Logan Botanic Gardens

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.

Lentil soup:

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.

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Categories: Bread, Cake, Galloway, Gardens, Photography, Scone, Scotland, Soup, Teacup | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 54 Comments

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54 thoughts on “Logan Botanic Gardens

  1. The delightful assistants are the parents right? Looks like a lovely place and I agree, that minestrone looks yummy!

    • Absolutely correct! They hold the positions 1 and 2, my mum being no.1 (by virtue of being my most frequent assistant) and my dad being no.2. It is a beautiful place, and the soup was terrific. Thank you!

  2. Lovely! Now you got me seriously thinking about Scotland and scones :)

  3. Appears to be top notch baked goods! And the setting! I’m envious. I think we need to have a few of those critter hotels here! What a great idea!

  4. I can’t imagine a more enjoyable meeting! How lovely that the tearoom in this garden holds such a dear place in your heart that going there seems like a homecoming. The Bugginham Palace is a nice touch, too. ;-)

    • Thank you Robin, I was very pleasantly surprised by the meeting, not only with all the cakes but with the very beautiful pictures of ferns and ferneries during the talk. As for it feeling like home, I suppose it’s not too surprising since I’ve been going there for as long as I can remember. We were taken there as tots on holiday pretty much every year, and it’s lovely to go back.

  5. What a lovely trip! Scones are the best when right out of the oven, so lucky you got those!

    Beautiful photographs too :)

  6. Yolanda Presant

    Well, you know, if you hadn’t had anything to eat there would have been nothing at the meeting! The ducklings are adorable!

    • The ducklings are sweet, aren’t they? They got stuck in the pond with their mother up above and she looked as if she was rolling her eyes at them not climbing out. The shame of the meeting was that they over-catered and there was loads left. I should have taken a goodie bag away with me.

  7. Loved the long shot with the boat. Gorgeous! Cute bug hotel, cute ducks, cute tearoom, scrumptious food…what’s not to like?

    Whoever first thought of a Malteser Slice, I wonder?

    Prince Charles as pukka sahib…

    • Thank you Marian, that boat is a new feature in the garden and I thought it looked rather good. I don’t know who dreamt up the Malteser slice but they were a genius, it’s become a very popular traybake over here.

  8. Loved this! Everything from the upturned tow boat on the lake shore (nicely captured,) to the Buggingham Palace, all lovely! I love a piping hot scone like anyone but definitely loved the look of the Maltesers cake and the pink fluffy thingy!!! Sounds like a lovely day out, as per usual :)

    • Thank you Alice, you’re always so encouraging! These Malteser cakes are great, although I’ve never made one myself. Do you have Maltesers in Australia?

  9. Lorna,
    Your posts always transport me to another world. Thank you! :)

  10. Everything looks good, especially the little scone, so brown, yet fluffy looking. The baby ducks — so cute!

  11. Loved your post. That’s the way to have scones, petite and warm right out of the oven.. The mini beast seems a clever thing. You made me laugh at the site of food and beverage you walked into at the meeting. I would have done what you did…force more…it looked lovely.

    • Thank you Linda, I very much appreciate your comments. It felt close to being a tragedy, all that delicious fare just sitting there uneaten.

  12. oh and one more thing… I love Maltesers too. I used to work for the Mars Company (who makes them)…but in the U.S….we don’t get them here except at specialty confectionery shops. In the U.S. we have a similar product called a Whopper but it is not near as tasty, chocolaty or malty as a Malteser. I’m envious…:-)

    • You used to work for a chocolate manufacturer?! Wow, did you get free samples? I’ve heard of these Whoppers but I’ve never seen one, I don’t think we get them in the UK. If I do ever see them I’ll have to do a Battle of the Malty Chocolates post.

  13. This looks a lovely place, and the food looks amazing! Love the baby ducklings, too! For some reason, this has started me wondering if the word ‘scone’ originated at Scone?

    • Thanks Jo, that’s an interesting question and I wish I knew the answer to it. My dad thinks it would be a great idea to open a tearoom in Scone dedicated to the serving of a wide variety of scones and call it Scone Palace.

      • :) I love your dad’s idea! Also, it would have people deliberating for ever more about how to pronounce ‘Scone’!!

  14. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful experience and wonderful images. Once again you could take me there in my dreams. I needed to escape my life today, I needed a dream. Thank you <3

  15. What a frustration, the double serving of goodies! But a delicious dilemma —
    I enjoyed (vicariously) your post very much.

    • Thank you Judith, quite right it was a bit of a delicious dilemma. If I go to another of those meetings I’ll know to leave a space for some treats.

  16. Looks beautiful. The only botanic gardens I’ve visited in Scotland are in Glasgow (I used to live round the corner from them). There’s nowhere nicer to spend a sunny day.
    Oh and now I want a malteser square!

  17. I would love to try the Malteser slice, do they have recipes by any chance? Everything else looks good too. Did the ducklings get out of the water?
    I love your posts. I always make a cup of tea to drink while I read them.

    • I wish I had a recipe for the Malteser slice, I’ll have to look for one and then post it on here. It would be great to be able to make them, any excuse to buy Maltesers!

      The ducklings did get out, yes, thanks to a wooden plank I believe my mum asked the gardeners to supply because she was worried about them. There was a place they could have climbed out, which is presumably how they got in, but they wouldn’t go to it. I’m delighted that you read my posts while drinking tea :)

      • Yes I agree, any excuse to buy Maltesers. We have huge packages of “Whoppers” but only little tiny packs of Maltesers in Canada. The Whoppers pale in comparison.
        And bless your mum for helping the ducklings!

        • I must try these Whoppers, although if you say they pale in comparison then perhaps I’d be best to stick with my beloved Maltesers. My mum is a kind soul, and can’t resist a fluffy duckling.

          • Just a wee note to let you know that I’ve posted a page with some information on the things I use to draw my illustrations. I tried to do a video but it didn’t work (too many swear words!).

  18. I’ve never been to Galloway but you are whetting my appetite in more ways than one! Your story about the delicious buffet reminds me of my husband’s experience, when young and in France for the first time, of eating a good tea at 7 pm before going to friends’ at 8 pm – where you guessed it, a huge dinner was laid on! He said nothing, ate his delicious meal, and never forgot the experience.

    Those ducklings are incredibly sweet…

    • Oh your poor husband, that would have floored me! I expect he felt rather full when he left that dinner. I can quite imagine the memory staying with him.

  19. Silvia

    That scone looks delicious!

  20. Hello Lorna, the bug hotel is a brilliant idea. I leave piles of twigs around my garden to provide a home for the small creatures but I’d love to have the space to build one of these. Magnificent!

    • Thanks Finn, it’s great isn’t it? It’s very nice that you leave piles of twigs around, that’s just as good, I’m sure.

  21. I always appreciate scones and ducklings!

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