THE American sitcom Friends was surprisingly dramatic for a show that was meant to be all about the belly-laughs, what with the persistent erotic tension between two of the lead characters, Ross Geller and Rachel Green. (The Romeo and Juliet of the 1990s, if Romeo happened to like dinosaurs and Juliet worked in fashion.)

Ross and Rachel split up, got back together, split up some more…

Which was essentially the plot of Friends for its entire ten year run. (Sorry if that spoils things for those who haven’t watched the show. But, come on, what were you doing in the 90s? Viewing repeats of On The Buses?)

There was a slight detour in the Ross/Rachel lurvathon, when Ross briefly dated a British girl named Emily, which didn’t end well.

Ross got his revenge the only way an American can, when battling those blasted blighters from Blighty. He bought a scone in a coffee shop and, instead of eating it, bashed it repeatedly until it looked like roadkill.

That scone represented our entire nation, as scones always do. When it comes to Britishness, the plucky scone is right up there with Winston Churchill, Magna Carta and Carry On Camping.

To celebrate this national institution, we now reveal the 20 best cafés and tea shops to scoff a scrummy scone in Scotia.


74 Main Street, Thornton

Tel: 07396 323 747

FIVE thirty in the morning is a special time for most people. It’s that time of day when you roll over in bed and allow one wary eyelid to flutter open, enabling you to study the hands of the alarm clock.

After doing so for a brief moment you can chuckle indulgently to yourself, then fall back asleep for another couple of hours. (At the very least.)

Though not Fiona Greenaway, the proprietor of Serendipi-tea.

At five thirty she’s already energetically baking a wide selection of fresh scones for her hungry customers. Favourites include fruit; carrot and walnut; cherry and almond; raspberry and white chocolate; treacle; apple and cinnamon; and cheese and chilli. All are served on vintage cake trays with China teacups, along with pots of homemade jam, butter or cream. At Serendipi-tea they pride themselves on homemade produce, good quality and friendly service, with just a sprinkle of love.

Dunvegan Bakery & Coffee Shop

Dunvegan, Isle of Skye

Tel: 01470 521 326

THIS is Skye’s oldest bakery, having been in operation since the late eighteen hundreds. The site may have been around a while, though the produce is wonderfully fresh, with a wide range of breads, rolls, pastries, pies, cakes – and, of course, scones – baked on the premises. The carrot and ginger cake are especially adored. The adjoining coffee shop is the place to go for light meals, though its popularity does tend to result in long queues.

Coach House Coffee Shop and Store

Luss Pier, Luss

Tel: 01436 653 186

THE Coach House has been in operation since 1998 and the scones are baked fresh each morning with a wide selection usually on offer. Plain is always popular, as are the apple and cinnamon, which include chunky apple pieces.

Due to numerous requests, cheese scones were added to the selection.

The sweet scones are served with butter, raspberry jam and freshly whipped double cream from the local dairy. The cheese variety are served with butter, cranberry relish and cream cheese.

All are served on Loch Lomond Tartan, a unique highland stoneware style of plate. Each plate is hand-painted by Tain Pottery. Tasty nibbles are available as take away in eco friendly boxes.

Café Artysans

7 Strothers Lane, Inverness

Tel: 01463 729 793

YET again these scones are freshly made every morning. Flavours include fruit, cheese and occasionally plain scones. The cheese scones in particular make a perfect accompaniment for Café Artysans Cullen Skink. What makes the scones extra special is they are baked by trainees, aged 16-25. The café supports young people as they learn the skills needed to take the next step into the world of work, and every penny made on the premises is invested back into working with youngsters.

Kember & Jones

134 Byres Road,


Tel: 0141 337 3851

SCONES are baked every morning on the premises in this elegant and lively coffee shop in the heart of Glasgow’s West End. Fruit, plain or cheese are always available. Customer favourites include fresh blueberry, parmesan basil and tomato. There is also a wide selection of exotic cakes, coffees, soups and salads, once you have finished stuffin’ that muffin into your face.

The Cupar Tearoom

4 Ferguson Square, Cupar

Tel: 07923 285 599

GREAT for breakfast, brunch or lunch, the Cupar Tearoom is a traditional British café with a welcoming, wholesome atmosphere. Fluffy scones served with jam are always popular, as is the soup and sandwich option, which includes bowls of soup that are so wonderfully thick they probably haven’t realised the earth is flat yet.

Gorgeous Café

7 Bell Street, St Andrews

Tel: 01334 47 4447

THIS quirky little café, which is themed on the 1940s, is stuffed with brikabrack, making it look like grandma’s parlour. The Prince of Cambridge scones blend raspberry, blueberry and white chocolate, and are both delicious and filling. Perfect washed down with a pot of tea. Looking for something more substantial? Then the steak in a brioche bun with a simple but sassy salad with red onion chutney is to be recommended.

Glencoe Café

Glencoe Village


Tel: 01855 811 168

GLENCOE’S sweet and savoury scones are very popular with customers, and the café tries to use seasonal fruits in baked goods when available. There’s also a wide selection of tray bakes, loaves and sponges. Gluten free, dairy free and vegan options are on offer.

For a meatier treat, there are hot filled rolls, including bacon, lettuce and tomato, or the 6oz burger, which comes with red onion marmalade.

Best of all, maps of the area can be bought on the premises. Meaning you can open one up, point at a particular spot with the rugged authority of the true adventurer, and say: “Look! There’s my precise location at this very moment. I’m in a café. Sitting at a table. Pointing at a map.”

The Barn at Rothiemurchus

Rothiemurchus Centre, Inverdruie, Aviemore

Tel: 01479 812 345

LOCATED in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park, there’s plenty to do in the surrounding area, including walking, cycling, clay shooting and pony hacking. If you prefer the more sedate life, involving lazing in a comfortable chair while snaffling scones, Rothiemurchus can accommodate that, too.

The Barn’s plain, fruit and savoury cheese scones are a staple of the menu and a firm customer favourite. According to the Rothiemurchus baker, it’s the love you put into them that makes them rise. (Silly us. We always thought it was self-rising flour that did the trick.) Scones are available in The Barn and also can be purchased in the Farm Shop.

Coffee at The Rose House

42-44 St John St Perth

Tel: 01738 270 054

SOMETIMES munching on a delicious scone just isn’t enough entertainment for a day’s outing. Occasionally you may want to introduce a frisson of romance into your morning or afternoon.

At such a time The Rose House in Perth is the place to visit. For they sell food AND flowers. Meaning you can thrust a bouquet of roses into the face of your beloved while they are thrusting a scone into their gaping mouth.

But will your loved one prefer the flowers or the floury feast?

That’s a real toughy to answer.

Plant-based romantic gestures are invariable a winning move. Though it’s hard to beat The Rose House’s homemade Scottish raspberry and white chocolate scones, which are served warm, along with an award winning Matthew Algie coffee.

There’s also plenty for your eyes to devour, as the cafe is filled with curated art and has a great view of nearby St John’s Kirk.

The Hidden Lane Tearoom

Unit 8, Argyle Court, The Hidden Lane,

1103 Argyle Street, Glasgow

Tel: 0141 237 4391

THIS magical little sipping spot is off the beaten track, nestling in a corner of Argyle Court, which is known locally as The Hidden Lane, a rainbow-coloured base for craft workers, musicians and entrepreneurs. In the Hidden Lane Tearoom you can enjoy pancakes for breakfast; homemade soups and sandwiches plus salads for lunch; and a range of cakes and bakes which are available all day.

The Victoria Sponge is a classic, and the scones are made with a top secret recipe. (Even The Herald’s crack team of investigative reporters haven’t been able to discover a list of the ingredients. Though they returned to the office looking rather podgy and sated, so they must have tried very hard to break the code.)

Spread over two floors, The Hidden Lane Tearoom has over thirty loose leaf teas to choose from, all served in cups and saucers that don’t match, yet somehow suit every occasion.

Mackintosh at the Willow

215-217 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow

Tel: 0141 204 1903

CHARLES Rennie Mackintosh was the most impressive example of a human being ever to be attached to a moustache. Others have come close, Salvador Dali, Dick Dastardly and Frida Kahlo, to name a few.

But Charlie was champ of the chunky facial hair.

Besides moustache-wearing, he was also a dab hand at teashop designing, and Mackintosh at the Willow is one of his finest creations. Originally commissioned in 1903, it retains that distinctive and ornate interior décor that made the Glasgow architect such a notable figure in the art nouveau movement.

The Willow also has a range of light and fluffy scones. Though not themselves designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, these tasty bites nevertheless go perfectly with the café’s delicious homemade jam and clotted cream.

We’re sure Mackintosh would have approved. (Though the clotted cream probably would have mussed up his moustache.)

Darnley Coffee House

18 Bow Street, Stirling

Tel: 01786 474 468

VERY friendly service in this unpretentious, bustling café, which is favoured by locals. As well as a good selection of scones which can be enjoyed with a cream tea, there is a popular chocolate fudge, plus filling soups and terrific toasties. The home made fruit cordials are also to be recommended, and the location is perfect for a ramble round Stirling, enjoying all the local attractions while walking off that rich cream tea.

Hettie’s Tea Rooms

93 Atholl Road, Pitlochry

Tel: 01796 473 991

A WIDE range of the best teas and infusions – thirty one blends – which are served with great big dollops of quirkiness and personality. This popular Pitlochry tearoom welcomes over 70,000 visitors a year, though thankfully not all at the same time.

The range of teas includes traditional black teas, green teas, blue teas, white teas and many more.

Meanwhile, the word ‘indulgent’ was only invented in order to describe Hettie’s scones and cakes, which are a drip-n-drizzle dazzle of fabulous shapes, colours and flavours. Pet dogs allowed on the premises, though we’re not sure if they get a cup of tea to slurp. (Probably not. Dogs tend to prefer a jolt of java with their morning bone.)

Cup Tea Lounge

71 Renfield Street, Glasgow

Tel: 0141 353 2959

CUP has become something of a Glasgow institution over the past few years. For the uninitiated, we should point out that it isn’t just cups that are available; there happens to be oodles of tea and coffee to fill up those cups.

What more could you possibly want? Well, something to eat, for a start.

And that can be arranged. The scones are excellent, with just the right amount of chomp and chew in every mouthful.

As Cup is a rather swanky joint in the city centre, you can also indulge in a cocktail or three. But do they compliment the scones? Of course. Everything compliments a scone. Especially another scone…

Deacon’s House Café

304 Lawnmarket, 3 Brodie’s Close, Edinburgh

Tel: 0131 226 1894

JUST a three minute walk from Edinburgh Castle, Deacon’s House Café is a treat for both famished locals and starved tourists. The staff are very friendly and welcoming, and the homemade scones come with artisan jam from Craigie’s Farm. They can also be enjoyed with whipped cream, Nutella and a pot of organic black tea.

Other bites are available, with vegan options. Alternatively there’s the Full Deacon, which provides a massive and meaty start to the day. It’s not so much a breakfast as a smash-to-smithereens-fast.

Cottonrake Bakery

497 Great Western Road, Glasgow

Tel: 07910 282 040

THIS sit-in bakery in the heart of Glasgow’s West End has a wide range of breads, pastries, cakes and coffees. All made with quality local produce. The scones are a particular favourite with customers, and include a choice of plain or fruit.

They’re baked every morning for that fresh and frisky taste experience. Free-range Scottish eggs and locally sourced ingredients are used, and the scones are served with butter and house-made raspberry jam.

If you fancy something a tad more exotic, you can indulge in an eclair filled with honey, baked peaches and topped with mascarpone cream and toasted almonds.

And, yes, that does taste as magical as it sounds.

Dnisi Coffee

265 Kilmarnock Road, Glasgow

Tel: 0141 572 5156

A MEMBER of management proudly informed The Herald that Dnisi is taking over Scotland, one scone at a time. They also describe themselves as ‘Scotland’s Sconetrepeneurs’, taking the humble scone to new, elevated heights.

Which sounds about right. Scones really are this busy café’s speciality. The hand-crafted treats are made daily in the Dnisi kitchens.

Over thirty flavours have been tried and tested to date, and a range of eight flavours are daily available.

The latest range include coffee and walnut, raspberry and vanilla, plus lemon and blueberry iced scones.

Gift-wrapped scone boxes are available for take away.

Wellington Coffee

33A George Street, Edinburgh

Tel: 0131 225 6854

SEARCHING for something that is nice-y and just the right amount of spicey? Well, the Wellington does some rather tasty cheese and jalapeño scones, amongst other intriguing varieties. While you’re enjoying your hot-bread hit you can also do a bit of people-watching, as this cosy coffee shop is in an ideal location for relaxing hassle-free while the hustle goes on all around you.

Friendly, efficient service, and the flat whites and cappuccinos are definitely to be recommended.

The Boathouse

Rouken Glen Park (Next to the boating pond)

Davieland Road


Tel: 0141 638 6203.

LOCATION is everything, it’s often claimed. And you won’t find a better one than The Boathouse, which is nestled in the rolling hills of Rouken Glen Park in East Renfrewshire.

The eatery also has the perfect vantage of the nearby pond, where you can watch ducks and swans gliding lazily in circles.

Sometimes those very same ducks and swans become a little less lazy, and a lot more energetic, by clambering onto dry land. No doubt they’re plotting to mug naïve pedestrians of the human species, who may be innocently strolling along, clutching delicious fruit scones purchased in The Boathouse.

That’s why we recommend munching your scone while still in The Boathouse, where you can also enjoy a pot of tea and a range of other delicacies, while at the same time avoiding the indignity of getting beaten up by a ravenous duck.

You know it makes sense.

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