I AM out and about in the lovely Angus countryside, looking for a scone spot a reader has told me about.
“The scones at Murton Tea Room are delicious and you’ll love them,” she says.
I’m on my way. You know I love a reader tip.
I’m feeling quite smug. It’s a Monday afternoon and I’m sure it will be quiet and I’ll get served quickly.
When I arrive in the car park, though, I realise that isn’t going to be the case.
There are lots of cars. And then I remember it’s the school holidays.
Now, I’m not saying I don’t love children. Of course the little darlings are a joy.
Sometimes, though, they can be a pain in the neck, with their shouting and jumping and zest for life.
Yes, of course I’m jealous of their energy. Sometimes even a walk between cafe and car park feels like a trek for me these days.
I’m walking up to the tearoom and, in the fields in the distance, I can hear the shouts of children and see them playing.
I stop and watch. It takes me back to my own summer holidays as a kid.
Weren’t they just the best? Who could forget that feeling of the bell going on the final day of term and the mad rush to get outside and live life to the full?
Happy days. And these kids, with their parents watching on, look like they’re having a ball, too.
I get to the tearoom. It’s packed. There’s a table of women out for a girly lunch. They’re having the best time, enjoying their chat and hooting with laughter. My, the gossip is good at that table.
I get served right away, despite the fact it’s busy. The staff in here are on the ball.
I order scrambled egg on toast and then ponder the scone choice.
It’s got to be strawberry and white chocolate. Easy to get wrong, but this one is delicious.
It’s sweet – but not too sweet – and there are big, firm chunks of strawberry.
It’s one of the nicest I’ve had in a while and I don’t say that lightly. Superb.
There’s a table of teenagers in front of me. One has to leave and, as she’s saying goodbye, they all hug as if they’re separating for months. It’s quite touching.
“See you on Wednesday, then!” she shouts and ambles off. So not disappearing forever. Just a day or two.
Murton Tea Room is a wee bit out of the way – it’s a couple of miles outside Forfar town centre on the road to Arbroath.
The very fact it’s so packed on a Monday afternoon shows people are prepared to travel and that tells its own story.
The menu is limited but lovely, the staff friendly and efficient and the scones are a winner.
The tearoom might not look much from the outside – it’s a wooden chalet – but it’s quirky and it’s worth a visit.
Give it a whirl if you’re in the area.