The weekend of 15th-16th June 2013 in Crail is all about food – where to buy it, who makes it, sinful treats to sample and all manner of delectable delights to tantalise and satisfy, not to mention helping those taste buds move up a gear into overdrive. Crail Food Festival spills into the village during the weekend and undoubtedly brings people flooding in to soak up the foodie atmosphere. So, imagine my delight when I was asked if I’d blog about the 3 cafés in Crail: Julia’s Eatery, Art & GIfts, The Honeypot Guest House and Tearoom and Crail Harbour Gallery and Tearoom, looking in particular at their plans for Crail Food Festival. Who doesn’t love seeing what other people are up to and sampling cake! So, on a sunny Thursday in May, I set off for a lovely day of café visiting and wandering in Crail.
First stop was Julia’s Coffee Shop. I arrived just in time for the unveiling of the day’s scones, fresh and steamy from the oven. Lovely cheese ones, yum! Glad I didn’t have breakfast! Along with a lovely big cup of coffee and a comfy sofa, I settled down for a blether with John, who owns Julia’s. He filled me in on the coffee shop’s plans for the weekend which started with their inclusion in the Crail Food Trail.
The Crail Food Trail was conceived by Graham at the Honeypot – more on him later! – and has been designed to encourage people to spend a little longer in Crail discovering the foodie treats that lie hidden within the village. It is the perfect way to enjoy a leisurely lunch heading around the lovely wee village of Crail whilst seeing the sights and soaking up the atmosphere of the Food Festival. Each of the three cafés is offering a different food option to tempt you and, with the help of a wee hand sketched map, will help you to navigate around Crail’s eating places. (Copies of the map will be available from the Food Festival Market amongst other places.)
Julia’s are planning to offer a mackerel and beetroot pâté with Pittenweem oatcakes, all locally sourced. Add a perfect cup of coffee or a wee pot of Suki tea alongside it and of course, cake afterwards.
And, if that isn’t enough to tempt you, on Saturday night, Julia’s will be offering a special 2 course meal featuring such lovely things as a seafood platter and a fresh fruit pavlova. Yum!
After a quick browse around the local artworks displayed on the walls of Julia’s and an admiring glance at the painted cottages on each table, I took my leave and headed back along the road to the Honeypot, where yet another warm welcome awaited me. I’ve got to say this about Crail’s cafes – everyone is so friendly and chatty and welcoming. You can’t say that about certain chain coffee shops that will remain nameless. Support your local café, I say, for a true welcome and a warm, happy glow!
The Honeypot was buzzing with a group of local ladies who are obviously regulars, so I squeezed myself into a corner, ordered coffee and awaited Graham. Like a blast of fresh air, he arrived, sharing his enthusiasm for local produce, the Food Festival and the Crail Food Trail in a flurry of chat and greetings.
He is the brains behind the Food Trail and is receiving much local support for it. All great news! Understandably, he is keen for the Food Festival to introduce people to all that Crail has to offer, highlighting the wealth of great produce and enthusiastic people involved with it, not to mention encouraging Festival visitors to venture into the wider community to continue their foodie adventures.
The Honeypot, as part of the Trail will be offering a Seafood Chowder or a Veggie Chowder as its contribution. Nestling alongside Cream Teas with local strawberries, beer from Fife’s local breweries (yes, they are licensed) and a sunny, sheltered spot in the Honeypot’s tranquil garden, who could ask for a better place to enjoy the sun and pass a few relaxed hours dreaming of the next meal?! Keep your eye out for the Crail Food Festival t-shirts too as modelled by his staff during the weekend!
Up to the gunnels with coffee by this stage (never a bad thing!), a gentle wander towards the harbour saw me arrive at my final stop of the day: Crail Harbour Gallery and Tearoom. A traditional fishing cottage with bunting outside and plant pots propping open the door awaited me. A stone-paved floor, lovely balcony overlooking the sea and low beamed ceiling give the Tearoom plenty of character, and set the scene for a lunch-time visit. The Harbour Gallery were the talent behind the beautifully simple and artistically conceived Food Trail map – and the creativity flows throughout the gallery with its display of seaside themed gifts, paintings and trinkets.
Food-wise, the Crail Harbour Gallery and Tearoom are offering an East Neuk Dressed Crab. Just what you’d expect for a café so close to the harbour and a perfect treat! If it is anything as lovely as the sweet pickled herring that I devoured for lunch it will be one not to miss. With simple and tasty cakes on offer alongside stunning views of the sea, the Harbour Gallery is another place to add to the ‘to do list.’
Feeling full and enthused I headed back to the car. Without a doubt, the three cafés in Crail don’t fail to please. Whether you’d like a great coffee, some local seafood or a warm welcome, there is something for everyone. Plans for the Food Festival are exciting and, the enthusiasm is catching. Make sure you take time to wander the lanes of Crail and sample the treats available on the Food Trail. You’d be daft to miss it!
Find out more:
Julia’s Eatery Art & Gifts – follow Julia’s on Facebook
This article has been submitted to Crail Food Festival by Kathryn Baker, who has recently taken over as Manager at the Kellie Castle Café which was featured in our article last week. Kellie Castle is a National Trust Property, and well worth a visit when you’re in the East Neuk of Fife.They’re on Facebook too if you’d like to connect.