The Scottish summer, like a savoury snack in Scone Spy’s kitchen, doesn’t last long. So, when I awoke to a beautiful blue, cloudless sky recently, I decided to take full advantage.
On the recommendation of a colleague, I jumped in the car and set off for the picturesque fishing village of Crail.
Situated where the East Neuk of Fife juts furthest out into the North Sea, Crail is famed for its locally caught shellfish, which can be bought and eaten right on the harbour wall.
And due to its unique architecture, including many historic buildings, Crail draws in artists eager to capture its beauty on canvas.
Indeed, as I trot down the village’s cobbled streets, I can see the light glinting off little metal painters’ kits as around half a dozen artists prepare their tools in the bright summer light.
Layering the village’s twin passions of food and art together like jam and cream is the Crail Harbour Gallery & Tearoom, which is nestled in an ideal spot in a lane just off the harbour.
I might not know a lot about art, but as a connoisseur of cafes and cake shops, I like to think I can spot a collector’s item when I see one. The Crail Harbour Gallery & Tearoom is priceless.
The tearoom is very cosy, with low ceilings and thick walls giving a sense of history and tradition.
A very friendly member of staff greets me and asks if I would like to sit inside or out in the patio garden.
I am keen to soak up as much of this fleeting sunshine and so I opt to go outside.
I am glad I did. The sweeping views of the harbour and golden beach are incredible.
Basking in the sun, I decide to treat myself and so before sampling any scones, I order the Thai chicken and Indonesian chickpea soup. The soup is delicious, with chunky chickpeas and a nice kick of chilli.
It whets my appetite for what should be the star attraction of all café visits – the scone.
I am in two minds about which type I am in the mood for (plain, fruit or savoury) so I head inside to make a closer inspection of what’s on offer.
It also allows me the chance to check out some of the work by local artists that adorns the walls of the café and gallery.
While scoping out the scones I spy the café’s fine selection of cakes and shortbreads. It’s a dangerous place to be for someone of my gastronomic disposition. I hurry back to my table, past the other patrons, some with pet dogs sitting obediently by their sides.
I choose a fruit scone with butter and raspberry jam. It is one of those fantastic buttery numbers that carries enough heft to support the jam and butter without breaking apart on the plate.
I wash it down with a strong Americano coffee. Another hard day’s work for Scone Spy is complete and I take a moment to sit back and drink in the views.
Crail Harbour Gallery & Tearoom, Shoregate, Crail, Fife
Friendly and accommodating, happy to find us a space in the cosy setting. 9/10
One of the most scenic in Scotland, with views out across the North Sea. 10/10
Lovely buttery scones with fruit, plain and savoury options available. 8/10