Signs of spring and a surprising scone

Yesterday, the sun was shining gloriously in my part of the world.

Being keen to make the most of the fine weather, delightful assistant no.1 and I zipped off Kinross-wards, to the Loch Leven Heritage Trail.

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Loch Leven has quite a bit to offer the visitor.

Not only is it a nature reserve of particular interest to birders, but there’s a castle in the middle of the loch where Mary Queen of Scots was once held captive. You can visit the castle via a small boat trip.

There are over 12 miles of level paths round the loch which are ideal for walkers, cyclists, wheelchairs and motorised scooters.

Perhaps best of all, to my way of thinking, Loch Leven’s Larder – a tip top food stop – sits near the banks of the loch and provides the ideal place for a tasty luncheon.

In order to make the most of the facilities, we parked in the Larder’s car park and went for a brisk walk to work up our appetites.

Tall reeds were growing in the marshy land beside the loch:

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Their golden colour made me dream of summer.

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The delightful assistant spotted some silkily soft pussy willow catkins. We stopped and stroked them, in time honoured fashion.

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There were also some magnificent Scots pine trees, with their beautiful bark lit up by the sunlight:

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Our walk did the trick, giving us the appetites we needed. I was close to desperate for a bite of something by the time we were sitting in the cafe perusing the menu.

I opted for one of the soups of the day, kale and potato, which came with not one, but two, pieces of deliciously fluffy freshly baked bread:

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It was tasty, filling and no doubt very nutritious, and I enjoyed it immensely.

Delightful assistant no.1 also enjoyed her choice of toasted ciabatta with brie and chicken, which came with an interesting looking coleslaw and root vegetable crisps:

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Loch Leven’s Larder is one of those places that has rather a mindboggling selection of sweet treats, and on this occasion the desserts included a special pudding of plum and apple crumble with custard.

Despite the temptation of that, and many other delicious looking items, I couldn’t – as I rarely can – get past the idea of a scone.

The scone options were as follows: fruit, plain, cheese and….chocolate and marshmallow.

I’m pretty sure that before yesterday I had never seen a chocolate and marshmallow scone. Although I did waver for a moment between that and the fruit scone, I grasped the nettle and plunged into new territory.

I teamed it up with a decaf cappuccino, while the delightful assistant settled for a lovely pot of tea and a ‘little taste’ of my scone.

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I wasn’t at all sure how the marshmallow would manifest itself, but it appeared to be a sort of shiny hardened area that I’m afraid I haven’t photographed very well (it’s the slightly shiny bit beneath the pale bit to the left of the photo below):

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Was it a success, this teaming of chocolate and marshmallow in a scone?

Decidedly, yes.

I don’t know how many excellent dining experiences I’ve chalked up now at this fine establishment, but I can assure anyone looking for a decent scone near Kinross that they’re sure to find something highly satisfactory at Loch Leven’s Larder.

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Categories: Birds, Bread, Chocolate, Coffee, Perthshire, Photography, Scone, Scotland, Tearooms, Wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 47 Comments

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47 thoughts on “Signs of spring and a surprising scone

  1. katiewritesagain

    Oh my, Lorna, you’ve done it again! Not only do I find myself yearning for retirement in 2 years so I can find my way to your part of the world, but I am already famished for the food I will find there. Wonderful photos as usual. You are quite talented with your camera, thank you for posting. What an invigorating prelude to the coming season!

    • A most generous comment, Kathleen, thank you. I do hope you can retire soon and wing it over this way for a bit of tasty nosh. It’s such a delight to see signs of spring coming in, fairly lifts the spirits.

  2. I’ve had a chocolate scone before and loved it so will definitely have to give a marshmallow & chocolate one a try; purely for research purposes you understand!

  3. I love how you start the post with the red herring of the “Heritage Trail.” I and every other reader know full well that it’s a trip to Loch Leven Larder that is the main deal. I’d send that soup back and I’m not sure about the scone but I could survive quite happily in life eating my way through their desserts. Especially their apple pie!

    • You’ve got me bang to rights, guv. The delightful assistant was a bit tempted by the apple pie but unfortunately didn’t have the spare capacity.

  4. Oh dear that looks amazing! I just felt my stomach growl at the sight of the scone:)

  5. That sounds yummy! I’m glad you’re seeing signs of spring, we just had another heavy snowfall and freezing temperatures! The only good thing about winter in my books is curling up with a good book, cup of tea and a lovely treat while it storms away outside…

    • Oh dear, I’m sorry to hear about your dose of winter. You seem to have had a tough time of it this season. However, as you say, there’s nothing quite like a cold day for curling up with a good book and some treats. Lovely!

  6. Always nice to get your scones in the old inbox. Marshmallows never seem to behave well in baking. They always seem like a good idea though! I had a nice cheese scone yesterday.

    • I’m delighted to hear that you had a nice cheese scone. I had one today myself, very tasty. I’ve sometimes wondered about putting marshmallows into things but I’m never sure what will happen with them. I suppose now I know, they sort of melt and harden.

  7. Hi Lorna, I love these photos! It’s like I’ve looked back and it’s suddenly summer on your blog already! The food looks and wholesome I’m with you, it’s always wonderful to try new things :)

    (Should I tell you my new blog is up for a look see,) I hope you like it! ;)

    • Thanks Alice, I’ve just been over to your new blog and it looks amazing! I like the font you’ve used in the header, and the layout is great, your photos look even more luscious than before. Is it still hosted by WordPress?

      • Hi Lorna. I’m now powered by WordPress.Org. I should mention I hired a web design team to pretty up the site. They handled all my hosting issues and I just twiddled my thumbs. Worth every single dollar!

        Ps, I thought the photos look yummier too? Or is it cause we’re both extra yummy ;)

        • I didn’t know there was such a thing as WordPress.org, it’s the more professional branch of things, is it? Your site certainly looks professional, and the photos are definitely yummy (like us :-)).

  8. Gorgeous photos…love the look of that scone but not sure that I’d be adventurous enough to go for the marshmallow scone…I sure enjoyed your description of it. What a lovely day…and the weather looked beautiful too…spring is in the air.

    • Ah, so true Linda, spring has sprung over here and it’s lovely to see. I only hope it stays this way, because last year we had one glorious week in March and then it snowed and went all wintry again. I did deliberate about the scones, I wasn’t entirely sure the marshmallow was going to be a good choice, but I’m very glad I opted for it.

  9. I really should have saved reading this post until I’d had lunch – now I’m starving! Gorgeous photos…

  10. This blogpost was so effective I went off and made my lunch – potato and leek by Baxters very nice actually :-)

  11. What a lovely day out, and we must visit the Loch Leven Larder very soon! In fact, I think we have been there, but not for tea or coffee. That scone looks delicious, as does the ciabatta. I laughed at your story about the pussy willows because I always have to stop and stroke them, too! I’m glad someone else does it! :) That castle on the island is one of my next places to visit (it’s due to open in April, and Colin wants to go fishing – perfect!)

  12. Nature, walking paths, sunshine, good food and company – – now that’s living.

  13. I really must visit that place! I love the story of the pussy willows – me too – and it’s great to see Delightful Assistant No. 1 looking particularly delightful. The spring weather we had earlier this week was absolutely exhilarating!

    • In some ways it’s similar to Gloagburn, Christine, I think you’d like it (good wheelchair access too, with parking near the entrance and an accessible toilet). I couldn’t agree more about the weather, it lifts the spirits!

  14. Chocolate and marshmallow. What a fabulous combination! I would love to visit and take in the castle as well as I have read about it. My Amanda must take a trip to Scotland.

  15. So nice to see a bit of sun.

  16. Happy Spring! Best time of the year, enjoy!!

  17. Just when I was thinking how nicely the plum and apple crumble would do me, you come up with choc n marshmallow scone! What sort of a dirty trick is that?
    I wouldn’t mind, but I’d intended to stop after that nice panini :)
    Aren’t pussy willows the nicest things?

    • I’m sure the crumble would have been a tasty option, Loch Leven’s Larder are always up to new tricks with tempting treats. The panini did look very good, I must say, beautifully toasted. I’ve seen more pussy willows since then and couldn’t resist a stroke, I agree that they are delightful little bits of nature.

  18. Your description and picture of the chocolate and marshmallow scone are perfection! I would go there just for one of those… :)

  19. A chocolate and marshmallow scone with a cup of cappuccino…that might be my new favorite combination. I’d like to enjoy it while sitting on that prayer bench on a beautiful spring day. It’s still unseasonably cold here, but the snow is gone and the sun is bright as ever. Soon…very soon. :0) xo

    • It would be lovely to have that as a picnic, Lucinda, I agree. Loch Leven’s Larder, where I partook of these delights indoors, also has an outside seating area which is lovely on a warm day. I’m glad that the sun is shining with you and hope that spring’s bouncing on its way to you.

  20. I always end up feeling incredibly hungry after reading your posts Lorna. Your meal sounds delicious.
    Back in my memory bank, I think my sister used to go water skiing on Loch Leven.

    • There’s nothing like a few pictures of tasty morsels to give me an appetite, too. I don’t know that you’d be allowed to water ski on Loch Leven these days because it’s a nature reserve. You can fish there I think but I’ve never seen any other watersports going on.

  21. I’ve only visited the castle quickly and had a fairly dismal scone at the waterside cafe, so will bear this in mind if we return.

    • That’s such a pity, you were so close to scone excellence just across the loch. Never mind, I hope you can return some time and try out Loch Leven’s Larder.

  22. Hello Lorna, I can see why the twitchers would flock to Loch Leven with all its reedbeds and Scots pine woods… and I can see why the hungry traveller would be drawn to the Larder too. A perfect combination of nature and nourishment!

  23. Hi Lorna! You had me at pussywillows, a childhood favourite, but then topped it with those delectable looking scones. I am so going to try my hand at those this week! Much love to you, Nicole xx

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