This week’s choice is one of those excellent farm shop-tearoom combinations, where locally grown produce and locally baked cakes stroll hand in hand along leafy country lanes (if I was a gifted cartoonist I would insert a little doodle of a carrot ambling along a grassy path with a sponge cake, but maybe you can imagine such an image).
It is located in a very beautiful area of rolling farmland, with a duck pond across the road from the tearoom (the first two photos were taken last summer, hence the leaves on the trees):
There’s a loch nearby which has a road going all the way round it and it’s a lovely peaceful place for an easy stroll:
The tearoom sits in a courtyard not far from the loch. The courtyard also contains a shop full of handcrafted items, some antiques, books and clothing, and a separate farm shop selling locally grown produce, preserves, etc. I really can’t account for this, but rather than take photos of the buildings to give an idea of the layout, all I have of the outside area is two tractors:
This one appears to have been made out of an oil drum and some leftovers:
The tearoom has been done up several times since I first started visiting it, and it’s more popular than ever these days. One of the reasons for that could be the size of the cake slices (although I must admit the entire menu is exellent, with several delicious hot meals available). Given the lack of scale, it’s hard to see how big this is, but the cake itself was a large one, cut into only eight pieces, making each slice a very substantial portion. This was a carrot cake:
Seeing how big the slices were, my beautiful assistant and I decided to share a piece and plumped, not unsually, for the coffee cake. We had both secretly wanted to go for the Victoria sponge, but each thinking that the other was more keen on the coffee cake, we remained silent in a very British manner, and ended up with our second choices. This was the Victoria sponge we were both secretly longing for:
The coffee cake that won the day:
It was served, as shown, on a very pretty tea plate, and turned out to be quite superb! I’m sure the Victoria sponge would have been equally good, but there were no complaints about the coffee cake, that’s for sure.
My other delightful assistant (my dad) had also joined us for this excursion, in order to take a little refreshment and get some exercise in the peaceful countryside nearby. He had a lemon slice:
The tearoom sells a few gifty things and also has a fine selection of tea packets for sale near the counter:
As I was leaving the tearoom, I managed to sneak a quick shot from the doorway while no-one was looking:
After our tea and cakes we took a leisurely stroll around the loch, passing a village school (I call it that becuase it’s so rural, but in fact there’s no village in sight, it’s just in the middle of nowhere, next to the farm and tearoom). The school catchment area must be fairly wide, because the community is quite spread out in this neck of the woods. It includes the area known as Glenisla, beautifully declared in mosaic form on a wall next to the school: