“ Self catering accommodation in Fife, Scotland „
Queens View is situated at 31 High Street, Elie in the Neuk of Fife in Scotland. It is a very comfortable and well appointed two bedroom second-floor, self catering flat. We stayed there for four nights during October 2009. We found it to be more than holiday accommodation - it feels more like a home from home.
The entrance and stairwell are carpeted and appear exceptionally well maintained and clean with artificial flowers and some real plants. There is a security entrance system and lights which automatically switch off after three minutes.
Queens View itself consists of a twin bedroom, a double bedroom, a shower room, a dining kitchen and a living room.
The double room, to the rear of the building, is a large room with quirky wooden furniture providing plenty of storage space. It also has a portable television and a hairdryer provided. The bed is extremely comfortable - not too soft and not too hard - with a cosy duvet and plenty of pillows.
The twin room (also to the back of the flat) has a large chest of drawers and a wardrobe, as well as a cupboard. It is here you can find an iron and ironing board, as well as a clothes drier and laundry basket. I checked these beds, they were very comfy too (and our girls certainly slept well while we were here.)
The shower room, pristine with its white toilet and washbasin, appears from its sparkling tiles and whiter-than-white grouting, to have been fairly recently renovated. It has a large shower cubicle, stepped up from the floor level and it is bright and airy as the light floods in from above through a large skylight window. It is well heated with both an electric heated towel rail and a radiator. The electric shower provides more than adequate water pressure and, as a nice touch, a lovely new bar of soap is provided, as well as a bottle of hand-wash. The cupboard in the shower room houses spare towels, toilet paper, hand-wash, various cleaning materials etc.
The kitchen is extremely well equipped - it boasts a fridge freezer, electric cooker, microwave and washer/dryer, as well as a coffee machine, kettle, toaster and just about any other piece of cooking paraphernalia you can think of. There is a good sized dining table and four chairs, with table mats and coasters also provided. Yes, the kitchen units are somewhat dated and some of the cupboard doors are a bit rickety, but there really is everything you need in here. It was also my first experience with a waste disposal unit (may be I have led a sheltered life!), and I was strangely fascinated by it. Considerately, there are canisters with coffee, tea and sugar and one of the cupboards holds salt, pepper, olive oil and even ketchup. The owners had even left a bottle of wine as a welcome gift for us alongside a handwritten note - I thought that was a lovely gesture.
The living room, at the front of the building, has the most fabulous window seat - and yes, you can see the sea! This was my favourite spot to sit with a cup of tea and a book, whenever I got five minutes peace and quiet. There are also two comfy sofas with lots of cushions, a small TV/video combo, a DVD player and a stereo. There is a bookcase with a selection of paperbacks, videos, CDs and DVDs )some good, some really not-so-good!) There's also a cupboard with board games and jigsaws. The focal point of the living room is the lovely fireplace with the gas living flame fire. Very cosy.
Elsewhere in the hall there is a cupboard containing bits and bobs for outdoor activities; buckets and spades, Frisbees, a kite, badminton set, rounders bat and ball - even a set of golf clubs.
The flat has gas central heating with double radiators in all the rooms and there are electric blankets on all the beds. All the carpets appear to be fairly new and the décor and furnishing are fresh throughout. There are lovely homely touches - lots of lamps, mirrors and pictures.
Nothing is left to chance and there are manual, written instructions and little notes posted with operating instructions for all appliances, the boiler, heating system etc. We found that the pilot light for the boiler was a bit on the temperamental side, but I am, if nothing else, persistent, and we got there eventually. There is an extensive folder containing tourist leaflets, details of doctors, dentists, takeaway establishments, taxis and contact details for the owners. In fact, pretty much everything has been thought of.
The only minor inconvenience (other than that darned pilot light) was that the secure entry phone in the flat is out of order, but as we didn't really go out and about independently (and we had our mobile phones), this didn't really affect us too much.
Obviously being on the second floor, up several flights of stairs, Queens View is not suitable for those with mobility issues and it would be a bit of a challenge with a pushchair or pram too. (Parking is available on the street right outside the door though.) The elevated position does however afford decent views of the beach and the sea, and traffic noise is minimal. (Elie High Street is not the busiest of thoroughfares but does get the odd passing bus, lorry and tractor.) The biggest noise disturbance we encountered during our stay were the hourly chimes from the local church - but this would only be a problem if you were an extremely light sleeper.
Elie itself was quiet when we visited in October, although I believe it gets a lot busier in the summer. It boasts two pubs, the Ship Inn by the shore and the Station Bar (right next door to Queens View), a coffee shop, the Elie Deli, one posh eatery "Sangsters", a pharmacy, grocer, newsagent, gift shop, a baker's and has a very well stocked farm shop just on the outskirts of the town. It has an award winning beach, coastal walks and water sports available in the summer months. Within easy reach of the likes of St Andrews, Anstruther, Crail and approximately 25 miles from Dundee, it was an ideal base for our short break. If you are after nightlife and a lively atmosphere, Elie in October (or any other time) is probably not for you, I would suggest.
Admittedly we were very lucky with the weather; it was dry, sunny and even warm at times. So would we go back to Elie? Undoubtedly. And would we stay at Queens View again? Most definitely!
We booked through Hoseasons (http://www.hoseasons.co.uk/v3/WebPages/UKCottage/Product DetailPage.aspx?ISDLNK=1&SCODE=AS51&ACODE=S4499&TIDPDUKCOTTAGE=cottageComplex) and paid £243 for four nights in October. Weekly prices range from £300 - £595. (Please note that on the Hoseasons website, the accommodation is described as having a shower-over-bath arrangement but this is definitely NOT the case; there is no bath, just a full sized shower cubicle)