Ardross Farm Shop – Elie, Scotland

Hi, Readers.  Thanks for popping in!

To piggy-back on my recent post about Elie, Scotland, today I want to make mention of a splendid farm shop located about a mile outside of the village, right off of A917.  It was so splendid, in fact, that we made the hour and ten minute journey from Edinburgh two additional times!

Ardross Farm Shop.

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When Mr. C and I travel, our basic routine is to eat the majority of lunches out, as we often spend our days driving and exploring.  We prefer to cook breakfasts and dinners in (one of many reasons we always rent a home rather than stay in a hotel).  Truthfully, it’s Mr. C who does most (okay, all) of the cooking, although I’m pretty good at drinking wine and cheering him along.  We enjoy dining at home when we travel for a few reasons.

1.  Obviously, it saves money.

2.  Slow, relaxed mornings followed by a day of adventuring, capped off with a late romantic supper at home is pretty much my perfect day.

3.  Because of our epicurean tendencies, it’s always fun to shop like a local and cook and prepare meals with high quality locally grown meats and produce.

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Plus, it’s just plain fun to browse the store shelves for things you can’t get at home.

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And it’s educational.  U.S. friends, did you know that rocket is arugula, a courgette is a zucchini, and that cos lettuce is Romaine?  I know, mind blown.  Just kidding.

It isn’t an exaggeration to say that the foods we have eaten from Ardross are some of the best that Mr. C and I have ever put to our lips.  According to their website, the Farm Shop grows over forty varieties of seasonal vegetables, picked fresh each morning.  And boy can you tell!

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Their quality traditionally reared beef comes right from their own herd.

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Mr. C inspecting the meat case.

In addition to meats and produce, Ardross offers a wide selection of locally and nationally produced artisan products, “free range eggs, rare breed bacon and local pork, world renowned venison, organic lamb and mutton, wild border game, delicious free range chickens, ready meals, British wines and beers, handmade chocolates, luxury jams and marmalades, divine puddings and ice creams to name a few. ” (ardrossfarm.co.uk).

I can attest to this personally, as I transported several of their goodies home across the Atlantic!

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I seriously can’t say enough good things about Ardross Farm Shop.  My only complaint is that I can’t shop there every week.

See you next time, friends.

Cheers,

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*Opinions are my own.  I did not receive any compensation (monetary or otherwise) for this review.

Afternoon Tea at the O’Henry Hotel

Hi guys!  Hope everyone is well.

I had the most delightful experience last week.  My dad and his lovely wife were in town for a visit so I took them to afternoon tea at the O’Henry Hotel in Greensboro, NC.

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I  first fell in love with the ritual of afternoon tea in Scotland.  Just to clarify, when I say ‘tea’ I’m not just talking about the beverage and a cookie.  Oh no no no.  A proper full/afternoon tea should include a bottomless pot of hot tea, finger sandwiches and other small savory bites, a variety of little sweet treats, and of course, savory and/or plain scones with clotted cream and jam or curd. In the U.K., afternoon tea is often enjoyed post-lunch but pre-dinner.  Personally, I prefer to just make it my lunch.

Ever since that first Scottish tea, I have tried to find places here at home that offer the experience I’m looking for.  To be honest, I haven’t really found it.  Until the O’Henry.  Wow!  Everything about it hit the mark, from the beautiful and sophisticated setting to the gorgeous mix-and-match china, to the delicious and thoughtfully prepared tiered tray of food.  I felt as if I were at Greywalls Hotel or Prestonfield House or any other fine establishment in Scotland.

See for yourself!

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“There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.”   

∼Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady

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The O’Henry offered six savories, four sweets, and one scone with clotted cream and pear curd.  I was full and even had to ‘doggy bag’ a couple items.

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See what I mean?  Delightful!

Cheers,

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Elie, Scotland

Hi, Friends!  I’m so glad you stopped by today.  Hope you are having a lovely weekend.

I have been reflecting back on a few of the Scottish villages that Mr. C and I only saw a peek of but that someday deserve a second look.  Elie is one of those places.  I can’t help but feel that we somehow missed the boat on this one.

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Located on the Firth of Forth in the East Neuk of Fife, Elie is a popular and picturesque seaside village that was established in the 16th century.  It became a Burgh of Barony in 1589 and as such, was under the control of the Lairds of Ardross – landowners who held their estates directly from The Crown.  The Lairds were in control of the town council and court and therefore, the villagers were dependent upon these men in matters of trade.  (Burghs were abolished in 1975.)

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Parks and Rec Made Me Cry So I Booked a Trip to Scotland

Hey there, Friends!  Good to see you again.

In typical fashion, Mr. C and I were late to the game.  A few weeks ago on a lazy vacation day in Kentucky, we discovered the comedy series “Parks and Recreation” produced by and starring Amy Poehler.  Never mind that the show ended like three and a half years ago, but hey.  We’re not big television watchers and it takes a lot in a show to impress me and hold my attention, but boy when I find a show that does both, I’m ALL in.  Smart, witty, hilarious, and occasionally quite poignant and touching, I think “Parks and Rec” knocked it out of said park.

The show’s characters are an extremely eclectic bunch and I get such a kick out of them all!  But it’s Ron Swanson – that deadpan, highly private, masculine, meat-eating, whisky-loving, mustache of a man who I adore the most.

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Ron Swanson, played by Nick Offerman

In direct contrast to Poehler’s character Leslie Knope who is perpetually sunny, optimistic, extroverted, hardworking, and a staunch believer in big government, Ron is distant and reclusive, he seldom expresses emotion (although he occasionally gets the giggles), and is a libertarian who believes strongly in small government.  Despite these traits and claiming that he has no interest in the personal lives of those around him, Ron actually cares a great deal for his colleagues and often helps them in spite of himself.  In particular, he has a deep and profound respect and affection for Leslie.

In Season Six, the cast goes to London and begrudgingly, Ron tags along.  His new bride Diane was supposed to have accompanied him as a honeymoon of sorts but she gets terrible morning sickness and stays home.  She insists that Ron go anyway so he can take pictures for her.  Because his “love for Diane trumps his hatred for Europe” (remember, libertarian), he goes with the group even though he makes it clear in that deadpan voice of his that, “All of this could have been avoided if we’d followed my plan for a honeymoon.  A steak dinner, a glass of Lagavulin whisky, then vigorous lovemaking for two hours, and we’re both asleep by 8:30.”

God, I love this show.

So, you’re probably wondering why in the world the show made me cry.  Well.

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