You’re never off duty in this scone-scoffing game.
I know, I know, it’s not the toughest thing to always be switched on about.
But it’s like the copper on a day off that can’t help but wonder about that dodgy-looking guy. Or the holidaying traffic warden wishing he had his ticket book when he notices the car sitting on a double yellow.
Or the doctor who finds themselves mulling over the state of health of the lady with the slight tint or tell-tale tremor.
And so it was that, having found myself in a culinary nirvana on the judging panel at the World Scone Championships a couple of months back, I still had just one thought in my head.
Yes, after hours with nothing but the sight and taste of truly tasty baked treats of every possible size and flavour, I came out, spotted a little café opposite and thought: “I wonder if they do nice scones?”
The Junction was the eatery in question and it was easy to find on my speedy return visit to Lochwinnoch.
That’s possibly because, as the name suggests, it does exactly what it says on the tin – or at least the sign – and sits right on a junction at the main street.
It was a Friday lunchtime and, on a Friday in Lochwinnoch the Junction is obviously the place to be.
There was barely a seat to be had and while it’s definitely an in place for residents, the locals have the welcome mat ready to roll out for passers-by, too.
I’d only just found a free table for two when a chap by the window said he was just finishing his cuppa and he was happy to move.
“You get a better view from here and it’s a bit brighter,” he said.
Actually, wherever you are the view is pretty good – a massive pile of big, homely, freshly-baked scones sitting on the counter.
A browse of the appealing menu came first and there was a little pang that I hadn’t made it in earlier for a bit of brekkie.
There was a full Scottish, a veggie, a Stornoway (that was black pudding, bacon and poached eggs), smoked salmon and scrambled eggs and a lean breakfast stack that promised to be low-carb and gluten-free.
With pancakes, French toast and more, there was something for absolutely everyone.
Ciabattas, sandwiches, wraps and toasties were also on offer but I settled on a scrummy lemon drizzle slice that was so substantial it was virtually a meal in itself.
But thankfully not overly-filling as the scone was a corker.
Served with jam and butter and fruit everywhere, it was the ideal mix of firm and softly scrummy, and went down an absolute treat.
And with a steaming coffee and that table-with-a-view there was time to kick back, chill – and reflect back on my moment of glory on the judging stage.
Super-friendly from staff and customers alike. 9/10
Slap bang in the heart of things. 9/10
Big, filling and fabulous. 9/10