Twas the first of December, when all through the house not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. I crept out into the early-morning darkness, past the holly and the ivy growing on my fence, for I was on a very special mission.
Our café critic has travelled the country in search of the perfect scone…
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I’m a great believer in never judging a book by its cover.
Scone Spy: The Terrace at Mallaig’s West Highland Hotel is where baking and views rise to the occasion
We’re at the end of The Road to the Isles. Scone Spy has travelled hundreds of miles to Mallaig’s West Highland Hotel to sample its luxury afternoon tea and drink in what are arguably some of the best views on the planet.
Scone Spy: Delicious baking and beautiful scenery, who woodn’t beat a path here to the Ardardan Tearoom?
Back in the day, Joe Public wouldn’t dream of venturing on to a farm unless they were strawberry picking or indulging in some tractor spotting (or is that just me?).
American comedian and actor W.C. Fields declared you should never work with children or animals – and after battling through a day filled with both, I can’t help but agree.
Although I keep my Scone Spy alter ego strictly incognito, it is slightly more difficult to hide my voluminous midsection and, with it, my love of food.
For those of a certain vintage, The Soup Dragons are a 1980s alt-rock band from Lanarkshire who briefly shone with their cover of The Rolling Stones’ hit I’m Free.
The Scots have given a lot to the world, haven’t we? If you were to telephone a friend to arrange a train ride to the local hospital, where your partner was being treated with penicillin for a nasty infection, you would have to say many thank yous to the Scottish pioneers and inventors who made it all possible.
This week’s scone-hunting trek took me back to my old chomping ground of Stirlingshire and the Hillfoots, a string of villages resting in the shadows of the Ochil Hills.
When the sun shines – which isn’t very often in Scotland – you have to grab the opportunity with both hands and enjoy it. My favourite thing to do when the forecast is good is to take a road trip somewhere off the beaten track.
They say you should never mix business with pleasure. But when you’re in the business of tasting scones, it has to be said there are few days in the working week that aren’t very pleasurable.