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Scone Spy: Eli’s Coffee Cakes and Crafts, Banffshire

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There’s not a corner of Scotland that escapes this spy’s search for the perfect scone. From mountain to moor, city to coast, Scone Spy travels miles in the hope of finding the best bites.

And find them we did in this beautifully bijou clapboard cafe, tucked amid a cluster of tiny fishermen’s sheds on Aberdeenshire’s Dolphin Coast.

Eli’s Coffee Cakes & Crafts boasts a quaint “Secret Garden” at its rear where canine customers are also welcome. Located in the picturesque fishing village of Gardenstown, near Banff, it is a haven of peace and tranquillity.

Run by its namesake Eli – aka Elinor Grieve – the cafe serves delicious soups and sandwiches along with cakes and scones baked fresh each day by Eli herself.

With a four-legged friend in tow, we made ourselves comfortable as other cafe-goers – some regulars, others like Linda De Roos, holidaying from the Netherlands – engaged us in conversation over the array of imaginative crafts on display (Eli’s other half is a demon wood turner who can create everything from bowls and spoons right down to decorative personalised pens).

The scone options here are subject to regular change. We arrived late in the day to find our choice was cheese or blueberry. We took both. A beaming Eli served us tea in delicate bone china cups before arriving with our bakes, still fresh and warm.

Some cheese scones run the risk of being not cheesy enough, but not Eli’s. Her bake was packed with piping hot and piquant cheese – off the scale scrumptious! But the blueberry bake was the piece de resistance. Fit to burst with fat, juicy blueberries, it came with lashings of thick, double cream and tasty homemade blackcurrant jam – heaven!

To crown it all our canine chum was treated by the owners to some favourite dog biscuits.

The bill for a pot of tea, a soft drink, two scones, and macarons to go (we couldn’t resist) came to a bargain £10. Eli’s coastal café is proof that you don’t have to splash out to have some of the best scones in Scotland.

Some of the finest scones around.

Scone score

Totally delicious and scrumptious.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐