Tag Archives: Rhodda’s cornish cream

Cadell’s Café

Connections are funny things … they happen in the most unexpected ways. For instance what do you think connects the following:

  • the town of Falkirk in central Scotland
  • the Battle of Trafalgar
  • the K4 telephone box
  • the seaside town of Cockenzie, just east of Edinburgh
  • the town of Barga in central Italy.

The answer is Cadells Café of course! Perhaps some sort of explanation would help. The cannons used by Wellington at the Battle of Trafalgar and the K4 telephone boxes were all made at the Carron Iron Works in Falkirk which in 1759, was founded by one William Cadell whose home was Cockenzie House in which we now sit eating scones in Cadell’s Cafe. The house is situated in the town of Cockenzie which in turn is twinned with the town of Barga …. simple!! Attentive readers will remember we mentioned Barga recently in the post about Brian’s Café. Brian was a member of the Serafini family who originated in Barga. It’s a small world! Internal view of Cadell's Café in CockenzieAnyway Cadell’s Café is situated in the ‘secret garden’ of Cockenzie House alongside a grotto decorated with seashells and a ruinous claret tower … we use the word ‘ruinous’ advisedly? No such problems in the cafe however. We were ushered in out of what was a bitterly cold day and sat beside a lovely log burning stove … what could be better? A scone at Cadell's Café in CockenzieThe scones were nicely presented with a good pot of jam but unfortunately along side was the ubiquitous Rhodda’s Cornish cream. Most of you already know that we have nothing against Rhodda’s but we just feel that it would be better to go for local cream, Scotland has loads of it. The scones were nice and crunchy but maybe just a tad too much. In the end there was no topscone but we thoroughly enjoyed our visit and would not hesitate to go back. Returning to the subject of connections … FaceBook’s raison d’etre is connections. Poor old Mark Zuckerberg probably never thought he would be accused of helping rig national elections when he started trying to connect the students on his campus at Harvard University. Mind you he probably never thought that within a few years he would have $70billion in his hip pocket either.

The harbour at Cockenzie
Cockenzie harbour

What seems of even greater interest to us is the role of Cambridge Analytica, the British company that allowed FaceBook’s data to be harvested. It’s a company which donates huge amounts of money to the Conservative party and is run by some of the movers and shakers in the Torys. Maybe it’s not only the US election that was rigged … what about the 2014 Scottish independence referendum … oooo!!

EH32 0HY     tel: 01875 819456       Cadell’s Café TA

The Catstrand

catstrand-06For our return trip from Kirkcudbright we thought we should try and see some red kites on the side of Loch Ken where, because of the Red Kite Trail, there is every likelihood of seeing them. As we approached the top end of the loch, however, we had almost given up hope, when just about Kenmure Castle, we had no less than eight kites wheeling about above us … marvellous sight! In the last post about The Solway Tide Tearoom, we talked of the difficulty of picking the right side and the stark ruins of Kenmure Castle are yet another reminder of precisely that. In 1716, in the Tower of London, Viscount Kenmure paid the ultimate price for his support of the Jacobites and that pretty much signalled the end of the once powerful Gordons of Lochinvar.

Piture of an art exhibit at The Catstrand in New Galloway
‘Deep Blue Sea’ by Jenny Edwards – acrylic on driftwood

These days you don’t tend to lose your head simply for supporting the wrong side, especially if you simply pretend you didn’t! Mitt Romney, who picked Clinton and said that Trump was akin to the devil is now in line to be Secretary of State in Trump’s administration … what happened to integrity?  Mind you, just when you thought politics could not get any more surreal on this side of the pond, Tony Blair is threatening a return to politics with his honchos, Jim Murphy and George Osborne – apparently because he thinks today’s politicians are too weak … they may be right about today’s politicians but they also have a  very tenuous grasp on reality … his ‘strong’ politics managed to provide us nothing less that Daesh. In the modern world of crazy politics however … who knows?

Picture of café interior at The Catstrand in New GallowayAbout a mile or so north of Kenmure Castle we came to the pretty little village of New Galloway … and it was sconetime! At this time of year many places are closed for the season but The Catstrand is an option we would probably have picked anyway since we have been here before and knew it to be good. Little villages like New Galloway, Moniaive and Thornhill sit prettily in their beautiful surroundings and give you the impression that they are a bit sleepy and nothing much ever happens. The Catstrand, however, proves that to be a complete myth. Piture of a scone at The Catstrand in New GallowayThere’s a shop, a cinema, a concert hall, a bar, an art gallery .. oh, and a café! Baked by the young chap behind the counter every morning, our scones did not disappoint. Lovely jam but unfortunately, once again, the only downside was the seemingly ubiquitous Rhodda’s cornish cream. Nothing specifically wrong with that but when you are in the heart of Scotland’s dairy country why go all the way to Cornwall for your cream? The answer is, of course, that it keeps for ever .. but still! Pat thought we should stay for the cinema which was showing The Grump which, for some reason or other, she thought I would enjoy … I disagreed!

Picture of mural in the garden interior at The Catstrand in New Galloway
Mural in the garden of the Catstrand

DG7 3RN             tel: 01644 420374               The Catstrand