It’s not that long ago since Graham Anderson, owner of The Honeypot Guest House & Tearoom in Crail shared an impromptu pint with a couple of local business owners and discussed the possibility of a wine festival in Crail. That idea was short lived, but sparked a previous memory from a visit he made to a seafood festival at the pretty harbour of Johnshaven in Aberdeenshire the late 90s.
So it was a pleasure to catch up with Graham and learn more about his vision, enthusiasm and sheer energy for this Community Festival which is already attracting national media attention, yet is made up solely from a team of local folk and business owners.
They are the people who will host Crail Food Festival 2013, a two day festival where visitors will be treated to the delicious taste of Fife. Add in some noteworthy local musicians who will toast an evening supper with some of Fife’s newest breweries, a Sunday harbour festival with music, its not difficult to see why up to 2,500 visitors are expected to converge on the historic Royal Burgh Of Crail on 15th and 16th June.
I was talking to Graham during the Easter break and doing it in a packed café. He kept leaving to clear another table or chat to a visitor. I didn’t mind though, we were in the sunny back garden and his wife’s scones are pretty special indeed.
So, 15th and 16th of June 2013 it is. What is actually happening at the festival? – Clearly a lot for such a small event as up to 50 local food related outlets are represented.
Saturday kicks off at the Crail Community Hall at 10.30am with an indoor producers’ market where visitors will have the opportunity to sample local produce from the varied stallholders: from smoked meats to local cheeses; the most delectable cold cut pies; chutneys and preserves – it’s really a feast for everyone. I like the fact that of some local farm shops and food outlets will be on hand with tasting platters to keep everyone grazing throughout the day.
A specially constructed cookery and tasting theatre also sounds brilliant, from Scottish Breakfast with a Twist to an Afternoon Whisky nosing and gin tasting. I really am looking forward to learning so much more about the wonderful produce the region has to offer. Fortunately there is a cash machine around the corner! If it’s a nice day food lovers can take a break from shopping and tasting to visit one of Crail’s featured food businesses who will be offering special dishes throughout the weekend. That’s all going to be explained on a Crail Food Trail map which is being drawn up by a local artist and will be handed out to visitors.
I sneaked a look at the pre-festival poster design which says that Saturday seemingly doesn’t stop till late. “What’s all that about?”, I ask. I’m told the indoor market space will be transformed for an evening of food, song & drink, starting at 19.00pm till late. “Later, With King Creosote and Friends” is a sort of musical feast, an enticing collection of eats and music including some of Fife’s newest brewers, a top class wine retailer and a hearty Fife supper prepared by local food businesses – a further great opportunity to celebrate fresh, local and seasonal produce. Around 120 tickets are expected to sell pretty quickly, though I’m told that some will be held back for weekend visitors to Crail: a thoughtful gesture. Menu details and the entertainment line-up are to be released early May via the web site along with ticket sales and outlet information.
It’s finishing late so a local Bed and Breakfast might be needed before I head down to that lovely little harbour on Sunday 16th June. I do hope the weather is kind for these guys, they’ve worked so hard, there will be a little lobster shack, local freshly dressed crab, smoked fish, butchers burgers, venison pies, mussels. Real hot chocolate, waffles, ice cream… it goes on and on and the setting is truly adorable, even on the chilly day I visited it would have been a great afternoon. It starts at 11.00am, enough time to equip the kids with buckets and spades for the beach treasure dig. Parents can join in too, seemingly there will be great prizes in the sand!
It should be quite an eye-catching event: from a convertible LandRover serving local delicacies to a bike that churns out smoothies, to a pizza oven in a horse box, street food is on sale! There is even a series of outdoor cookery demonstrations scheduled, food, fun, food.
It was inspirational visiting The Honeypot and meeting Graham and also to learn more about the wonderful produce available in Fife. I really understand how this Community Festival is capturing the imagination of local businesses and Fife producers.
Take one idea, one man, a community spirit and an amazing volunteer team that just want to say “ Welcome To Crail”, so that’s what’s happening at the 3rd Annual Crail Food Festival !
Submitted by Our guest blogger.
Ticket Sales and Information , From 1st May here on: www.www.crailfoodfest.co.uk
Honepot Guest House and Tearoom: http://www.honeypotcrail.co.uk/home