Seaside fish and chips with Anstruther Fish Bar

Nothing beats fish, chips and ice-cream on a sunny day am I right?

Well actually one thing does…fish, chips and ice-cream in Scotland’s most famous award-winning chippie (AND *whispers* getting to skip the infamous queue)!

As one half of the Fife for Kids team, I was invited, along with the family, to Anstruther Fish Bar to see what they’re all about on a unseasonably hot Scottish afternoon and we were not disappointed.

We decided to pop up to Anstruther early as it’s a fair drive for us and it would be silly to go all that way and not have a play at Anster beach. The East Neuk of Fife is so beautiful,  seaside houses and independent shops so a little wander was in order too.

Being by the seaside just makes you smile doesn’t it.

 

Now if you haven’t heard of Anstruther Fish Bar, let me tell you if it’s good enough for the Duchess of Cornwall AND Wills and Kate, it’s good enough for me. Yes, that is how well thought of this place is. So it should come as no surprise that you can expect to queue to get a seat or to take out. But it’s very very worth it and the nautical decor will keep you entertained while you wait. Better yet, leave the other half queueing while you and the kids pop to the beach.

We were met by Alison, who co-owns the Fish Bar with her husband Robert. Alison talked us through the menu….all locally sourced, sustainable produce, with the Scottish seafood coming from boats that adopt sustainable fishing practices through the Seafish Responsible Fishing Scheme, and everything from the rolls, eggs, milk and even wine, yes WINE, coming from Scottish companies.

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We don’t eat out for dinner very often as we worry about how the kids will behave and if they will wait patiently for their food. I had my bag packed with various little toys to keep them amused but I needn’t have worried. The kids were provided with their own little activity packs which they loved and that kept them entertained the entire time.

Anyway, down to the food. As we were reviewing we opted to sit in and experience the table service, which was super friendly and fast (major plus when you have kids in tow!).

The grown-ups opted for the Pittenweem prawns in breadcrumbs (Scampi to us commoners) and the classic fish and chips, alongside some mushy peas whilst T had a kids fish and chips and little L of course ate a bit of everyone’s. If you opt to sit in the restaurant your meal includes some bread and butter and a hot drink, and the kids’ includes water, milk or a soft drink so it all works out at great value for money.

 

There wasn’t a whole lot of talking during dinner and it’s fair to say that we ate every last scrap. It really is tip-top fish and chips, cooked perfectly and served quickly.

To wash it down I tried the Scottish wine. I had to….I mean it’s wine…from SCOTLAND! It’s odd. Except it’s not really, it was a really light, fruity and tasty red wine believe it or not. But if I’m being really honest, as much as I love wine, and I really, really do, for me fish and chips has to be consumed with a can of Irn Bru and I missed my wee bru on this occasion.

After our mains the kids of course wanted ice-cream (which is almost as famous as the fish and again made using Scottish ingredients) and this came served in little plastic boats which they could take home afterwards. We stuck to coffee, though it transpired that Alan only decided not to have ice-cream because he didn’t want to seem greedy after I had opted not to have any (insert eye-roll emoji here!) Thankfully little L gave up halfway through hers so he got a wee try.

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For me Anstruther Fish Bar richly deserves its reputation as the best chippy in Scotland..nae Britain. A family business dedicated to sustainability offering great value for money and tasty, locally caught fish, in a fast and friendly manner. What more could you want?

PS – It’s fair to say that everyone’s top button was out for the drive home. Success!

You can read more about Anstruther Fish Bar on their Fife for Kids listing, which includes contact details and links to their website and social media accounts.

Cx

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*The Fife for Kids team were paid for this review, but all opinions expressed are entirely honest.

 

 

 

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Review: One Man Shoe at OnFife Theatres

Today we went on a wee trip down memory lane and had the privilege of being some of the first in Fife to see, One Man Shoe at The Rothes Halls with OnFife Theatres, a wonderfully traditional, old-fashioned slapstick comedy show.

If your kids love ‘You’ve Been Framed’ then they won’t fail to laugh throughout this act and if you fancy a nostalgic step back in time to the days of seaside variety shows and Charlie Chaplin, you’ll love it too. Mixed with circus tricks and magic it’s a great way to introduce mime and showmanship to little ones. You can’t help becoming engrossed in this funny tale of mishaps.

Jess

Charlie and I weren’t sure what to expect today, our first experience of Rothes Halls and a show with just one actor. 5 minutes in we’d had a stinky sock plus a banana skin thrown at us, seen at least one how-did-he-do-that magic trick and were totally hooked on what Jango Starr would do next.

What Charlie (age 5) had to say:  

Did you enjoy the One Man Shoe?

Yeah!!!

What was your favourite part?

When the entertainer pretended to be asleep and the magician costume came to life! It was really magical and clever, how did it move?!

What was the funniest bit?

I laughed lots and lot when he whacked himself in the face!! 

Would you see it again?

YESS!!

Who would you tell to go and see it?

My Nana and brother, they love a good giggle! 

Describe the One man Shoe in three words:

Fantastic, brilliant and very very silly! 

Claire

You might not know this, but my background is in theatre management so I love to take T to see a wee show and hope to impart my love of theatre onto him. So far he has loved everything I’ve taken him to and today was no different. One Man Shoe is a fabulously traditional slapstick comedy and magic show and I enjoyed telling T all about Charlie Chaplin and Laurel and Hardy afterwards. We both thoroughly enjoyed Jango Starr’s performance and T was disappointed to learn that he doesn’t have an accompanying tv show.

What T (age 6) had to say:

What did you think of One Man Shoe?

It was amazing?

What was so amazing about it?

When he threw his stinky sock and banana at us.

He was a bit clumsy wasn’t he?

I liked all his clumsiness.

Who else do you think would like a show like that?

My school friends and my gran would love it.

What three words would you use to describe it?

Good, funny and clumsy!

Jango Starr’s One Man Shoe was a hit for every single person who attended today, evidenced by the loud laughter from the kids and adults alike and once again OnFife are ensuring that their ticket pricing really accessible, with tickets priced at just £5 for all.

You can catch Jango Starr at the following venues before he leaves:

Sat 9th June @ Adam Smith Theatre

Sunday 10th June @ Carnegie Hall

To read more about OnFife check out their Fife for Kids listing here.

Follow Fife for Kids on Facebook to be in the know about everything that’s going on in Fife for your family!

Cx

 

Becoming Robin Hood for the day with East Neuk Outdoors

I’m delighted to share with you the review that my Fife for Kids business partner, Jess (aka That Crafty Mother) has written about her family’s experience of East Neuk Outdoors. I’m not going to lie, there was much jealousy that she was the one to embark upon this adventure and not me. And what a day they had too… Cx

Archery, a sport I’d last tried at a country fair aged approximately 12. When it transpired that I was off to visit East Neuk Outdoors for an archery experience I must admit I had some pretty mixed reactions:

  1. The dudes would probably love this experience
  2. I would probably hate this experience.
  3. That-not-so-crafty-Father would be competitive.

I was out of my comfort zone. I am not at all sporty, have zero self confidence in sports and actively avoid participating in these types of activities 98% of the time! I always feel ridiculously self-conscious and can guarantee I’ll be the one making silly mistakes. So, whilst the dudes were busy debating whether Robin Hood or Merida was the better archer, I sat silently on the journey there pondering if it was too late to opt out and whether they would be ‘on form’ or opting for their gremlin personas today. (Please kids not today, just listen and keep the tantrums at bay!).

Having never been to an outdoor activity class I was, however, intrigued to find out what East Neuk Outdoors would be like since they don’t do regular classes and we were all total novices. Also, a family lesson? Adults and children together? This was a whole new, somewhat daunting, concept to me.

I’m pleased to report that, all my petty hang-ups vanished the moment we arrived. The sun was beaming down and Cellardyke was looking particularly stunning as the sea glistened. We were a little early so took a stroll along the sea front, enjoying the view. There was also a great wee park right across from the activity centre. Soon it was time for our lesson and the dudes, often social introverts, (terrified of strangers and prone to not-speaking to anyone), ran straight up to the welcome desk and chatted away confidently to our tutor, Hugo, as if they’d known him for years! He was fun, friendly and welcoming from the offset and before I knew it we were all being taken to get kitted out.

Wrist guards on, arrows selected and bows handed out and we were set to start. Hugo patiently set out the ground rules for the archery range, showing were to stand and how to carry the arrows for safety. Then we got to the nitty gritty bit and he showed us step by step how to shoot an arrow, giving loads of hints and tips along the way, treating adults and kids equally.

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Taking turns to fire sets of arrows it was adults versus children. We all became ridiculously competitive, not just That-not-so-crafty-Father! Hugo is clearly really experienced with children, stepping in to help, guiding them and watching every shot they took making you feel safe whilst learning under his supervision too. He explained scoring, (and kept score too) and constantly gave helpful pointers to improve our aim; we all went from hitting the worms to hitting the target just 15 minutes in!

The 45 minutes flew by and we had a truly amazing afternoon and left absolutely buzzing. The dudes grinned from ear to ear the whole time and the big dude can’t wait to return to try out something else, ‘This is the best day ever!’ he declared. Now if that’s not praise I’m not sure what is – he didn’t get a bullseye (That-not-so-crafty-Father did though in case you’re wondering), he didn’t ‘win’ and there was no ice cream bribery needed for this declaration either! He was, for the first time in a long time, full of confidence and glowing with it. We’ll be visiting again soon for sure, and encouraging lots more folk to discover East Neuk Outdoors too.

East Neuk Outdoors offer a variety of outdoor activity lessons from archery to sea kayaking. Do check out their Fife for Kids listing for more details on what’s available, costs and to contact the team.

Jess xox

*The Fife for Kids team were paid for this review, but all opinions expressed are entirely honest. Images taken by Jess Leech.
You can check out the Fife for Kids Facebook page and follow us here

*Review* Aladdin at the Adam Smith Theatre

We were excited to be invited by OnFife Theatres to review their 2017 Panto, Aladdin at the Adam Smith Theatre. As the show was in the evening we didn’t think it was a good idea to take L so I opted to make it a mum and son night and me and T went along ourselves.

Normally I take T to see the smaller family shows that Carnegie Hall (also part of the OnFife family) puts on but the time was right to introduce him to his first panto. I did carry on the tradition by taking Lo to see Shhh…The Elves are Shy at Carnegie Hall though and although this run is now complete I would recommend to anyone with little ones under 5 that you check out Little Ulla, which runs from Thursday 21st-Saturday 23rd with tickets only £5.

Anyway, back to Saturday. As this was T’s first panto experience, it took some persuading that it was actually ok to shout out during the performance. Once he realised I wasn’t having him on he was beyond excited and couldn’t sit still. It was great to see the genuine glee on his face.

It’s been a while since I went to a panto myself and I wasn’t sure if it would all be like it used to. I was relieved to find that it was a classic, old school, traditional pantomime, with all the usual hilarity, breaking out of character and audience interaction that you would expect.

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5 Great Value Christmas Activities in Fife

Ooh, I love Christmas.

More so than ever since having my children. I want to make it completely magical for them and have lots of festive days.

Every year though I’m torn between wanting to do ALL the great Christmassy days out and not wanting to get lost in the abyss of spending enough money that it could pay off the mortgage. I genuinely believe we can have a blinking great month of December without it costing an arm and a leg. Let’s all remember it’s about being together and sharing some quality time with our loved ones.

So, with this in mind, I’ve been doing my research in order to bring you, the lovely people of Fife my list of Great Value Christmas Activities and hopefully provide a little inspiration if you’re starting to think about what you’d like to get up to.

1. Take A Trip To Carnegie Hall

We all love going to the Theatre at Christmas time for a fun-filled family trip. I doubt very much that we like how much it can cost for the whole family to see a Christmas show. It can be eye watering. For the last 3 years we’ve visited Carnegie Hall and seen some brilliant shows that guess what, have NOT cost an arm and a leg.

I was so happy to see that not only is this year no different, but they have actually have a whole family festival going on this Winter.

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Learning Spanish with Kidslingo

I was over the moon recently when a post I wrote ‘Hidden Gems in Fife for Kids’  was so well received and so many of you not only liked and shared the post but commented about some of the activities as things you were going to try. It seemed clear to me that while I will continue to enjoy rambling about whatever comes into my mind, it would be nice to help inspire parents in the central belt with new ideas of places to go and things to do with your kids. So I was delighted when Kitty from Kidslingo got in touch to invite me to review her Spanish classes for little ones.

I’ve always been keen for my children to learn a language and as research shows that the earlier children start to learn a new language the easier it will be for them to improve their linguistic skills in later life. Preschool and school age classes are both available in the Dunfermline and Kirkcaldy area so you really can start them early. That being said, since Tom has just started school, which is challenging him every day, I was worried about sending him to a class that would feel too much like work for him, and would the preschool class hold my two year-old’s attention?

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Best Lunch Spots in Fife with Kids

After the massive response to my recent post ’10 Hidden Gems in Fife for Kids’ I realised that lots of parents, like me, are looking for something new to do with the kids and it’s often hard to think of somewhere to go or something to do. I know from doing research for that post and for this how hard it is to find information like this in one place. So I’ve decided I’ll do a little series focusing on the Central Belt of Scotland and hopefully some of you will find some new ideas, or, you can share with me some of yours like you did last time.

As you may have noticed last time. I do have a penchant for an afternoon out which involves food! I’m not sure about you but we don’t eat out nearly as often as we’d like (though, it’s often enough that I’m working on my recommendations for those rare date nights….watch this space), and as kids can often be little monkeys in the evenings, we tend to focus our family meals out on lunch. It just works better for us.

When we eat out with the kids it’s important to us to be in an environment that is child friendly so we don’t feel anxious if the kids are a little loud. The food also needs to be good. I know that seems obvious but there are a lot of places that might have one of the above and not the other. It costs a lot to eat out and so I just aint willing to eat bad food. So there! And on the topic of cost, I know how expensive it can be to do ANYTHING with children so all of the below places are very reasonably priced.

With all of this in mind, I have put together my top lunch spots in Fife with kids. So, in no particular order feast (get it?!) your eyes on this lovely lot.

  1. The Peppermill Bothy

I know, I know, this made it on to my list last time. However, it really does tick all the boxes when you want to eat a nice lunch with the kids. There’s a great selection of food for both the adults and children, including soups, sandwiches, Quiche and hot rolls. And the children’s menu is spot on. They can choose from soup, toast with jam or peanut butter, a wee platter, milkshakes and even ice cream floats. And the cakes! Seriously! They are to die for. The family who run the café are really friendly and the kids can get down to some serious fun in the play corner while they’re waiting on their food. There’s also a lovely, fully enclosed courtyard for those sunny days and you can rest assured they are safe while you’re tucking in to the afore-mentioned cake.

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10 Hidden Gems in Fife For Kids

If you’re from, or visiting Fife, and, like me, you’re sick to death of taking your kids to soft play centres, with their overpricing, sticky carpets, lack of mute button and terrible, terrible food, then the below list is for you. I’ve explored a fair amount in Fife with my two children (5 and 2) and can vouch for the fact there’s so much to do. Sometimes we can all feel like we do the same things with our kids so I thought it would be nice to note down what I think are some ‘hidden gems’.

Before you read on I’d like to note that none of the companies listed have paid me anything in return for the high praise I’m about to bestow on them. I just really like them and it’s nice to spread the word when you discover something fun to do with the kids.

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