If you can’t see anything resembling a café in the above picture that’s because it’s hidden within the St George’s Tron Church, the rather large pointy building sitting centre stage. The Church of Scotland opened it in 1808 and it’s still going strong today. We had heard a rumour about this church. The rumour could have been about all the fantastic work they do in conjunction with the Glasgow City Mission and the Bethany Christian Trust to help the most vulnerable people in Glasgow … as explained to us at some length by ‘big Andy’, a lovely bloke who seems to take care of everything here. The rumour could also have been about their ‘gifted soup/coffee’ scheme whereby you can buy an extra coffee or soup which they then offer to people who can’t afford them. The rumour might even have been about their green credentials or the fact that all their bread comes from the Freedom Bakery in Low Moss prison but no, it wasn’t any of those. Would you adam & eve it, it was about scones! We had heard from a very well respected source that their scones were worthy of inspection … and that’s what drew us in here … yes, we are are actually that shallow! Recently the congregation and the Church of Scotland spent over £3m refurbishing the whole building and The Wild Olive Tree Café came about as part of that redevelopment. It is intended to provide a place of quiet sanctuary away from the hustle, bustle and general madness going on just outside the door in Buchanan Street, Scotland’s busiest shopping street. In here, the almost serene atmosphere, seems like another world. The café specialises in soup, scones and cakes … what more would you want? As for scones there was a choice of:
- Spiced Sultana
- Apricot Date & Vanilla
- Cheddar & Sunflower seed
- Goats Cheese & Caramelised Onion … wow, and all freshly baked!
I opted for the the spiced sultana and Pat went for the cheddar and sunflower seed … both were wonderful. Mine had a lovely crunchiness on the outside and deliciously spiced on the inside … never before tasted a scone like it! Pat’s was beautifully cheesy with a lovely crunch courtesy of the sunflower seeds. There wasn’t anything not to like about the whole experience … nice surroundings, friendly service, good presentation and fantastic scones … even my drink was Dear Green Coffee, roasted right here in the beating heart of Glasgow … excellent! These were definitely the best scones we have had in ages .. no problem awarding a topscone here. It many ways this place reminded us of our recent visit to the Glasgow Gurdwara where our Sikh friends were also doing lots of good work with the needy. The only problem with both this place and the Gurdwara is that they are required at all in this day and age. Britain is one of the richest oil producing countries in the world yet there are still thousands of people in Glasgow and every other major city who are on the breadline … how come? The lowest state pension of any developed country in the world doesn’t help … lots of old folk living in poverty and hopelessness.
This eight foot long painting hangs in the café and kind of encapsulates the situation. It is a depiction, by the artist-in-residence Iain Campbell, of the Last Supper featuring Jesus among men who have fallen on hard times. We have seen the original Last Supper by Da Vinci in Milan but this version seems much more powerful … sorry Leonardo! At the supper Jesus said “remember me” but somehow all these men seem totally forgotten. Jesus is one of them … you pick! Meanwhile our wonderful government can still spend billions on weapons of mass destruction and, at this very moment, are actively contemplating going to war with Syria? Trump and May haven’t had a war yet so it’s probably to be expected. On whose behalf would they go to war … certainly not these guys, they’ve got much more immediate things to worry about!