Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Scone Spy: Our cafe critic stops off at Craigard Kitchen at Ballygrant, Islay

© WAS3Nicola Fitz-Hardy behind the Craigard counter
Nicola Fitz-Hardy behind the Craigard counter

Scone Spy was looking for a port in a storm during a recent tour of the enchanting island of Islay.

As high winds cancelled the ferry MV Finlaggan, your spy plus guest took refuge at Craigard Kitchen at Ballygrant, just a short drive from Port Askaig.

Parking our vehicle on the street outside, we beat a path to the cafe battling fierce winds and driving rain expecting to find it closed. We were surprised to see it open with a welcome so warm we lingered for longer than intended.

An oasis of peace and tranquillity, the pretty cafe with its white-washed natural stone feature wall, flickering candle sconces, sea blue hues, and Highland Coo artwork, oozes a country-meets-coastal kind of charm.

We’d expected to be the only people venturing out on such a wild day but were surpised to see a family already tucking into lunch while nearby a gaggle of giggling girlfriends were doing just as the Craigard suggests on its menu: “Eat, Drink, Blether”.

This gem of an eatery was entirely renovated by owner Nicola Fitz-Hardy, who after falling in love with Islay on holiday, gave up a job in the City of London with New York’s Citibank to launch the business in January.

She says she rises at 5am to bake and enjoys wonderful support from the island community with half of all clientele returning customers.

And we can see why. Scrumptious savoury snacks on the menu include toasted paninis and sandwiches (like haggis and cheese, sweet chilli cheese, and chilli mango chutney) and tempting bakes like coffee and walnut cake with coffee buttercream (a particular favourite) as well as other tasty choices like Biscoff and white choc chip cookies, lemon drizzle loaf cake with lemon icing, and dark chocolate rocky road (dairy and gluten free bakes available too).

But Scone Spy is here – not surprisingly – for the scones, taking one each of the fruit and cheese varieties (served with butter and jam). Both are melt-in-the-mouth delicious. And this spy’s choice is packed with fat, juicy fruit – perfect.

One thing is for certain. “Isle” be back!