When I’m out and about, on my secretive Scone Spy duties, I usually like to sit down and take in my surroundings.
I find a nice seat in the corner of a cafe (better for people watching, you see) and spend a relaxing half an hour sucking up the ambience of the eatery.
This week, however, a combination of Omicron paranoia and pre-Christmas chaos meant I could only stop for a takeaway coffee and pastry – but I was nonetheless impressed by the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it coffee shop I popped into in Glasgow’s west end.
I had arrived in Partick to finish some last-minute shopping – the neighbourhood is home to lots of students, which always means great independent shops – and spotted the bright blue awnings of Kaf Coffee just as festive fatigue called for an emergency caffeine boost. Nestled between a traditional pub and a shop called Mental Munchies (your guess is as good as mine), the unassuming little shopfront had attracted a small queue which, in my vast spying experience, is always an indicator of a hidden gem.
I ventured into the tiny cafe (seriously, there’s no seats and only space for one customer at a time) and was greeted by a super-friendly, mask-clad barista.
As well as a small selection of retail items, including coffee beans, gourmet granola and handmade biscuits, the counter offered up just what I was looking for – golden, sugar-encrusted mince pies.
A far cry from anything you would find on a supermarket shelf, the little festive bakes looked exquisitely handmade, so it took me all of 30 seconds to decide I need to sample more than one. For research purposes, of course.
The pies were quickly wrapped up alongside a delightful pot of brandy butter, while it took all my willpower not to order more treats from the eatery’s tempting menu of cheese toasties and deep-filled sandwiches.
Side-stepping the savoury selection was the extent of my self-discipline, as I wolfed down the first mince pie in two bites while walking back to my car. If that’s not a good sign of quality cake, I don’t know what is.
Mince pie score 4/5
Lovingly handmade, the filling was delicious.
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