This time, Chocolate!

If you followed our year end walk on 31 December 2010, you’ll see that we ended the walk in Anstruther having a portion of chips at the Famous Anstruther Fish Bar.

Today we decided to fortify ourselves at the Cocoa Tree in Pittenweem before starting a walk back to Crail from there, figuring that it was cold and we needed some incentive to get us going.

What a choice! We were greeted warmly by Chris Walker who was spending his New Year break helping out in the cafe. The Cocoa Tree was one of the few places to be open on 2nd January, but this was due to demand from regulars and at the time when we were there a steady stream of customers was arriving to savour the delights on offer.

This was our first visit, and certainly won’t be our last. The Caliente: a divine combination of quality hot chocolate and a hint of chilli is definitely addictive and a perfect pick-me-up for someone who doesn’t like sickly sweet chocolate drinks. Paradise in a cup. If you can’t wait to get here to sample some, then the Cocoa Tree offers on-line ordering and I’ve just noticed that they also stock Willie Harcourt-Cooze’s World Class Cacao products too. Oh, I’m lost!

We measured our distance using iMapMyWalk (a free app for iPhone) and from the western end of Pittenweem to Sandcastle Cottage at the eastern end of Crail we clocked up just over 8 miles, to bring our total for the three days over New Year to 20 miles. Great training for the Moonwalk!

Crail Food Festival – Social Networking in Action

Crail Food Festival Leaflet

Crail Food Festival Leaflet

As owners of Sandcastle Cottage, we have had a base in the village of Crail since 1982. It’s a lovely village, and over the years we’ve had a small circle of friends and acquaintances there through neighbours, old friends who’ve lived here for a while, and some of the other holiday home owners we’ve got to know via emails and occasional meet-ups in Crail.The great thing we’re finding about the growth in new technologies (grouped loosely together under the umbrella term ‘social media’) is that we’re getting to know lots more people in Crail by sharing our knowledge of how to be social on-line.Yesterday, at one such meeting, Peter Salkeld, Graham Anderson and I were discussing how to make the most of the tools available on the internet to publicise an event which Graham’s driving forward – next summer’s Crail Food Festival.Peter was remarking that in days gone by, we’d have put up posters round about Crail and the local villages, and maybe we’d have attracted some local people and a few tourists to come to such an event. More recently, we’d have advertised by building a website and using the website address on our poster campaign to allow people to find out more about the details of the festival. But over the last 5 years, new tools have been emerging which should allow us to publicise our event to many more people, which will hopefully lead to the event being a commercial success as well as great fun and a lovely day out in Fife – or the centrepiece of a weekend stay here.We were discussing Twitter and Facebook and how they can be used to help us to make the most of our event.We have a website for the Crail Food Festival, and it’s currently being developed as we contact more potential sponsors and participants who will want to come to Crail to showcase the best of Food and Drink in Fife and Scotland. We also have a Crail Food Festival Facebook page where friends can participate and hear the latest news, and a Crail Food Festival Twitter account where we’ll be building a following by adding friends and helpful Tweets about food in Fife and more details of the events as they become available.Our discussion yesterday centred around the power of these new tools to encourage our friends to visit the website for the event, put the date in their diaries, and most important of all – to come along and support the event.A little Facebook workshop developed as we discussed the difference between having a personal account on Facebook – all three of us: Graham, Peter and Susan have them, but there was a little clarification on how Facebook Pages – such as this one for Crail Food Festival were different from our personal accounts.When it came to the Twitter discussion in our meeting however, we needed to have a concrete example of how Twitter is at the basic level a really helpful tool. Graham plucked an example out of the air. He said: “here’s the thing – I’m going to Dundee this afternoon. What if I were to ask on Twitter where I should go for a coffee?” (As the owner of the Honeypot he’s keen on people asking that type of question :)). I said that the first thing you’d have to do is make sure that you have enough followers who know Dundee well to get a chance of getting an answer – but I’ve got quite a few followers on my @2crail account – I’ll have a go.Here’s what happened:I sent out a Tweet:[blackbirdpie url=”″]A little later in the afternoon came the reply from Kim Adamson:[blackbirdpie url=”″]Then Kim followed it up with a further reply:[blackbirdpie url=”″]And, another suggestion arrived from our friend Finlay – just a bit too late for our coffee-drinking decision (but one to store away for next time):[blackbirdpie url=”″]As our friends Kim and Finlay had been so helpful, I thanked them for their help:[blackbirdpie url=”″]But guess what? Our little chat about coffee had attracted the attention of another Twitterer – our friend Harriet @fictionwitch – who did another thing which good Twitter friends do: she ‘retweeted’ the thank you note – thus giving more exposure to all of the Twitter accounts mentioned.What a super result from our little coffee friends experiment. Do you have an example of how Twitter or Facebook friends have helped you out that you’d like to share? Add a comment below if you do.