AS you know, I have a certain talent for sniffing out a tasty scone.
But in all honesty, a cheerfully quirky tea room is the last thing I expected to see tucked between a beauty parlour and an estate agent on Cambuslang’s Main Street.
Call it a stroke of luck or divine intervention, but The Tea Bay is a cracking wee find!
I’m greeted by a cheerful young server. They’ve just opened so I have the place to myself, apart from one lady waiting for a takeaway coffee.
My gaze instantly lands on the tempting cake display, filled with caramel slices, tea loaf, towering cupcakes and chunky fruit scones. Jackpot!
The place feels welcoming and homely, with Tweed soft furnishings and cutesy bric-a-brac everywhere.
I especially agree with a plaque which reads: “A balanced diet is a cake in each hand.” Shouldn’t that be scones though?
As I scan the menu, the sociable staff are having a loud natter in the back.
When owner Angeline ventures over, I discover there’s more to this little enterprise than just tasty treats and tea.
She explains the racket is because one of her staff has learning difficulties and comes in once a week to help out and socialise with customers.
“She loves it here. It gives her so much confidence. She’s even started getting the bus in herself,” says Angeline, who opened the cosy cafe a few years ago.
The idea was to inject some light and life into the town centre, and build a sense of community.
The council told her it would never work. Boy, were they wrong!
Our star server brings over my tea with a huge smile and pops it on top of the cute glass tealight holder in the middle of the table. I’d been wondering what that was for… romantic scone for one?
The fancy teapot contains loose tea leaves. It’s very nice and kept piping hot by the candle. I need one of those for the house!
Then there’s my raisin scone. It’s a generous size, sweet and light. I add lashings of butter and strawberry jam – heaven on a fancy china tea plate.
All the sweet treats are made by the owner’s mother in the mornings, proving there really is nothing better than your mum’s cooking.
Now the place is nearly full and the staff seem to know everyone. The lady who brought my tea sits down to chat with two wee girls who came in with their mum.
It turns out The Tea Bay is indeed for the whole community.
Angeline tells me she knows the woman who came in for coffee earlier through a local homeless charity.
She and others can get a free hot drink and any food going to waste just after they open and close.
Scones for a good cause? Now that’s a sweet community spirit.
Warm Welcome 10/10
Location, Location 7/10
Scone Score 8/10
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