Kitty’s Tearoom

There is a tearoom in the quiet village of New Galloway that comes worryingly close to perfection.

The idea of a perfect tearoom worries me on two counts:

1. I feel quite certain that it would overwhelm me

2. I suspect it might curb my enthusiasm for visiting other, lesser, tearooms

I’m afraid my photographs don’t do this place justice; ideally you’d experience it for yourself first-hand in order to soak up the refined and elegant atmosphere, but I realise that not everyone can do this so here are a few snaps to give a little flavour of it:

Everything about Kitty’s is top-notch, from the service, to the comfort, teacups, food and beverages. I sat beside the coal fire in the above picture one cold winter’s day and it was a most satisfactory experience.

My most recent visit was made a couple of weeks ago, when the delightful assistants and I zoomed our way (I was very excited to get there) from our holiday home at Culmore Bridge Cottages, to arrive in time for a spot of luncheon.

Kitty’s is situated on the main street in New Galloway, with green paint and a little flag outside that fills me with happiness:

No matter what the weather or your emotions at the time, when you cross the threshold of Kitty’s, you will almost certainly notice an elevation of the spirits. The delightful and well-presented staff are so welcoming that you could easily imagine they’d leapt out of bed that morning with the fervent hope that you, and you alone, would shimmy in and permit them to shower you with their delectable treats.

Each table is spread with two cloths, upon which teacups, milk jugs and sugar bowls with silver tongs are laid out most attractively. I was particularly pleased with my teacup on this occasion:

Kitty has a fine collection of china, displayed in glass-fronted cabinets and on shelves around the tearoom. I suspect she rotates the china laid out on the tables, because I don’t think I’ve ever been dished up the same design twice.

The china is just the start of things, and it only gets better once you peruse the menu and order your choice of grub.

Delightful assistant no.2 began his meal with cream of carrot soup, which came in a lovely wide Art Deco bowl:

He also had an enormous glass of cloudy lemonade which came with a slice of lemon in it, and followed his soup with a cheese and onion toastie:

Delightful assistant no.1 opted for the dreamily smooth and delicious leek and cheese quiche, which came as a large warm slice with salad, and was washed down with a glass of cloudy apple juice:

I very nearly went down the quiche route myself, encouraged by the waitress who was singing its praises, but all morning I had been reliving the memory of a certain dish that I’ve had here before, one of those that ranks up in the top echelon of meals enjoyed.

After a slight quichely waver, I wisely plumped for the dish of my dreams, the delectable Fat Naan – a naan bread stuffed full of curried vegetables, served with salad and a truly magnificent minted dahi (yoghurt):

It would be no exaggeration to describe this dish as divine.

After that, somewhat tragically, none of us had room of pudding. This almost made me cry because it meant I missed out on an opportunity to consume the stupendous sticky toffee pudding (I’ve had it here before and it remains in my mind as something unusually superb). However, I did enjoy a beautiful pot of Lapsang Souchong tea with my meal:

As an example of how caring the service is, along with the hot water pot in the middle of the above picture, I was given a cloth to wrap around the handle so that I could pour from the pot while maintaining a comfortable temperature in my fingers:

If you happen to be in the vicinity of New Galloway any time soon, I would strongly recommend a visit to Kitty’s Tearoom, not only because it’s an outstanding tearoom but because Kitty herself is retiring and the tearoom is now up for sale. Who knows how many more meals will grace those generously clothed tables before Kitty and her outstanding culinary skills tootle off into the sunset?

I fear that it would be a very tall order indeed for anyone to take over from her and maintain the same standards, and so I can only assume that this is the end of a truly magnificent era.

I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to Kitty and her lovely staff, for providing me and numerous other diners with exceptional tearoom experiences over the years. I feel blessed with profoundly happy memories that I hope to retain for the rest of my days, chief amongst them those miraculously flavoursome fat naans and truly unforgettable sticky toffee puddings:

The temptingly named ‘Mata Hari’, Kitty’s delicious sticky toffee pudding

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Categories: Bread, Dumfries and Galloway, Foodstuff, Photography, Scotland, Soup, Sticky toffee pudding, Tea, Teacup, Tearooms | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 53 Comments

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53 thoughts on “Kitty’s Tearoom

  1. I so want to go there

  2. loustar02

    Only wish it was nearer. The stuffed naan looks particularly interesting.

  3. The fat naan with its accompaniment of luscious salads and minty creamy loveliness looks like one of the finest platters I’ve ever seen. I wonder if Kitty has any plans to publish a recipe book…

    • I’m so glad you liked the fat naan Finn, I think that was the 4th time I’ve had it and every time it’s been sublime. What a marvellous idea about a recipe book!

  4. Oh no, that seems tragic. Really good tea rooms are remarkably rare and we need more not less. That naan looks really good and is a bit more unusual than your average cafe fare.

  5. This does sound delightful and I can imagine nothing more perfect than a fat naan followed by sticky toffee pudding!
    I recently spent a weekend in Rome and when I returned I was told about an English Tea Room by the Spanish Steps. I was staying very nearby but didn’t see it. If I had known about it while I was there I would have popped in to do some research for you!
    Sadly I missed it, so you’ll just have to go yourself sometime and tell us all about it!

    • Thank you for thinking of me Kathryn, if I’m ever in Rome I will be sure to try and find it. It makes me feel I really ought to pop over and hunt it down… If only I’d had room for the sticky toffee pud after my fat naan.

  6. wow, wow, wow! so amazing. i would love to go there. i think this is my favorite post of yours to date. everything looks so fantastic. i particularly love the carrot soup in that absolutely beautiful bowl. love the curry, love the sticky pudding and the salads that accompany the meals are fabulous. thanks for sharing this experience with us. i may be back for a peek at your photos of the food again. :)

    • Thank you Alison, your enthusiasm is much appreciated! I do wish you could go there, I think everyone should get to experience this place at least once in their lives. Not for the first time I wish that these WordPress blogs had some sort of tasting element, or perhaps a tantalising whiff of the food coming off the screen (although that might be too distressing, if you didn’t have the food itself). Maybe one day! :-)

  7. What a charming place!! I love the pile of china cups and saucers – kinda scary – but very fun.

    • She does have an amazing collection of china Annie, I wonder what she’s going to do with it when she sells the tearoom, perhaps it’s part of the deal.

  8. I was definitely thinking “cosy” till you got to the Fat Naan, which didn’t seem to fit with the cosy role at all. Nothing to do but eat it- destroy the evidence!

    • Interesting point Jo, perhaps the fat naan wasn’t cosy, but it was certainly comforting. As you say, what could I do but shovel it away? I destroyed every last bit of evidence.

  9. Wow that does indeed look unsurpassable, in terms of tea rooms or life in general come to that. And then when I read ‘Kitty is retiring’!!!! I do hope it continues in its present form, if at all possible. The bowl the carrot soup was served in is so very pretty, the fireplace, the napkin around the teapot handle…. Sigh!

    • I hope Kitty’s will live on in some way too Christine, it’s such a well established and wonderful place. I was very keen on the soup bowl (the soup was rather tasty too, I had a sample), and the service is always exemplary.

  10. Lorna, dear, this post comes worryingly close to perfection.
    I am so glad that you were able to enjoy the luncheon of your dreams in this outstanding tearoom at least once again, before Kitty retires.

    • Ha ha, Robin, what a delight to see you, you do make me laugh! I was hugely relieved to get another scoff at Kitty’s before time was called, and if there’s any way I can squeeze in yet one more I’ll certainly give it a go.

  11. Oh what Joy and smiley-ness this gives me!!! Wish I was closer so we could just pop in there for a cuppa and fat naan and pudding together.

    And hooray for people who love teacups as much as me. :D
    Much love to you, dear Lorna xx

    • My dear Nicole, you would love it in there, I’m quite sure. It’s tip-top for comfort food and tea, and the teacups are delightful. Much love to you, too. xo :-)

  12. I really want to go there! It sounds, as you say, divine! When you said you had no room for pudding, I thought ‘Oh, no!’ – and was so relieved to see a photo at the end! The lovely china and the presentation make all the difference, too. It sounds and looks like an exceptional tearoom, with exceptional service. I sincerely hope that someone will take it over and maintain the high standards.

    • I’m relieved I didn’t disappoint you on the pudding front! I’m in complete agreement with you Jo, it would be excellent if it could be taken over by someone with the same sort of passion and cooking skills. We can but hope…

  13. girlinafoodfrenzy

    Oh wow! Lorna a very beautiful tearoom indeed, I love the flag too :) I’m amazed that the tearoom is being sold as you mentioned its such a successful venture but I imagine all good things eventually come to an end (no doubt kitty deserves to put her feet up and have someone else serve her for a change!)

    The fat naan stuffed with those delicious veggies looks like an ideal tummy warmer, coal fires and sticky date pudding makes me wish I were traveling to the UK! Lol ;)

    • That’s it Alice, I think Kitty is taking a very well deserved rest. It’s a great pity for all of her customers, but we can hardly deny her it after her years of dedicated service. That fat naan and hot pudding is just the sort of thing I’ll be craving in the weeks to come as the chilly winds begin to blow in Scotland.

  14. The china is beautiful, and the sticky toffee pudding looks delicious! I like the little touches that make it such a special place… :)

    • I agree Meg, when they go out of their way to create something special for the customers you can’t help but applaud it, especially when its all done with such style and grace, as it is at Kitty’s.

  15. katiewritesagain

    Hello Lorna! be I’ve been sooooo slacka bout keeping up with my blog, your blog, everyone’s blog. This particular post has given me motivation to get back to the world! I just got a new catalog of teas and have been contemplating what I should order for wintertime. Any suggestions?
    Your post about Kitty’s Tea Room has me wishing I lived in Scotland, where my mother’s ancestors are from. The photos are wonderful-you must give yourself more credit! Thank you for showing us the soothing, tiny corners of the world like Kitty’s. I hope someone buys it and keeps it just the way it is.

    • Hi Kathleen, life has a habit of taking over now and then, I’ve noticed that myself. How exciting about your tea catalogue! The thing that immediately springs to mind is chai for the winter, because of its warming cosiness, and then there’s any other gingery or otherwise spicy concoction, e.g. if you like herbal varieties perhaps a lemon and ginger tea. I also very much like a fine dainty tea for those days when you’re warm indoors and fancy a bit of elegance, e.g. Darjeeling or a white tea, and perhaps some exotic green teas for making you feel as if you’re going on an oriental adventure. The dark smokiness of Lapsang souchong is perfect for autumn/fall because it smells like bonfires. Basically, I suppose what I’m saying is, all teas are a great choice at any time of year! :-)

      I’m delighted that you liked Kitty’s, and thank you for your kind words. I agree, hope someone can take it over and maintain it as it is, that would be marvellous.

  16. What a pity that Kitty is retiring, perhaps the new owner will continue to provide excellence as Kitty has done.

  17. Right I have a complaint! I am permanently licking my lips and/or hungry when I read your blog – you need to place a warning – people are just not prepared for it.

  18. Such a shame when a fantastic tearoom closes down. Let’s hope someone else with the same standards and passion for tea will take it over. And I always think it’s a question worth asking: What constitutes a perfect tearoom?

    • Thank you, I’m keeping my fingers crossed! As for what constitutes a perfect tearoom, I suppose different people would give different answers to that question. Personally, I would rate the standard of the food and drink very highly, with the quality of the service coming close behind that. Clean, interesting surroundings, a varied and enticing menu, well kept loos and a unique charm of its own, all contribute to a first class tearoom in my opinion, and what I really like to find is somewhere that surprises me in a positive way, a tearoom that possibly suggests itself as pretty good but then excels itself in some way. I also generally prefer quiet tearooms to those with the radio or loud music on, but that is very much a personal taste. What do you think?

  19. Everything looks divine in your pictures – perhaps due to the lovely china. Doesn’t that make all of the difference?

    • Thank you! I quite agree, lovely china does make a difference to the tea experience, it brings an elegance and refinement that’s very welcome in this day of paper takeaways and chunky mugs (all of which have their place, but I think their ubiquitous nature makes china feel even more special).

  20. Love your post Lorna. You write so beautifully. Your descriptions take me right there (as well as your photos which now have me salivating.) How good of you to share the warmth and care offered at Kitty’s. We need more establishments like hers…people who care about their guests and offer the cloth so as not to be too hot on your hands. How thoughtful. All the food looks luscious. You and your able assistants sure know how to appreciate life!

    • How jolly kind of you Linda, thanks awfully! I agree that we need more establishments like Kitty’s, the sort that transport us to a higher plane. There’s a lot about life that’s mundane, so having these little treats brings a welcome bit of sparkle and joy.

  21. Dear Little Lorna…I’ve looked at this post at least a half-a-dozen times. This tea room looks perfectly dreamy in every single way. Well, if Kitty must close her little shop, she must–but how sad to see it go. (So many truly good ones have come and gone.) However, maybe another one will pop up like a little flower after another one’s been plucked. Thank goodness for the people who have the energy and wherewithal to run a tea room! In the meantime, I’m content to drool over that carrot soup and sticky toffee pudding from afar!! :0) xo –Lucinda

    • That made me laugh, thank you Lucinda! I’m in complete agreement with you on every point, I only wish I could let you taste that pudding for yourself. I’m quite sure you’d enjoy every mouthful sitting in Kitty’s delightful surroundings! :-) xo

  22. This place looks heavenly. Loved your choice of meal, it would be mine too although the others looked good as well. You know you now have made us all very hungry.

    • Thank you Darlene, it’s a delight isn’t it? I made myself hungry too, I can’t look at those pictures without feeling quite desperate.

  23. That looks really nice.

  24. I’m in love with the cabinet full of teacups!! ;)

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