Summer is now officially over, Scots will have to bid farewell to warm weather for at least six months as our autumnal weather begins in earnest.

But rather than mourning the end of the summer, this time of year can offer plenty of pleasures: like taking a walk in the brisk fresh air then hunkering down afterwards with a hot drink in a café.

Scotland has lots of excellent cosy cafes in which you can escape the winter chill, and we’ve rounded up some of the very best of them.

The Cocoa Tree Cafe, Pittenweem

9 High Street, Pittenweem, East Neuk of Fife

Open Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-4pm

01333 311495

The East Neuk is one of the most postcard-perfect corners of Scotland, with its quaint fishing harbours and traditional cottages. But with all that beauty comes an inescapable sea wind, which can become pretty biting during the colder months. So what better way to reward yourself after a seaside walk than with a trip to the Cocoa Tree Cafe in the village of Pittenweem?

They are renowned for their speciality hot chocolates – created using the café’s handmade chocolates and coming in flavours that include intense vanilla, orange and white chocolate. If the idea of a decadent hot chocolate proves a little too much don’t worry, you can still satisfy your sweet tooth by purchasing some of the Cocoa Tree’s handmade chocolates or one of the freshly baked scones.

The atmosphere is almost as warming as the drinks – with plenty of fairy lights and artwork on the walls helping to create a homely feel. But this atmosphere doesn’t come at the expense of health and safety, with the Cocoa Tree Café implementing social distancing, high standards of hygiene and plenty of Covid-19 precautions.

www.pittenweemchocolate.co.uk

Palmerston’s Café, Dunkeld

HeraldScotland:

27 Atholl St, Dunkeld

Open Monday-Saturday, 10am-4.15pm and Sunday, 11am-4.15pm

01350 727231

If you are a fan of scones, this is the place for you. They aren’t the cheapest, but the Palmerston scones are some of the best in Perthshire and come accompanied by delicious jams and chutneys (you can buy a jar and take it home).

The set-up is small and cosy, and the staff take Covid precautions very seriously and ensure that there is adequate social distancing as well as a high standard of cleanliness. Palmerston’s also prides itself on the ethical origins of its coffee, which comes from a blend of fairly traded Ora beans that are prepared on the premises.

The Steamie Coffee Roasters, Glasgow

1024 Argyle Street, Finnieston, Glasgow

Open Thursday- Sunday, 10am-3pm

07821 544449

In uber-trendy Finnieston, there is no shortage of cafes and coffee shops to chill out in. But with so many venues vying for your attention, it can be difficult to find a genuinely cosy café that offers good food and a warm welcome. Modelling itself on the idea of the traditional local steamie – a hubbub of chatter and humour – this coffee outfit tries to make sure that its ‘Steamie’ offers something similar.

And it succeeds: the wood panelled walls make for a cosy interior while the coffee is of an excellent quality, with the beans roasted in a traditional drum roaster at The Steamie’s own dedicated site in Glasgow. Their food is also of a high standard, with sophisticated brunch dishes, inventive sandwiches and gourmet cakes. Our particular favourite are the brunch rolls, starring some mouth-watering meat from high-end butchers Ramsay of Scotland.

www.thesteamie.co.uk

Tasty Buns Bakery, Edinburgh

HeraldScotland:

67 Bread Street, Edinburgh

0131 228 6513

Open Monday-Friday, 8.30am-5pm and Saturday, 9.30am-4pm

A bakery on Bread Street pretty much has to be good. Luckily, Tasty Buns lives up to its name and offers suitably tasty buns, cakes, scones, macaroons and brownies (even a Tunnock’s version). They say that you eat with your eyes first and that’s the logic followed here: with beautifully presented cakes adorned with decadent decorations that make them ideal for snapping a picture for social media.

The team at Tasty Buns pride themselves on creating inventive products like Eton Mess Eclairs or Snowball Millionaire Shortbread, with their menu regularly changing to keep customers interested. If none of that takes your fancy be sure to try at least one mug of their indulgent hot chocolate, from Edinburgh firm Edward and Irwyn, which provides the perfect way to warm up as the weather cools down.

@TastyBunsBakery

Darnley Coffee House, Stirling

18 Bow Street, Stirling

Open every day, 10am-4pm

01786 474468

Nestled inside one of the oldest buildings in Stirling, the stone arches and period windows of the Darnley Coffee House make it a fortress of warmth from the Scottish weather outside. The owners have halved the seating capacity to allow for safe social distancing, but it still feels remarkably cosy inside, with the ancient architecture helping to create an atmosphere all of its own.

The menu is extensive, with plenty of vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options among their list of cakes, sandwiches, toasties and baked potatoes, while the drinks list includes coffee, teas and homemade cordial. The cordial flavours change regularly but a particular favourite is the Stirling Castle Elderflower – with the elderflowers being hand-picked by the Darnley Coffee House staff.

If all that wasn’t enough, it’s dog friendly too, with the accommodating staff members more than happy to bring you over a bowl of water for your four-legged companion. Oh, and there’s a 20% discount on offer for NHS staff.

Finnegans, Falkirk

45 Vicar Street, Falkirk

01324 614050

Open Monday-Friday, 8am-3pm, Saturday, 9am-3pm and Sunday, 9.30am-3pm

Big portions, tasty cakes and good coffee are the order of the day at Finnegans. This small café has only been open since September 2018, but has quickly made a name for itself with a range of cooked breakfasts, open toast, porridge, pancakes and ‘kids brunch’ options.

Those with intolerances are well looked after, with a mercifully well-signposted menu that clearly explains all the potential allergens in each dish.

Cairn, Kilmacolm

HeraldScotland:

1 Drumpellier Place, Kilmacolm, Renfrewshire

01505872893

Open every day, 8.30am-4pm (as well as 5pm-8pm on Fridays and Saturdays)

The inventive team behind this small village venue continually innovate and update their menu to keep guests coming back.

There’s an array of gourmet sandwiches, burgers and tacos, with the choice of either artisan sourdough bread or classic Mortons rolls. They offer exotic daily specials as well as ever-changing soup options so there’s no danger of getting bored.

www.cairn-kilma.com

The Glad Café, Shawlands

HeraldScotland:

1006A Pollokshaws Road, Shawlands, Glasgow

Open Friday and Saturday, 10am-10pm and Sunday 10am-8pm

0141 636 6119

Easy to miss in the bustling hubbub of Kilmarnock Road, the Glad Café is one of the most unusual venues in Glasgow’s south side. Doubling up as a live music venue (in non-Covid times) and a bar, it also has a charming café with locally roasted Dear Green coffee.

Although the venue has a cosy atmosphere, and feels a world away from the busy road outside, it is large enough to easily enable social distancing with tables that are comfortably spread out. Thanks to the extensive opening hours you can enjoy your coffee date long into the evening.

Since re-opening after lockdown the Glad Café has introduced an all-day brunch menu, so you can satisfy your caffeine fix and your hunger pains in one visit.

www.thegladcafe.co.uk

Blether, Aberdeen

HeraldScotland:

371 North Deeside Road, Cults, Aberdeen

Open every day, 10am-4pm

01224961888

This unassuming café, in the suburb of Cults, is one of the best reviewed TripAdvisor venues in Aberdeenshire – boasting an elusive perfect five-star rating. Guests praise Blether for its quality and simplicity: with wonderful food, friendly staff and excellent Covid precautions. A must visit.

www.palmerstons.eu

Henry’s Coffee House, Dundee

22-26 Seagate, Dundee

Open Monday-Saturday, 8am-7pm, and Sunday, 10am-7pm

01382 200225

Well-known among Dundonians, Henry’s prides itself on being 100% independent. The staff are unfailingly friendly, while the coffee and cakes are far superior to those in some of its rival chain cafes.

Henry’s floor to ceiling windows offer a great vantage point to watch the world go by, but it is surprisingly cosy inside and is consistently popular with locals and tourists. Another bonus is that Henry’s has no external steps to navigate, so it is perfect for the elderly, the disabled or those with prams.

www.henryscoffeehouse.co.uk