Sunday, September 10, 2006

Give me the perfect scone

I asked the tourguide where she would take guests for a Devonshire Cream Tea. She recommended two places, Greys Dining Room and Anne of Cleves. I've been trying to avoid this high calorie indulgence. I finally caved in and decided to go to Greys. Greys is at the top of Totnes, just after the Narrows, near a pub called The Bull. The walls are covered with teapots, old plates and tea cups. They have a tea list that puts many wines lists to shame. It is extensive. They serve light meals, a wide array of mouth watering cakes and pies, and of course, cream teas. I opt for the classic cream tea. The waiter brought out a small silver pot filled with water, just off of boiling, a tea strainer, another silver pot filled with hot water, and a caddy filled with strawberry and blackberry preserves, a huge dollop of clotted cream and two scones. I was in heaven. I picked up a scone. It was still warm. A very good sign. I split it open. It was very light, flaky and tender. I smothered half of the scone with a layer of clotted cream. I broke off a bite size morsel. I added a spoonful of blackberry preserves to this bite. I gingerly put it into my mouth. Ohhhhhhh. Yum. The scone was perfect. Imagine the perfect buttermilk biscuit and make it slightly sweet. This scone was indeed tender, flaky, it broke part with lots of crumbs, you can tell the dough wasn't handled too much. It was light, not a hockey puck. The scones you get at Starbuck's or Pete's are not what I'm talking about. I don't know what those are, but they're not scones. This is what a scone should be. And covered with clotted cream and fruit preserves just makes it better. I was doing a happy dance in my chair. I can go home now. I've had the perfect scone.

Mom and I compare all scones to the scones make by the ladies that ran the tea room at St. Giles church in Edinburgh, Scotland. As she will tell you, "Under the Aisle" made scones that spoil you. It has taken me over 20 years to find their match. Today I've found some competition for "Under the Aisle." I don't have to go to Scotland, either. I want to thank Greys Tea Room. I have found a mouthful of nirvana. Their custom blended house tea was pretty damn good, too. If you're ever in Totnes, eat a scone.

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