Thursday, 2 July 2009

the best meal in Scotland... and Scottish wine

Well, I'm back from holiday - 2 weeks amidst the most stunning scenery by Loch Tay in Perthshire, and the East Neuk coastline in Fife. Scotland is such a gem, it really is. Andy Murray's not bad, either. ;-)

And there are some real food highlights, too. If you wander (well, ok then - if you drive) along the East Neuk coast, you'll come to the pretty little fishing village of Anstruther.

It looks something like this...


Anstruther bay view


... and this...

Anstruther boats


And in amongst the shops on the shoreline, you'll find this:


Anstruther fish bar


You might not be able to make out the wording on the white sign on the left there, but it says "Winner. Fish and Chip Shop of the Year, 2008-09, United Kingdom". Yes, really. The UK's best fish and chips in this wee little corner of Scotland.

So it had to be done, didn't it?


fish and chips


And, oh my, they were VERY GOOD indeed. The fish was haddock - a unique type which is found only off the coast here, and which is smaller, sweeter, and altogether more succulent than other haddock fished and served up elsewhere in the UK. The batter was so light, it was almost tempura-like. Fantastic. The Other Diner and I agreed - this really was The Best Fish and Chips Ever. And we've had a few.

What's even better is that you can wash it all down with some wine. Scottish wine. Yes, you read that right:

Scottish wine

It's one of those other Scottish gems. Little known, but certainly worth knowing. The oak leaf wine bears a passing resemblance to retsina, but is more, well, winey, and less piney.

All in all, a damn fine meal on a gorgeous day (see, it doesn't always rain in Scotland; and the temperature that day was about 25C), in a beautiful part of the world.

So where will you be going on your holiday next year, hmm???

For the avoidance of doubt, the Scottish Tourist Board are not paying me to write this. Although I'm open to offers. ;-)

27 comments:

Manggy said...

Ah, okay, I loved how they had to really convince you on the menu that wine is made in Scotland :) Somehow I fear dining in Scotland mainly because of that stupid Little Britain sketch where David Walliams plays the lute in between course suggestions. But the fish and chips looks fab, so I've changed me mind :)

No holidays for me! :(

The Curious Cat said...

Is that the one Tom Hanks likes to go to? I recognise it! Is it near St Andrews? I love your photography - are you self taught? Tis brill!

♥Rosie♥ said...

What a lovely holiday you've had in bonnie Scotland!! Oh my word those fish & chips look amazing I am drooling :09 Oh and as for Andy Murray now I have to agree with you there too ;0)

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Oh, it looks enchanting! Have a lovely time!

Wendy said...

That looks like a cracking fish supper!

Sam said...

I wish I was there right now, it looks like a beautiful place. I would love to try the best fish and chips too!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

I'd love to visit Scotland! Nice pictures! It seems you had a great time there...

cheers,

Rosa

Nicisme said...

I haven't been to Scotland in years, thanks for sharing your photos - glad you had a great time!

toni said...

It's been years and years since I've been in Scotland, and my memories of it certainly don't include any meals. And I certainly don't remember wines! But fish and chips definitely formed a basic part of our diet - and these look great!

Kevin said...

That fish n chips certainly looks good!

Johanna said...

25 degrees! that's a scorcher in Scotland - perfect weather for fish and chippies - gorgeous photos - I want to be there!

Cynthia said...

Your post makes me want to go to Scotland.

Bellini Valli said...

My dad woud drive 10's of miles for some good fish and chips when we were kids:D I'm glad you enjoyed your holiday. Scotland truly is a gem:D

Pia K said...

Gosh, I love Scotland, my home away from home, this do sound like one of the best holidays one can have! And the pretty pictures, lovely.

Oh if they served battered mushrooms and chips, the thought makes be salivate. A bit. Just a bit.

Indigo said...

Ohmygosh you've got me craving fish and chips something fierce now! Considering I've only just had breakfast... in retrospect, my fresh fruit is less exciting (but maybe healthier than a plate of chips), haha. Your photos all look beautiful, by the way!

Helen said...

That fish and chips does look good. The batter on this fish looks incredible. Oh, how I love Scotland. So beautiful. And the light! I love the light. I had no idea about the wine though, very interesting. Who would have thought they would have the climate?

The Caked Crusader said...

AGGGGHHHHH! WHy did I look at this post so close to lunch time? Those fish and chips look fab!

Annemarie said...

must visit scotland must visit scotland must visit scotland must visit scotland.

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Curious Cat - yes, it is. Very near. And yes, self taught. The camera does the work, I just hold it.

Susan - certainly had a lovely time

Wendy - it was, it was. Albeit we had it at lunchtime...

Rosa - if you've never been, go!

toni - I once spent a year working in St Andrews. I ate nothing but fish and chips the entire time...

Cynthia - I'd certainly encourage you

Bellini Valli - what a superstar dad!

Pia - battered mushrooms not on the menu. Sorry...

Indigo - thank you

Helen - quite! Not what you'd expect to find there, for sure. And it really was very drinkable.

Caked Crusader - hee hee

Annemarie - yes, you must. Yes, you must

Mediterranean kiwi said...

i could die for some of that fish and chips (hold the wine though)

Jacqueline said...

I cannot believe I missed this post! And I cannot believe you did not come and visit me while you were here in Scotland. Right beside me too!

I have added a link at the end of my Elie Chain Walk Post. How perfect that you have a photo of the very chips I was describing!

Margaret said...

We love Scotland and found all of our meals were delicious.
Haven't had fish and chips for ages but those look very tempting....

Foodycat said...

Why didn't I have anything that good when I was on holiday in Scotland? Not fair!

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curlywurlyfi said...

Hear hear! We were here on Sunday. Weather not as nice as on your trip but my word, the haddock was sublime. Scrunchy non-greasy batter, excellent chips! We didn't have the Scottish oak leaf wine but my dad is fond of it (in fact he first tried it here).