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:
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:
There was a lot to look at in the room, from chocolate-themed pictures:
To a colourful metal sculpture:
The deep windowsills were filled with numerous wooden puzzles, books and games that had been provided to keep the customers entertained:
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:
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:
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:
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.
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.
There were lots of interesting little bits of architecture near the harbour, including this very fancily shaped corner piece of wall:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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.
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…