No matter how many far-flung places you have visited in the world, there’s nowhere quite as breathtaking or awe-inspiring as Scotland’s rugged coastline.
And, for me, the summer provides endless opportunities to explore our beautiful landscape, lochs and islands – a far better option than exposing my peely-wally flesh to the burning heat of the Costa del Sol, that’s for sure.
So, a few weeks ago, I decided to enjoy a couple of days away, taking a leaf out of my old granny’s book, hopping on the ferry from Oban to the bright, picturesque village of Tobermory on the Isle of Mull.
Generations of Scots have spent their summers holidaying on the west coast, and anyone who has sat on the harbour with a poke of chips will know why.
The views are unrivalled and there’s something very special about watching the sparkling water while breathing the fresh, clean, sea air.
Plus, a little bit of rainy weather never stopped us having a good time now, did it?
Tobermory, with its rows of multi-coloured houses, is picture-postcard beautiful, with plenty to see and do, including historic hotspots, walks, children’s activities and even golf.
After spending the morning wandering along the harbour front, watching wooden fishing boats bob up and down on the water and seagulls swoop down on unsuspecting tourists, I decided to it was time I put my tastebuds to good use – my role as the Scone Spy doesn’t come with annual leave after all.
And, luckily, I didn’t have to walk far along Main Street before the smell of the sea was overpowered by the heavenly scent of baking bread and fresh, warm pastries.
Following the aroma, with my mouth beginning to water, I found myself outside an inviting baby blue-coloured building, housing the aptly named Tobermory Bakery. Just the ticket.
Simply decorated and understated, this lovely little café serves up a range of filled rolls and homemade soups, as well as an extensive selection of cakes, biscuits, muffins and tarts, which are displayed inside a large glass case.
All the treats looked suitably tempting, but it was the big, chunky scones that caught my eagle eye.
Grabbing a seat by the window, I opted for a hot coffee to go alongside my fruit scone. I must admit, so delicious was the large, moist and fruity bake, served with perfectly sweet jam, I was sorely tempted to lick the remaining crumbs from my plate – and almost did when I realised the scones had sold out and I couldn’t order another.
And once the superior bakes have tempted you through the bakery’s door, it’s the warm, friendly and helpful staff that will make you want to stay.
If island living is even half as good as my day trip to the pretty fishing village suggests, you can considered me hooked.
Friendly service with a smile. 9/10
Overlooking the harbour, the little cafe is a great place to watch the world go by. 8/10
Handmade on site, big, chunky and stuffed with fruit. 9/10