Scone Spy heads a little further afield and discovers the delightful Bailey’s, Alnwick

Bailey's cafe in Alnwick (Paul Vicente)

SCONE Spy is further afield than normal, taking a wee trip to one of their favourite spots, Northumberland.

It’s always a joy to visit.

Full of beautiful beaches and gorgeous walks, if you’re stressed, it’s a lovely place to unwind.

Visits here should be dished out on the NHS.

Bailey’s cafe in Alnwick (Paul Vicente)

For today’s jaunt, I’ve come to Alnwick, which is full of dinky wee shops, the fantastic Barter Books and one or two lovely pubs.

I’m happy to report it’s also a great destination for scones.

Me and my companion have walked for miles along the beach. And we’re in need of a pick-me-up.

So we find ourselves in Bailey’s. It’s slap bang in the middle of Alnwick.

You can find everything here from bacon rolls to a bowl of soup to a full-on cream tea.

Our scones with jam and clotted cream are very nice indeed. Not the biggest, but certainly tasty and perfect for after our walk.

(Paul Vicente)

Bailey’s might not be the most chintzy or trendy of cafes in Alnwick.

But its location gives it a huge advantage over its rivals. For the nosy among us – and regular readers will know that’s me – it’s perfect for people-watching.

You can watch all the comings and goings of Alnwick to your heart’s content.

Pick the right spot and you can see in three different directions around the main streets of Alnwick.

In fact, there’s a woman enjoying a cup of coffee and watching the life of Alnwick go by for the whole time we’re in there.

She just gazes out of this window and that, watching life going on about her.

She catches my eye and we get chatting, as you do.

It turns out she’s not just nosying at passersby after all. She’s lost in her own thoughts.

She tells me she’s in here most weeks. She likes the coffee, you see.

And then she says she used to come in here regularly with her husband.

He’s no longer with us. But they were married for almost 50 years and, talking to her about him for a few minutes, takes her back to another place, another time.

Bailey’s cafe in Alnwick (Paul Vicente)

The cares of the world seem to melt away and she’s back in the days of her marriage.

For once, the scone isn’t that big a deal as we listen to her chatting about coming into Alnwick to shop with her husband.

That’s what the best cafes do. They’re somewhere you can strike up a conversation with a stranger, or sit quietly by yourself and take a break from life’s busyness.

Our new friend gets up to go and says it’s been lovely to chat and she’ll maybe see us again.

And she wanders off into the street, thinking of the happy times she had with her husband.