When the sun shines – which isn’t very often in Scotland – you have to grab the opportunity with both hands and enjoy it. My favourite thing to do when the forecast is good is to take a road trip somewhere off the beaten track.
Driving along with the wind in your hair and the warm rays on your back is one of the best feelings in the world.
Add a few winding country roads where you can really feel the power of the car and you’ve hit the jackpot.
Today, I find myself in the heart of the country. The small hamlet of Blair Drummond is just a stone’s throw from Stirling.
And it’s here that I stumble upon Briarlands Farm, a working farm, but one with a difference.
Owned by the Inglis family for three generations, they opened up to the public 13 years ago.
Now, not only does it offer visitors the chance to feed and pet the farm animals, but there is also a huge outdoor adventure park boasting climbing frames, trampolines and sandpits.
And a pick your own strawberry site to boot.
It has proven a popular haunt with big and small kids alike – and is a great day out in the fresh air for families.
But, in scone circles, the best thing about Briarlands Farm is the Farmer’s Den tearoom – and the homebaking.
Housed in a big barn with a tin roof, the café is bright and airy.
The chequered tables and red chairs bring a homely farmhouse feel and the big windows let in lots of light. On the walls are pictures of forests, really bringing the outdoors in.
Aside from the décor, the other thing you notice is the smell and, it must be said, absolutely everything has an eau de delicious about it!
From soup and sandwiches to salads, there are plenty of lovely lunches to be had. And plenty of interesting fillings – haggis and cheese certainly caught our eye.
We plump for the halloumi and sundried tomato salad and a traditional Ploughman’s and both are incredibly fresh and filling.
Our little diners in tow try the eggy bread – made with eggs from the farm’s chickens – and the macaroni cheese, and both scrape their plates.
Then its on to the most important part…the scone.
The fruit scone looks phenomenal, big enough for two and served with jam and cream on the side.
And it tastes out of this world.
A crumbly exterior with a super-soft middle, it hits the spot.
If this was Bake Off, the chef here would certainly get the star baker award!
The kids choose little iced tractor biscuits, followed by an ice cream.
All fed, it’s time to hit the playground again to catch that last bit of sun before it goes down and we have to hit the road again.
It’s fair to say we’ve all caught a little bit of sun, and when it comes with a good old Scottish scone, all the better.
As sunny as the weather. 8/10
In a beautiful village in glorious Stirlingshire. 8/10.
Hearty and delicious. 8/10.