On holiday in Galloway last month, my delightful assistants and I visited Logan Botanic Gardens:
This is a pilgrimage each of us makes, usually at least once a year. Being members of the Royal Botanic Gardens (which comprises a set of four lovely gardens in Scotland, including Logan), like true Scots, we want to get our money’s worth.
The big bonus for me is that Logan also happens to contain one of my favourite tearooms in Galloway.
At first sight the striplights and tiled floor might seem a little stark and utilitarian, but I find this place warm and welcoming and I like the bright cleanliness of it. As soon as I step through the door I get a sense of having come home.
On this occasion, we had come here not only to enjoy the tearoom and look round the garden, but also to attend the Annual General Meeting. Despite all having been members for some time, none of us had ever attended any of the AGMs, and since this one happened to be on while we were in the area, we took the opportunity to pop in.
The meeting wasn’t being held until 2pm, so we rolled up in time for morning snacks, intending to munch those, mooch round the garden, have lunch and then drop into the meeting.
I noticed behind the counter that scones were being cut out of dough, and knowing that scones only take about 10 minutes to cook, I wondered if we might partake of these when they were ready. The lovely lady who was making them said that if we didn’t mind waiting she’d bring some over to our table when they were cooked, and in the meantime fetch us beverages to be getting on with.
So, we sat down with our drinks, and a few minutes later delicious piping hot scones appeared:
They were quite small and dainty, but perfectly formed and absolutely delicious. When the bill came I was surprised at how little we were being charged, and when we queried it we discovered that they’d cut the price of the scones as they were smaller than usual.
Thus refreshed, out we trotted for some fresh air and greenery.
I could do a whole post on this garden, but I will instead limit myself to showing you a hotel complex for minibeasts:
These hotels are at the top end of the market, the minibeast equivalent of a right royal residence:
I wondered if it was Prince Charles who came up with the hotel name. I saw him at Logan Botanics a few years ago when he had turned up to open something, although I can’t now remember what. I remember it was a lovely sunny day, and he was very tanned and wearing a sandy coloured suit that made him look like a pukka sahib abroad. (He was sort of abroad I suppose, having come from England).
After our garden stroll we strode back into the tearoom for a spot of luncheon prior to the meeting. We all opted for soup, the two delightful assistants taking lentil, while I chose minestrone.
Minestrone (it was probably the best minestrone soup I’ve ever had, I can still remember how good it was a month later):
The bread was also surprisingly good. I usually prefer brown bread, but this was very tasty, really crusty and crunchy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside.
We did wonder if there might be biscuits at the AGM, but in case not we had a little sweet thing after our soup. We got two pieces of Malteser slice to share between us:
I find it endlessly satsifying to break through the middle of a Malteser:
Nicely filled and not requiring the AGM’s biscuits, we filed into the meeting along with 20-odd other punters.
The sight that met my eyes caused me to gasp. Spread out inside the room was a magnificent buffet consisting of trays of sandwiches, scones, biscuits and cakes, and there were several pots of tea and coffee next to a stack of teacups. We looked at each other in a distressed way and wondered what to do about this situation.
Despite having no room for more food at this juncture, I simply could not pass up this veritable feast. I chose a small fruit scone (this was what the lady in the tearoom had evidently been making them for) with butter and jam, helped myself to a cup of tea and sat down in the back row next to delightful assistant no.1 (who was so full of lunch she couldn’t even manage a cup of tea).
After a bit of toing and froing with people finding seats and selecting goodies to nibble on, the chap in charge offered us another chance to take some treats before the meeting began. I really hadn’t room but I just couldn’t leave all that food there uneaten and looking deliciously at me. I thought perhaps that as the meeting went on I might develop an appetite, and so I topped my teacup up and helped myself to a coconuty cakey pink thing, which I laid on the windowsill beside me. Needless to say, it had gone by the close of the meeting:
After the meeting, which included a most interesting talk on ferns by a very enthusiastic fellow, we bid a fond adieu to Logan and its inhabitants, and are already looking forward to our next visit.