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Review: A food and drink adventure along the Fife Coastal Path

The Reuben sandwich at The Roasting Project.
The Reuben sandwich at The Roasting Project.

The Fife Coastal Path is bustling with towns and villages to visit. But for foodies, everything from hidden gems to well-known establishments lie along it.

The path begins in Kincardine in the Firth of Forth and end in Newburgh in the Firth of Tay.

While it can easily take days to meander up (or down) it, there is also more than enough time to make the most of it within a weekend.

Traveling from Aberdeen, my boyfriend and I decided to work our way from the bottom, up, meaning we had less time to travel home on Sunday.

Finishing up work early Friday evening, it look us just over two hours to make it to our first stop of our trip.

Inn at Charlestown and Silver Sands

It was dark by the time we arrived at the Inn at Charlestown which lies along the north shore of the Firth of Forth. After checking in we  headed straight for the restaurant to sample the fare.

I stuck with a theme of seafood opting for the most delicious prawn cocktail to start, which was followed by a large golden portion of battered haddock and fluffy chips.

The haddock and chips.

My partner’s breaded brie with caramelised red onion chutney oozed out across his plate, and his huge bowlful of carbonara with three slices of garlic bread for main meant there was absolutely no room for dessert.

The feature suite (number seven) had the most breathtaking view of the sea which made itself known in the morning, and I  was sure to make the most of the free standing bath in the middle of the contemporary room.

The suite at Inn at Charlestown.

We were up bright and early for a cooked breakfast and had a quick walk around the grounds before heading back through Limekilns towards Burntisland.

During our drive we spied a sign for Silver Sands at Cowdenbeath so pulled in to give our legs a stretch. A group of women were marching into the sea just as we arrived and I could only imagine how cold the water was. We walked along the blustery beach as they frolicked in the water and took a walk around to the lighthouse to admire the view.

Breakfast at the Inn at Charlestown.

Burntisland – The Links and The Roasting Project

Looking to warm up, we headed to The Roasting Project in Burntisland. We were a little early for our lunch reservation so took the opportunity to walk around The Links and then up the High Street.

From burger bars, to an Instagrammable ice cream parlour, not forgetting the fishmonger, fruit and veg store and zero-waste store, I couldn’t help but notice how many independent venues lined the street.

The Roasting Project, Burntisland.

The Roasting Project is a cafe with its very own roastery and the smell of coffee hits you immediately as you step inside. The serve brunch, lunch and have a range of specials to try, too. My boyfriend tried the Project X coffee while I opted for a hot chocolate.

The Reuben sourdough sandwich was screaming out to be ordered. It was packed with pastrami, emmental slices, Russian dressing and house sauerkraut topped with a pickle. It was packed to the brim and utterly delicious.

The Reuben sandwich.

My boyfriend’s bagel with chorizo, cheese, a poached egg, hot sauce and rocket was a special for the day and he really enjoyed it. The cafe was busy and had we not booked in advance, I’m not sure if we’d have got a table so it is well worth reserving a table just in case.

Mark Braid, one of the owners, showed us around the venue and gave us an insight into the roastery and his commercial coffee business. Not only does he supply his own venue, but numerous others, too.

The roastery inside the venue.

Kingsbarns Distillery

We had a whisky tasting at Kingsbarns booked shortly after so we nipped away for that after finishing.

Around an hours drive later we joined seven others on the tour which was initially focused on the history of the Fife distillery which opened in 2014.

Kingsbarns Distillery.

They currently run seven distillations every week within five days to make their whisky and the firm now exports to Germany, China and Spain.

Our tour guide Jenni then talked us through a tasting experience where we got to sample the toffee and vanilla flavours of the Lowland spirit.

I was driving so was presented with a drivers package, however my boyfriend commented on how lovely and light the Dream and Dram was and really enjoyed the Balcomie sherry cask expression.

Outside the distillery.

Rusacks St Andrews

Onwards to our last stop of the day, Rusacks St Andrews.

The hotel has recently undergone a huge renovation and while it doesn’t have parking, we took advantage of the free parking a five-minute walk from the hotel.

The room.

The staff couldn’t have been friendlier and talked us through everything in the room. We had a balcony in room 703 which was on the fourth floor and the views were breathtaking. We arrived as golfers were finishing up on St Andrews Links and were treated to a beautiful sunset.

Our room was decorated to the highest standard and boasted hues of emerald green and burnt orange throughout.

The Swilcan Swift tequila and gin cocktail.

We headed upstairs at 7.30pm for dinner in the rooftop restaurant, 18. We had a table that looked out over the sea, however with it being so dark it was our reflection that was the view for the evening.

I ordered a Swilcan Spritz with tequila, gin, orange liqueur, ginger and champagne to kick off the night while my other half opted for a St Andrews Brewing beer.

It was recommended we tried the homemade bread with cultured butter from The Edinburgh Butter Co which went down a treat – although we didn’t dare eat all six pieces that came in the basket in fear of spoiling our meal.

Scallop starter.

The scallop in its shell with smoked roe sounded too tempting to pass and my boyfriend indulged in the raw Black Isle beef with shimeji, wild rice and nasturtiums. Both starters looked incredible, were plated beautifully and tasted phenomenal.

The service at 18 was faultless. Our waiter looked after us, and all of the guests around us, so well, and was great in offering recommendations.

The mains consisted of a tomahawk steak and two sides.

We went all out for mains and ordered the 1kg tomahawk to share which came with steak butter, green peppercorn and bearnaise sauce. To accompany it we ordered the confit crispy potatoes and tenderstem broccoli with anchovy creme fraiche.

The steak was monstrous in size and the large bone the juicy meat had once been attached to was served alongside it.

The tomahawk steak.

Both sides were devoured, but we really savoured the potato.

Just when we thought we couldn’t stomach anything else, the dessert menu was presented. The table beside us, who had offered us some of their red wine, recommended we tried the manjari chocolate mousse with miso salted caramel, coco nubs and mango sorbet.

Chocolate mousse dessert.

It was a work of art and our waiter drizzled the salted caramel sauce all around it. There’s real skill behind these dishes and it is clear how focused and precise these chefs are when cooking and plating. The restaurant is also incredibly easy on the eyes and was packed for the night.

Breakfast was served in The Bridge.

We retired to bed shortly after with breakfast booked early for 8am the following morning at The Bridge on the ground level.

Breakfast involved buttermilk pancakes and avocado and poached eggs before we took a long walk along the West Sands. The weather was pretty horrid, but the walk helped clear our minds.

Buttermilk pancakes.

Tentsmuir and The Rhynd Cafe

Tentsmuir Nature Reserve was just a 20 minute drive from St Andrews so we headed there to see if the trees would provide shelter from the rain.

It was relentless, but we didn’t let it get in the way of bagging even more steps – although we did cut our walk short.

The Rhynd Cafe.

On our way back to Aberdeen, we stopped in past The Rhynd Cafe neat Tayport to fill our bellies one last time. It was a stone’s throw away from the reserve and the perfect place to warm up and dry off.

A stove was situated at the back of the converted steading and I was delighted we were seated right in front of it.

Julia Bryce enjoying a hot chocolate.

A cup of hot chocolate and coffee warmed us both up before our lunch arrived.

My boyfriend had opted for the Cajun chicken burger, adding cheese and bacon to it, while I went for a toasted coronation chicken sandwich. I couldn’t resist trying the “famous Rhynd flaky sausage roll” which was a thick gigantic version. I can understand why it is so highly regarded as it was excellent.

The coronation chicken toastie with the sausage roll and Cajun chicken burger in the background.

The food was hearty and homely and it was busy with lots of families and dogs.

On our way out we grabbed a few slices of Victoria sponge for the road and retired back to the north.

There are hundreds of places to visit up and down the Fife Coastal Path and there’s plenty to discover so it is well worth building your own weekend way and exploring the rich larder while indulging in nature.

Visit for more inspiration on places to visit.

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