Review of The Crusoe in Lower Largo

the crusoe lower largo

Be castaway at The Crusoe in Lower Largo

…with sea views, sandy beaches, history, a famous story* and good food in this quiet East Neuk of Fife village.

*Did you know Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe is claimed to be the world’s second-most translated book, after the bible?

the crusoe lower largoLocation

The Crusoe is named after the birthplace of the real-life Robinson Crusoe, Alexander Selkirk, and there’s a statue to honour the man just a few minutes’ walk away.

The building itself has been here since 1824 and has been a hotel for most of its life. The seaside bar and hotel has harbour views and is the perfect choice for visiting Lower Largo beach. It is also a handy spot for the Fife Coastal Path.

the crusoe lower largo

Getting there by public transport

No matter, which way you approach the hotel, you will notice the old railway viaduct. Sadly trains no longer run here but we did travel by bus so if you want to be sustainable you can quite easily.

The 95 bus between Leven and St Andrews runs hourly and stops at the start of the hill under the viaduct in both directions; while the faster X58 and X60 buses to St Andrews, from Leven and Edinburgh respectively, stop on the main road up the hill, an 8-minute walk away.

Character

Inside there’s a traditional-looking bar, with nods to the sea – look out for the stained glass and mermaids at the bar. While the restaurant next door, is dark, cosy and has the feel of being on a boat – and watch out for the cast of Alexander Selkirk’s foot!

the crusoe lower largo

the crusoe lower largo

the crusoe lower largo

Rooms

Serene is the word I would use to describe our room here. We stayed in The Largo Pier Suite which is their premier room, with a large kingsized bed where soft cotton linen sheets cocoon you as you listen to the waves outside as the room is right at the water’s edge.

The rolltop bath beside the window will surely entice you to luxuriate with the Laura Thomas Soap Co toiletries whilst looking out to sea. Don’t worry there is also a private bathroom!

the Crusoe lower largo

There’s also a Nespresso machine with a choice of three pods (one decaf) and teas from the wee tea company including rooibos and peppermint (yay!). Flat-screen tv, free wifi and views over the East Neuk Coast. To complete that desert island vibe, a copy of the Robinson Crusoe novel was even provided in our room.

the crusoe lower largo

the crusoe lower largo

the crusoe lower largo

the crusoe lower largo

the crusoe lower largo

the crusoe lower largoOur room also had a small balcony with two chairs and a table, which is a great asset for a summer stay.

The Crusoe Largo Pier Suite BalconyFood and Drink

You can eat in either the main restaurant or the bar. There is also a smaller, cosier bar on the first floor, which isn’t manned out of season but was open on our visit so you could take a drink up and sit away from the public bar and enjoy the sea views.

The Crusoe - upstairs bar

Menu at the Crusoe

the crusoe lower largo menu

The menu is geared towards Scottish seafood and pub grub so you will find Cullen skink, steak, mac & cheese, fish & chips etc. We ordered…

the crusoe lower largo food shetland mussels

Shetland mussels with Laphroaig whisky and smoked bacon sauce – plump mussels with a warming whisky flavour; Laphroaig sounds a bit extreme but it thankfully didn’t taste nor smell medicinal.

the crusoe lower largo food cullen skink

Cullen Skink – a really creamy, chunky filling potato and smoked haddock soup

the crusoe lower largo food buttermilk chicken burgerButtermilk marinated chicken burger – a filling burger with tender chicken and fries

the crusoe lower largo food fish and chips

Belhaven beer battered haddock and chips – a damn fine meaty fish with crisp batter, chunky chips and mushy peas and tartare sauce included

Breakfast

Breakfast is served in the upstairs restaurant. We expect that this is only used for dinner in busier months, but it’s actually larger than the downstairs space.

the crusoe lower largo breakfast menu

At breakfast you can start with fruit, yoghurt and cereals and then move onto a hot breakfast be it a full Scottish breakfast including tattie scones (yay) to local kippers or eggs benedict.

the crusoe lower largo breakfast

Crusoe Full Scottish Breakfast – two sausages, two rashers of bacon, two poached eggs, black pudding, haggis, potato scone, mushrooms and tomatoes

the crusoe lower largo breakfast

Locally caught kippers with two poached eggs and tomatoes

Other details

This is the view from the suite’s balcony looking south east

The Crusoe Largo Pier Suite view from balcony

There is a car park on-site beside the stone walls of the harbour and riverside.

Nearby is Lundin Golf Club for golf fans.

If you need a change of scenery there is the nearby Railway Inn for a nice pint.

The Crusoe Hotel is operated by Graham and Rachel Bucknall who also own The Ship Inn and The Bridge Inn.

Overall verdict

We are city dwellers but when it comes to a perfect stay and a good night’s sleep we love to be by the sea and drift off to the sound of calming waves at night, and this was easily achieved at The Crusoe.

Our room was beautiful, spacious and well-equipped. The toiletries were excellent, and we love a big bath, especially one next to the window! Robes were also provided, and the shower had great pressure and was easy to operate with both handheld and raindrop shower heads. It’s always great to have a balcony, though it was a bit cold to make the best use of it!

Another thing we love to see is local companies being used and there was a selection of Wee Tea Company teas from nearby Dunfermline.

The restaurant downstairs was dark and cosy and the food was gastropub in nature, to a high standard. The wine selection was pretty varied with a good amount by the glass. Belhaven also brews a Crusoe lager, which is on draught. This is a clean, refreshing, malty beer.

We enjoyed our stay at the Crusoe and would happily return. It’s the perfect place for a romantic hideaway and not a bad place to be stranded in for Valentine’s, on a Friday, or any day of the week.

Friendly staff with good food and no need to visit a pacific island!

Check in from 2pm, Check out by 11am. Our room, The Largo Pier Suite, is from £175. Standard double and twin rooms start at £110.

We were invited to review on a complimentary basis and reviewed as if visiting independently.

Frankie sez he will have scratchy claws on his hoomans if they told untruths.

Frankie sez

Where is The Crusoe

The Crusoe, 2 Main Street, Lower Largo, Leven KY8 6BT, Scotland

Book a room at The Crusoe

The Crusoe website

Tel- 01333 406775

Emma

Emma

Hello!

I am Emma and with my husband Mark write Foodie Explorers, which is a food and travel website.

I am a member of the Guild of Food Writers and British Guild of Travel Writers.

We have a wide range of judging experience covering products, hotels and have judged, for example, for Great Taste Awards and Scottish Baker of the Year.

Along the way Mark gained WSET Level 2 in Wine and I have WSET Level 2 in Spirits as well as picking up an award with The Scotsman Food and Drink Awards.    

Usually I can be found sleeping beside a cat.

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