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Scone Spy: Our cafe critic goes bargain hunting at Cullen Antiques Centre

Former church is now an antiques haven
Former church is now an antiques haven

Apart from top bakes, Scone Spy loves nothing better than an antiques and reclamation yard rummage.

Imagine our surprise when we called in at Cullen Antiques Centre in the beautiful Moray coastal village of the same name, only to find that it also boasts a cafe as quirky, fun and fabulous as the store itself.

Located in a former church, with a salvage yard next door, the store – which lays claim to being the largest antiques centre in north-east Scotland – has an imposing presence on Seafield Street, and is topped only by the village’s spectacular railway viaducts.

Completed in 1886 by the Great North of Scotland Railway after the Countess of Seafield refused to allow the line to cross the policies of Cullen House, the viaduct’s arches frame some of the best views of the village and its surroundings – the most magnificent of all being Cullen Bay with the isolated rock strata known as “The Three Kings”.

The railway line was closed in 1968 and is now part of a coastal foot and cycle path. We were more interested in stretching our wallets and waistbands than our legs, and after netting a couple of great antique lamps, climbed the stairs to the cafe run by local woman Alison Buglass.

Below an impressive vaulted pitch pine ceiling, we feasted our eyes on walls lined in myriad tableaux and curios. As we settled into fine vintage leather chairs to study the menu, we were warmly welcomed by tartan-clad Alison and her colleague Debbie Elliott.

We went for cheese and onion toasties and the village’s famous fish soup, Cullen Skink, a perfect lunch choice. But dessert had to the cafe’s home-baked scones. We couldn’t decide between the fruit and cheese options so went for both which we shared with generous helpings of butter and jam. The cheese scone was fab but for us the star of the show was the fruit. Bursting with flavour and crumbly on the tongue it was delicious.

With tea served by the pot and in tasteful vintage cups, along with soft drinks, our bill came to just over £30. The perfect end to a perfect day.

Scone score

Home baked and melt in the mouth delicious. 9/10