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Mince Pie Spy: Our Christmas cafe critic checks out the offering at Dobbies, Braehead

© Andrew CawleyFestive fun and flavours in Dobbies’ restaurant
Festive fun and flavours in Dobbies’ restaurant

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

Christmas trees are everywhere, festive markets are starting to pop up and, of course, everyone is talking about Santa Claus, the man of the hour.

What could be a more perfect time to switch up searching for scones, and scope out some marvellously festive mince pies instead?

Today, I’m at Dobbies in Braehead, which is bursting at the seams with seasonal cheer. There are twinkling lights and garlands galore at every turn…it’s a real winter wonderland.

And when I hear the restaurant is doing festive afternoon teas, of course, I’m there with bells on!

After we make our way through the gorgeous displays of Christmas trees and lights, a lovely waitress in a Santa dress shows us to a table by the window.

Before long, she brings what looks like a truck load of coffee and cake stands, packed to the brim with savoury and sweet treats.

From turkey, cranberry and stuffing to brie and grape triangle sandwiches to fruit cream tarts, and mini macaroons and Christmas puds, decorated with tiny edible sprigs of holly, it’s one of the biggest, tastiest looking festive feasts I’ve seen.

After working our way through the bottom two tiers, my fellow diner and I are starting to resemble good old Mr Claus, with full tummies and jolly smiles on our faces. And that’s before we spot the scones with jam and clotted cream – and the all-important mince pies…I think I’ve died and gone to scone/mince pie spy heaven.

With a star on top, they look cute as can be. But appearances can be deceptive and it turns out they’re pretty powerful little things. The thick, crumbly buttery pastry is packed with rich filling. It tastes just like Christmas!

There’s also a mince pie cheesecake and Christmas scones, which we have to box up and take home.

Full and happy we head home, full of mince pies – and plenty of Christmas cheer! I have a feeling December is going to be most wonderful already.

Mince pie score

Small but packed with flavour. 9/10