PROFESSIONAL chefs often say the secret to creating a truly tasty dish is using fresh, locally-sourced ingredients.
So, when I ventured on to a dairy farm in the heart of Ayrshire, I was hopeful of finding some of the best baked treats this side of the butter churner.
Located on South Corton Farm, just under four miles from Ayr’s town centre, The Coo Shed was opened in April last year as an “add-on” to the family-run farm’s already successful plant nursery.
As regular readers will know, I’ll go to some lengths to find a scrumptious scone, and this week that included venturing on to a country road surrounded by nothing but fields, farm animals and the faint, lingering smell of coo poo.
But what I found was well worth the journey.
Housed inside a renovated lean-to shed, which used to house cattle, The Coo Shed café is aptly named – and the interior is warm, welcoming and decorated with a kitsch farm theme that won’t fail to make you smile.
A particularly favourite feature was the vintage milk churn and canister display nestled above the doorway to the loos.
Sitting down in the corner of the room I was surrounded by patrons of every generation from pensioners catching up over a warming pot of tea to a young lass enjoying a cheese toastie with her mum after a long day at school.
The menu covers a good range of dishes for every hankering, and if you’re looking for classic comfort food, this is the place.
Baked potatoes, filled sandwiches, hearty, full breakfasts and homemade soup all make the cut alongside a selection of hot and cold drinks.
A note on the menu reads, “We do not serve fast food, but we serve fresh food as fast as we can” – something a lot of other establishments would do well to follow.
Not wanting to spoil my appetite too much before dinner, I opted for just a black coffee and, of course, a fruit scone served with butter and jam.
Although friendly and attentive, the waitress did seem a little confused when I didn’t want any milk with my cup of Joe – well, I was sitting on a dairy farm after all!
However, the farm also boasts its own self-serve milk dispenser, so if you too like your café sans lait, you can take home a glass bottle of the white stuff from their free range, grass-fed cows.
As for the scone, it was packed with plump fruit and achieved the perfect firm, yet crumbly, consistency that I love, and the jam added just the right amount of sweetness.
Next time I visit I’ll definitely opt to taste a few more goodies.
After all, when the produce is so fresh, it would be rude not to.