A Fishy Weekend in Fife

Mini-me and Teeny Him decided to spend some time with the old foggies this weekend. The pair of them haven’t been well recently and were looking for some TLC. So to try and fatten them up and keeping it simple, MM, TH and myself visited Home Farm View on the outskirts of Kirkcaldy. However, we never call it that as we usually say it’s Chapel View or Hungry Horse due it it’s previous incarnations. It is now a Greene King Inn so as you would expect with a chain it’s a very samey menu, which caters for a wide range and is geared up for families. We went there solely because it has a play area for Teeny Him to play in.

Sat in the play area (£1 extra) we ordered a child’s macaroni cheese with chips, garlic bread and rainbow vegetables, an adults macaroni with garlic bread and green leaves and I went for the seafood mixed grill, which was grilled cod loin, salmon and seabass fillet with butterfly king prawns.

TH ate his macaroni as soon as it appeared and managed a couple of chips before deciding the chute was more enticing. To be fair his plate looked better than his mum’s who struggled through half of it before giving up. I enjoyed my mixed seafood grill although the only way of knowing what white fish was what was that the seabass still had it’s skin on. Unfortunately, it wasn’t crispy. The prawns however, made the plate a winner as they were fat, lovely and juicy. It also had roasted Mediterranean vegetables and fries with their skins on, which I loved.

Considering the price and that it was a stress free meal with a toddler it got big ticks.

2 adult mains, 1 children’s meal, 3 juices and a play area = £30.89

The following day was bright and breezy but with a threat of snow flurries hanging over it. We therefore thought a trip along the coast so we could watch the big waves crashing was in order. This time we swapped TH for OH who has also been suffering with the lurgy recently.

We had been to The Bank in Anstruther before and knew it had stunning sea views so we thought we would take MM there to try and put a smile on her face and to get more calories in to her.

MM ordered a hot chocolate with marshmallows when we arrived and I went for a large white wine. OH, the driver, had a coke. We were also able to watch the huge waves crashing as we pondered the menus.

The options were either from the lunch menu 1 course £7.50, 2 £10.75, 3 £14.50 or the a la carte. OH and I went a la carte and MM went for the lunch menu.

MM had battered fish, peas, homemade slaw, salad garnish and swapped the chips for mashed potatoes. OH had Wild Scottish Venison Haunch Steak, pan roasted with a red wine and rosemary sauce, root vegetables and carrot and potato mash and I decided to have Crispy skin seabass fillets Thai spiced vegetables & sesame egg noodles.

My seabass was beautiful and this time it had the crispy skin I was looking for. The Thai vegetables were nice and crunchy and my only complaint was that there could have been a tad more lime to cut through some of the oils. MM wasn’t keen on her mash after looking forward to white mash (like her mum makes) instead of the yellow stuff on her plate, which she insisted was Smash until I explained different kinds of potatoes tasted and looked different. She did manage to eat all her fish though, which after a weekend of Miss Picky saying cheese tasted too cheesey and garlic bread was too garlicky I was relieved. OH said his venison was a little bland as he thought it would taste more gamey. I thought it looked a little rare and it was a bit chewy but he insists it was good and it was his cold that made it taste bland because he loved the presentation and tastes. He also finished MM’s mash so it was good to see his appetite back too.

We looked at the dessert menu and OH decided on Baked orange panna cotta with dark chocolate shavings lemon shortbread rounds, MM didn’t fancy anything and I ordered another glass of sauvignon blanc but a small one this time.

You might notice that the pana cotta arrived with no dark chocolate shavings. We did ask and were told that some things change on the menu and that’s how the dish arrives now. This was disappointing as one of the reasons OH ordered it was for the dark chocolate and orange taste. He then struggled to find much orange in it as it all ended up on one spoonful, which left nothing for the rest of the dessert so really it should have been described as pana cotta full stop.

Overall the it was a lovely meal and being able to watch Hibs beat St Mirren in the bar next door added to the fabulous afternoon.

A hot chocolate, 1 large, 1 small white wine, 1 coke, 3 mains and 1 dessert = £54.85

Coffee Bothy, Deanston Distillery Visitor Centre, Doune

For Christmas I bought OH 12 different miniature whiskies, which I presented to him in a toolbox instead of a girly hamper (just in case you want to steal the idea). The majority of them he had not had before although I did put in a few favourites. From the dozen wee bottles he decided he liked the 12 year old Deanston best. Since it’s not a whisky you find easily in supermarkets we decided we would take a trip to Doune so OH could buy an adult size bottle for himself.

We parked next to the River Teith and walked along to the visitor centre, shop and Coffee Bothy. The woman who served us was really helpful and explained the difference between the Virgin Oak and the 12 year old. OH got to taste a couple of drams so he could see the difference. He plumped for a bottle of Deanston Virgin Oak, which is finished in a barrel that has never been used before compared to the 12 year old, which is aged in ex-bourbon barrels.

Happy with his purchase we decided to go for something to eat in the Coffee Bothy just next to the shop. The tables and chairs were made from large chunks of reclaimed wood, which could have been floorboards or beams. The walls were adorned with whisky facts and pieces of history. There was also a blackboard with the days specials. 2 soups – chicken and rice or potato and leek soup. There was also 2 wraps – one was cajun chicken and the other black pudding and cranberry.

As we took our seats we were given menus, which listed other sandwiches, burgers, mac n cheese and loads of sweet stuff. We decided on sandwiches and added a mug of potato and leek soup. I had bacon, brie and cranberry on toasted brown bread. OH had spicy chicken and avocado on toasted white.

The soup arrived with croutons and even although it was in a mug it was more than enough. Large lumps of potato and plenty leeks made it a filling accompaniment. My sandwiches were thick and tasty. However, the last one only had bacon on it so it could have been slightly better evened out. I realise now I must have swapped the wrong with OH because when he tasted mine he said he could feel it furring up his arteries. His was more messy to eat as the avocado oozed out and I had to lick all around the sides like I was eating an ice-cream slider. We were both happy with our choices though and didn’t want to swap another.

The sandwiches came with crisps and dressed salad and was a very satisfying plate of food with a good mix of tastes and textures.

I could hear others nearby ordering apple pie and there was a cabinet full of beautiful looking sweet delights but our soup and sandwiches completely satiated us so even OH had no room for dessert.

Drinks were a soda water and lime and OH had a cortado (espresso with hot milk) so the entire meal came to £23.94.

Incidentally, they also do tours – check out the website for more details