Tearoom of the Week (8) Part One – Savoury

This week’s Tearoom of the Week involved a day out built around visiting this tearoom. There’s so much to relate that I’m splitting it into two posts: Part One – Savoury, and Part Two – Sweet. Like a good girl, I’m having my savouries first.

Last week I took my two most delightful assistants down to the seaside village of Pittenweem in Fife, in search of a chocolaterie cafe I’d heard tell of but never been to.

Inside, the cafe had a slightly run down, studenty feel to it, which reminded me of cafes I used to frequent during my student days in Edinburgh:

Not quite shabby chic but kind of grungy

As tempted as I was to dive right into some of the chocolate options, I was pretty hungry and decided on a bowl of hearty vegan bean soup to start with. All three of us had soup (different types) which was served in vintage china, with a little tower of lightly toasted Ciabatta slices on a side plate. This was my bean soup:

A meal in a vintage china bowl

There was a lot to look at in the room, from chocolate-themed pictures:

Framed chocolate adverts Lyon and Delespaul-Havez

To a colourful metal sculpture:

Metalwork as art

The deep windowsills were filled with numerous wooden puzzles, books and games that had been provided to keep the customers entertained:

Entertainments for the punters

There was a wooden puzzle on our table when we arrived, which we tried in vain to solve. The waitress, seeing our strife, took pity on us and exchanged it for an easier one, which we managed to fit together nicely:

A solution found, to the satisfaction of all concerned

Our soup had been quite filling, so rather than pile in some sweets straight away, we left the cafe for a stroll through the town with the intention of returning once we’d worked up an appetite.

Pittenweem is an interesting little place, with some unusual and attractive architecture, as well as a way-marked coastal path.

There were some beautiful sandstone buildings leading down quite steeply sloping streets to the sea:

Steeply sloping streets in Pittenweem

And buildings with doors below street level (in front of the yellow door is a stone step up to the street, although I admit it’s not all that obvious in the picture). The yellow paintwork against a whitewashed wall looked almost Mediterranean in the sunshine:

Yellow paint with white walls looks Mediterranean on a sunny day in Pittenweem

The Fife coastline is dotted with small harbours like the one in Pittenweem, and in fact this one is the most active of those around this section of the coast, known as the East Neuk of Fife.

Fishing is still quite a big thing in Pittenweem

When we visited it was all very quiet, apart from a couple of rowing boats full of enthusiastic and energetic sailors. We had seen them out at sea, battling against the waves and no doubt getting very wet in the process.  I wondered if they had picnics with them. If I’d been foolhardy enough to get into one of those boats I would at least have stashed lots of comforting supplies in my pockets first.

All quiet in the harbour but outside that the wind was blowing fairly ferociously

There were lots of interesting little bits of architecture near the harbour, including this very fancily shaped corner piece of wall:

Beautifully shaped bit of architecture

And this lovely building looking out to the harbour, with a stained glass window set next to the doorway, and the house name carved into the back of a bench seat outside:

Lovely building near the harbour with a stained glass window

On a street leading up from the harbour there was a wonderful wall which had apparently been built around a big lump of rock that was already there:

Lovely sandstone in Pittenweem

For a bit of exercise and in order to enjoy the sunshine and fire ourselves up for our sweets, we took a bracing stroll along the coastal path:

A shed sign marks the way

A breezy bracing walk along the coast

As we reached the shoreline we passed through the edge of a links golf course. This type of golf course is very typical in Scotland and no doubt extremely challenging for the golfers concerned, what with gusting winds off the sea:

The coastal path goes through the golf course at Pittenweem

On the shore there was a large chunk of concrete emblazoned with a patriotic message. These sorts of messages appear all over Scotland and I’m not entirely sure why, but I daresay they’re written by Scots who want to be released from the tyranny of their English neighbours. Personally speaking, I’m very fond of the English, not to mention the Welsh and the Irish, and I like being a part of Britain. If I took tea with Alex Salmond (leader of the Scottish National Party and staunch campaigner for Scottish independence) I think I’d keep him off that topic and stick to safe subjects such as the weather, where he was going for his holidays and whatnot.

Patriotic message to remind us of our neighbours

If you still have the stomach for a bit more of Pittenweem, and some photos of sweet stuff, you might like to have a look at Part Two of this long post, but I need to toddle off and write it first…

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Categories: Architecture, Fife, Photography, Scotland, Soup | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

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27 thoughts on “Tearoom of the Week (8) Part One – Savoury

  1. thesweetkitten

    It all looks so cosy and romantic!

  2. What a lovely place. Thanks for sharing the photos. Now I’m craving bean soup! Another one of my faves. Can I be your assistant?

    • I’m craving soup too, and in fact I happen to have some bean soup I made yesterday so I’m off to wolf it! I hope you can find some. I’m sure you’d be a wonderful assistant!

  3. I wish we weren’t so far away from Scotland! These little cafes look amazing, I’ll have to try harder to find some in Kent :)

    • Kent is quite a long way away, but England is so good for tearooms too, isn’t it? I’ve only been to Kent once years ago and don’t remember any cafes, but I would imagine there must be a few wonderful little gems.

  4. I’m always impressed by the design details you pick out! That beautifully decorated curve in the wall is so odd, yet definitely aesthetically pleasing at the same time. What a wonderful thing to sight on your tour.

    Look forward to reading on part 2-sweets!

  5. What a beautiful post – and what a beautiful day you had for your visit!

  6. It looks like such a beautiful little seaside town:) I MUST visit!!!!

  7. CAFelegi

    Reading through your blog, I wish I could visit!

  8. Your photos and description beautifully capture your day! I thoroughly enjoy reading of your adventures. =)

  9. What a charming place! I think this is my favorite so far.

  10. The food looks beautifully presented and very tempting. I’m looking forward to seeing the desserts, although I fear they may spark off another baking session!

  11. Yolanda Presant

    I always look forward to these wee trips! Can’t wait for summer!

  12. Thoroughly charming!

  13. Great photographs and superb post overall, Lorna! You might have noticed that I am catching up with your posts in reverse – my Mac broke down and was away for five weeks! The last time I was in Pittenweem there was a red lightship in the harbour! Is it still there?

    Cheers

    John

    • Thank you for all your comments John, I’m also playing catch-up now after a week away, it’s amazing how much happens in the blog world in a week! I don’t remember seeing the lightship but I may have missed it. I’ll have a look next time I’m there and let you know.

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