The Boudingait, Cupar

Another Saturday and another weekend oncall, which means I’m not allowed to leave Fife and have to be available to react to the ring of a phone. It’s an odd feeling because I always feel like I’m taking a huge chance when I order food – what happens if my phone rings before it comes? Often I will avoid going out just because it feels like I’m skiving. However, today I thought I’d take the risk and it paid off.

OH and I decided to go to Cupar and visit The Boudingait. It’s a relatively small place and was busy when we arrived but we managed to get a table without problem. There was a very mixed clientele – mostly in pairs but there were young and old couples, 2 older men together and at another table there were 2 older women who had the right idea – they had already demolished a bottle of white by the time we arrived and they had only just got their main meals.

Although the menu offered a variety of dishes it was the Artisan Wild Game Pies that caught our eye. The pub used to buy them fresh on a Saturday from the Farmer’s Market in Cupar but when they became more popular they started buying them direct from The Wee Pie Company in Glendoick.

OH went for the Baa Baa “Lamb is one of the most tastiest of meats, here it is lies beside caramelised onions & carrots, tossed in rosemary ~ simple ~ to allow the flavours of the meat shine through.”  Whilst I decided on the Venison Wallace “Chunks of wild venison & seasonal vegetables brought together with haggis: first seared & then casseroled in a redcurrant & red wine sauce to release & combine all of the flavours.” Both pies were served with served with chunky chips, homemade onion rings, vegetables and gravy. Incidentally the vegetables were carrots, broccoli and parsnips – none of which were frozen or over boiled and the gravy came in a little jug alongside.

2014-08-16 15.09.56When our identical dishes first arrived I felt a little let down as the pie was small and looked like I could have bought it from the bakers down the road but after cutting into it and seeing the large pieces of meat inside I was not as disappointed. Then, after tasting it, I was more than happy. It was delicious and with the added gravy soaking into the chips and pastry it became rich, tasty and surprisingly filling. We both cleared our plates and I reckon if OH had a slice of bread he would have wiped the plate clean enough to put it straight back in the cupboard without washing.

We were offered the dessert menu and told to think Pavlova but we decided against putting any more pounds on. Although I did notice that one item was Ginger Sponge Pudding topped with a syrup & ginger sauce, served hot with either CUSTARD, cream or vanilla ice cream. If you’ve read my blogs before you may remember Lusa (my cuz from the States) who had us searching Fife for someplace that offered pudding and custard. Anyway, I sent her a Snapchat of the menu but of course fussy pants replied that it sounded great apart from the ginger bit – typical! 😉

The waitresses were rushed off their feet but were consistently pleasant and cheerful, whether bantering with the locals or serving complete strangers. The toilets were bright, clean and airy although the hot tap was too hot and the cold water just a dribble but that’s a very small gripe.

Two Artisan Pies, 2 pints of lager and a diet coke = £33.60.

I’d definitely go back – especially as they do breakfast until 1pm at the weekends.

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Gourock and a house warming

OH and I were invited to a housing warming party in Greenock recently so we headed off in that direction with the plan of continuing through Greenock to Gourock to grab something to eat first.  It’s a lengthy drive to the west coast, which takes in a lot of motorway before it suddenly opens up to fair prettier countryside before spitting you out along the side of the Clyde. Beautiful views across the water on one side and not so pretty views of modern new builds jammed in tight between well built old stone houses on the other.

Greenock is a ship building port and one modern sight I was happy to see was Endeavour, a statue by Malcolm Robertson of a Cunard Liner cutting throw a bow wave in Port Glasgow. It’s an impressive structure and I wish we could have stopped so I could take my own photos but there is a cracking one here –> Statue

When we arrived in Gourock I contacted Hugs (who was hosting the housing warming) for advice on where to eat. He said that him and Beds (his gf) were just leaving for One Ashton Road as it has “nice views and decent grub.” By coincidence we had just past it so OH found a parking place and with a request to grab some seats for Hugs and Beds too we made our way indoors. There was seating outside and although it was possible to sit outdoors it was windy enough to ensure your peas would have been running off down the street.

The menu was exactly what you would expect from a Scottish pub lunch and was very reasonably priced. I had potato and leek soup to start followed by chargrilled chicken with salsa. OH had fishcakes then steak pie, Hugs had pate and then haddock and chips, Beds had the soup too and followed it with steak pie. That plus 3 pints a2014-08-09 15.12.47nd a large glass of Merlot came to less than £50. Told you it was reasonable! And the views were great too.

From there we walked along to Cafe Continental for a drink. The views looked even more stunning from there and if I ever find myself back in Gourock I’m definitely going to be booking a table in the window. Just a short walk from there we popped into Cleats where, what we lost in decor and views, we more than made up for in the price of the round, which was a heck of a lot cheaper.

Soon we had to head back to Hugs’s bit as Dua, Efe and Veda were about to show up to warm the house. Unsurprisingly I was already a bit giddy and looking like The Joker with my red wine smile. Dua wasn’t drinking and had brought alcohol free lager (what is that all about??) but Efe had brought the cutest little bottle of vodka in the world so she won. I think Veda was on bottles of ale and Hugs and Beds were on lemsips (vodka, lime and soda I think).

It turned out to be a great night. Hugs was a fantastic host and put on a splendid spread. You will notice there was no hedgehog but there was cheese and pickled onions on cocktail sticks so I didn’t complain.2014-08-09 20.43.50

It turned out not only could Hugs play the guitar but he could sing too AND write his own songs! I didn’t join in because he’s just new in his house and I didn’t want his neighbours phoning the RSPCA to come to the rescue of a trapped cat.

Usually at house parties you end up sleeping in a bag on the floor but not at Hugs house. Oh no, at Hugs you get an electric vibrating bed! Oh yes. You also get the offer of a full cooked breakfast in the morning. I was unable to partake of the full monty (don’t know why but my tummy was a bit odd) but I managed a piece slice (a square sausage sandwich to the uninitiated……………..Oh for goodness sake Google square sausage) Of course OH managed everything on offer and was a very happy chappy.

If I had been on Come Dine with Me it would have been an easy vote.

cdwm

This isn’t me btw

 

The Edinburgh Fringe: Monkey Poet and Christian Reilly

On the first Saturday of the Fringe Edinburgh may have been wet and grey but the atmosphere was jumping. B’niece, OH and I were getting soaked and soaking in the atmosphere of the Royal Mile whilst having flyers thrust into our hands every 2 feet. Everyone was super friendly and we were completely bemused by the different ways we were tempted into going to shows.

At one point a young guy dressed in a 3 piece suit with white gloves tapped B’niece on the shoulder and when she turned round he offered her a gold card on a tray which cordially invited her to see The Great Gatsby. He didn’t utter a word just bowed and walked off.  Brilliant!2014-08-04 10.42.28

Another highlight was seeing 5 minutes of Gamarjobat advertising their show Boxer. They were hilarious without saying a word and are now on my list of shows to see during August.

After wandering up and down the Royal Mile, watching the confident street entertainers and a quick look at the craft market we headed to Banshee Labyrinth to see Monkey Poet, a guy I’ve seen before and was keen to see again.

B’niece has never been to the Fringe before and to be fair she doesn’t really know me and OH all that well so when I told her we were going to see a guy doing poetry for an hour she nodded politely and said it sounded nice. Her face during his first poem (which has more swear words in the title than I have ever heard her say) was a picture. You know that moment when you’re listening to a man talking about masturbating and you’re sitting next to a relative half your age and you’re both not sure how it’s being taken? Well that.

Awkward!2014-08-04 18.31.41

I leaned over at one point and said, “You do realise you’re not allowed to tell your mum I took you here and please don’t call me auntie ever again.” She replied, “No we’re way past that now – this is a different level completely”. Thankfully she was smiling as she spoke.

Monkey Poet did not disappoint and if you could channel the energy and enthusiasm he puts into his show you could power a third world village for a year. Politics, religion, comedy and sex were all covered and there was even a poem for children. Well, there was a poem you could read to children if you didn’t want them to sleep ever again. The poem centred on a 3 scream pie and – actually I’m not going to tell you about it – go and see Monkey Poet for yourself – you will love the Gerard Butler lookalike, well you will if you don’t mind the *odd curse.

Next up was Christian Reilly – a bloke with a guitar wearing a straw cowboy hat getting “Lost in the Music” I saw him last year and wanted more. Again he made me laugh and yes, sometimes cringe but that really was just at the Placebo joke because it didn’t have anything in it ;p Christian is like a mash up of Stephen Lynch and Bill Bailey – extremely witty, great on the guitar and can mercilessly rip the pish out of news stories and celebrities. He mimics singers and their music perfectly and saves you a lot of money in the process – after all who needs to pay stupid prices to go see David Bowie, The Arctic Monkeys and Lady Gaga live when you can see them all for free in the shape of Christian Reilly? Yes it’s another recommendation – go see him – you’ll thank me for sure!2014-08-04 18.28.41

When we came out the venue B’niece was smiling from ear to ear and loved the show. I’m thinking that she maybe sees us in a different light now – hopefully a more awesome, cool light rather than a dingy , seedy red light mostly seen in heavily curtained windows!

If you’ve never been to the festival before you need to pay it a visit – there is definitely something for everyone and every pocket. Both Monkey Poet and Christian Reilly were free shows (there’s a bucket on the way out for you to show your appreciation) but if you want to spend some money you can find out about all the shows and buy tickets here —www.edfringe.com/

 

 

*swearing every 17 seconds.

La Garrigue, Edinburgh


2014-08-02 13.30.34 At short notice my niece (now to be known as B’niece), decided to join OH and I on a trip to Edinburgh to soak up the atmosphere of the Fringe. The weather was rotten but we had come well prepared with hats and macs ’n’ sacs.

Lunch had been pre-booked in the French restaurant La Garrigue   as I had thought places may have been busy or booked up as it was the first Saturday of the month long festival. This didn’t seem to be the case so maybe we could have popped in on the off chance but by reserving our seats it meant the French waiter seated us with a great view of Calton Hill.

Especially for August they had ‘Le Menu du Festival’ which invited us to have 2 courses for £14.50 or 3 for £17. We were also told the soup of the day was pea, potato and bean and the fish was coley.

Whilst OH and B’niece studied the food menu I chose a bottle of Syrah, Domaine Condamine Bertrand, 2012 from the wine list. B’niece had said she liked Shiraz so I thought it was a safe pick. When it arrived it turned out to be a great choice and served at exactly the right temperature.

Back to the food though and OH chose Globe artichoke, peas, walnut and Roquetfort salad, I couldn’t resist the sound of the soup and B’niece opted for the Seasonal melon with Bayonne ham, which looked fantastic when it arrived.2014-08-02 13.13.53 OH enjoyed his salad and raved about the creaminess of the Roquetfort although he did mention that he’d have preferred a flat plate instead of the bowl, which became awkward at the end (he made it sound like a bad date – he wanted more but the curves made it tricky to get to what he wanted ;p)

For my main meal I had Fricassee of chicken Basquaise with peppers, 2014-08-02 13.33.39which came with mashed potato.  I’m not a big fan of meat on the bone (no I am not making this sound like a bad date too!)  but this didn’t throw up the usual messy, screechy problems and I had no complaints. B’Niece chose Onion tart with Provencal vegetables and pesto dressing. 2014-08-02 13.33.27
You could tell it was homemade and the vegetables turned out to be 3 different peppers and courgettes. B’niece said she’d never have thought about having an onion tart before but now would order it again. OH went for Toulouse Sausage with apple, grapes and potato persillade. 2014-08-02 13.33.34OH loved the appley sausages with plenty of meat in them – he was surprised to find the grapes hot but said it worked really well with the dish.

Although we could have followed on with a choice of desserts – floating island with ice cream, crème caramel with summer berries, apple tart and honey ice cream or a French cheese selection it was a joint decision to finish the wine and head off to see how many leaflets we could pick up on the Royal Mile.

The bill arrived and 3 x 2 courses and a bottle of wine = £68.

I’d definitely recommend La Garrigue – good food, lovely ambiance and just off the Royal Mile with none of the hustle and bustle of the normally touristy city centre. It has to be said we all enjoyed a lovely meal without feeling rushed, squashed or harassed.

p.s.  OH wants me to say you should pop into the Urbane Art gallery next door as he loved it and was made very welcome.

p.p.s. Following on from a quick straw poll on Twitter I’ve made this 1 of 2 shorter posts rather than 1 long one so look out for what we then went on to see at the Fringe.