WHAT is it with these cat and pug cafes popping up across the country?
As much as I love animals, I just don’t see the appeal.
It’s bad enough at home when I’m in the kitchen about to tuck into some baked goods and my pet moggy ambles over, begging for food with eyes big as milk saucers.
I can’t imagine trying to enjoy a scone while being eyeballed by hungry cats in a tearoom.
Thankfully, The Cat’s Whiskers Café in the lovely historic market town of Strathaven only boasts a few cats of the ceramic variety.
Far from being a themed café, it’s large, bright and spacious with a high arched ceiling and solid wooden roof beams.
We settle down at a lovely wooden table by the window with a great view of Strathaven’s castle.
And we couldn’t have picked a better day to visit. It’s a gloriously sunny afternoon, but just a wee bit too cold to sit outside.
Of course, I’ve already clocked the heavily-laden cake counter groaning with homemade bakes.
But the chalkboard specials menu has caught my eye, too.
Now I’m used to seeing soup or sandwich of the day, but sausage roll of the day? I’m intrigued!
So I order one with black pudding and green peppercorns from our cheery server along with a caramel latte.
I’m actually being a little conservative with my choice as the drinks menu includes wine, beer, spirits and a generous cocktail selection.
They also have a wide selection of tea lattes made with flavoured syrups, tea and steamed milk. Very fancy, unless you hate milky tea, I suppose.
After a short wait, our server returns with the fanciest sausage roll I’ve ever seen.
It’s cut into three large slices, contains tonnes of filling encased in golden flaky pastry and is served with chunky chips, homemade tomato relish and a nice side salad.
It’s absolutely delicious. I feel like the cat that got the cream.
I shouldn’t be surprised, as everything we’ve seen leave the kitchen, from toasties to large bowls of curry, looks and smells wonderful.
After I’ve cleared my plate, it’s on to the main event and I order a fruit scone served with homemade raspberry jam.
It doesn’t disappoint either. The jam is fresh and not too sweet and the scone is light and tasty with a golden, sugary crust.
Overall, The Cat’s Whiskers Café is a little on the pricey side, but you get what you pay for in terms of quality.
Another bonus is the noughts and crosses blackboard in the table caddy.
It’s intended to keep kids entertained but also useful for deciding who picks up the bill!
What can I say? This place really is the cat’s whiskers.
WARM WELCOME 9/10
LOCATION, LOCATION 9/10
SCONE SCORE 9/10