Pittenweem – In A Seashell…


Written for The Pittenweem Chocolate Company
published on website, 2013-2016

Like a delightful chocolate seashell that melts on the tongue, slowly revealing yet more of its richness and flavour, Pittenweem is the kind of place that truly enchants, inviting you to linger a little longer. Discover rambling cliff paths, fishing boats jostling in the harbour, a labyrinth of narrow wynds, little boutiques, cafes and galleries and be hypnotised by the sea, as time appears to slide into a gentle rhythm with the tides.

This beautiful east coast village is almost literally drenched in history, taking its name from a combination of Scots Gaelic and the language of the ancient and mysterious Picts. The Place Of The Caves was born out of the arrival of St Fillan, who desired to covert the local Pictish population to Christianity.  His base, a little cave on the steep brae known as Cove Wynd, was also briefly a prison during the witch hunts of 17th and 18th centuries, before this dark chapter was buried beneath the construction of Pittenweem Priory.  However, hidden truths are always seeking the light and in the 1900s a horse ploughing the gardens uncovered the cave once more.  Today, this feature of the village’s long and intriguing past can be used as a chapel. Visitors who wish to delve more deeply are welcome to borrow keys to the gated cave from The Pittenweem Chocolate Company.

Over the centuries, the ebb and flow of life in Pittenweem has naturally brought a sense of both constancy and change. A tiny harbour at West Shore has grow into a bustling commercial port, the celebrated fish market continues to face the challenges of an ever-changing industry, a close-knit fishing community has learned to share its home with a now established colony of artists and an annual gala celebration of the sea has given way to the arrival of a thriving international arts festival.

The village has become a cherished treasure for generations of locals, settlers drawn to its all-season allure and occasional visitors seeking sanctuary from the busy world.  As fishermen continue to come and go from the fish market and tavern, vacationers enjoy views of the activities from their harbour front holiday cottages. While the bakery, butcher, village store, chip shop, fish monger and church remain essential to the the fabric of village life, these symbols of local tradition are now woven together with colourful threads of contemporary creativity.  The high street is now also home to a vibrant collection of artistic studios, craft boutiques and a wonderful little chocolaterie!

As chocolatiers who love to experiment with an exciting mix of ingredients – the light, the dark and everything in between – we are unsurprised by the magical quality of this village. The secret ingredient is a community that remains anchored in its history, while welcoming each new day with the adventurous spirit of a sailor heading out towards the sunrise. 

If you haven’t already enjoyed the delights of Pittenweem, we invite you to uncover this special place; experience how it slowly reveals yet more of its depth and richness, before cracking even the toughest shell and melting your heart…

Written by Vicky Watt at Acoustic Wave 

for The Pittenweem Chocolate Company
published on website, 2013-2016

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