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Scone Spy: Our cafe critic checks out Strathpeffer’s Deli in the Square

Deli in the Square, Strathpeffer
Deli in the Square, Strathpeffer

With stunning landscapes for miles around, incredible wildlife and a glorious sense of tranquillity – well, unless you’re stuck behind a campervan – the North Coast 500 showcases some of the best the Highlands has to offer.

Take yourself a few miles off the route and away from the hustle and bustle and there are even more gems to find.

The Victorian spa town of Strathpeffer, just a few miles from Dingwall, has been welcoming tourists since long before the NC500 found international acclaim and is a favourite with coach tours during the summer.

It’s a perfect pit-stop for a bite to eat and a wander round. The village square is a hub of activity with a bandstand, fountain and a selection of gift shops, as well as the cafe at which Scone Spy is sitting under the awning, enjoying some chilly Highland sunshine.

Despite being out of season, Deli In The Square was bustling with visitors treating themselves to an early lunch.

The scone selection

As well as their delicious-looking selection of cakes – a tempting slab of chocolate cake called out to me but I resisted the urge – they have a well-stocked shop with local produce, a sandwich bar, filled rolls, soups and light bites for lunchtime.

It also welcomes diners later in the evening with a great selection of main meals and the occasional live music performance.

What I’m here to review, however, is the all-important scone selection that I clocked as soon as I walked in. I opted for plain, but sultana, cheese and cherry are all on the menu.

This tasty treat was delivered warm with a plentiful supply of butter and jam. It was delicious, if a little crumbly, perfectly textured and soft and fluffy on the inside.

The all-important scone

It went down an absolute treat and before leaving, I couldn’t resist adding a couple of extra snacks – Why not? I’m on holiday – in the form of a toffee muffin and millionaire’s shortbread supplied by the Cromarty Bakery.

Just as I prepare to depart, a passing snow shower arrives and I have to shelter at the Deli for a little longer. What a shame…

Scone score

A deliciously tasty treat.

8/10