrived in Oman hours later,’ explains Ben Milne, F&D Production Manager. ‘The RAF squadron leader came in afterwards to let us know not even the box was wasted, but was fed to a camel.’ Squadron Leader Herb Sutcliffe carefully transported them via air, across the desert in a 4x4, then by boat, to his homesick ex-Leuchars troops who had thought they were just an ‘unattainable dream’.

The Fife Larder 27

Where to Buy

Q GH Barnett & Son 35 Rodger Street, Cellardyke 01333 310205 Mon/Tue & Thu/Fri 8am–5pm; Wed 8am–1.30pm; Sat 8am–1.30pm

John Birrell & Son, St Andrews

All Àve of GH Barnett’s bakeries stick to the formula established in 1947, offering the sort of traditional Scottish confectionary that other bakeries have stopped producing, such as ‘tipsy cake’. Ingredients are sourced locally where possible, notably the cheese used in their oatcakes, while a recent expansion has seen them branch out into artisan breads, baking around a dozen seasonal varieties every day of the week. Plans to develop a café are ongoing.

Q The Guid Cheese Shop Burghers Close, 141 South Street, St Andrews 01334 477355, Mon 11am–5pm; Tue–Sat 10am–5pm. Closed Sun

Her cheese career began in New York, and there’s little room to spare in her shop, so it’s perhaps understandable that Svetlana Redpath concentrates on quality over locality. Lesser-known cheeses from America and Portugal defy preconceptions, as do more familiar faces like a Gruyère Premier Cru. Scotland is represented, but she deliberately avoids crossing her stock list with that of IJ Mellis around the corner. Seasonality is key; goat’s cheeses aren’t stocked over winter, and there are monthly tastings to guide customers through regular changes.

Q IJ Mellis Cheesemonger 149 South Street, St Andrews 01334 471410, Mon–Sat 9am-5pm; Sun 11am-5pm

With branches all over Scotland, I.J. Mellis is a one-stop shop for dedicated cheese lovers. All types of farmhouse, artisan and speciality cheese can be found stacked high in the shop, from Isle of Mull cheddar to the Prima Dona Maturo, a Dutch take on Parmesan. The main focus is on farmhouse cheeses from around the UK and Ireland, including Anster, a crumbly citrusy cheese from 28 The Fife Larder

nearby in Anstruther. Accompaniments sold within the shop include chutneys and pickles, Arran oatcakes, French baguettes and a range of oil and vinegars.

Q JB Penman 38 High Street South, Crail 01333 450218 Mon/Tue & Thu–Sat 6.30am–1pm, 2–5pm; Wed 6.30am–1pm. Closed Sun

Established in 1926, this well-respected Crail butcher is well known locally as a source of quality. The haggis is made on the premises, as are all the pies; meat is drawn from local farms, including Auchtermuchty beef and pork from Carnoustie, and is properly hung and carefully butchered and trimmed. In-house sausages, burgers and black pudding are also available, and they sell a wide range of marinated meats, jams, chutneys and pickles.

Q John Birrell & Son 201 South Street, St Andrews 01334 472138 Mon–Wed, Fri/Sat 8.45am–5.30pm; Thu 8.45am–5pm. Closed Sun

Now owned by ‘& Son’ Alan Birrell, this greengrocer is the retail outlet for a wholesale business, which perhaps explains the freshness of the varied stock. The shelves are loaded with as much local produce as the seasons will allow, with a steady stream of students coming all year round for the reasonably priced fruit and veg – not a common sight with Àerce supermarket competition. Birrells proves it is possible to remain a relevant everyday high street option.

Q The Little Herb Farm 41 Viewforth Place, Pittenweem 07777 672729,

Currently in its Àrst year of business, Pittenweem’s Little Herb Farm has already created a unique market for itself, selling fruit and herb vinegars which are intended to be diluted and drunk like a cordial or as a dressing for salads and icecreams. Flavours include raspberry and rosemary, tayberry and sage or strawberry and basil. Their own shop is in planning,

Where to Buy

but until it opens you can buy from Ardross Farm Shop, St Andrews Botanic Garden shop and the Cocoa Tree Cafe.

Q The Lobster Store 34 Shoregate, Crail 01333 450476 May–Sep: Tue–Sun noon–4pm. Closed Mon. Oct–Apr: Sat/Sun noon–4pm. Closed Mon–Fri

Set in rather inauspicious surroundings on Crail harbour, the Reilly family’s Lobster Store is a familiar and reliable local stop for fresh crustaceans in the East Neuk. They supply dressed crab, boiled crab and lobster at the counter, all caught by the family themselves on their own dayboat, while a couple of local restaurants – including Anstruther’s Cellar – take supplies from them. Note, however, that they’re only open at weekends during late autumn, winter and spring.

Q Luvians 66 Market Street, St Andrews 01334 477752, Mon–Sat 10am–10pm; Sun 12.30– 10pm

Dedicated wine and spirits shop linked to Luvians in Cupar. See below and main entry for Luvians Cupar branch on p.31.

Q Luvians Ice Cream Parlour 84 Market Street, St Andrews 01334 477128, Mon–Sun 10am–6pm

One of three Luvians across Fife, this is a coffee as well as ice cream shop. Run by Anthony Fusaro for nearly twenty years, there’s something to satisfy most known vices – coffee, chocolate, ice cream and tobacco (with wine and whisky available down the road). All except the former come in a multitude of choice, with the ice cream freshly made every day using only local milk.

Q Minick of St Andrews 183 South Street, St Andrews 01334 472127 Mon–Fri 7.30am–5.30pm; Sat 7.30am– 5pm. Closed Sun

year-old butcher thriving, it’s expanding: a takeover of Butler & Co along the High Street will soon be followed by a third Fife opening. Much of Stuart Minick’s meat is from local farmers attending Forfar market. He provides private butchery for people with rare breeds, and has come to specialise in rare pork, lamb and cattle. As well as home-made pies and clootie dumplings, there are picnic-ready quiches, potted meats, and a good-quality range of deli items.

Q La Petite Epicerie 32 Cunzie Street, Anstruther 01333 312179, Mon–Sun 9am–6pm (closed Sun in winter)

Opened in 2009 by French owner Julien Poix, La Petite Epicerie is openly committed to sourcing as much as possible from an army of small, local suppliers, but with the quality and feel of a French delicatessen. Poix makes homemade pies, pâtés, quiches and jams, while local produce on show includes Anster cheese, Adamson’s oatcakes and fresh meat and smoked Àsh. Home delivery and outside catering services for small parties within the East Neuk area are available.

Q St Andrews Farmhouse Cheese Company Falside Farm, Anstruther 01333 312580, standrewscheese. Apr–Oct: Mon–Sat 9.30am–4.30pm; Sun 11am–4.30pm. Nov–Mar: Mon– Sat 10am–4pm; Sun 11am–4.30pm

While the café (see p.39) is the most popular part of the operation at Falside Farm, and the viewing gallery the most interesting when cheesemaking is underway, Jane Stewart’s cheeses are available for sale from the shop, along with a select range of deli and gift items.


I’ve been using Pillars of Hercules for three or four years. I was looking for good quality, local, organic produce – though it really all comes down to the quality. Their selection is very much about seasonality. There are times when they’ll not have something, but we naturally change our menus every few weeks, tailoring them to what’s available, rather than the other way around. A lot of it is about the passion of the people who own and run it. When we order our veg, it’s clear a lot of care and nurturing has gone into the produce, giving it exceptional flavour. It hasn’t sat in a lorry for four days. When we get our salad it’s often picked the day before, or that morning. They’re also nice people to deal with. They’re not salesmen; they just produce something they totally believe in. QCraig Wood is the chef/proprietor of the Wee Restaurant, North Queensferry. See p.43.

Bucking the trend, not only is this twoThe Fife Larder 29

Where to Buy

The Guid Cheese Shop, St Andrews


veg is available seasonally, and they make all their own pies and puddings, black, white and haggis.

Q Bellfield Organics

Q Cheynes Butcher & Deli

Jamesfield Farm, Abernethy 01738 850589,

46 High Street, Newburgh 01337 842942, Tue–Fri 8am–4.45pm; Sat 8am–1pm. Closed Sun/Mon

An operation right beside JamesÀeld Farm and therefore located just over the Fife boundary, BellÀeld operates an organic box scheme throughout Fife (as well as further aÀeld), delivering vegetables from their own Àelds as well as organic fruit, bread, eggs and milk. Their stalls can also been found at farmers’ markets in Fife and central belt locations including Edinburgh, Glasgow and Stirling.

Q Cairnie Fruit Farm Cairnie House, by Cupar 01334 655610, Apr–Jun & Sep/Oct Mon–Sun 10am–5pm; Jul/Aug Mon–Sun 9.30am–5.30pm

Primarily a strawberry farm, Cairnie Fruit Farm’s appeal doesn’t just rest on its soft fruit, but the array of activities now available on the site, the highlight of which is a professionally designed Maize Maze, which appears each year in early summer and by early autumn has daunting eight-foot high walls of corn. There are also trampolines, pedal go-karts, sandpits and picnic benches. All sorts of berries and currants are available through the season for early June onwards for PYO, from the shop, or utilised in the café, from strawberry tarts to Janetta’s ice-cream made with Cairnie’s fruit.

Q Ceres Butchers 8 Main Street, Ceres 01334 828229, Tue–Fri 7am–5.30pm; Sat 7am–4pm. Closed Sun/Mon

Quality, locally sourced meat is the priority of this successful high street butcher. Beef and lamb comes from Fife farms, pork from Carnoustie and free range chickens from JamesÀeld. In season they sell game from local estates, including wild roe deer. Locally sourced 30 The Fife Larder

A family-run Scottish Craft butcher with an eye for the local, Cheynes’ meat is bought from the hook and prepared in adjoining premises. Vegetables are on sale, seasonally from daughter Donna’s farm, as are award-winning haggis and pepper and steak pies. On the deli side of the shop the comprehensive display includes sandwiches, quiche, salads and local jams and chutneys, as well as hot soup and stovies in colder months.

Q Colin Nicoll Family Butchers (Ladybank Butchers) 6 Commercial Crescent, Ladybank 01337 830520 Mon–Fri 7.30am–5pm; Sat 1–5pm. Closed Sun

After opening in 1925, the Fife institution commonly known as ‘Ladybank Butchers’ has been a mainstay in the village for more than 80 years. Formerly run by RH Waters & Sons, it’s now owned by the Nicoll family, which impressively sources its entire product range from within a 25mile radius of the shop. Trading as Colin Nicoll Family Butchers it’s still equally as popular with the locals for their steak pies and fresh and cooked meats. It’s also a local outlet for fruit and vegetables from John Birrell of St Andrews and nearby Sycamore Cottage Bakery’s home baking.

Q Falkland Estate Office The Stables, Falkland Estate, Falkland 01337 858544, centreforstewardship. Mon–Fri 9am–6pm. Closed Sat/Sun

As well as organising events like the Big Tent Festival of Stewardship, which has included a creditable focus on truly local food, the Falkland Estate is also a worthy supplier of organic beef and sometimes

Where to Buy

pork. Its herd are mainly grass-fed Aberdeen Angus who also thrive on home-grown barley and are reared on the estate. The majority of its produce is supplied frozen but there are some fresh alternatives available by contacting the ofÀce in advance. Free-range organic eggs are available daily via an honesty box on the grounds. Meat sales are taken at the on-site ofÀce and a number of packaged goods are available from both Pillars of Hercules’s Shop and Falkland’s Palace Pantry.

Q Fisher & Donaldson • 21 Crossgate, Cupar 01334 656433 Mon–Wed 6.30am–5.15pm; Thu 6.30am–4.45pm; Sat 6.30am–5pm. Closed Sun • Ceres Road, Cupar 01334 652551 Mon–Sat 8am–5pm; Sun 10am– 4.30pm

All three shops throughout Fife – two in Cupar and a larger, takeaway-only outlet in St Andrews – retain the feel of a traditional ‘good old days’ cake shop. The enormous selection, elements of which are embedded in Fife cult legend (those fudge doughnuts – see p.27), isn’t limited to cakes; the patisserie and chocolates are also hand-made in the Ceres Road bakery, and Scotch pies contain nothing but pure beef Áank, water and seasoning. The production process remains almost entirely manual, even down to handrolling oatcakes.

local, not least the beef, lamb, chicken, and vegetables from the surrounding 300acre farm and its immediate neighbours

Q Knowehead Products Bite’n’Blether, 94 High Street, Newburgh 01337 842906 Mon–Fri 10am–4pm; Sat 10am–3pm. Closed Sun

Alison Batchelor makes jams using techniques learnt from her mother, while husband Barry makes the chutney. Both are produced on a small, hand-made scale – the chutneys never more than Àfty jars at once, jams not more than seven kilos of fruit at a time. Most of their ingredients are foraged from their garden or from local hedgerows, or are bought from local farms, and pectin is never added unless absolutely necessary.

Q Leuchars Butchers 24 Main Street, Leuchars 01334 839213 Mon–Fri 8am–5.30pm; Sat 8am–4pm. Closed Sun

A small independent butcher in a tiny knot of shops at the heart of the village of Leuchars, William McGregor sells a traditional range of meat and meat products, with local sources including the St Andrews abattoir. Value packs of meat are normally available, as is veg from local farms in season. One local speciality to look out for is a small selection of jams, pickles and preserves made in Leuchars under the Days Gone By label.

Q Luvians Bottle Shop Q Jamesfield Organic Centre Jamesfield Farm, Abernethy 01738 850498 Mon–Sun 9am–5pm

The large, purpose-built shop and restaurant constructed by Ian Miller on his mixed organic farm on the boundary between Perthshire and Fife at Abernethy includes a spacious and broadly stocked deli, a butchery and a café offering views over the Tay estuary. The centre acts as a showcase for produce that’s mostly organic and deÀnitely oriented to the


93 Bonnygate, Cupar 01334 654820, Mon–Sat 9am–6pm; Sun 1.30–5.30pm

Arduino Fusaro set up his Àrst parlour in Ayrshire in 1955. The show is now considerably more elaborate, with an icecream and bottle shop in Cupar, and two outlets in St Andrews. The range of wines and whiskies is all the more impressive when you consider they opened on Christmas Eve 1983 with just two single malts (there are now over 900). Recent additions to the famous ice-cream menu

It’s a familiar grievance: reaching your holiday cottage crumpled and hungry to remember your luggage doesn’t contain food. At Morton of Pitmilly near St Andrews, where owner John Parker consciously promotes local food at his self-catering cottages, the absence of supermarket bags rustling in the boot of a new arrival is a great chance to promote the food of Fife. He’ll have eggs from their flock of hens at reception, veg boxes from their polytunnels and, soon, a herb garden to snip at. It might mean a crab or lobster from Crail Harbour after a call from a fisherman (crackers and large cooking pots provided), or steaks and sausages from a nearby butcher to throw on the BBQ. They feel it creates a sense of community and offers something educational for children – the hope is to offer guests a fullystocked farm shop.

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Where to Buy

Fisher & Donaldson, Cupar & St Andrews

include chai masala and tomato and basil sorbet, but nothing edges out the vanilla, made from just three ingredients – milk, cream and vanilla pods.

01334 870233, pittormiefruitfarm. Late May–mid Oct Mon–Sun 8am–6pm; mid Oct–late May Mon– Sun 8am–8pm

Q Muddy Boots Farm Shop

Pittormie is an old-style farm shop, family-run and Àrst and foremost an outlet for the produce from the farm. It is, however, a prodigious output, with pesticide-free strawberries, gooseberries, raspberries, currants, loganberries and tayberries through the summer months, as well as fresh vegetables including lettuce, asparagus and peas. Some of the berries also make their way to Heather Ales range of fruit beers and Cairn O Mohr’s fruit wines. During the winter, business is transferred to a smaller ‘egg shed’, specialising in eggs, winter vegetables and jams, as well as some frozen fruit. A wide range of shrubs and plants is also available, while berries can be bought ready-picked or as pick-your-own.

Balmalcom Farm, A914 west of Cupar, Balmalcolm 01337 831222 Mon–Sat 9am–6pm; Sun 9am–5.30pm. Winter: Sun-Thu 10am–4pm; Fri, Sat 9am–5pm

What began in a roadside tent selling soft fruit, when the Samson family made the decision to step away from loss-making supermarket supply, is now an innovative diversiÀcation project which still has the friendly family touch. In addition to the farm shop and café there are various activities for kids ranging from pottery painting to grass-sledging, along with a sizeable indoor play zone. The farm shop located in the old tractor barn stocks the farm’s own juicy Tulamine raspberries in season, along with other farm-grown fruit and veg and a good range of staples and deli items from small suppliers.

Q Pillars of Hercules Organic Farm Shop & Café Pillars of Hercules, Strathmiglo Road, Falkland 01337 857749, Mon–Sun 9am–6pm

In its rustic, Wild West-style wooden building, Pillars of Hercules Organic Farm Shop on the edge of the tranquil village of Falkland is a welcome sight for any enthusiast of fresh, well-sourced and organic food. Vegetables marked up with their source – sometimes the Àelds and polytunnels alongside the shop – line the vestibule, while the rest of the smallish shop packs in a diverse range of organic, fair trade and GM-free ingredients and products, which include baking ingredients, curry pastes, organic wine and even the likes of toothpaste, natural soap and eco friendly detergents.

Q Pittormie Fruit Farm and Nursery Pittormie Fruit Farm, Dairsie 32 The Fife Larder

Q Seriously Good Venison from Fletchers of Auchtermuchty Jamesfield Farm, Abernethy 0800 0836 4766, Mon–Sun 8am–6pm

Fletchers of Auchtermuchty has been rebranded as Seriously Good Venison after a change in ownership following the decision of John and Nichola Fletcher to step back from the day-to-day running of the business. The operation has moved from Reediehill Farm to new premises at JamesÀeld Farm in Abernethy, but the business still specialises in farmed venison from Reediehill which is largely grass-fed, has been naturally hung and is free of all additives and preservatives. Although primarily a wholesale supplier, its fresh meat, sausages and burgers can still be found at Reediehill Farm Shop and operates a mail order service with delivery across the whole of Fife. Specialities include venison haggis which, according to owner Vikki Banks, is the original form of the Scottish dish with deer having roamed the land long before sheep.

Where to Buy

GLENROTHES, KIRKCALDY & SOUTH CENTRAL FIFE Q Alex Mitchell Butchers 2 Glamis Centre, Glenrothes 01592 771457, alexmitchellbutchers. com Mon & Wed 8am–5pm; Tue & Thu 8am–5.30pm; Fri 8am–6pm; Sat 8am–4pm. Closed Sun

Found in the depths of the Glamis shopping precinct in the Pitteuchar district of Glenrothes, Alex Mitchell Butchers has a loyal following thanks to its quality Scotch meats and great customer service. The family-run business is headed up by Alex, who’s a Master Quality Scotch butcher and poulterer with more than 50 years’ experience, while the counter is manned by daughter Catherine and her husband, Paul Greer. The family prides itself on its specially selected Scotch beef, lamb and pork – and does a roaring trade in home-made pies, burgers, sausages, haggis and puddings – to name but a few specialities. It has recently diversiÀed to supply locally reared venison and the business also operates an online service; in the shop breads, biscuits, cakes and delicacies are available from a deli counter.

Q HS Murray 7 Hope Street, Inverkeithing 01383 412684 Tue–Fri 8am–5pm; Sat 8am–1pm. Closed Sun/Mon

A family Àshmonger since around 1922, HS Murray takes delivery of Àsh from Newhaven Fishmarket in Edinburgh, while prawns are from Pittenweem in the East Neuk of Fife and local boats supply scallops and langoustines. Other suppliers from the area provide free-range hen and duck eggs, tomatoes and samphire in summer. Their Àsh can be found at nearby restaurants including Aberdour’s Room With a View, while Murray’s also offer a free local delivery service.

Q Loch Leven’s Larder Channel Farm, Milnathort, Kinross 01592 841000, Mon–Sun 9.30am–5.30pm

The ‘Larder’ here refers to the wide range of home-made, local, Scottish and European deli items stocked by this signiÀcant farm shop. Located just over the border from Fife in Perth & Kinross, as a working farm they sell vegetables from their Àelds and stock an ownbrand range including jams, oatcakes and confectionery, as well as craft gifts. Beautifully positioned on the shores of the loch, the popular restaurant or outdoor Summer House Café are good places at which to begin or end walks.

Q Blacketyside Farm Shop Blacketyside Farm, Leven 01333 423034 Mon–Sat 9am–5pm. Closed Sun.

The steady expansion of Blacketyside Farm Shop on the outskirts of Leven continued in late 2011 with the arrival of a butchery and fresh deli counter under the auspices of Steve Mitchell. It augments the fresh fruit and veg that’s attractively laid out just outside the shop entrance, with a decent array of dried goods, gifts and frozen items including soups and ready meals made for the shop in the café kitchen. The highlight in the summer months are the luscious strawberries, raspberries and other soft fruit grown on the farm.

Q Lochend Farm Shop Lochend Farm, Scotlandwell, Kinrossshire 01592 840745, lochendfarmshop. Mon–Sun 9am–6pm

Lochend is located by the Kinross/Fife border at the eastern end of Loch Leven. This working farm has views from the coffee shop over the surrounding Àelds. Now specialising exclusively in veg, including their famous carrots, there’s also a shop with a decent deli selection concentrated on Fife and wider Scottish produce. For delicate diets, the cafe does a range of home-made gluten free cakes and soups.


I’ve always relied on HS Murray of Inverkeithing, he’s a grade A fish merchant who’s never let me down. The business was started by his grandfather in 1922 – they must be doing something right to have been going for that long. Almost all their fish comes from the Forth, and if he sees anything out of the ordinary come in he’ll give me a call so I can get it on our specials board. I want to support the local community; why go further afield when there’s so much here on our coastline? If we don’t support local businesses we’ll lose them, and have to turn to the big chains. We’ll lose the sustainability that buying locally brings. Q Tim Robson is head chef at the Room With a View restaurant in the Forth View Hotel in Aberdour (see p.43)

The Fife Larder 33

Where to Buy

Q Mostly Wine 25 Mitchell Street, Kirkcaldy 01592 264418, Tue–Fri 10am–6pm; Sat 10am–5pm. Closed Sun/Mon

Blacketyside Farm Shop, by Levenmouth

Mostly Wine is exactly that – a decentsized retail outlet selling more than 1000 different speciality wines, all sourced from independent suppliers. Owners Stuart and Kim Renton are just as particular about the vintages they sell and run their own series of monthly wine tasting events, which have been hosted by the likes of Cloudy Bay’s former chief winemaker Kevin Judd. The husband and wife team stock a large selection of Scottish ales, including offerings from St Andrews Brewing Company, as well as spirits, gifts and a small selection of locally made condiments, including olive oil and conserves.

Q S Mitchell of Puddledub 6 Bishops Court, Kennoway, Leven 01333 351245, puddledubbuffalo. Mon-Fri 7am-5pm; Sat 7am-3pm. Closed Sun

This butchery is the principal outlet, alongside butchery counters at Blacketyside and Craigies farm shops, as well as farmers’ market stalls, of Steven Mitchell’s Fife-farmed water buffalo, ‘Juicy Jacob’ lamb and Auchtertool Angus Scotch beef. The operation shifted into larger premises in Kennoway in 2010, allowing an even larger selection including beef and buffalo steak pies, buffalo and venison sausages and burgers, casserole steak and dry cured bacon produced by uncle Tom Mitchell’s Puddledub Pork.

Q Stuart’s of Buckhaven 37 High Street, Leven 01333 429515 Mon–Sat 8am–5pm

Originally a bakery, this sixth-generation family butchers and bakers with shops across Fife began sourcing meat in the 1960s to guarantee the quality of their speciality pies. Current boss Alan Stuart founded the now highly prestigious World 34 The Fife Larder

Scotch Pie Championship in 1999, an annual headline-grabber across the UK.

Q The Anstruther Fish Shop Unit 12, The Postings, Kirkcaldy 01592 261215 Mon–Sat 9am–4.30pm. Closed Sun

Despite the name, Anstruther’s retail Àsh merchant is now a Kirkcaldy-based operation, and they still produce a great selection, including halibut, plaice, sole, sea bass as well as hot- and cold-smoked salmon. Locally caught crab is available all year round, while the live lobster tank is a centrepiece. They also sell local freerange eggs, oatcakes from GH Barnett of Anstruther, meat to order from Thomson of Thornton and a range of dry goods.

Q Watson’s of Leven 4 Forth Street, Leven 01333 423885, Mon-Fri 8am–4.30pm; Sat 8am–3pm. Closed Sun

Watson’s not only specialises in homemade haggis, puddings, sausages and award-winning pies, but boasts its own locally reared, under 30-monthold beef. Its cows are grass-fed on its Aberdour farm in summer, before being hung for around 28 days. The butchery is also a wholesale supplier to many local businesses including hotels and restaurants.

DUNFERMLINE & WEST FIFE Q Divito’s Ice Cream 59 Main Street, Crossgates 01383 510872 Mon–Sun 9am–9pm

Crossgates is famed around the west of Fife as the home of Divito’s. Primarily a sweet shop, with a wide range of chocolates and candies on offer, the place’s reputation is earned by its icecream. There are around 15 Áavours to choose from in the height of summer, all of which are made in the shop and can be found on dessert menus in local cafés and restaurants.

Where to Eat

Q Dobbies Farm Foodhall Fife Leisure Park, Dunfermline 01383 842757, Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat 9am–6pm; Tue 9.30am–6pm; Thu 9am–8pm; Sun 10am–6pm

Part of the large Dobbies Garden World at the Fife Leisure Park just off the M90 by Dunfermline, the Farm Foodhall is a large deli including a butchery counter which was taken over by Tom Mitchell of Puddledub in spring 2012. While Scottish products are fairly well represented in the selection of bakery, veg, dairy, dry goods, ready meals, drinks, treats and gifts, the range from Fife has been fairly limited until Puddledub’s arrival.

Q Reuben’s 10–12 New Row, Dunfermline 01383 739071, Mon–Thu 8.30am–6pm; Fri/Sat 8.30am–8pm; Sun 11.30am–4.30pm.

There are some nice cafés in Dunfermline these days, but Reuben’s stands tall as the one that is vigorously championing an appreciation for good food and drink in the town. With a new wine bar section having opened in late 2011, the place now plays host to semi-regular winetasting events, guest culinary speakers and acoustic music events, while the established café-deli section offers quality meals and snacks in relaxed and modern surroundings, proving itself to be a reÀned meeting point.

Q Stephens Bakers Head Office: Unit 21, Dunfermline Business Park, Primrose Lane, Dunfermline 01383 430400,

Established in 1873, William Stephen’s bakery has proved enduringly popular with the people of west Fife. With 14 branches around the area – most in Dunfermline, but also Inverkeithing, Rosyth and Cowdenbeath – it does exactly what you would expect from a high street chain of bakers. Pies, Àlled rolls and brightly iced cakes are served to take away, or to eat in the sit-in tearoom area of the main Dunfermline branch.

WHERE TO EAT Listings of Fife’s best options for eating out, including daytime cafés, takeaways, casual bistros and formal restaurants. The entries in this section are organised first by geographical area, then alphabetically

THE EAST NEUK & ST ANDREWS Q Allanhill Farming Co. Farm Shop Tearoom Grange Road, St. Andrews 01334 477999, May–Sep Mon–Sun 10am–6pm

See entry on p.26.

Q The Anstruther Fish Bar 42-44 Shore Street, Anstruther 01333 310518, anstrutherfishbar. Summer: Mon–Sun 11.30am–9.30pm (takeaway until 10pm) Winter: Sun–Thu 11.30am–9pm (takeaway until 9.30pm); Fri/Sat 11.30am–9.30pm (takeaway until 10pm)

With a glittering array of accolades, this place is undoubtedly one of Scotland’s classic traditional Àsh and chippers and a tourist attraction in its own right. Fish (and not just haddock, but hake, pollack, halibut, lemon sole and local shellÀsh) comes battered or breaded, and it’s hard to quibble with the excellent quality or freshness. Even with seating for over 50, though, its fame does mean that a longish queue at the bar is a frequent hurdle. But the wait is worth it.

Q Balaka Bangladeshi Restaurant 3 Alexandra Place, St Andrews 01334 474825, Mon–Sun noon–2.30pm, 5–10.30pm

Family run since 1982, Balaka’s kitchen has been overseen by head chef Abdul Monem for 26 years. This consistency,


Last year I was fortunate enough to be introduced to the gardening team at Kellie Castle who were looking for an outlet for some of their organic produce. In the past I was never a great believer in the whole organic thing, thinking it to be an opportunity for the supplier to add on a few quid. Having now used the produce myself I can dispel that myth. Embarrassingly this has all been happening within yards of my home and it has taken me 14 years to visit. I now pop in on my way to the restaurant and walk round with the gardeners harvesting as we go anything from leeks to rainbow chard, chillis, herbs and apples from their orchard. They also grow things exclusively for the restaurant . QCraig Millar is the head chef at Craig Millar @ 16 West End in St Monans (see p.36)

The Fife Larder 35

Where to Eat

Balgove Larder, by St Andrews

and an attitude to fresh ingredients that encompasses growing their own greens in an organic garden behind the restaurant, has taken them to the top of Asian eateries in St Andrews. The menu is an extensive mix of classic Indian favourites, some Bengali specialities, and a new range of seafood dishes featuring lesser-known, more sustainable Àsh.

Q Balgove Larder Strathtyrum Estate, St Andrews 01334 898145, Mon–Sat 9am–5pm; Sun 10am–5pm (times extended during summer)

The ever-expanding café is a natural partner to the farm, butchery and shop (see entry on p.26), with familiar breakfasts, snacks, baking and hot drinks supplemented with daily soups, salads and specials. Expect to see estate meats, including game, as well as seasonal vegetables and fruit on the blackboard menus; look out too for a summer-time scheme to convert an old combine shed into a pop-up outdoor restaurant serving steak, chips and salad, all sourced from the surrounding acres.

Q The Cellar 24 East Green, Anstruther 01333 310378, Summer: Mon–Thu 6.30–9pm; Fri 12.30–1.30pm, 6.30–9pm; Sat 12.30–1.30pm. Closed Sun Winter: Tue–Thu 6.30–9pm; Fri 12.30–1.30pm, 6.30–9pm; Sat 12.30–1.30pm. Closed Sun/Mon

With Scotland’s Fisheries Museum next door, this former cooperage and smokery is steeped in Àshing history as well as a life-long appreciation of the bounty of the sea. With its stone walls and beamed ceilings the Cellar lacks sea views but is still a wonderfully atmospheric dining space. Peter Jukes’ top-notch seafood menu features simple but supremely assured dishes such as smoked Àsh stew or East Coast halibut with greens, pine nuts, smoky bacon and hollandaise sauce. 36 The Fife Larder

Q The Cocoa Tree Café 9 High Street, Pittenweem 01333 311495, thecocoatreeshop. com Mon–Sun 10am–6pm

Home to the Pittenweem Chocolate Company, a very well-stocked artisan chocolatier, the relaxed café through the back bears a hint of North African inÁuence. In the front room the glass cabinet of chocolates assembled from across Europe is prominent, and proprietor Sophie Latinis will take you on a tour of her selection of salt caramel, stem ginger and rose-infused treats.

Q Craig Millar @ 16 West End 16 West End, St Monans 01333 730327, Wed–Sun 12.30–2pm, 6.30–9pm. Closed Mon/Tue

The 2011 decoupling of the Seafood Restaurants in St Andrews and St Monans saw the latter reopen as Craig Millar @ 16 West End. The eponymous chef has retained the pub-like pre-dinner drinks lounge, while opening up a new reception area and modifying the overall layout. Well-lit yet intimate, the restaurant has extensive windows giving it a conservatory-type atmosphere and views overlooking St Monans Harbour and the Firth of Forth. It offers a Àne dining experience where presentation, quality ingredients and Àrst rate service go hand in hand.

Q The Doll’s House Restaurant 3 Church Square, St Andrews 01334 477422, Mon–Sun noon–2.30pm, 5–9.30pm

An imaginative French-inspired Scottish menu and an excellent location have made this one of St Andrews’ most established restaurants. Prices sit in the mid-to-upper range but good lunch and early evening deals, as well as regular special offers, keep it very accessible. Alfresco tables are a great summer spot to try dishes such as grilled Àllet of saithe with fricassée of artichoke and trufÁe.

Where to Eat

Q Esperante Fairmont Hotel, St Andrews 01334 837000, Wed–Sun 6.30–9.30pm.

The brilliantly lit, Hockneyesque mural of a sun-drenched vineyard Àlls one side of the bar of this opulent, top-end eaterie. The main seating area is out to impress: huge polished wine glasses, immaculate linen and large tables. The restaurant is aiming to build a reputation based on sound ingredients but with a southern European and international Áair to suit the cosmopolitan clientele of this Fairmont operation.

Q The Glass House Restaurant 80 North Street, St Andrews 01334 473673, Mon–Sun noon–10.30pm

What was once a Salvation Army hall is now a split-level, contemporary space with a regularly buzzing atmosphere. Locals come back for the evening specials which emphasise well-sourced seafood and venison, and the students enjoy keen pricing deals (£5.95 for a two-course lunch) and reliable Italian classics based on good ingredients.

Q The Golf Tavern 5 Links Road, Earlsferry 01333 330610, Mon–Thu noon–2.30pm, 6–9pm; Fri/ Sat noon–2.30pm, 6–9.30pm; Sun 12.30–3pm, 6–9pm.

Don’t be fooled by the Golf Tavern’s quaint village pub-like exterior, for beyond the bar lies a substantial restaurant serving quality food to rival any regular pub grub. It’s affectionately known as the ‘19th Hole’ by locals, given its proximity to the golf course. Diners can expect hearty cooking with portions to match while the Tavern also runs regular wine promotions.

Q The Haven Bar & Restaurant 1 Shore Street, Cellardyke 01333 310 574, haven-restaurant.

Mon–Sat noon–2.30pm, 5.30–8.30pm; Sun 12.30–3pm, 5.30–8.30pm.

Set on Cellardyke’s scenic harbour, you can imagine the Haven as a well-worn haunt of smugglers, sailors and Àshermen. While it still has the reassuringly comfortable air of an old-fashioned public house, the décor and dining options suggest a more gentriÀed target market. The upstairs bar and lounge is snug but comfortable, and the menu offers a similarly warming take on old pub food favourites and is equally conÀdent at sea or in the Àeld.

Q Honeypot Guest House and Tearoom 6 High Street South, Crail, Anstruther 01333 450935, Thu–Mon 10.30am–4pm

Within walking distance of Crail harbour, Honeypot is a friendly, informal tearoom that stretches breakfast into afternoon tea with a familiar lunch offering and chalkboard specials sandwiched in-between. While the rooms in the connected B&B grab the available sea views, the café is nonetheless fresh and bright with a smattering of tables alongside the open servery counter. Local butcher Penmans supplies the meat for rolls or plated breakfasts, while there’s a steady supply of home-made cakes and traybakes.

Q The Inn at Lathones Largoward, by St Andrews 01334 840494, Mon–Sun noon–9.30pm

This unassuming, white-walled inn is home to Scotland’s smallest music festival and the main dining room’s food is pretty glamorous too. Chef Richard Brackenbury changes his offering three times a year to follow the seasons. A tian of potted crab with lobster butter, crayÀsh tails and herb salad is a light contrast to the luxurious foie gras crème brûlée. Baked turbot with hand-dived scallops and leek and potato crumble is a comforting combo, as is the no-nonsense, mixed game steamed pudding on a slice of Stornoway black pudding.


I rediscovered kale when I returned to Fife some 20 years ago and feel it needs to be better recognised. Its available in most forms here: the ubiquitous curly, asparagus, red and the rich sounding cousin cavolo nero (which is, of course, simply black kale to you and me). It’s a year-round vegetable – I stir fry it cooking the stalks first and then throw in the colourful, crunchy shredded leaves at the end, as they take no time to cook. One variety not grown commercially in Fife is sea kale, although it is possible to find it growing wild. It’s cultivated successfully in Angus. It is high time an innovative Fife farmer stepped up to the mark and provided us with this wonderful vegetable in February! QChef, writer and consultant Christopher Trotter is co-author of The Whole Hog (2010).

The Fife Larder 37

Where to Eat

Rufflets Country House Hotel, by St Andrews

Q Kellie Kitchen Café

Q The Peat Inn

Kellie Castle, Pittenweem 0844 493 2184, Thu–Mon 10.30am–4.30pm. Jun–Aug open Mon–Sun.

Peat Inn, near St Andrews 01334 840206, Tue–Sat 12.30–1.30pm, 7–9pm. Closed Sun/Mon

For the last few years, Kellie Castle has been making a concerted effort to use as much of their organic garden produce in the café as possible. Heritage potatoes, apples and rhubarb all appear seasonally on the light lunch menu, and are sold in the Castle shop. A partnership with Balcaskie Estate minimises food miles while ensuring Kellie’s historic kitchen garden isn’t stripped bare – Kellie gardeners are helping restore Balcaskie grounds, getting growing space in return.

The Peat Inn simply exudes an air of calmness and competence. Decorated in muted shades of brown and cream, the dining area divides into several small spaces ensuring an intimate and uncluttered feel. Head chef Geoffrey Smeddle has held a Michelin star here since 2010, and offering lunch, tasting, à la carte and daily menus, this is highly accomplished cooking, drawing on classical French techniques and using quality local ingredients. A stunning amuse-bouche and selection of homemade breads sets the scene, while mains include pork cooked three ways and dressed with a sage and calvados sauce or a meltingly tender loin of venison cooked sous-vide.

Q Kingarroch at the Byre Abbey Street, St Andrews 01334 468720, Tue–Fri noon–3pm, 5–9pm; Fri/Sat noon–9pm. Closed Monday

Now run by Craigrothie’s popular Kingarroch Inn, the upstairs venue at the Byre plays host to music, theatre and literary gigs while the downstairs area is a welcome watering hole for performer and audience member alike. The sleek and airy space is divided into a bar area of comfortable black couches and a more formal dining area at the rear. The lunch, pre-theatre and à la carte menus have a slim selection but emphasise Àne Scottish ingredients from surrounding businesses.

Q Mitchell & Co 110 - 112 Market Street, St Andrews 01334 441396, Mon–Wed 9am–midnight, Thu–Sat 9–1am

A new arrival on the St Andrews scene from Glasgow bar, restaurant and club operator G1, Mitchells offers a very slick, contemporary and popular blend of upmarket deli and casual dining. In fact the deli part is less a shop and more a perching stop for a coffee, glass of wine and sharing platter; the main menu has breakfasts, brunches, sandwiches and a shortish list of hearty mains with pies and stews prominent, matched with a respectful list of Scottish suppliers. 38 The Fife Larder

Q Pittenweem Inn 42 Charles Street, Pittenweem 01333 311326, Thu/Fri noon–2.30pm, 6–9pm; Sat noon–2.30pm, 4–9pm; Sun noon– 2.30pm, 4–6pm

Set within a whitewashed detached villa, Pittenweem Inn’s change of owners in 2011 saw a comprehensive refurbishment has heralded a shift in emphasis with the kitchen now taking centre stage. Popular weekend high teas with home-made scones and cakes appear in the private dining room while the separate bar area matches artisan cheese plates with a well composed wine list. Well prepared and thoughtfully presented à la carte offerings include conÀt duck leg and haggis-Àlled chicken as well as a sprinkling of Àshy mains and comforting desserts.

Q Road Hole Restaurant Old Course Hotel Golf Resort & Spa, St Andrews 01334 474371, Tue–Sat 7–9.30pm

Now steered by impressive young head chef Ross Marshall, the eight-course tasting menu (with veggie option

Where to Eat

available) carries a commitment to local, seasonal ingredients – East Neuk crab tower with sorrel and cucumber is typical of spring starters. The open kitchen adds culinary theatre, and the St Andrews coastline views are sensational from Áoor to ceiling windows. For less formal dining, and lengthier opening hours, options include Sands Grill, specialising in seafood and steak, or traditional pub food at the Jigger Inn.

Q Rocca Bar and Grill Rusacks Hotel, The Links, St Andrews 01334 472549, Mon–Sun 6.30–9.30pm. Closed Sun in winter months

A classy and comfortable dining room, not to mention the view over the 18th green of the venerable Old Course, declare the sophistication of this champagne bar and restaurant. Scott Davies’ menu aims high both with pricing and intent, with dishes such as pigeon with a porcini ravioli or Scottish lamb with loin, belly and shoulder impressing. Downstairs the more relaxed One Under gastro pub offers a variety of simpler dishes, some with a local Áavour.

Q Rufflets Country House Hotel Strathkinness Low Road, St. Andrews 01334 472594, Mon–Thu noon–2.30pm, 5.30-6.30pm, 7–9.30pm; Fri/Sat noon–2.30pm, 7–9.30pm, Sun 12.30–2pm, 5.306.30pm, 7–9.30pm

The four-star RufÁets Country House Hotel has offered golf breaks, weddings and Àne dining since 1952. Twenty-four bedrooms, self-catering lodges, spacious gardens and dog-friendly grounds make RufÁets a favourite with locals and international visitors. Menus include a pre-theatre bar supper and two- and threecourse lunches and dinners in the terraced restaurant. The dining room embodies a romantic air with red and white striped walls, rose carpeting and white tables. Dishes have a colourful yet delicate presentation and the chef’s seafood creations won’t disappoint.

Q St Andrews Farmhouse Cheese Company Falside Farm, Anstruther 01333 312580, standrewscheese. Apr–Oct: Mon–Sat 9.30am–4.30pm; Sun 11am–4.30pm. Nov–Mar: Mon– Sat 10am–4pm; Sun 11am–4.30pm

The café on the Stewart family farm – where cheesemaker Jane sources milk from husband Robert’s herd of Holstein Friesian cows to make the St Andrews Farmhouse Cheese Company’s Anster cheese – has a great aspect to the south, looking down towards a panoramic view of Anstruther and the mouth of the Forth. Inside there’s a well-stocked deli corner and a viewing gallery where the public can watch the cheese being made, while the Àrm but delicately crumbly mild, mature and smoked versions are available to wrap up and take away or as a cheeseboard alongside oatcakes.

Q Sangster’s 51 High Street, Elie 01333 331001, Tue–Sat 7–8.30pm; Sun 12.30–1.30pm. Closed Mon. Winter: Closed Mon/Tue.

Michelin starred for four years now, Bruce Sangster runs a solo show in the kitchen while wife Jackie takes care of front of house. With just 26 covers in the front room of a terraced property the atmosphere is certainly not ostentatious; the food, however, is far from home cooking. Intense Áavours, technical dexterity and attention to detail are all here; meltingly tender Ross-shire scallop is served with a lentil and coriander dhal, while pork Àllet stuffed with black pudding comes as neat discs alongside pommes dauphinoise and red cabbage. Booking essential.

Q The Seafood Restaurant Bruce Embankment, St Andrews 01334 479475, theseafoodrestaurant. com Mon–Sat noon–2.30pm, 6.30–10pm; Sun 12.30–3pm, 6.30–10pm.

In a glass-walled building tailor-made for stunning views over the West Sands,


Working in St Andrews means I have some of the very best suppliers on my doorstep, and I never take that for granted. In my mind, the area surrounding the Old Course Hotel has some of the best seafood, much of it coming from East Neuk. Whether I am looking for hand caught scallops or a freshly caught crab, the East Neuk is my number one port of call. I particularly love fresh partridge when in season with which we can create a mouth-watering partridge, celeriac and chestnut main course, a favourite in the Road Hole Restaurant.” QRoss Marshall was chosen as the Young Scottish Chef of the Year Award at the Scotland Food & Drink Awards in 2011. He is Head Chef of the Road Hole Restaurant at the Old Course Hotel, St Andrews (see p.38).

The Fife Larder 39

Where to Eat

Harbour Café, Tayport

shake off the stuffy reputation Àne dining so often deserves. The menu has been stripped back to stark descriptions, with little indication of the provenance they pride themselves on – most seafood comes from local or Scottish waters. With mains like scallops with pork belly, cauliÁower tempura and apple, it may not push culinary boundaries, but don’t be deceived: this is top range stuff. Good value set menus make it more than a special occasion spot.

Husband and wife team Morag and Ian Hamilton have run the informal, respected Vine Leaf for 25 years. At the end of a close, just off the spine of St Andrews, Morag’s menu makes the most of the great local seafood and game. She also gives vegetarians more than customary choice, and more than usual imagination. Ian pays equal attention to the wine list: extensive research has resulted in six house wines and over 60 more bottles.

Q The Wee Chippy Q The Ship Inn The Toft, Elie 01333 330246, Mon–Sat noon–2.30pm, 6–9pm (Fri/Sat till 9.30pm); Sun 12.30–3pm, 6–9pm.

On a sunny day the Ship Inn is the focal point of Elie, when the original bar area with its open Àre and exposed beam ceiling is abandoned for the outdoor terrace with its bay views, barbecues and beach cricket. Top notch haddock and chips and seafood pie are staples on the menu, with chalkboard specials and crowd-pleasers such as hot smoked salmon tart with caper dressed leaves or light honeycomb cheesecake.

Q The Tailend 130 Market Street, St Andrews 01334 474070, Mon–Sun 11.30am–10pm [fish counter open: Mon–Sat 9am–5pm]

The Tailend is not your average chippy: the range of Àsh, from Fraserburgh langoustine to Smokies, can be grilled, battered or breaded, or bought from the wet Àsh counter to cook at home. Haddock and cod remain for those traditional Àsh suppers, while a specials board chalks up the day’s catch options. You will wait longer for your takeaway, but with good reason – all food is freshly fried to order in 100 per cent beef lard, making for outstanding chips.

Q The Vine Leaf Restaurant 131 South Street, St Andrews 01334 477497, vineleafstandrews. Tue–Sat 6–10pm. Closed Sun/Mon 40 The Fife Larder

4 Shore Street, Anstruther 01333 310106 Summer: Mon–Sat 11.30am–10pm; Sun noon–10pm Winter: Mon–Sat 11.30am–9pm; Sun noon–9pm

Opened in 2007 under its current ownership, the Wee Chippy hasn’t been afraid to challenge the mantle of its more famous neighbour, the Anstruther Fish Bar. Owner Charles Scott is a trained chef with signiÀcant restaurant experience, including a stint at Buckingham Palace, and his frying is worthy of Scotland’s most celebrated chippy town. The waiting list is long but the menu, comprising fresh Àsh sourced from the harbour in Anstruther and a selection of other battered chip shop favourites, is a hit with locals, as is the Bakehouse Café to the rear of the Wee Chippy.

HOWE OF FIFE & THE TAY COAST Q Cairnie Fruit Farm Cairnie House, by Cupar 01334 655610, Apr–Jun & Sep/Oct Mon–Sun 10am–4pm; Jul/Aug Mon–Sun 9.30am–4.30pm

Cairnie’s café-tearoom, which shares a large wooden building with a gift and produce shop, does a line in uncomplicated but tasty soups, stovies, Puddledub bacon rolls, baked potatoes, homebaking and own-berry smoothies, all at reasonable prices and well set up for families. See also entry on p.30.

Where to Eat

Q Elmwood Restaurant and Bar Elmwood Golf Course, Stratheden, by Cupar 01334 658782, Mon–Sun 8.30am–9pm

Elmwood College’s golf course provides a practical, working environment for students studying for a career in the golf business. The unelaborate clubhouse has two main rooms, one a bar-lounge, the other a slightly more formal restaurant, both of which offer bay-window views over parts of the course and the Hill of Tarvit beyond. A comprehensive range of food is available throughout the day, with café-bar-style offerings for breakfast, lunch and supper, or the Fairways restaurant menu with a bit more ambition including McSween’s haggis fritters, grilled salmon with pea risotto or a roast pumpkin and goat’s cheese tart.

Q Fisher & Donaldson Café Tearoom Ceres Road, Cupar 01334 652551, fisheranddonaldson. com Mon–Sat 8am–5pm; Sun 10am– 4.30pm

What used to be the MacKinnon (of Drambuie) family’s luxury car garage is now a large tearoom and shop, one long side dominated by a multicoloured array of F&D confectionery. Chocolates at one end – see the chocolatier making them – stovies and soup at the other, fudge doughnuts, steak pies and sticky buns to boggle the imagination in between. Behind the counter is where the baking happens, almost entirely still by hand.

Q Harbour Café Broad Street, Tayport 01382 553757 Mon–Sat 9.30am–4pm; Sun 11am– 4pm

With its big, bright corner windows, aquamarine blue and soft white colours, seaside photos and inclusive spirit, the Harbour Café is a thriving example of a community-run enterprise. Staffed mostly by volunteers and offering a venue

for local groups as diverse as mother and toddlers and a Café Science, it’s separated by a car park from the yachts in the harbour and the open Firth of Tay beyond. Lunches are uncomplicated and neatly assembled, with daily soup, a dish of the day such as stew, baked potatoes and various Àlled sandwiches. Either side of the lunchtime rush are opportunities for breakfast or tea and baking, with kids provided for and walkers and cyclists taking advantage of its proximity to the Coastal Path and the Fife Millennium Cycle Route.

Q Hatters & Co Hill of Tarvit Mansionhouse & Garden, Cupar 01337 840319, Apr–Oct: Thu–Mon 11am–5pm. Closed Tue/Wed

This newly opened tearoom is run by Stella Colleluori, a local chef with a particular belief in local, wild and seasonal food. Edwardian-themed to complement its setting at an early twentieth century NTS house, this means vintage tea sets, an antique gramophone and plenty of palm trees appropriate to its conservatory location. Seasonal dishes like spring lamb cobbler topped with wild garlic scone use home-grown produce, and there are imminent plans to bring the kitchen garden back into use.

Q The Kingarroch Inn 5 Main Street, Craigrothie 01334 828237, Tue–Fri noon–3pm, 5.30–9pm; Sat noon–9pm; Sun noon–9pm

A short drive from Cupar, the brothers Hughes have put a more contemporary spin on this rather nondescript-looking coaching inn dating from 1702. With Ian Hughes front of house and Paul in the kitchen, there is an attempt to feature more local produce like game and seafood. The lunch and dinner menus change fortnightly, with a mix of Scottish and more continentally inspired dishes. A new deck outside, overlooking a rushing burn, is the perfect sunny spot to nibble a light lunch.


Fife is home to some – thousands, in fact – of Scotland’s best-known local eaters. The Fife Diet was established in 2007 by Mike and Karen Small of Burntisland as a prompt to recognise and appreciate the food that’s all around us. Now the largest local food project in Europe, the project has 3000 members and is driving various schemes around Fife including community growing areas, kid’s clubs, plot to pot workshops, seasonal guides to eating local, an online recipe archive and celebrations of eating together with special annual events. Now backed by five years of hands-on experience of the issues involved in making local food available and sustainable, the Fife Diet has also become an important and respected voice in the development of the Scottish Government’s National Food Policy. Q

The Fife Larder 41

Where to Eat

Q Muddy Boots Seasons Café Muddy Boots Farm Shop, Balmalcolm 01337 831222 Mon–Sat 9am–4.30pm; Sun 10am– 4.30pm. Winter: Mon–Sat 10am– 4.30pm; Sun 10am–4pm

The Unicorn Inn, Kincardine

Muddy Boots has grown from a simple roadside tent selling soft fruit to one of Fife’s most popular destinations for family days out and sourcing locally grown produce. Its Seasons Café can certainly hold its own when it comes to good, wholesome food. With chunky pine tables and huge logs crackling in a central glass Àreplace, its menu offers a range of home baking, freshly made soups and seasonal specials – with many ingredients coming straight from the farm.

Q Ostlers Close 25 Bonnygate, Cupar 01334 655574, Tue–Fri 7–9.30pm; Sat 12.15–1.30pm, 7–9.30pm. Closed Sun/Mon

For more than 30 years, Jimmy and Amanda Graham have dedicated themselves to creating exuberant menus from whatever is local and best. When that demands raiding the family garden, their restaurant gets Àrst dibs. Dishes such as slow-cooked caramelised pork cheek, encircled by tender beetroot and Ànely chopped kale, or roe venison, roasted to a jewel-like ruby pink, with a deep, dark juniper game sauce and a sparkle of amber quince jelly, display the care and creativity that goes into the cooking here.

Q Pillars of Hercules Organic Farm Shop & Café Pillars of Hercules, Strathmiglo Road, Falkland 01337 857749, Mon–Sun 9am–6pm

The café adjoining the farm’s shop (see p.32), with seats inside and under a covered outdoor terrace, serves up a short menu intimately connected to the fertile surrounding acres. All organic and mostly veggie, there are soups, sandwiches, salads and a daily dish, along with hot drinks, great baking and good kids’ options. Once a month the ‘Restaurant at 42 The Fife Larder

the End of the World’ opens for dinner, with a set menu and live music.

Q The Tannochbrae Tearoom High Street, Auchtermuchty 01337 827447, Mon–Sat 10am–5pm; Sun noon–5pm. Closed Tue

On the quiet streets of Auchtermuchty, Neal Robertson’s tearoom deÀantly dances to an old-fashioned tune. Soup, corned-beef stovies, bacon rolls and baking from granny’s recipe book, all made from scratch on the premises, can’t be faulted as honest guid fare, though anyone used to hissing coffee machines and goats’ cheese panini will probably feel a little lost. Look out for references to the tearoom’s starring role in the Àlming of Dr Findlay’s Casebook, as well as Neal’s challenge for the World Porridgemaking Championships.

Q Thai Teak Muirhead of Pitcullo Farm, Dairsie, by Cupar 01334 870211, Mon–Sun 10am–5pm

When Sheila Dawson told her husband that she wanted to expand their import Thai furniture business with a neighbouring café she didn’t expect he would import the building as well. Fresh sandwiches, wraps and salad provide the backbone of this venue which is mainly open for lunch. There’s a daily offering of two home-made soups, a curry of the day and a wide selection of daily baked cakes and scones as well as home-made ice cream.

Q The View Restaurant Naughton Road, Wormit, Newport on Tay 01382 542287, Tue–Sat 10am–3pm, 6.30–9pm; Sun 11am–6pm. Closed Mon

Still a new addition to this little village, owner/head chef Steve Robertson has a solid history behind him at country house hotels and restaurants across Scotland. Now, he and his wife Karen have teamed up to offer starter-sized tasting

Where to Eat

plates from a menu of mostly Scottish ingredients, with plenty of international inÁuences: curried sweet potato fritters, slow cooked pork shoulder with hoisin sauce and naan bread, for example.

GLENROTHES, KIRKCALDY & SOUTH CENTRAL FIFE Q Blacketyside Farm Shop Tearoom Blacketyside Farm, Leven 01333 423034 Mon–Sat 9am–4.30pm. Closed Sun

There’s plenty of seating in the large, functional café that shares the custombuilt timber building with the farm shop at Blacketyside (see p.33), with more outside. The menu is mainstream rather than glamorous, but things are prepared on site and with conviction, whether it’s Àlled rolls for breakfasts, staple soups, conventional toasties, daily specials or ever-attractive home-baking, all at decidedly inexpensive prices.

Q The Orangery Balbirnie House Hotel, Balbirnie Park, by Glenrothes 01592 610066, Wed–Sat 7–9.30pm; Sun noon–2.30pm & 7–9.30pm. Closed Mon/Tue

The Orangerie Restaurant takes its name from the long south-facing room of the former mansion house of Balbirnie, with full length windows, trompe l’oeil mirrors and huge modern chandeliers. There is simplicity in the white napery and single candle, and the simplicity continues into the food which includes a chicken liver parfait, the hotel’s own hot smoked salmon and lamb served with rumbledethumps. There’s less formal dining in a bistro bar in the former cellars, a popular spot with locals.

Q Room with a View Forth View Hotel, Aberdour 01383 860402,

Wed–Sat noon–2pm, 6–8.30pm; Sun noon–2pm. Closed Mon/Tue

Nestled at the bottom of a steep, rocky slope in the pretty coastal village of Aberdour, the view in its title is certainly to the fore, with wide, high windows around two of the four walls offering a stunning beyond the village’s craggy Hawkcraig point. An innovative hamperstyle starter allows you to indulge in a handsome sampler of the starter menu; for mains, a trio of halibut with a butternut squash puree showcases Chef Tim Robson’s creative Áair with the best catches of the day.

Q The Wee Restaurant 17 Main Street, North Queensferry 01383 616263, Tue–Sun noon–2pm, 6.30–9pm

Tucked beneath the red legs of the imposing Forth Rail Bridge, the Wee Restaurant feels a particularly cosy retreat from the busy world beyond. Whitewashed walls, featuring good local artwork (for sale if you set your heart on a piece) and warmed by candlelight further help to unfurrow even the most stressed out brow, while contemplating the succinct but engaging menu. Owner/chef Craig Wood committed to local sourcing using the best of Scotland’s larder long before it became the thing to do – and this remains clear today.

DUNFERMLINE & WEST FIFE Q Biscuit Café Culross Pottery and Gallery, Sandhaven, Culross 01383 882050, Mon–Sun 10am–5pm

Set just off the scenic waterfront of the historic village of Culross the Biscuit Café is reached either through the touristattracting Pottery and Gallery or via a leafy patio seating area set into a series of allotments rising away from the building. There’s a homely freshness about this sturdy glass-roofed extension and the food reÁects a sense of enjoyment and


Reuben’s Café and Wine Store in Dunfermline has started producing its own beer. Named after the ancient family name of Robert the Bruce, whose grave lies a short walk from the café in Dunfermline Abbey, de Brus Dunfermline Pale Ale is the brainchild of Reuben’s owner David Austin. ‘We’ve done a bit of research,’ says Austin, ‘and discovered that, although Dunfermline hasn’t had a brewery in over a century, there used to be seven based in the town.’ The bottled ale – which will be sold in Reuben’s and eventually other venues nearby – isn’t actually brewed in the town, but it’s made to a recipe Austin believes reflects this local heritage. ‘It’s a pale, light ale, which is quite a modern thing,’ he says, ‘but we’ve incorporated classic elements of Scots brewing, for example the use of honey in our recipe.’

The Fife Larder 43

Where to Eat


local pride, from the array of scones handbaked daily by owner Niall Campbell to the home-made soups, while the sandwiches use Puddledub ham, summer vegetables and salad from Culross Palace gardens and brown sourdough from the Steamie Bakehouse.

When Fiona Houston and Xa Milne were researching for their 2008 foraging handbook Seaweed and Eat It, Fife’s Forth shoreline was a frequent hunting ground. The interest of chefs on subsequent foraging tours to the East Neuk opened their eyes further. ‘We realised all this kelp was an unbelievable natural resource,’ explains Houston. The pair set up The Sea-Spice Company, which collects, dries then mills single varieties of seaweed into packets of ‘sea-sons’ that can be used to give distinctive flavours to stews, soups, fish dishes, grills and – in the hands of some of the top chefs they’re now supplying – foams and even ice-creams. For now their raw material arrives for packing in Elie from different parts of the British Isles, but they hope to establish a Scottish supply as demand grows.

2 Canmore Street, Dunfermline 01383 733430, fabricdrinkanddine. Sun–Thu 10am–9pm; Fri/Sat 10am–10pm

placed under the heat include Àllets of red snapper or sea bass, a surf’n’turf of Denver-cut steak with scallops and a vegetarian ‘coated goat’ – goats’ cheese coated in breadcrumbs. ‘Home classics’ including macaroni cheese, Àsh and chips and chilli con carne are also available, also featuring locally sourced ingredients.

Q Fabric

44 The Fife Larder

Q Khushi’s 1 Canmore Street, Dunfermline 01383 737577, Mon–Sun noon–3pm, 5–10pm

Head chef Gary Noble has served his time in the kitchens of London, and this Àercely contemporary corner bar and restaurant is certainly aiming for big city style. Bright and airy during the day and stylishly bustling at night, the good quality food served stretches from cod and chips, burgers and steak to sea bass, Perthshire venison and a starter of scallops and Stornoway black pudding. Set-lunch and pre-theatre menus also help take the edge off the bill.

With close links to one of Edinburgh’s most admired Indian restaurant operations, Khushi’s has been on the dining landscape of Dunfermline’s town centre for nearly Àve years now. Decked out in sleek wood Áooring and leather banquettes, with Indian fabrics and ornaments adorning the place, it’s a suitably grand location in which to enjoy a range of Indian dishes and desserts, with particular emphasis placed on traditionally marinated meats. BYOB only (no charge).

Q Fresh Coffee Shop

Q Reuben’s

2/4 Kirkgate, Dunfermline 01383 626444 Mon–Sun 9am–5pm

10–12 New Row, Dunfermline 01383 739071, Mon–Thu 8.30am–6pm; Fri/Sat 8.30am–8pm; Sun 11.30am–4.30pm.

Set just a few metres off the High Street and on the edge of Pittencrieff Park, Fresh is a well-established and popular splitlevel daytime café offering breakfasts and lunches. Their regular service includes Àlled baked potatoes, paninis and wraps, while daily changing specials include chilli, curry and pasta dishes. They run music nights roughly every month and a call-ahead picnic collection service if you’d rather take a walk in the park.

Q Grill 48 48 East Port, Dunfermline 01383 720848, Mon–Sun noon–2pm, 5–9.30pm

After less than a year in business, sleek, modern diner Grill 48 has established a following for its hearty selection of grilled meals, including 28-day-matured steaks and burgers sourced from Henderson’s butchers in Glenrothes. Other dishes

See entry on p.35 and panel on p.43.

Q The Unicorn Inn 15 Excise Street, Kincardine 01259 739129, Tue–Sat 9am–4pm, 5.30–9pm; Sun 10.30am–5.30pm. Closed Mon

A 17th century coaching house which was also the birthplace of Kincardine’s most famous son, the chemist and physicist James Dewar (inventor of the Dewar – later Thermos – Áask), the Unicorn Inn has seen a substantial upgrade since them. Now a smart, friendly family-run restaurant, it serves substantial lunch and dinner menus to locals, tourists and visiting bigwigs from the nearby Longannet power station, and the food is deÀnitively Fife: rich, Áavoursome and with a heavy emphasis on meat and Àsh choices.

The Fife Diet

Fife’s Food & Drink Events

Q The Kingdom of Fife Beer Festival

Held at Rothes Halls in Glenrothes, the annual beer festival from the Fife branch of CAMRA (the Campaign for Real Ale) will see over forty real ales alongside continental beers, wine, cider and perry. Dates vary from year to year – 2012’s event, sponsored by the Deeside Brewery, is 10–12 May.

Q Crail Food Festival

Generally held in June, 2012’s event will open on Friday 15th. Saturday brings the ‘Taste of Fife’ sampling hall, with tastings and cooking demos (previously producers including Fletchers of Auchtermuchty and Your Piece have attended), followed by an evening meal. Sunday is an outdoor festival of food and music.

Q Big Tent Music Festival Q Fife Show

Held in July, Scotland’s biggest eco-festival stocks its One Planet Food Village with local, organic or artisan producers. The 2012 line up (21/22 July) includes the likes of Iain Spink’s Arbroath Smokies, Pillars of Hercules’ veggie and vegan sustenance, and, of course, Falkland Estate’s organic offerings from two Àelds away. The Village will also be staging cooking demos, talks, and Bread in Fife breadmaking classes (breadinÀ

Held annually in mid-May in Kinross, this traditional agricultural show has a food and cookery marquee with stalls and demos from local producers and chefs. Two-time Golden Spurtle champion Neal Robertson will be teaching perfect porridge techniques at 2012’s event on May 19, and a game fair broadens the scope.

Q Central and West Fife Show

Q Pittenweem Arts Festival

Held on the Àrst Saturday of June (in 2012, this falls on 2 June), this is an agricultural show for the whole community with events, competitions and an emphasis on good local food. There’ll be a hog roast from Puddledub Pork, a BBQ from Dalachy Beef and Lamb, and ice cream from Nelson’s of Culross. A Food and Fitness tent sponsored by Food from Fife will further Áy the Áag.

One of Fife’s most active Àshing harbours hosts an annual arts festival in late July and early August. The Festival Café Marquee provides sustenance, seats and a glass of wine, while several village residents open up their houses and gardens during the week for charity, offering homebaking, afternoon teas, and somewhere to rest before the next exhibition.


Christopher Trotter on the challenges of putting together a medieval feast for Dunfermline’s annual Bruce Festival Modern tastes are radically different from those of the Bruce’s time. We tend not to start a meal with something sweet, or eat the plate it is served on! But where we can recreate something from the fourteenth century successfully it’s in a large roast of meat – probably venison or wild boar, as Fife was known for that. I think that the medieval pottage has become our soup and we would have no difficulty upholding Scottish traditions there. We have in fact used bread ‘trenchers’ as plates and guests ate them afterwards (it saved on washing up). What I would try to do in future is to provide a variety of cakes and sweetmeats as well as the fruit that would have graced the king’s table. Q visitdunfermline. com/brucefestival

The Fife Larder 45

Farmers’ Markets

Fife Farmers’ Markets FIRST SATURDAY OF EACH MONTH St Andrews North Street Car Park, Argyle Street


SECOND SATURDAY OF EACH MONTH Dunfermline Glen Gates, Bridge Street

LAST SATURDAY OF EACH MONTH Kirkcaldy Town Square (in Dec: Sunday before Christmas)

All markets run 9am–1pm;

Found in Fife In addition to Fife farmers and producers, the following from outwith the region attend one, some or all of Fife’s farmers markets. Achray Farm Baking Arran’s Cheese Shop Cairn o’Mhor Fruit Wines East Pilmore Farm (vegetables) Gartmorn Farm Poultry Hilton Wild Boar Hudson’s Home Baking Iain Spink’s Original Smokies The Ochil Fudge Pantry Olives & Thingz Supernature (rape seed oil) The Wee Pie Company West Park Nursery (vegetables) 46 The Fife Larder

Fife Food Network Set up in 2010, the Fife Food Network aims to promote and develop the region’s food and drink by developing better connections between the food and drink businesses of Fife, and increasing awareness of them in Fife and beyond. The network brings together primary producers such as farmers, businesses such as bakers or fish processors, retail outlets including farmers’ markets, farm shops and delis, and the hospitality trade’s restaurants, hotels and cafés. The network sees benefits for all food and drink businesses in raising Fife’s food and drink profile, and intends to use the common interest of its members and supporters to develop strategic initiatives to improve supply, distribution, quality and communication. Further details, along with information on finding food to buy or places to eat in Fife, local recipes, historical background, food trails, events and the latest in local food news, can be found at


Index Adamson’s Bakery of Pittenweem 22 Achray Farm Bakery 46 Alex Mitchell Butchers 33 Allanhill Fruit Farm & Shop 10, 21, 26, 35 Andrew Keracher 26 Anster Cheese 12 Anstruther Fish Bar 35 The Anstruther Fish Shop 34 Ardross Farm & Shop 21, 23, 26 Arran’s Cheese Shop 46 B Jannettas 21, 26 Balaka Bangladeshi Restaurant 35 Balbirnie House Hotel see The Orangery Balgove Larder 21, 23, 26, 36 Balhelvie Farm 23 Bellfield Organics 21, 30 Bibi’s Bakery 22, 27 The Big Tent Festival 30, 45 Biscuit Café 43 Blacketyside Farm Shop 10, 21, 33, 43 Brackenbury, Richard 37 Bruce Festival 45 Butler and Company 27 Cairn o’Mhor Fruit Wines 46 Cairnie Fruit Farm 10, 21, 30, 40 The Canny Cook 23 The Cellar 36 Central and West Fife Show 45 Ceres Butchers 30 Cheynes Butcher & Deli 30 Chillilicious 21 Clentrie Farm 6 The Cocoa Tree 27, 36 Colin Nicholl Family Butchers 30 Craig Millar @ 16 West End 35, 36 Craigluscar Farm Highland Beef 23 Crail Food Festival 45 Culross Palace 15 Daftmill Distillery 23 Dairsie’s Pittormie Farm 15, 21, 32 Dalachy Beef and Lamb 22 Days Gone Bye 21 Divito’s Ice Cream 21, 34 Dobbies Farm Foodhall 35 The Doll’s House Restaurant 36 East Pier Smokehouse 8, 27 East Pilmore Farm 46 The Eden Brewery 23 Elie Deli 27 Elmwood College Farm 8 Elmwood Restaurant and Bar 41 Esperante 37 Fabric 44 Fairways Restaurant see Elmwood Restaurant and Bar Falkland Palace 15 Falkland Estate 23, 30, 45 Falside Farm 29, 39 Farmers’ Markets 21, 22, 46

Fife Coastal Path 10 Fife Coast and Countryside Trust 15 The Fife Diet 41, 45 Fife Cycleways 10 Fife Fruit Merchants 23 Fife Food Network 46 Fife Show 45 Fisher & Donaldson 22, 27, 31, 40, 41 Fletchers of Auchtermuchty 8, 23, 32 The Flying Flock 7 Forth View Hotel 33, 43 Fresh Coffee Shop 44 GH Barnett & Son 22, 28 G&J Wilson 27 The Game Cart 8, 23 Gartmorn Farm Poultry 46 The Glass House Restaurant 37 The Golf Tavern 37 Graham, Jimmy 23 Grill 48 44 The Guid Cheese Shop 28 HS Murray 33 Harbour Café 41 Hatters & Co. 41 Haven Bar & Restaurant 37 Hill of Tarvit 15 Hilton Wild Boar 46 Honeypot Guest House and Tearoom37 Hudson’s Home Baking 46 IJ Mellis Cheesemonger 28 Iain Spink’s Original Smokies 22, 46 The Inn at Lathones 37 JB Penman 28 Jamesfield Organic Centre 31 John Birrell & Son (The Orchard) 28 Kellie Castle 14 Kellie Kitchen Café 14, 37 Khushis 44 Kilduncan Eggs 23 Kingarroch at the Byre 38 The Kingarroch Inn 41 Kingdon of Fife Beer Festival 46 Knowehead Products 21, 31 Ladybank Butchers see Colin Nicoll Family Butchers La Petite Epicerie 29 Leuchars Butchers 31 Little Herb Farm 21, 28 The Lobster Store 19, 22, 29 Lochend Farm Shop 33 Loch Leven’s Larder 33 Luvians 21, 29, 31 Marshall, Ross 39 Millar, Craig 15, 35, 36 Minick of St Andrews 29 Mitchell & Co. 38 Mitchell, Steve see S Mitchell of Puddledub Mitchell, Tom 6, 7 Morton of Pitmilly 31 Mostly Wine 34 Muddy Boots Farm Shop & Seasons Café 10, 21, 32, 42

National Trust for Scotland 14 Nelson’s of Culross 21 Newburgh Orchards Group 15, 21 The Ochil Fudge Pantry 46 Old Course Hotel see Road Hole Restaurant 38, 39 Olives and Thingz 46 The Orangery, Balbirnie House Hotel 43 Ostlers Close 23, 42 The Peat Inn 38 La Petite Epicerie 29 Pillars of Hercules Organic Farm Shop & Café 10, 21, 29, 32, 42 Pittenweem Arts Festival 45 Pittenweem Inn 38 Pittormie Fruit Farm and Nursery 21, 32 Priorletham Farm 9 Puddledub 6, 7, 23, 34 Reediehill Farm see Fletchers of Auchtermuchty Reuben’s 35, 43, 44 Robb, James 8 Road Hole Restaurant 38, 39 Robson, Tim 33 Rocca Bar & Grill 39 Room with a View 33, 43 Ru an Fhodar 8, 22 Rufflets Country House 39 S Mitchell of Puddledub 6, 7, 23, 33, 34 St Andrews Ales Brewing Company 16, 23 St Andrews Farmhouse Cheese Company 12, 21, 29, 39 Sangster’s 25, 39 Scottish Fisheries Museum 19 The Seafood Restaurant St Andrews 39 The Sea-Spice Company 44 Seriously Good Venison from Fletchers of Auchternuchty 8, 23, 32 The Ship Inn 40 Smeddle, Geoffrey 22 Spencerfield Spirit Company 17, 23 Steamie Bakehouse 22 Stephens Bakers 22, 35 Stuart’s of Buckhaven 13, 22, 34 Supernature 46 The Tannochbrae Tearoom 42 Thai Teak 42 The Tailend 40 Trotter, Christopher 37 Trotter’s Independent Condiments 21 The Unicorn Inn 44 The Vine Leaf Restaurant 40 The View Restaurant 42 Watson’s of Leven 34 Wee Chippy 40 The Wee Pie Company 46 The Wee Restaurant 29, 43 Wemyss Malts 23 West Park Nursery 46 Wood, Craig 29, 43 Wren Cottage Preserves 21 Your Piece Baking Company 22 The Fife Larder 47



Fife is a region that prides itself on its food. With its fertile fields, productive gardens, heritage orchards and old fishing harbours, the food from Fife is diverse in range and high in quality. At the same time, more and more local businesses from delis to farm shops and local cafés to internationally renowned restaurants are making good food from Fife available to buy and eat. This fully revised and updated new edition of the Fife Larder includes: Q guides to sourcing the wide range of excellent local food in Fife Q the stories behind the people producing Fife’s finest food and drink: bakers, fishermen, farmers, fruit growers, brewers and others Q Fife’s leading chefs talking about the local food that inspires them Q listings of the best shops, markets and producers Q a guide to the best places to eat


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The Fife Larder 2nd Edition  

The Guide to Fife's Food and Drink

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