The Largo Law Trail
South of Cupar is Largo Law, the 290m ancient plug of a volcano – and it is visible for miles around.
We head out to explore the food and drink offering on a circular tour that takes in great pubs, sensational seafood and award-winning producers and eateries where you can while away your time looking over the sea.
Simply click on any of the featured businesses’ links to open their page within our site – to find their location, contact details and links to their own digital channels.
Head south out of Cupar – initially on the A914 before taking a left turn onto the A916 … climbing steeply out of the Eden valley.
Soon you’ll reach Craigrothie and the Kingarroch Inn– a pub offering contemporary food to locals and visitors alike … including guests who choose to stay in the accommodation. Continue on the A916 until you reach a turn left (just beyond the driveway to Penang & Greenside House) and follow the road across country all the way to Lundin Links – turning right onto the A915.
The village grew in the 19th century as a tourist town – accommodating visitors to nearby Lower Largo. Today, it is most famous for its two golf courses – the 18-hole course, Lundin Golf Club, used as a pre-qualifying course when The Open Championship is held in St Andrews, and the 9-hole Lundin Ladies’ Golf Club … the oldest women’s golf course in the world. Close to the entrance to the Ladies’ Golf Club – on Leven Road – you’ll find Jane’s at 19, a boutique that not only sells gifts, fashion and accessories but also freshly-made coffee, cakes and goodies to takeaway.
Head back through the village, continue east on the A915 into Lower Largo – beneath the imposing Largo Law – and take the right turn onto Harbour Wynd.
At the harbour is the Railway Inn – beyond the now disused yet still grand viaduct that once carried the railway through the village. The Inn is a traditional pub that’s been an established hostelry since 1749. Popular with walkers on the Fife Coastal Path, it welcomes local, visitors and their four-legged friends. You can enjoy a draught beers, Scottish guest ales – updated on a weekly basis – as well as a selection of over 25 malt whiskies together with an extensive gin selection. There’s no food menu but they do serve toasties, pies and bar snacks. They also have a beer garden and – out front – picnic benches where a you can relax with the drink of your choice in the evening sunshine.
Back to the main road – and then continue east – towards and through Upper Largo that’s built on the southern side of the Law.
Take the A917 and follow signs to your next stop – passing the Dumbarnie Golf Links and taking the B942 to Colinsburgh. The village is named after Colin Lindsay, the 3rd Earl of Balcarres, who – in the early 18th century – gave the land on which it is built. On the main street as you head through is The Auld Inn. As one review puts it: “A quirky, friendly and an original one of a kind experience!” As well as mentioning ‘permanent mannequins‘ and ‘pool and dominoes‘ … the ‘cheese and biscuits on the bar‘ gets a thumbs up!
Continue on the B942 and take a right onto the B941 – signposted to Kilconquhar. Just as you reach the village’s 20 mph zone, Kilconquhar Castle is off to your left. The castle offers two restaurants on the estate – open to residents and visitors. The White Cockade is a bistro-style restaurant which takes it’s name from the emblem of the Jacobites. It welcomes families and provides a children’s menu. It is open for breakfasts, lunches and evening meals – the evening offering includes a la carte menu and table d’hote menus as well as seasonal ‘set menu’ specials. All dishes are cooked with locally-sourced, fresh ingredients. The 16th Century oak-paneled Lindsay Room offers a unique dining experience with a very traditional feel. All are asked to be aware that for certain dates, the night of the week may alter due to private bookings as the castle is a popular wedding venue.
Head back down the tree-lined drive and into the village – a short drive brings you to the Kinneuchar Inn. The 17th-century pub is also a restaurant championing “great food in an intimate setting“. They serve a daily changing ‘a la carte’ menu based on ingredients sourced from the Balcaskie Estate and a handful of “carefully curated partners“. The Inn also boasts a beautiful private dining room that seats up to 20 guests – complete with it’s own bar, conservatory and private courtyard. It is available for exclusive hire from 8–20 people with a minimum spend per head (please enquire when booking).
Continue west out of the village and be careful of the very sharp left turn that takes you to join the A917. At the junction, turn left – and shortly right – heading along a single-track road to Earlsferry. You enter the village on the road that dissects the golf course … so be aware! Off to your right is The 19th Hole – an award-winning pub and restaurant that has indoor and outdoor seating. The open kitchen serves traditional pub food with a selection of steaks, seafood, curries and pasta dishes.
The village adjoins the better-known Elie. As you head into the village, a sharp-left takes you to The Pavilion Cafe – a firm-favourite with beach-goers as well as those using the golf course, driving range and tennis courts. The family-run business is open daily for breakfast, lunch and evening meals – and has a selection of home baking: scones and pastries are freshly baked each morning. It is licensed and also has a large open outdoor, partially-covered seating area. Dogs are welcome in the outside seating area and they even have a menu exclusively for them! A children’s menu is ever-popular – as are the range of ice cream flavours and toppings!
Through the village – and following signs to the harbour – you will come to The Ship Inn. Parking can be trick when busyt, so it is sometimes best to find a space and then walk – either through the villages picturesque streets or cutting through and along the beach, mindful of the tides! The Ship is part of “a small and diverse group of acclaimed inns” that focus on “comforting interiors, convivial service, delicious, local, seasonal food and quaffable wines & ales“. Its location is stunning – right on the side of Elie beach – and provides a grandstand view when cricket is played on the sands. They also have accommodation with six rooms – four of which have stunning views across the bay.
Heading east from the village – rejoining the A917 – you’ll soon come across Ardross Farm Shop. Opened in 2005, the shop was borne out of the family’s wish to diversify – starting with “one chest freezer, a calculator and a lot of enthusiasm“! It was popular from the start – seasonal home-grown veg soon joining their traditionally reared beef in store and, over the years, more products being tried and tested by the family and their customers to add to the offering. Ninety percent of the produce in the shop is produced by farming families diversifying with other products produced by small artisan companies. Open seven days, you’ll find 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 marmalade, puddings and ice creams … to name a few.
Next on the Trail is Bowhouse part of the Balcaskie Estate. Toby Anstruther of Balcaskie Estate explains the thinking behind Bowhouse saying: “I was struck when talking to one local chef who said, though he was very keen to use local ingredients, he ended up sourcing his vegetables from the Glasgow veg markets or even from Holland, because, despite seeing the vegetables growing in Fife’s fields all around his restaurant, there was no way to connect the field to his business. Bowhouse is intended to be part of the answer to this challenge.”
The farms and estates around Bowhouse produce some of the finest raw ingredients = malting barley, finished beef and lamb, wheat, oilseed rape, potatoes, broccoli, soft fruits, wild roe deer and other game. Much leaves the area, destined for processing and selling across Scotland and further afield. Bowhouse aims to “disrupt this current pattern” making it easier for locals to connect directly with local growers, producers and ingredients. At its heart, Bowhouse is a “gathering place for people who really care about food“. The venue is home to a number of food & drink businesses in their own right – and hosts regular markets that draw foodies from across the region.
The next village you’ll come to is St Monans – one of the many picturesque fishing villages for which this stretch of coastline is famed – and at the entrance is a small industrial estate, home to East Neuk Kilnhouse. The family-owned company is award-winning – and has been producing fresh, smoked and seafood products since the 1960s. Traditional methods meet the modern age – smoking fish in their own kiln as well as filleting fish and preparing seafood by hand. Their speciality Hot Smoked Salmon and artisan smoked seafood products are available on a daily basis from the Kilnhouse.
Follow the signs into the village – and to the harbour. On one side is Craig Millar at 16 West End. The multi-award-winning restaurant has a stunning waterfront location looking across to the coast and hills of North Berwick, with the Isle of May and Bass Rock both visible … on a clear day. Open year round, in the summer, their outside terrace is always a popular choice for guests and in the winter you can enjoy a drink in the cosy bar warmed by the fireplace amid an atmosphere laced with history and local heritage. Born and educated in nearby Dundee, Craig Millar started his career as a chef with Crest Hotels in Buckinghamshire. After a few years, he moved back to Scotland and worked in the hospitality industry around several well-known restaurants and hotels. The opportunity to set up a partnership then arose, creating what would be known as The Seafood Restaurant St. Monans, and later opening their sister restaurant, The Seafood Restaurant St Andrews. Craig’s restaurant in St Monans has held 2 AA rosettes for 12 years.
At the opposite end of the harbour is the East Pier Smokehouse. Open seasonally (Easter until end of October), you will find a menu with local lobster, langoustine, mackerel, cheese and breads as well as cakes and bakes. They always have a vegetarian choice and pride themselves on informal service – “order downstairs and help yourself to table & cutlery upstairs“. When the weather is fine, there is outside seating available.
Now we start the return to Cupar – across the rolling farmland on the east of Largo Ward. From St Monans, head directly inland (crossing the A917) and follow signs to Abercrombie where you’ll turn left onto the B942. When you reach the junction with the B941, turn right and continue until you reach the A915 T junction. Turn right – into Largoward – and you’ll reach The Inn at Lathones. The bar and restaurant has an extensive well-stocked bar with over 20 Scottish gins 60 malt whiskies, real ales and an extensive wine list. The Restaurant prides itself on “serving local produce, created and presented by award-winning chefs“.
A short distance further on the A915, turn left. You are now heading towards Peat Inn – the hamlet that gives its name to one of the area’s most highly acclaimed eateries: The Peat Inn Restaurant with Rooms. The small village grew up around the Inn – a property that has provided unbroken hospitality for around 250 years. Today, it is a Michelin-starred restaurant with three elegant dining rooms. Owned and run since June 2006 by Geoffrey and Katherine Smeddle, it is led by chef patron Geoffrey. His kitchen team focuses on delivering a seasonal menu of “outstanding Scottish ingredients, sympathetically handled, to ensure dishes of terrific flavours and striking presentation“. This modern cuisine, based on classical techniques, has earned numerous awards, including one Michelin star, a grade of 8 out of 10 in The Good Food Guide as well as a position of 22 in their top 50 U.K. restaurants.
The final leg of the trail heads north-west – and takes you to Ceres. The village is one of very few in Scotland to have a green – known as the Bow Butts – and home to the oldest free Highland Games in the country, having been held since 1314 after Robert the Bruce granted the village permission to hold them in commemoration of its men’s participation in the Battle of Bannockburn! Take time to visit the Harvest Mouse Tearoom at Fife’s Folk Museum – a cosy, family-run business within museum where you can enjoy breakfast, lunch and homemade cakes. All produce is sourced locally and the tearoom is also dog friendly.
The village has a pub – The Ceres Inn – which dates from 1721 and is very much the heart of the community with many local groups using the pub’s premises – from the local Scout and Beaver Groups to the Community Trust and Primary Pre-School Club. Live and recorded music features regularly on the inn’s calendar – doubling up with themed food and drink evenings – including whisky and gin tastings and curry, Italian and steak nights. Their food & drink offering is based firmly on local suppliers, none more so than the meat they serve – sourced from Ceres Butchers. John Hutchison and his team at Ceres Butchers had been providing local people and businesses with fresh, quality meat for twelve successful years. When John retired in March 2019, Bob and Jane Prentice of Stagison took over ownership of the butcher shop as “a great extension of our business based at nearby Downfield Farm” where they farm and process their own meat, and offer abattoir, butchery and meat processing services. They retained all staff when taking on the shop. David Noble, who has been a butcher with Ceres for over ten years, is their shop manager. Today, they sell our field-to-fork venison, Galloway beef and Scotch lamb as well as pork from their family’s farm in Falkirk.
Follow the road north from the butcher’s shop and this takes you back into Cupar. Thanks for reading.