Get away from it all in style at Elie Cottage
Elie Cottage is a luxury seaside holiday cottage by the award-winning Elie beach in the picturesque East Neuk of Fife. The best in Elie self catering, the cottage is popular with families and foodies all year round. There is plenty to do on the doorstep but it's perfect for lazy days doing not much at all.
Elie Cottage is an ideal base for families and foodies
Over 150 years old, the cottage has recently been renovated to an extremely high standard. With 4 bedrooms the cottage sleeps 8-10 over two floors. Contemporary open plan living opens fully onto the sunny, safe and secluded back garden, which leads directly down to the beach. Watersports, golf and tennis are all on hand, and for food lovers there are a number of award-winning restaurants within a short drive. Elie is only 15 minutes from the Royal Burgh of St Andrews and 45 minutes from Scotland's capital Edinburgh.
Although it’s only a mile and a half long, you can easily double the pleasure by re-tracing your steps at the end. The Chain Walk forms a side-loop to the tranquil, 90-mile Fife Coastal Path. The fun chained section – a kind of British via ferrata – hugs the sea from Elie village, careering round the cliffs of Kincraig Point to Shell Bay. Head for the beach below Elie then walk south-west to a sign telling you to take care. The glinting steel chain fixed to the cliffs signals the start of your scramble.
Together with footholds, a series of eight fixed chains 10 to 50 feet long provide something to cling to as you slither up, down, along and over alarming rocks while waves crash in from the Firth of Forth. Children aged nine and over can tackle this breathtaking route, which defies being termed a mere “walk”. This is adventure. Stay away near high tide.
The area around Elie is full of amazing restaurants and eateries. This is hardly surprising. The East Neuk of Fife, after all, gives access to some of the finest and freshest seafood in the British Isles.
Fife Fine Food
However, the area is also host to amazing, locally sourced produce. As well as bountiful coasts, the inland areas of Fife provide lush, fertile ground for local farmers and growers to produce delicious food that will delight any palate.
Ardross Farm Shop
Ardross Farm Shop, providing a massive range of top-quality produce, believes in traditional farming techniques. Many modern farms, rushing to maximise every single part of their operation, have turned to intensive farming techniques, leaving tradition and the old ways of cultivation behind.
Ardross has stuck with tradition and, understatement incoming; it has paid off in a big way. They recently received the prestigious ‘Retailer of the Year’ from the Farm Shop & Deli Awards. Held annually at the NEC in Birmingham, Ardross Farm Shop beat nearly 300 other entrants to claim the top prize. Judged by acclaimed chefs and restaurateurs, including Michelin starred chef Tom Aikens, the award is recognition that Ardross Farm Shop is something very special indeed.
With their cattle feeding only from verdant pastures or from vegetables grown on the farm, it is little wonder that Ardross beef has attained a superior reputation. The brilliant, friendly staff then hangs their beef for three weeks, on the bone, before making mouth-watering sausages, mince, burgers, prime cuts for steak, stew, roasts or cuts for any other recipe you can dream up.
As well as rearing gold-standard cattle, Ardross Farm also grows more than 40 varieties of seasonal vegetables on site. At Ardross Farm Shop, there is no forced or accelerated growing – just the bets produce grown as nature intended. The staff handpicks vegetables every morning, placing them straight into the shop. As Ardross say themselves, ‘No weed killer, no pesticides and delicious.’
In addition to their on-site made jams, beef cuts, seasonal vegetables and pies, Ardross also stocks a wonderful roster of artisanal products – sourced locally and nationally. This means rare breed pork and bacon; gorgeous, dark venison; free-range chickens and eggs; British-made wines and beers; rich puddings and luxurious ice creams; handmade chocolates and jams and preserves, to name just a few of the eye-popping goodies available.
The only drawback to Ardross is having to hold back from spending the whole holiday budget in one fell swoop on their amazing, near-irresistible range of foods.
Cairnie Fruit Farm
When most people think of Scottish cuisine, their mind undoubtedly jumps to highland raised cattle, salmon and other such fodder. Whilst these are mouth-watering and important parts of the Scottish national menu, the amazing farmland and clement summertime conditions are also perfect for growing succulent fruits.
Cairnie Fruity Farm – a 25-minute drive from Elie in picturesque Cupar has 45 acres of juicy, delicious fruits ripe for the picking. Also available pre-picked, visitors are welcome to make their way amongst the rows of raspberries, strawberries, gooseberries, brambles, cherries and black currants. Fruit does not come much fresher than when picked by your own hand. Recipients of a Countryside Alliance Award for Best Rural Enterprise and one of two finalists in 2013 for Best farm Destination, Cairnie Fruit Farm provides amazing quality produce and draws rave reviews.
When the picking is over and everyone has tired feet, there is a tearoom on site offering cake (eat in or take away) and refreshments. What’s more, there is a play area for the kids and, depending on the time of year, an impressive maize maze.
Whatever the attraction, there are few things better than a desert made from locally sourced, handpicked fruits.
Fife Farmers’ Market
Few things fire the appetite like a seemingly endless array of fresh meat, veg, cheeses and cakes laid out before you. The Fife Farmers’ Market offers just this. Roving between St Andrews, Dunfermline, Cupar and Kirkcaldy, Fife Farmers’ Market gathers the finest producers of a range of different foods – from the savoury to the sweet and everywhere in-between – and puts them all in one place.
Attracting specialist and traditional producers, Fife Farmers Market can rightly lay claim to bringing some of the finest food in Scotland directly to the people. For anyone looking to cook delicious self-catered food with local foods, then Fife Farmers’ Market is their nirvana.
Balhelvie Farm, for example, brings their Aberdeen Angus Beef to tempt the taste buds. Add to this game pies from The Wee Pie Company; fresh ice cream from Nelson’s of Culross; Arbroath smoked fish; Arran Cheese; freshly baked bread and cakes; fudge from The Ochil Fudge Pantry, and any other food, preserve, meat or foodstuff imaginable.
Fife Farmers’ Market runs on a rotating schedule, moving from town to town from June to December of each year, providing food that even the finest eateries would find it hard to match.
Whilst it is always good to sample cuisine from one of the many fine local eateries, the area around Elie is so rich with top-quality, farm-fresh foods that to not take advantage is to miss one of the biggest attractions of the area.
Indulging in local goods – from the best, locally reared beef to fresh fruit and veg (with much else besides), allows you to get a real taste of what the area has to offer.
Tags: aberdeen angus beef, ardross farm shop, cairnie fruit farm, elie eateries, fife farmers market, fife food outlets, fine foods, local produce in fife, organic food fife, pick your own fruit fife, where to find fine foods in fife