The Crusoe Hotel, Lower Largo, Fife

I don’t normally blog about the same place twice but OH and I had such a good lunch today, I’ve just got to let you know about it.

We had been thinking about places we could go for something to eat that wouldn’t be hard to park at or be stupid busy just because it’s Christmas Eve.  We eventually plumped for The Crusoe as it’s out of the way, has great scenery and we have never had a bad meal there before.

When we arrived in Lower Largo the river, which runs next to the car park of the hotel was almost overflowing on to the car park. The wind whipped my hair around my face as I clambered out the car and the waves were stunning as they crashed against the harbour walls. We ran inside to find it almost empty so getting a table was no touble. It looked like we had chosen well. 2015-12-24 13.55.48As we looked over the menus I also kept an eye on the boat outside, which looked ready to make it’s way on to the car park.

OH chose from the Christmas menu and had the Traditional Roast Turkey with Seasonal Trimmings. Whereas, I went for the day’s menu and had Braised Collar of Pork – buttered cavolo nero, pearl barley, root veg, haggis bon bon. (btw cavolo nero aka black kale ;))

2015-12-24 13.01.42My meal was superb. The pork fell to bits as soon as I cut into it. The barley had bite to it and the root veg were neatly diced up among it. The butter from the kale mixed well with the barley and although the kale was cold, I forgave this small issue as everything else was spot on. I often hate big lumps of meat as I get bored with it but this tasted great and was no effort to eat. In fact, I cleaned the plate and only realised afterwards that there had been string around the collar. Oops.

OH’s only complaint was that he would have enjoyed another slice of turkey on his plate as like me, he cleared his.2015-12-24 13.01.34 I asked him for more specifics but he only said he really enjoyed it. So I pressed – were the sprouts over cooked? No, they were good. What about the pigs-in-blankets? There was only 2 of them so that was fine as I’m not fond of them (heathen). He’s now mentioned the cranberry sauce was a good accompaniment to the turkey. Oh, and he now wants more roast potatoes but has pointed out he’s not complaining at all because ‘as I said I ENJOYED IT’.

2015-12-24 13.31.09OH went on to choose the Vanilla Creme Brulee with Warm Toffee Bananas and Ice cream from the Christmas menu. I wasn’t driving so I ordered another glass of Pinot Grigio ;p.

His dessert arrived looking fabulous. I managed however, to say no to the extra spoon that was politely offered. OH said he also enjoyed this but added, unprovoked, he particularly liked the crunch of the caramelised sugar, there was just the right amount of bananas so they weren’t sickly and the tang of the raspberry and orange slice cut nicely through the sweet toffee. I’m thinking puddings are his forte.

Before we left, I paid a visit to the ladies, which are in the restaurant (we were eating in the bar) and could see the waves almost hitting the windows there. The white froth looked great as it raced up the gap between the hotel and the house next door. It would have be thrilling to sit there (in the restaurant not the loo) sipping a malt whisky whilst waiting to see if the windows would hold up, if you were so inclined.

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1 main, 2 courses from the Christmas menu, a coke and 2 glasses of white wine = £33.60.

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Fisherman’s Tavern, Broughty Ferry

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The water front at Broughty Ferry

Trying to avoid the Christmas crowds OH and I headed for Broughty Ferry this weekend to wander aimlessly around the unique shops and boutiques. After visiting the Eduardo Alessandro Studios – one of my favourite galleries and various other little gift shops we headed to the Fisherman’s Tavern to see if they had a table for two going begging. Thankfully they did.

When you first enter the pub there’s the unmistakable smell of fish, which could be a tad off putting for some. However, once you’re in and see the menu it’s very much the case that you just have to order fish as the dishes sound so good. Not there is just fish on the menu there is all the usual pub grub as well a blackboard above the fire with the day’s specials.

The waiter pointed to the specials board and recommended the Arbroath Smokie Pie on it and also mentioned we couldn’t go wrong with the Battered Haddock.  Drink order made and coke and Festive Cask Ale received we then gave our food order.  OH went for the waiter’s choice of the Arbroath Smokie Pie and I chose the fisherman’s platter, also off the specials board. The platter being battered haddock, breaded scampi and panko coated squid rings with chips and salad. If you’re anything like me you’d also have asked what panko is. The answer is a Japanese crumb made from bread without crusts. And yes there is a difference. The squid rings were amazing. Not chewy but tasty and the crumb crunchier and far superior to the breadcrumbs on the scampi.IMAG6412

OH was jealous of my plateful and I was happy to tell him that he was right to be. It wasn’t greasy, the squid rings were lush and the haddock and batter simply melted in my mouth.

Unfortunately for OH (others wouldn’t mind at all) he felt his cholesterol would need checked after his fish pie just with sheer amount of cheese on top of it. He also highlighted he had double carbs – mash on top of the pie and chips when he’d have preferred a different vegetable to accompany his peas. However, all that said, he did enjoy iIMAG6409t as there was plenty smokey flavoured fish in it and a couple of bones just to prove it was indeed made with Arbroath Smokies.

In stark contrast to my last blog post, the service here was spot on. The food came without a lengthy wait and the waiter was attentive and friendly. In fact, the only thing wrong with the place was the Ladies. Actually, I should say Lady as there was only one cramped tiny toilet, which had been shoehorned into a corner next to the bar.

2 mains, a coke, 2 pints of Cask Ale and a malt of the month came to £31.