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Scone Spy: Our cafe critic checks out Gordon’s Tearoom in Braemar

Gordon’s Tearoom on Royal Deeside
Inviting Gordon’s Tearoom on Royal Deeside

It’s 2023 and time for tea! Scone Spy is ringing in the New Year in the winter wonderland village of Braemar on Royal Deeside.

This is the home of the world-famous Braemar Gathering, a regular haunt for the late Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip and remains a favourite event for King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla. Set in the spectacular Cairngorm National Park, we couldn’t have picked a prettier village and more perfect spot for our first food foray of the year.

The tearoom was warm, inviting and oozed stylish yet rustic charm. And waiting team Eilidh McLeod, 25, and Morgan Strachan, 17, couldn’t have made us more welcome.

The delicious scone
The delicious scone

Banished are the mince pie spies of December. Scones are back on the menu and we’re delighted.

Gordon’s Tearoom is in the heart of the village. Neighboured by pretty stone cottages and boutique shops, its traditional windows look out to the hills.

The cafe is owned by Artfarm; an independent hospitality firm that reinvents distinctive sites around the world with the aim of bringing together people, the art community and education. Its portfolio includes the award-winning, and traditionally Scottish five-star Fife Arms Hotel just a stone’s throw from the cafe, the Manuela Restaurant in Los Angeles and Roth Bar & Grill and Durslade Farm Shop in Somerset.

Gordon’s Tearoom was launched by the B-listed, 19th Century Fife Arms then executive chef Marcus Sherry and his wife Jasmine last April, so we are expecting high standards, and we are not disappointed.

Our choices of scone were fruit, plain or cheese and we went for a fruit and a cheese scone with tea. Based on a recipe by Julie Sherry – Marcus’s mum – they were off-the-scale delicious. Each had just the right degree of first bite crunch, followed by a succulent, soft interior, and were stuffed with cheese and bursting with fruit and came with rich jam and thick cream. At around £7 per person, the price was tasty, too.

Scone score

This is the one to beat. 10/10