It was a wild old weekend through central Scotland and North to destination Aviemore . The Mountain Cafe is no stranger to me as i had visited them a few years ago and they then went on to win the overall Cafe in Scotland category at The Scottish Baking awards 2014. So it was with a little trepidation that i returned today to see if the same consistancy and quality was still available , very rarely is anything you return to as good as you remember . I need not have feared one little bit. This Cafe is very busy - always, and expect queing out the door , but for a good reason. The food here is cooked to order and is very good but i was here for the Baking. The Baking is quite simply the biggest display of every type of Cake , cookie , scone, traybake, cheesecake , Torte etc etc etc that you could wish for . But that does not mean because they have the biggest display that they should recieve one of our Awards , They recieved our Award again this year for the consistency and excellence in such a huge dispay of Baking. Most places i visit have excellent Baking and are worthy of A Scottish Baking Award but to have such an enormous display of cakes all tasting as good as the next one is very hard to beat . For someone like myself that has an unrivalled passion for Cakes, Baking and eating them - its heaven . I absolutely adore This cafe and would love to be able to visit more often . I tried an inspired Blueberry and Chocolate Scone which was just brilliant and the Hummingbird Cake ( Which normally i am not a great fan of ) was absolutely excellent, pineapple chunks in a moist spiced sponge with light cream cheese frosting . A lovely Beetroot cake and mint slice just added to my already drooling expression. Mountain Cafe and all your lovely staff , long may you reign in this ever expanding world of Baking frenzy .
The potting shed in Inshriach Nursery is just outside Aviemore and quite remote but my is it worth visiting for the fabulous cakes alone .Owned by a scandanavian lady the baking is all beautifully different flavours and flamboyant. The potting shed is exactly as its title but with a quaint old fashioned feel and a wonderful view outside onto a bird feeding station. There were all sorts for twitchers and non twitchers alike .I sampled the peanut and caramel cake and the chocolate heaven cake -both were exceptional and fresh as you like. A fanatstic pit stop if you are looking for something a wee bit different. Excellent.
The Potting Shed
Tel;01540 651 287
The Mountain Cafe
111 Grampian Street
Well well well I don't know where to start with this Heavenly place . Words will not appear adequate for what I am about to explain to you . Aviemore is a very sporty type of a town in the Cairngorms and known for its Mountaineering and Skiing. When you approach this cafe it has a Sports clothing shop on the Ground Floor and my immediate thoughts were -Wheres the Coffee Shop!! As you enter the shop the stairs take you to Heaven in the true sense of the words. A very busy shop this is and I soon found out why . As my eyes gazed left at the top of the stairs I was hit by the most amazing and biggest array of Homemade Cakes I truly have ever seen . To the trained eye you know the quality and freshness before even tasting and I knew if there is a way to go then this is it for me !!.There were just too many to take in so I felt a seat was needed to take in the enormity of the task ahead ( I do suffer for this job you know ) Anyhow I was introduced to the lovely Kirsten, a Kiwi and a long way from home ,but my goodness she can bake and bake and bake . A self taught baker believe it or not which I think is just a great inspiration to everyone. What I loved about this Coffee Shop (Apart from the cakes ) was it was not in the slightest bit pretentious . I was given the guided tour of the bakery and Hot Kitchens where the heart of this Cafe lies and what a lovely young ,hardworking ,cheerful and down to earth team they were. I just love bragging about places like this that are just fantastic at what they do and dont take themselves too seriously . I cant even name what I sampled as there was just too much and I am still singing from the chandeliers from the sugar rush but suffice to say they will be in our finals next year - NO DOUBT !!
31 High Street
Grantown on Spey
NR Aviemore PH263RF
Tel; 01479 872001
Well what can I say this little Quaint, Olde Worlde Tearoom was a great wee find in Grantown on Spey today . " Chaplins" belongs to a gentleman by the name of Stephen who takes his business very seriously and passionately - just what I love to find. Stephen has a long history in the Catering industry and has a lovely manner for serving the fickle public. He shares the baking duties with his staff and all are baked on the premises. The shop from the outside looks small and yet it seats 72 covers in total with an outside seating area . All the food is Homemade on the premises and not just the cakes which I love . I sampled one of the biggest ( and only ) Homemade donuts I have ever seen in the last 4 years of travelling with the SHBA . I have never had a homemade Donut - unbelievable . You can even request all manner of different dips and sauces to accompany your mammoth Donut . The portion sizes are huge -again I love this . The Tiffin was excellent as were the choice of Homemade Scones. If you want to keep small privately run business alive in this financial climate that go to the lengths of providing home made Food and cakes ,then this is one to visit . Well done Stephen