My trip to the East Neuk…
What a treat this was, a wee adventure in one of my favourite parts of the world. Whenever I arrive, I think ‘should I live here?’ The East Neuk is basically a string of gorgeous fishing villages along a stunning coastline, backing onto pretty countryside, where one of my oldest friends lives. The wonderful university town, St Andrews sits in the centre of it all and there is a train to Edinburgh!
I was very warmly welcomed to Madeira in Fife, a complex of delightful cottages, by owners Tara and Jamie Robertson, set in the grounds of their home, in a beautiful spot, about a mile outside Pittenweem.
The accommodation includes a terrace of one bedroom properties, all with their own little south facing patio and a three bedroom cottage.
There are more choices available through their sister business the excellent Elie Select, which includes larger properties, suitable for a crowd, as well as smaller, quirkier hideaways in beautiful Elie, perfect for a romantic break for a couple. I know that William and Kate were regulars at one of the properties when they were students at nearby St Andrews!
I arrived on a Sunday evening that happily coincided with a beer festival at nearby the Ovenstone Craft Brewery, so I was treated to delicious selection of beers, burgers and live music the moment I got there – perfect!
Monday, it poured with rain, but the inclement weather honestly made the ideal backdrop for a full day of coffee, cake and lunch with my friend, Miranda, with absolutely no pressure to get out and ‘explore’ or do anything dangerous or effortful.
Between meeting at the wonderful Pittenweem Chocolate Shop and lunch in St Andrews, we did stop off at the excellent fashion boutique, Sam By the Sea, in Elie. I was honestly planning to just do an Instagram post, but errr, quickly got carried away and instead, filled a bag with gorgeous clothes – oops – oh dear!
After a delicious lunch in St Andrews, we discovered new interiors gem Spoiled Life
We treated ourselves to one more coffee and an exquisite Hazelnut brownie, which we shared – honestly!
We both loved this shop, full of inspirational designer goodies, including prints by my long time favourites We Are Amused.
I had a lovely evening and a brilliant nights sleep back at Madeira. There is a bothy available for guests, with an adjoining kitchen, so if you come as a group and take the whole place a wonderful time would be had here by all here, I assure you!
They host weddings and put up a marquee in the magical walled garden.
This little known destination has been discovered by the Hairy Bikers by the way – they stayed for a week and filmed an episode here, so it won’t be ‘little known’ for long, so do get booking!
The next day I headed to Crail and went to visit the wonderful textile designer, Katie Ebben, creator of Tablet & Haar.
And I explored this amazing village –
The sea gets into every crevice…
It is full of artists, crafts people and galleries…
All in time for a return visit to Pittenweem Chocolate Shop to fuel up before heading home…
Thank you to Madeira in Fife who invited me to stay – I will definitely be back!