Filled with diet fads, yoga athleisure wear and ageless nip-tucked celebs, the glamour of Hollywood is usually quite far from home – a fact my scone-sculpted figure finds quite comforting.
But, every once in a while, silver screen productions come screaming into the real world, taking up camp “on location” alongside us workaday folk, and turning our towns and cities into the latest must-visit hotspot.
Apart from providing a much-needed tourism boost for communities, this colliding of worlds adds a little extra excitement to visiting some of our county’s iconic attractions – something I encountered just the other week while on an outing to the beautiful Rosslyn Chapel.
On a particularly lovely day, some friends and I decided a day trip would be just the ticket to enjoy a few of our favourite pastimes (sunshine, scenery and, naturally, scones, if you even needed to ask) so we hopped on the bus and took off for the quiet countryside of Midlothian.
Located just seven miles south of Edinburgh, and close to the Borders, the 15th Century Rosslyn Chapel boasts some truly incredible views, and is a great place to have a wander while brushing up on your history.
Both the grounds and the interior of the splendid building featured in Dan Brown’s bestselling book, The Da Vinci Code, and the subsequent 2006 movie, starring Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou.
As soon as we arrived it was easy to see why LA came all the way to Scotland rather than recreating the site on a sound stage. Gazing up at the ornate carvings and stunning stained glass, I was in awe of the craftsmanship.
And I’m pleased to report this skill and dedication to perfection did not end at the Chapel door.
Rosslyn Chapel now features a new visitor centre, complete with coffee shop and glorious views over Roslin Glen.
Taking a seat on the terrace, the friendly and attentive staff took our order, which included a piping hot bowl of soup, a few coffees and scones all round.
Served with jam and butter, the scone was plump, the right amount of crumbly and beautifully baked – just the thing to satisfy our appetite after a long walk.
Our soup was similarly delightful and we simply could not fault the service, which was quick and efficient, despite the centre being packed full of hungry patrons.
It’s worth noting, the coffee shop is only open to paying visitors and pass holders to the Chapel. But we were glad to know our love of tempting treats played a small part in helping to ensure future generations can enjoy this spectacular site.
After filming his scenes, Tom Hanks described Rosslyn Chapel as “all one could imagine or hope for”, and I can’t think of a better way to describe our wonderful visit – or the centre’s delicious scones.
Rosslyn Chapel, Chapel Loan, Roslin, Midlothian
Friendly and attentive, despite visiting during a busy rush. 8/10
Set within truly stunning surroundings, the centre is easy to reach by public transport or car. 9/10
A simple recipe that shines on the plate. 8/10