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Scone Spy: Our chief taster visits Turriff’s delightful Symposium cafe

Turriff’s delightful Symposium cafe
Turriff’s delightful Symposium cafe

It’s a grey, wintry afternoon when Scone Spy stops off at Symposium – the latest eatery to grace the High Street in the Aberdeenshire market town of Turriff.

Home to the annual Turriff Show, the biggest two-day agricultural show in Scotland attracting about 24,000 people, it’s a friendly and welcoming town, brimming with Buchan claik (Doric to you and me) so Symposium – definition a convivial discussion – fits right in.

Turriff is also home to the legendary Turra Coo that came to fame after the town was the focus of a major protest in 1913 when the then chancellor, David Lloyd George, introduced the compulsory National Insurance Tax.

Farmer Robert Paterson, from nearby Lendrum, was far from pleased and refused to stamp employees’ cards in protest. In response, one of his cows was seized to be sold at auction, sparking a near riot with a 100-strong mob pelting sheriff’s officers with rotten fruit.

© SYSTEM
Symposium’s scone

Paterson’s “coo”, which had been daubed with slogan “From Lendrum to Leeks” in reference to Lloyd’s Welsh heritage, was sold and bought back by other farmers who returned it to Paterson.

But there was no drama on the day we arrived, just a warm welcome from baristas Kamil Jacak, 18, and Steph Davidson, 26.

The business – run for more than 15 years by a family of coffee experts – has several coffee houses throughout the north-east, including Peterhead, Fraserburgh, Portsoy and Ellon, as well as their own roasting house.

Usual scone options are plain, cheese, fruit or apple and cinnamon created in house by Symposium bakers. But for non-scone fans there are choices galore, like the cafe’s homemade pancakes with crispy bacon and smothered with maple syrup. The bagels are tempting too, like local Ugie salmon and “philly”.

By the time we arrived only plain scones remained so we went for those with a couple of lattes. Served warm with butter and jam, the bake was very more-ish and we could have stayed ’til “the coos came hame”.

Scone score

Hand baked by Symposium and very tasty 8/10