On more recent occasions we have opted to shop, or merely browse, at the Scottish Antique & Arts Centre outside Doune, and then got in the car to have tea somewhere else.
But then, it can be nice to sit down with tea and cake after a successful shopping expedition, and it was a warm and sunny afternoon, so Daughter and I trooped into Café Circa. Usually the eats are fine, if a little expensive. The service tends to be off-hand, but you can prepare yourself for that. So to be told it was so late we could only have coffee and cake – i.e. not lunch [at quarter to four] – was not as friendly a greeting as I’d have liked. And with only one table occupied, I’d have liked a ‘better’ table for the two of us than the small one they led us to.
As the nice looking coffeecake turned out to have chocolate in it, I ordered a scone, which usually is a very reliable item at Café Circa. Strangely, it was pointed out to me they also had Banoffee pie. Daughter ordered a Victoria sandwich.
We tucked in, while the staff cleared the decks and began to put things away and cleaned the floor. (It was still half an hour to closing.) The scone was dry, and the butter and the tea did nothing to revive it. The cake was also dry, and the butter-cream so sickeningly sweet that Daughter gave up. I had a taste, and it was overly sweet with a nasty, artificial flavour.
I had no intention of complaining, but as the girl who took my money actually asked, I said it was ‘quite dry, actually.’ She was sorry to hear that, said it was fresh that afternoon, and left it at that. I didn’t want money off, but it’d have been a nice gesture.
I’m wondering now if the Banoffee pie suggestion was meant to be a tastier option, or if it was another item they desperately wanted to shift before the last customer was broomed away. It’ll be some other café next time. Or we just go home.