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With scones as big as these, who needs dinner? Our cafe critic visits Gleneagles Hotel’s Garden Cafe

It’s the cakes that catch my eye. Here I am, just wandering through the corridors of Gleneagles during a stay at the hotel when I spot them. Loads of them.

Scones stacked 10ft high, marvellous meringues, lip-smacking lemon drizzle and that’s before I mention the tantalizingly tasty-looking empire biscuits, carrot cake, chocolate tarts and the visually stunning rainbow sponge.

I swear I wasn’t even looking – or hungry – but, all of a sudden, I’m in the mood for a little sweet treat. The coffee smells amazing, too.

Tucked away at the back of the hotel, the Garden Café is a little hidden gem filled with baking loveliness.

And a great place to kick back, relax and ponder life, surrounded by a sea of luxury.

Having just been for a swim, it’s fair to say I’ve made a little room in my tummy and it’s nearly lunchtime anyway, so I pull up a pew and peruse the menu. The soup of the day looks good, so I order that. Having noticed that the size of the scones is comparable with a flying saucer, it would be rude not to leave plenty of room.

My accomplice for the day decides to try the salmon and cream cheese bagel.

We feel instantaneously chilled in the bistro-style setting, which comes complete with comfy sofas, if you feel so inclined.

Leafy green plants are dotted around, bringing the outside in – and the floor-to-ceiling windows offer views of the garden.

As it’s blowing a gale today, it’s nice to be able to appreciate the scenery without even venturing over the threshold.

You could easily spend hours getting lost in your thoughts, just gazing out – and that’s exactly what I’m doing when the friendly waitress arrives with the food.

The delicious soup comes with two doorstops of bread to dunk. Perfect comfort food on a chilly day.

The bagel, fresh and packed with flavour, gets the thumbs-up from across the table.

We decide to share desserts. Obviously, there’s the obligatory scone, but I must try that rainbow cake, so we order a slab of that as well.

The scone, big enough to be a meal in itself, is served with cream and jam – and I have to say it’s one of the best I have ever had.

Not only does it feel like it takes an eternity for two of us to finish, it’s everything a scone should be. Golden on the outside and soft and sumptuous within.

And the rainbow cake…Wow! Simply divine.

After washing it all down with a coffee, we leave with fire – and cake – in our bellies, and head for home.

And it’s a quick march out the door before I spy any more temptations that look too tasty to miss.

Garden Cafe, Gleneagles Hotel, Auchterarder


The view of brilliant baking is certainly welcome 9/10


A little treasure in the country 8/10

Scone Score

Huge and delicious 9/10