February news

Winter is definitely waning with the appearance of snowdrops, daffies pushing up through the soil together with the little red buds of rhubarb.  The RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch counted bumper numbers of tree sparrows and yellow hammers, along with usual suspects – blackbirds, robins, blue, great and coal tits, dunnocks etc etc.  But the best thing for me about doing the count is that I am forced to sit and enjoy what’s outside my window. 

February is ‘marmalade month’ and it’s good to be back into the annual routine of stocking the cupboard once again with home made goodies.  

A couple of days ago I went over to see the 30m tall Kelpies at Falkirk.  As many of you will know, one of our rooms is called Kelpie – did the idea for the sculpture come from us?   The works of art created by Andy Scott represent the iconic Clydesdale heavy horses that were integral to the industry and economy of the area, pulling ploughs, barges, wagons and coal ships. 

The next exhibition at the V&A Dundee opens on Saturday, 5 March – Michael Clark, Cosmic Dancer https://www.vam.ac.uk/dundee/exhibitions/michael-clark-cosmic-dancer .   Never feel disinclined to explore these changing exhibitions because there is always something for everyone.  This exhibition promises to be an immersive experience exploring dance, design, art, fashion and music. It is the first major exhibition on Michael Clark and is curated and organised by Barbican, London.  It’s sure to be excellent. 

There are various nearby gardens to enjoy snowdrops which are now at their best.  The nearest is Cambo Gardens  https://www.cambogardens.org.uk/visit/snowdrop-walks/ .  Or admire snowdrops by candlelight at Teasses Estate   https://www.teasses.com/gardens/workshops/  .

The days are definitely lengthening so there’s now more time to enjoy the beautiful countryside and coastline of Fife so before the end of the month, why not take advantage of our special offer for a three night stay. 

Autumn Winter news

As I write, my current guests are braving storm Arwen as they reminisce about student life in St Andrews.  It’s lovely to have guests continuing to visit and our afternoon tea in front of the woodburning stove is proving popular as the darker evenings have drawn in. 

There’s still plenty of opportunity for autumn walks either along the coastal path or at Tentsmuir Forest https://forestryandland.gov.scot/visit/tentsmuir

The next Bowhouse market is on 11 & 12 December.  Marketed as “a food hub for businesses to collaborate and call home” with a focus on local producers, you’re sure to find something delicious. https://www.bowhousefife.com/

The Byre Theatre has a good selection of events coming up including its annual panto Jack and the Beanstalk running from 2-31 December, or the Met Opera Eurydice on 7 December.  See https://byretheatre.com/upcoming/   for a full schedule. 

If the weather isn’t conducive to an outdoor expedition, The Scottish Fisheries Museum in Anstruther is always worth a visit.  Winter opening hours are Wednesday-Sunday inclusive, 10am-4pm and don’t forget to stop off for a bowl of homemade soup or hot drink in their café.  https://www.scotfishmuseum.org/ 

Top up those calories that you’ve burnt on a bracing walk at a favourite eatery for locals and visitors alike for anything chocolate at The Cocoa Tree Café in Pittenweem.  https://pittenweemchocolate.co.uk/

There are a number of nearby events on a Christmas theme.   Balgove Larder are running Christmas Weath Making Classes on 4 & 11 December https://www.balgove.com/pages/christmas-night-market and The Rhynd at Leuchars are holding a Christmas Fair on 3-5 December – see their facebook page for details.    

Teasses Estate at Ceres are also holding a Christmas Market 4 December and Sustainable Weath Workshop on 11 December.  https://www.teasses.com/gardens/workshops/

The University of St Andrews Wardlaw Museum has an exhibition entitled Dive in! Protecting our ocean. Running until 30 January.  Free entry but with a timed ticketing system in place.  https://museums-of-the-university-st-andrews.arttickets.org.uk/wardlaw-museum/2021-06-26-wardlaw-museum

And finally, Alexander McCall Smith is holding ‘live-in-person’ evening on 7 December at Hope Park and Martyrs Church in St Andrews – booking required. 

This is just a small sample of the variety of things going on around the area during December.  And of course, if you want to treat someone special to a gift voucher for a stay at Troustrie, give us a call and we can personalise the details. 

Current special offers:

November, December – stay for three nights and receive 10% discount

January, February – stay for three nights for the special rate of:

     £260  :   Kelpie twin room

     £290  :   Shellycoat fourposter double room

Check out our on-line calendar for availability and we look forward to seeing you soon. 

Suddenly it’s August!

As soon as lockdown eased, it’s been full steam ahead and the sunny East Neuk is buzzing with UK visitors from as near as the other end of Fife or as far away as London.  It’s wonderful that they’re discovering how beautiful Britain, and in particular Fife, can be or reminded of how much it has to offer from blue flag beaches to long distance footpaths, National Nature Reserves to world class exhibitions, historic castles to fine dining. 

Our rewilding project is in full flush just now; the trees and hedging are in full leaf and the oaks in particular look beautiful.  Billowing clouds of cow parsley are shoulder high in places and tall grasses threaten to engulf the mown path.  But there’s a reminder that the season is moving on as the rowan and elder berries are turning red, sloes are forming (can’t wait to be able to make our very own sloe gin) and the hazels are visible.  We’re now waiting for a decision on a funding application to NatureScot to enable us to excavate a large pond with wetland area in one corner of the site that already regularly floods and to create one acre of wildflower meadow.  These would be exciting additions which will greatly increase both plant and wildlife biodiversity.  Fingers crossed.  

This year has seen lots of the regular highlights on the calendar being cancelled.   One in particular has been the Pittenweem Arts Festival  however, there is still wonderful local art to be found at the Festival’s gallery, ART@47 which is hosting a series of mixed exhibitions, in a safe and welcoming environment.   https://www.pittenweemartsfestival.co.uk/

Our popular Crail Putting Green is once again open for the summer, daily from 2-6 pm – just look for the pale green hut with the pink bunting on St Andrews Road.  

Or of course if you want a full 18 holes of golf, Crail Golfing Society has two beautiful links courses which welcome visitors.  https://crailgolfingsociety.co.uk/golf

The National Nature Reserve, The Isle of May, also continues to welcome visitors – booking is via Anstruther Pleasure Cruises https://www.isleofmayferry.com/times.php

You can enjoy seeing puffins and arctic terns (watch your head!) enjoy cliff top pathways and learn about the island’s history.  See the Island’s blog for up-to-date info on what’s been happening.   https://isleofmaynnr.wordpress.com/

And if you’ve become a convert to outdoor swimming over the pandemic, the Pittenweem tidal swimming pool has been spruced up and is proving very popular – apparently it’s best to swim from the two hours after high tide until two hours before the next high tide.  I cannot vouch for the temperature of the water! 

The Troustrie diary for August and into September still has a few dates available so check the on-line calendar or give us a call if you’ve any queries.  At present we’re continuing to let only one room at any one time so everyone can feel safe. 

I hope you continue to enjoy this beautiful summer and to perhaps see you at some point in the future.  

Snap up a bargain break

Since Troustrie introduced its minimum two-night stay and added extra covid secure measures, inevitably it has resulted in a few single night gaps in our diary so we’re now offering the following dates at a super special rate of £85 for either room, based on two people sharing.   So don’t miss out on a couple of unexpected days in the East Neuk.  Or perhaps join them together for an even bigger bargain! 

Wednesday, 2 June – twin room

Thursday, 3 June – fourposter double room

Saturday, 19 June – twin room

Sunday, 20 June – fourposter double room

Monday, 26 July – twin room

Thursday, 29 July – twin room