WHAT do you remember about your school days?
The happiest ones of your life? The pals, the fun, the sense of pride and achievement.
Hated every minute? Couldn’t wait to skip out those gates never to return? Bit of a mixed bag?
The reason the thought came up was that your Spy was going back to school. Well, sort of.
Ebba’s Bistro in St Abbs is part of what used to be the old schoolhouse. After it closed, the community got together to make use of somewhere that had always been right at the heart of the village and it became the Ebba Centre.
Now, though, it was tummies to be filled with tasty food rather than minds filled with learning.
St Abbs is, as locals know well, a pretty-as-a-picture place with the harbour naturally the focal point.
And on this sunny morning it is at its stunning best. A bright red fishing boat chugs slowly out to sea and stacks of baskets line the quayside.
The story of the lifeboat station, now an independent one generously funded by teacake tycoon Boyd Tunnock, is a fascinating one.
When the RNLI closed the station, which had been established after a 1911 tragedy, the community refused to let it die and mariners’ lives are again in safe hands.
All that sea air works up an appetite. But as you know it rarely takes much to get yours truly feeling in need of some refuelling. Let’s be honest, the mere prospect of a scone is enough to get the belly rumbling.
I’d heard that the freshly-baked scones at Ebba’s – fruit or cheese – didn’t hang around. Thankfully, big baskets were still there, gloriously warm from the oven.
Both look tempting but fruit got the nod this time. It is both firm and crumbly and came with a generous ramekin of jam and plenty of butter.
It was the appetiser for some hearty breakfast fare.
The eggs Benedict is absolutely scrumptious, just the right side of runny.
Meanwhile, my companion wolfs down one of the breakfast rolls. A sausage and black pudding doubler. Yum.
As we munch we have another taste of the sea, with the walls lined with pictures of the maritime past.
Just one tale that grabs the attention is that of a grizzled-looking former harbour master.
It tells how he left school during World War One at 4 pm one day and was on his first manly fishing trip by 4am. They certainly didn’t mess around in those days.
Well satisfied there is plenty of time now to check out the harbour again and stretch our landlubber legs.
School may be out at St Abbs, but Ebba’s easily gets pass marks.
Warm Welcome 9/10
Location, Location 8/10
Scone Score 8/10
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