Melanie's Food Adventures

Probably The World’s Smallest Tea Room

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Isn’t lovely when you end up meeting someone you’ve not seen for ages and you get to know them more than you did before? Well, this happened to me in a strange set of events this week. I’ve often driven past Redwood Gallery & Tearoom in Echt, Westhill, Aberdeenshire, but it’s normally been on the way to visit my mum and I usually have Wee Food Adventurer in tow, engrossed with watching Thomas the Tank. This week I knew I could visit on my own and contacted Lin, the owner, to ask if it was ok to come along and take some photos for my blog. When I arrived on Thursday I recognised her straight away! I won’t bore you all with all our catch up chat but turns out we worked together in the perfumery department of John Lewis Aberdeen… Wait for it….. TWENTY YEARS AGO!!! After the two of us got over the shock of remembering each other two decades before, I got down to the important job of scone tasting! The scones on offer that day were Cinnamon or White Chocolate & Cranberry…. There was no contest for me and I went with the latter along with an Earl Grey Lavender tea. I got the chance to ask Lin about her tearoom as she organised my brew. It opened at the back of the gallery and gift room at the beginning of this year and has rapidly become an important part of the business. The gallery itself is a great new location for local artists selling paintings, photography and furniture, and is also home to gifts and crafts.

Tea and scone were beautifully presented when I walked back through to the tearoom. I have to admit that the scone didn’t last five minutes as it was utterly delicious. The tea was a perfect accompaniment.

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While I was admiring Lin’s wonderful array of teas she suggested another brew…. This time Chocolate Tea!! It was a new one on me, but it too didn’t last long in the cup! Not overly sweet and one I would absolutely have again. Lin went on to tell me that all her scones, soup and sandwich fillings are homemade, which I love.

Before I left I knew I had to buy something I had my eye on earlier. I always like to buy something to remind me of places I’ve been to and I thought a wooden spoon hand carved from a holly tree would be most appropriate! Now, normally I hate wooden spoons, the texture of the rough wooden ones literally make me shudder (don’t ask) but these were beautifully smooth & treated with oil to make it suitable for food use.

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A massive thank you to Lin for making me feel so welcome. I cannot wait to go back and maybe I’ll see some of you there on my next visit!

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Having been inspired by Lin’s scones I spent the afternoon making some of my own…. Cheese and cheese & sundried tomato. I love cheese scones, especially when they’re still warm & the butter goes all melty when you spread it on……

The great thing is you can add extras into the mix : paprika, pesto, chives, olives, the list is pretty endess. I enjoy making smaller sized ones so you can make a mixed batch & try one *several* of each. The added bonus is that you don’t even need a rolling pin to roll the dough out!

INGREDIENTS FOR BASIC CHEESE SCONE RECIPE

Makes 14 if using a 5cm/2″ cutter (you can use a plain or fluted cutter)

225g/8oz Self Raising Flour

Pinch of Salt

55g/2oz Butter

55g/2oz Mature Cheddar Cheese (grated) You can decrease or increase this slightly depending on how cheesy you like your scones plus a little extra for topping.

150ml/5fl oz Milk plus a little extra for brushing the tops of your scones.

Anything extra you wish to add into your scones. I used three drained sundried tomatoes from a jar and roughly chopped them up. This will give you an idea to the quantity of other ingredients you wish to add.

METHOD

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 220c / 425F / Gas Mark 7
  2. Lightly grease a baking sheet and set aside.
  3. Mix the 225g of Self Raising Flour with the pinch of salt and then rub in the 55g of butter until it resembles breadcrumbs.
  4. Stir in the cheese amount of your choice plus your extra ingredient if you’ve chosen one. If you wish to make a mixed batch then separate the mixture into separate bowls at this point and add your extra ingredient(s).
  5. Add the 150ml/5oz milk (splitting the amount up where appropriate) to get a soft dough. It may look quite wet still but don’t worry as you will be adding a little flour into the mix in the next step.
  6. Tip out onto a floured work surface and very lightly knead. Pat out using the palm of your hand until you have a roundish shape that is approximately 2cm / 3/4″ thick. Dip your cutter into some flour (this prevents the dough sticking to the cutter) and then cut out your rounds and place them onto your baking sheet. Gently knead the dough again and repeat the process until you’ve used all your dough up.
  7. Brush the tops of your scones with a little milk and add a little extra grated cheese (you can never have enough cheese in my opinion!). Bake for 12-15 minutes until nicely risen & wonderfully golden. Once ready place on a wire rack to cool and resist the temptation to devour one immediately (I think I managed to wait 15 minutes tops!!). Now…… Where’s that butter?……. 🙂

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Melanie, Food Adventurer

4 Comments

  1. Great blog Melanie. JL 20 years ago. Eek!!

  2. Can’t wait to go there .. Hint! X

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