A Scottish High Tea . . .

By | September 11

Sunday, 11th September 2016


Good sleep. Sunny morning. Central heating “on” and an autumnal, Septemberish feel about things. It clouded over a bit later on but the sun broke through quite often.

The But n Ben, Auchmithie

The But n Ben, Auchmithie

After a quiet day recuperating from driving, we went to a local restaurant at Auchmithie, a hamlet on the cliffs north of Arbroath, called the But n’ Ben. On Sundays it opens in the afternoon to do “High Teas”. We booked beforehand and I should think that booking is very necessary as it soon filled up.

We began with the usual drinks, then got offered bread or scones – J. had the bread and I had a scone which turned out to be cheesy and very nice.

Then came the main course, J. had liver, I had – what else – Arbroath Smokie. The flavour was excellent but there was not a lot of flesh, which was maybe a good thing given the amount of calories we were likely to consume. With the main course came chips and vegetables, carrots and broccoli.

That done, more scones arrived, to eat with the jam already set out on the table.

And then an enormous cake trolley arrived – J. had her favourite coffee cake, and I went for the clootie dumpling which was lovely. Both came with pouring cream if wanted. We wanted. Also at about this time a teapot appeared with a strainer and produced a very pale tea which made J. turn up her nose, but seemed OK to me. This came to about £16 per person and was a good fill up. We arrived at 4.00 pm, and as we left soon after 5.00 pm the next and last sitting was arriving.

We drove up the main street and back – it being a dead end – and then sans map (forgotten) made our way northwards to Lunan Bay or Beach. To get to the beach required a walk over a path up the dunes so we did not attempt that, and never actually saw the sea.

Then we came back down the main road – A92 – into Arbroath and tried to find the harbour, which we eventually did, but it was not easy as no sign actually said “Harbour” but only had the names of “visitor attractions” which told us nothing. However we spent some time there and J. – as usual – took squillions of photos. We then found a sort of esplanade but like many seaside towns this was not particularly attractive and seemed to be a remnant of days of yore and seaside holidays of the past.

Then home for refreshment, and early to bed, feeling as tired as the day before.

There is a captive balloon flying at a considerable height to the north of Arbroath. It does not carry advertising, but there is no other indication of what its purpose is. It is high enough to require a “notice to airmen” I should think.

(We found out later that this balloon flies from the old Royal Naval airfield formerly known as HMS Condor, but now evidently a base for the Royal marines, and now known as RM Condor.)