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Crail - a pretty, vibrant seaside village on the East Neuk of Fife coast A great place to visit - lots to do or just chill and enjoy the tranquillity......

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Crail Food Festival is back for its second year


p>Time does indeed fly. It’s hard to believe that a year has passed since the inaugural Crail Food Festival, where we basked in the sun and ate delicious, fresh, local produce. But what happened behind the scenes to make the event so successful, and what do the masters behind this ceremony have in store for us this year? I spoke to Susan McNaughton, so maybe lets get some food now, dont we ? :)

Disaster for Tourism!

The two administrators for the Visit Crail site received an intriguing email a week ago, from a lady in Australia whose family are planning a visit to Crail.  They’re already preparing for their trip, although the trip will not be until May 2015.

The reason for the trip? Ancestral research has led various members of a number of families to a particular event which happened back in 1765 – a disaster for those families who were involved as a shipwreck in the mouth of Crail Harbour led to the loss of 8 fishermen.  You can read about the family connections here.

The families who are planning to visit Crail are looking to contact anyone living in the village of Crail who might know of descendants of the families whose ancestors perished on that January night.

fishing boat disaster Crail 21 January 1765

  • Brown
  • Burn, Burns
  • Cunningham
  • Dewar
  • Keay, Key, Kay
  • Ramsay, Ramsey
  • Runciman
  • Taylor

The authors of the Visit Crail blog (holiday home owners Giselle and Susan) are happy to help in any way we can to facilitate connections with the families – as well as hopefully being able to provide accommodation for those who travel from afar to visit a place which was an important one in the families’ history.

This contact came just at the time when I (Susan) was planning a series of blog posts about Ancestral Tourism, having recently participated in the Tourism Intelligence Scotland’s training course held in St Andrews.  I’m planning to add some information in the days to come about the suggestions we made to the families who first contacted us.  In the meantime, please let us know if you can help trace any possible descendants of the families named above.

Ardross Farm aims to please yet again

Supporters of the event last year, Ardross Farm are back for a second year. Showcasing some of the best produce Fife has to offer, I caught up with Nikki from the Farm, who shared her thoughts on last year’s festival, while keeping us guessing about what would be on offer this year.

Why do you think the first ever Crail Food Festival was such a success?

I can think of two reasons; the people who organised it and the current buzz around local produce. A fantastic team of hard working enthusiasts really engaged with the community. Additionally, local food in the past few years has really taken off. People are now genuinely interested in buying local ingredients to cook with at home. The combination of a hard working team and a topic that people feel passionately about made the festival a success.

Why do you want to participate again this year?

We had a great day last year. We spoke to customers who visit us regularly and met lots of people who had never shopped with us before. As a result, our shop became busier than normal, as many new customers drove from the festival to visit us on their way home. The reason we started the shop was due to our frustration with the food chain; why did our carrots get taken down to the south of England to be cleaned, just to be driven back up to our local Co-op? The Crail Food Festival connects producers with the end customer resulting in minimal food miles, while delivering a better quality product to the customer.

What can we expect from Ardross Farm at the event this time round?

We haven’t quite decided yet, but rest assured it will be fresh, local and chosen especially for food lovers!

Did you benefit from being a participant in the festival last year?

Yes, we attracted new customers and new suppliers. Educating people about what is                 going on in our area regarding food is also fundamental to our business –  the people who visited last year were genuinely interested in us and what we are doing.

Do you think the festival has been successful in raising awareness of Fife produce?

I would definitely say so. It was lovely to see people coming into our shop after the event specifically looking for certain products that they had sampled at the festival

Successful Launch Night for 2012 Crail Food Festival

On Saturday 7th April around 100 resident and visitors applauded Crail Food Festival
Event Manager Graham Anderson of The Honeypot Guest House and Tearoom as
he announced the plans for the summer programme of Crail Food Festival 2012. The
Saturday night launch event was used to raise funds and was supported by 35 food
businesses operating within The Kingdom of Fife. Julien Poix of local Anstruther
delicatessen La Petite Epicerie prepared a tasting preview of some of the quality food
and drink that will feature in June and beers from Innis & Gunn and St Andrews
Brewing Company helped keep everyone in good spirits.

The summer event which will take place between 15th and 17th June is a follow up
to last years outstanding success which received over 2,000 visitors and generated a
£15,000 visitor spend. The three day programme starts on Friday evening 15th June
with some entertainment and will be followed with a Saturday Fife food producers
market, cookery demonstrations, tasting classes, kids competitions and bake off. A
traditional Scottish evening of music and food will be held on Saturday night with
a Fife supper prepared by local caterers and producers. Everything then moves to
the iconic setting of Crail harbour on Sunday for an afternoon extravaganza of food
tasting, music and fun for all the family.

This stuff is just... awesome!

No milk today – Crail Food History

While having a chat on Twitter about food supplies in Crail yesterday morning, this photograph was sent to our Crail Food Festival twitter account by Tom Orr (who goes by the Twitter name of @cyclingmollie). He supplied us with further detail that the milk “Proudly claimed to be from a Brucelosis and Tuberclin tested herd.  Unpasteurised, it tasted strongly of turnips in winter.”

Do you know anything of the history of the Ribbonfield Dairy, or the farmer D. Morris?

Tom also suggested that we read a book called “Footsteps in the Furrows” by Andrew Arbuckle.

When researching ideas for the 2012 Crail Food Festival by visiting the Berwick Food Festival in September, we saw an interesting exhibition there about their food history. Could this milk bottle be the beginning of a historical strand for our next event?  We’re on the look out for ideas and volunteers to put them into action. Can you help?

Calling all fans of the village of Crail

We’d be very glad to hear from you if you have something to share about the village of Crail – something which would be of interest to visitors to the village. Something which you enjoy doing while you’re in Crail, maybe, or a local business which you’ve received good service from.

This blog is for the benefit of visitors – but we do need more contributions to encourage visitors to visit at all times of the year, and not just when our summer Festivals are in full swing.

Try this guys haha.

The Unforgettable Taste of Success

Anybody who visited Crail on the weekend of the 17th-19th of June this year will no doubt know that the Crail Food Festival was a massive success. Organising something of this scale doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time, commitment and enthusiasm, all of which Finlay Kerr of the Caiplie Guest House has by the bucket load. I had a chat with him after the festival madness had died down.

What made you come up with the idea to start a food festival?

It was really a combination of things, a love of food, a love of events such as The Big Tent Festival and a desire to bring new and old visitors to our lovely town of Crail.

What challenges did you face in organising the Crail Food Festival?

We had big dreams and high standards so to achieve these from a standing start was hard. Our event at Crail Harbour on Sunday was particularly challenging to manage, but we did it. Sunday was so popular that we actually completely sold out of food. A victory for the Crail Food Festival and all of its wonderful producers!

What message do you think the Crail Food Festival sent out to the local community?

We’ve been successful in creating a strong brand in the name of local produce. We live in a great place that people love to visit, and where community values lie at the heart of what we do. With this sort of support in place, anything is possible.

Why do you think people should shop more locally?

There are so many reasons why people should shop locally. Not only is it better for your health, whilst supporting the local community, it’s also better for the planet. Local shops are so well resourced, but unfortunately if we don’t use them we run the risk of them disappearing.

What do you think made the festival so successful?

Lots of hard work and perseverance brought the festival to life. Our vision of people enjoying themselves at Crail Harbour in the presence of freshly caught lobster and hog roasting was realised. Seeing people fascinated as fish was smoked in front of their eyes, and smoothies were made by peddling on a bike was truly something to behold. We were also lucky to have such a number of skilled people work with us and bring their expertise to the event. And as if by magic the sun was shining!

What makes Fife produce so special?