Let’s go down to the garden centre

How come garden centres have become such mainstays of eating out? We have one near us, and if I think the words ‘home made scone’ I think of this garden centre. Why can’t there be a traditional café supplying me with a reliable scone? Good scones come with tourism, and garden centres are almost that. It’s where we dream ourselves away to sunny gardens with lovely outdoor furniture, or think that some more Christmas decorations will guarantee happiness come December.

We were driving between Stirling and St Andrews the other day, and felt the journey would benefit from a break, and that we could benefit from elevenses of some kind. But where? The Grandmother mentioned a garden centre near Kinross that she’d seen from the bus. I looked online, and found that she was right, and that it had some favourable reviews. So at Dobbies in Kinross we ran from car to Le Jardin Café in the pouring rain.

It was worth it. When I saw cream meringues on the menu I just had to have one. It was enormous, and it was good. The meringue was soft enough that I could cut into it without the rest of it flying across the room. The cream was lightly whipped and neither too much nor too little. The Resident IT Consultant enjoyed his warmed fruit slice, and the Grandmother said her hot chocolate was better than many.

Suitably revived, we drove on to St Andrews and a delayed 21st birthday. The party was at the local cinema, where 20+ students carefully avoided eating more than a handful of Kettle crisps or M&S cupcakes before whatever the film was they were watching.

Maybe they had been as well fed as we had, and I’m not still thinking of that meringue. Us oldies had gathered at The Rule for an early dinner. I know I’ve blogged about this watering hole before, but it’s worth repeating. It’s good value, and a home from home (well, almost). With their various offers we fed eight people for £100.

It seems to appeal more to locals than to tourists, which is presumably why you can avoid the tedious queueing you get in many other bars and restaurants. As far as I’m concerned I see no reason to consider eating anywhere else.

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