A townhouse and two flats on Pittenweem’s historic harbour have been used as extremely successful holiday lets.
Maime’s Harbour View, the Hayloft and the Flour Loft are on East Shore, right on the waterfront in the historic East Neuk village. The former is a terraced townhouse and the latter are a pair of interconnecting apartments.
The properties have been in David Tod’s family for several generations. “It was originally a bakery for years and years but it closed in around 1971,” the 51-year old fisherman explains.
Following the bakery’s closure, David’s great aunt Maimie owned and lived in the townhouse for so long that the family has named the house in memory of her. A painted plaque outside the front door reads: “Maimie’s Harbour View.”
Its ground floor has a kitchen/utility room that could be converted into another bedroom or extra living space.
Two double bedrooms are also on the ground floor as well as a modern shower room. This was installed recently and has a walk-in shower with rainfall head.
On the first floor are the spacious living room and dining kitchen. These are the most show-stopping rooms in the house. Both have outstanding sea views and get plenty of light through their large, south-facing windows.
The modern kitchen has a dining area near the window. Eating breakfast here and watching the fishing boats return to the harbour with their morning’s catch must be a daily pleasure.
The house is filled with memories for David, who remembers it well from his childhood. “It’s funny thinking back,” he smiles. “Aunty Maime spent most of her time in one of the ground floor rooms at the back of the house.
“The upstairs living room was only used for special occasions. It’s the best room in the house and we were hardly ever in it.
“I remember Auntie Maimie being really annoyed when there was a shelter on the street outside that blocked her view. All she needed to do was sit upstairs and she’d have an amazing view but she was very stuck in her ways. She was quite a character.”
The upper level of the house has two large double bedrooms, both with en suite bathrooms in the eaves.
From this elevated level these enjoy the best views in the house, gazing over the harbour and out to sea. I could happily sit looking out of the window for the rest of the afternoon.
There’s more exploring to be done, however. I haven’t seen the other two properties yet. A doorway from East Shore leads to a private close with steps up to the two apartments.
Hayloft and Flour Loft
The Hayloft and the Flour Loft are both named after their purposes when the building was a bakery.
Although they’re laid out as two separate flats a door connects them and it would be easy to convert them into one large property.
The Flour Loft has a spacious open plan living/dining/kitchen on its entrance floor, along with an en suite double bedroom. Upstairs at attic level are two more double bedrooms, both with en suite bathrooms.
Meanwhile, the Hayloft also has an open plan living/dining/kitchen. A wrought iron spiral staircase winds up from the living area into the bedroom, which has an en suite bathroom with a walk-in shower and a bath placed beneath a skylight window.
Tucked back from the street, the Hayloft and the Flour Loft are both extremely tranquil, with none of the noise from the bustle of the busy street and harbour outside penetrating their thick stone walls.
Both flats have back doors that open into a rear porch with a polycarbonate roof. This leads out into a large garden that’s shared between the two apartments.
Garden with sea views
It’s already on an elevated level and slopes gently upwards so that when you reach the top you’re above the rooftops and can enjoy a view straight out to sea.
High stone walls and the surrounding buildings make the garden a suntrap. On the day I visit a stiff breeze is blowing down East Shore but sat at the picnic table in the garden it’s perfectly calm and I’m bathed in sunshine.
“It’s a great spot to sit and have a coffee in the morning,” David says.
All three properties have gas combi boilers making them efficient to heat. Most of them also have new bathrooms with luxury fittings such as walk-in shower enclosures and rainfall heads.
“We’ve invested quite a bit of the money they’ve made back into the properties,” David explains. “We did most of the bathrooms during lockdown when everything was shut and we couldn’t let them out.”
As well as the Hayloft, Flour Loft and Maime’s Harbour View, there are two large workshops that are packed with equipment from David’s fishing vessel and from his previous life as an engineer.
“We’re definitely holding onto one of these because we need it for our business,” David says. “The other one could be available by negotiation if a buyer wants it though. It could potentially be turned into a nice wee cottage.”
David’s great aunt Maime passed away in 2004 and for the past few years David, his partner Janice and his brother Andrew have operated the Pittenweem properties as very successful holiday lets.
It’s clear that David has a great fondness for all three Pittenweem properties. Throughout my tour he’s constantly reminiscing on how the layout has changed over the generations, with staircases being moved, room sizes changed, new doorways added, and all manner of other alterations.
However, the family have decided that now is the time to sell them on. “They’ve done very well but I’m 51 now and I have a busy job running a fishing boat,” David says.
“With holiday rentals there’s always something needing done so we’ve decided to put them on the market. The money will hopefully allow me to retire a few years early.”
Numbers 7, 8 and 9 East Shore, Pittenweem are on sale with Rettie. They are available as one lot for £895,000 or as two separate lots priced at £465,000 and £435,000 respectively.