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Scone Spy: Our cafe critic heads to the Mad Batter Bakery in Coatbridge

The Mad Batter Bakery
The Mad Batter Bakery

Alice falling down the rabbit hole into a world that just gets curiouser and curiouser… it’s by far one of my favourite childhood books.

And reminiscing about the old Lewis Carroll novel, the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party and the Cheshire Cat and food and drink labelled with “eat me” and “drink me” get me thinking…it’s just about that time of day when I go in search of a coffee and a scone!

Today I find myself in the sunny Lanarkshire town of Coatbridge, with a stop-off at a cafe named in part after the famous fantasy novel.

And I must say, I was definitely enthralled to visit the Mad Batter Bakery when I heard its moniker.

The all-important scone

Housed in an industrial unit at the side of a busy road, I wondered what adventure lay in wait. And was pleasantly surprised when I discovered an enchanting, cosy little cafe.

There’s no reference to Alice in Wonderland, sadly, but bright-red paint adorns the walls, as well as a host of colourful prints. It’s warm, welcoming and fun.

It’s busy but a friendly waitress clears a table and presents us with some menus. She says she’ll give us a few moments to decide – and, looking at the double-sided card packed with options, I wonder if that will be long enough! There’s everything from cooked breakfasts to baked potatoes, bagels and burgers, as well as soup, sandwiches and salads.

Eventually I plump for the homemade lentil and ham soup and a chicken salad roll. My fellow diner has beans on toast. Both meals are delicious.

But, in true tradition, there is always room for cake. And the cabinet of sweet treats, packed with everything from tablet cupcakes to strawberry shortcake stacks, has my mouth watering.

I choose a homemade scone with jam and clotted cream. Its as big as a doorstop. Every bite is delicious. It’s baked to perfection, firm on the outside with a soft centre. Washed down with a coffee, it fills a rabbit-sized hole.

Full to the brim, it’s off with their heads, I mean, off home with me. I’m late, I’m late…for an afternoon of chill time with another good book.

Scone score

8/10 – Covered in cream, it’s super-scrumptious.