This week’s blog from the Scotlanders comes from Nicola Holland, a self-confessed foodie on Scotland’s culinary trail . . .
Firstly I’ll follow suit and introduce myself. My name Nicola and I write at FunkyEllas Travel. I’ve lived in Fife for most of my life and I’m slowly making my way around this stunning country while writing about destinations I visit, accommodation I stay at, events, food, and anything I find that’s quirky or “funky” if you like!
I’ve been blogging for a little over a year now having spent years figuring out exactly what I want to do. I consider myself really lucky to have found a way of combining three of my favourite things to do – writing, travelling and photographing.
I’m still in awe of all there is to discover in this country
I love every minute and am still in awe when I discover a road I haven’t been on only to find it leads to a beautiful little river or turn a corner to be confronted by a snow capped mountain range.
I often get asked about the name “FunkyEllas”, I named the website after my Aunt Ella who always loved Scotland. She owned a small shop on South Street in St Andrews as well as spending many years in the shop at Falkland Palace.
I remember many times running around the palace as kids and playing hide and seek in the gardens. She always encouraged me to find a way to make a living that I enjoyed, which made me jump out of bed in the morning. She was passionate and enthusiastic about Scotland. I guess it rubbed off on me…
It’s been an exciting move for me to join up with the rest of the Scotlanders. It’s good to have people to chat to and work with who are just as keen to show off Scotland to the world as I am.
Now that the Scottish Borders campaign is finished, next on the horizon is Fife in a couple of weeks, where we will be exploring the Kingdom. I’ve a packed schedule of foodie related activities, which I’m thrilled about!
Blogger in Residence
I am a bit of a foodie (if you hadn’t guessed) and recently attended the Crail Food Festival as Blogger in Residence.
Food producers in Fife are always at the top of my list of places to visit so having them all in the picture perfect fishing village of Crail was ideal. The sun shone all weekend and I enjoyed meeting producers such as Chillilicious, The Little Herb Farm and Trotters in the Food and Drink Emporium.
Another of my favourites was the cookery theatre hosted by Ardross Farm Shop where I got to watch Christopher Trotter cook some delicious tasting duck, as well demonstrations from Masterchef-The Professional winner Jamie Scott, Geoffrey Smeddle from The Peat Inn and Craig Millar from 16a West End in St Monans.
There were storytellers and games for the kids and tasting sessions where I got to taste some whisky and hear Douglas Clement from Kingbarn Distillery tell his fascinating story (which you can read in the August issue of the Scots Magazine!).
The finale of the weekend was the Harbour Festival on the Sunday afternoon. It was packed with families enjoying street food and ice cream and because the sun was out the kids were playing in the sea and lunch was eaten while sitting on upside down fishing crates.
It was a really good weekend and there were plenty more producers there to enjoy – we even tried Seaweed Ice Cream from Jannettas! I can highly recommend visiting when it returns next year.
More Scotlander adventures
My fellow Scotlanders have also had a festival-filled couple of weeks!
Susanne has been to T in the Park as well as Bute Festival, Kim was at Edinburgh International Festival, and Kay headed up to Lewis for Hebridean Celtic Festival. Scotland does festivals well. Dougie on the other hand has deserted us for the fortnight in Alaska!
I was invited along to the Open championships in St Andrews this week and got to spend the day with the Fife Lord Provost, Jim Leishman. St Andrews comes alive during these tournaments. It is one of my favourite towns anyway, but during the Open there is a buzz.
Fans come from all corners of the globe and the locals pull out all the stops to make sure they are accommodated and have a good week. I loved my wee day daundering around the Spectators Village and spying the players on the course. No Rory though!
I was invited along for lunch with the Provost by Select, Scotland’s trade association for the electrical and electronics industry, who I discovered have trained 3000 apprentices this year alone! Having been watching the rest of the tournament on the TV I must say St Andrews is looking beautiful.
Next on the menu
This week I am lucky enough to be going behind the scenes of Edinburgh Dungeons with Susanne, where we will be uncovering Scotland’s darker history and finding out what the dungeons staff have planned for the coming year.
I’m also heading through to Stirling for their Braveheart celebrations at the Wallace monument.
Another member of the Scotlanders will be back in a fortnight with more tales of their travels
More from Nicola…
You can find my blog, here, where you can subscribe to get notifications when I post new blogs.
I’d love to have you join me as I explore more of my home country.