Great Places to Eat in Scotland
- Gloagburn Farm Shop
Field of Dreams
Sitting in the Gloagburn Farm Coffee Shop I had a 'Field of Dreams' moment. In the film a young Iowa farmer, played by Kevin Costner, is visited by the ghosts of the Chicago White Sox team of 1919.
The meeting with the supernatural baseball team had a profound effect on him. The plot describes the hero's urge to build a baseball stadium in the middle of farmland miles from the major centres of population.
Against the odds, the Costner character builds the baseball ground, encouraged by voices that indicate that people will come in due course.
Gloagburn is not in rural Iowa. It is a farm a couple of miles past Tibbermore. Ever heard of Tibbermore? Me neither, until I was chatting to friend who helped the estimable Maggie Bruce put together her invaluable guide to places in rural Scotland where you can enjoy a really good cup of tea or coffee. (See Maggie Bruce's Guide - Ed)
So, off to Tibbermore we ventured and what a good experience it was. The Gloagburn Farm enjoys pleasant views over Perthshire and this enhances the experience for people at their Coffee Shop. And there were plenty of them. The car park was all but full and it was obvious that this place had built up a good reputation with both local people and customers from further afield.
News From The Farm
I reckoned that this was a special place from the moment I saw the Gloagburn Newsletter. A coffee shop with its own newsletter? Even the legendary Central Perk in 'Friends' did not do one of those, although I did admire their funky cups. Ours was a brief visit, en route to a trip to the Highlands, so we just had a scone and a cup of coffee. The scone was light as a feather and the raspberry jam was to die for. Being mid morning we could have also gone for a late breakfast or an early lunch. The range of home made soups looked particularly appealing and the baked potatoes had an interesting range of appetising fillings. There is a full range of desserts - the Scots like their fruit crumbles and sponge puddings with homemade custard.
A Passion for Excellence
The emphasis is on wholesome, delicious, locally produced food. Scottish materials, such as Aberdeen Angus beef, venison, salmon and lamb are admired throughout the world. Top chefs in London and Paris will happily use Scottish food as a base for an elaborate meal of the highest quality.
Earlier in the week I had heard the Scottish writer and broadcaster Nell Nelson make a fantastic speech about some of the issues affecting eating in Scotland,. She is passionate about the importance of having a diet which is both nutritious and delicious.
She pointed out the great strides which have been made in Scotland over recent years with the advent of farmers' markets and the increase in the number of farm shops.
Gloagburn has one of the best farm shops I have been to. In addition to an excellent range of bread, jam, chutney, honey, fruit and vegetables there is quite an extensive range of gifts and cards.
Gloagburn is run by the Niven family, the third generation to farm the area since John Niven started the business in 1924. Ian took over the farm, which now stands at 950 acres, in 1985. The farm shop was started in 2003. Long may it continue to thrive.
The analogy with Field of Dreams has its limits. Although Gloagburn is in a beautiful rural setting it is only about five miles from Perth. Visit it if you can.
Gloagburn Farm Shop
Location Map for Gloagburn Farm Shop
Maggie Bruce's Guide to Coffee Shops and Tearooms in Scotland
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