If you thought I was “scone” for good, then think again.
After my enforced 17-month sabbatical I’m back to rate Scotland’s bakes, and with Covid-19 restrictions easing, from the Borders to the Highlands and Islands, there’s no lengths I won’t go to discover the best cafes.
First up is Parkhill Garden Centre and its glorious eatery set in an oasis of greenery and handily located just off the new Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route.
Surely, temptation here would be for the green-fingered, and not the greedy?
With its own Oor Wullie statue looking on from a plinth in the car park – a relic of pre-pandemic days and the DC Thomson Bucket Trail that raised £1.2m for children’s charities – beaming waiter and assistant baker Aiden Forrest gave me a warm welcome before showing me to my table.
Parkhill offers hearty breakfasts, and delicious snacks and main meals. But we were here for the scones, which my server Sonya Morrice informed us had been baked that morning by manager Martin Pirie.
With the sun streaming through windows, spotlighting impeccably clean surfaces, the relaxed and chatty clientele were tucking into breakfasts and home bakes.
A plain scone here will set you back £2.30 and a flavoured alternative £2.40, including butter and jam (for 70p extra you can have clotted cream). A pot of tea for one is reasonable at £2.20 and filtered coffee is £2.30.
There was ample choice on the scone front including cheese, fruit and treacle. Decisions, decisions!
This spy couldn’t pick a favourite so took all four, with butter and jam. Generously sized, and beautifully baked, this was scone heaven. The cheese variety was scrumptiously savoury, the fruit oozing raisins and the treacle dark and delicious.
The intention had been to take a single bite from each. But after months of abstention, and possessing a will power with the breaking strain of a KitKat, that just wasn’t possible. Dear reader, I scoffed the lot.
Waddling back to the car, your specialist could almost hear Oor Wullie chuckle!
Beautifully baked, and chunky. Delish!
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