Butterpat Coffee Shop

A few days ago, on a morning when the sun shone out of a blue sky for the first time in what seemed like ages, I whisked the two delighful assistants off to a big hut in Fife:


St Andrew’s cheese farm and coffee shop

This fine establishment bills itself as “Fife’s only artisan farmhouse cheesemakers” and has been on the go for about 5 years.

I do like a bit of cheese, but what particularly attracted me to the St Andrew’s cheese farm was the fact that it had the Butterpat Coffee Shop attached to it and that, according to the website, cheese scones were likely to be on offer.

Although the sun was shining beautifully, the wind was the sort that laughs through layers of warm clothing, chilling one to the bone in seconds.

The dash from the car was astonishingly cold, but inside the cafe the sun was sweeping in through big windows warming the room like a greenhouse.

We nipped into a sunny seat and settled down to peruse the menu.


Our table was next to one of the large windows, giving us an open view out across farmland to the sea a few miles away. There was a decking area with seating immediately outside, which I expect would be lovely to sit out on in the summer (I fully intend to return later in the year and try this out):


The menu contained a lot of things that attracted me, including a vegetable ragu, which was the vegetarian dish of the day. However, I plumped for the vegetable soup, and could not have been more pleased about my choice. For one thing, it came with a cheese scone, made using the farm’s own Anster cheese (the farm is close to the coastal town of Anstruther, pronounced ‘Anster’ by the locals):


I’ve eaten a fair number of cheese scones in my time, but rarely have I had one with a texture quite as magnificently fluffy as this one was. It was also, rather unusually, abounding in mustard seeds:


The soup was a perfect partner to the scone, and was absolutely chock-full of lovely tasty chunky veggies.

Here’s a sample spoonful containing carrot, leek, celery, onion and turnip, and possibly other things I didn’t identify:


Delightful assistant no.1 opted for the leek and potato soup, which also came with a delectable cheese scone:


Delightful assistant no.2 bypassed the soup and went instead for a cheese and ham toastie, which came with spring onions inside, and more cheese and tomato on top:


We were all exceptionally pleased with our food, as well as our drinks (water for me and delightful assistant no.1; apple juice for delightful assistant no.2):


Above the cake counter were some words that I found inspiring. “….always striving to be the best we can be”:


I look forward to seeing how things strike me on a second visit, but I can’t imagine that with any more striving they could have created a better cheese scone, or served it up with a more satisfyingly vegetable-filled hearty soup.

Following consumption of savouries, I unfortunately had no room for a sweet. I settled for a decaf cappuccino instead, which was jolly nice and had the right sort of chocolate on top (the sweet sort, as opposed to the unsweetened cocoa I’ve occasionally been shocked to receive):


Delightful assistant no.1 had tea, and delightful assistant no.2 had the same as me but with a significant addition:


That slab of brown cakey stuff is a slice of iced gingerbread, something that claims to be Scottish in origin. Such gingerbread is not always iced but it is often served with butter, although this seems to me a little superfluous when icing is present.

When butter is offered to either of my delightful assistants, however, it is never turned away:


I tasted the gingerbread, with a little bit of the thick fondant icing. It was delicious and the icing melted in the mouth.

Through a door from the cafe there was a cheesemaking viewing gallery, allowing members of the public to pop in and see the cheese hard at work. You can only see this on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays and, as luck would have it, we were there on a Wednesday.

Here’s the cheese vat we saw, filled with liquid in the process of becoming cheese:


Before leaving the cheese farm, I stopped by the cheese counter in the cafe and selected a little wedge of Anster to take home and try. The assistant did it up very nicely in a sheet of paper with a sticker to seal it up:


Before leaving the premises I popped in to the facilities, and was delighted by lovely hand painted tiles of Fife coastal scenes above the sinks:



I was so full after all the noshing at the cheese farm that I could easily have lasted the 1.5 hour drive home without stopping for more refreshments, but the delightful assistants twisted my arm up my back and made me stop at Culdees tearoom in Abernethy, roughly halfway home.

Delightful assistant no.1 is very partial to a piece of tiffin (a chocolate-topped biscuity traybake, usually containing some dried fruit), and I like it too but am wary because I’ve had more than one bad experience with the stuff. To my mind, the tiffin on offer at Culdees didn’t look especially appetising, but this didn’t put my delightful assistant off and on tasting a little nibble I discovered that I had completely misjudged it.

The chocolate was of a high quality and the fudgy biscuit bit underneath was almost cakey in texture, rather than biscuity. It was a very fine tiffin, and she selected a coffee to sloosh it down with:


Delightful assistant no.2 plumped for tea and a cherry and almond slice (also excellent):


And I fell back on that old staple, the chocolate cake (complete with two giant chocolate buttons), and a lovely pot of lemon tea:


By the time I’d finished my last mouthful I really was fit to burst and had no room for further food, that is until teatime a couple of hours later.


45 thoughts on “Butterpat Coffee Shop

  1. Cheese scones & I go waaaaay back! I had a dear friend who offered to make me lemonade scones, with cheese & chives and I’ve never looked back! I love a visit to the cheesemongers/dairies near my parents place and it’s never complete without a purchase or course.

    Looks do delightful and I might need to get my hands on some mustard seeds too, it’s a lovely idea for savoury scones!

    • This lemonade scone business is very Australian isn’t it? I’ve never heard of them here. The Butterpat cheese scones apparently have finely chopped shallots in them, according to the recipe on the website, and they were certainly very flavoursome. I was inspired by the mustard seeds too, I must try making them like that myself.

  2. Wish I was closer so I could try out those delicious treats! I too would not have passed up on the butter 🙂 Never heard of tiffin but it seems that I would really savor it. Thanks so much for sharing, I’m learning new things!

    • Thank you Sandi, a good piece of tiffin is a real treat. I think the word comes from the days of the British Raj when they took afternoon tea with small snacks and referred to the whole meal as ‘tiffin’, but why the word should now be connected with a chocolate topped biscuity confection I have no idea.

  3. I’ve been there and can only second your complimentary remarks about the cheese scones. Are you employed by the Scottish Cheese Scone Appreciation Society as their marketing assistant by the way?

    • Ah, a second opinion, that’s good to have, thanks David. I would go back there just for the cheese scones, only they have other delicious fare too and I must try a fruit scone some time as they looked marvellous too. I wish I were employed by the Scottish Cheese Scone Appreciation Society, do you have a contact I could get in touch with?

  4. Great write up Lorna! I am reading this drinking ginger tea to get better from a bad cold. What a delightful experience you bring to us on e again… loved your description and pictures. Particularly I enjoyed these lovely lines..”.Although the sun was shining beautifully, the wind was the sort that laughs through layers of warm clothing, chilling one to the bone in seconds”.

  5. I love reading your blog Lorna as it tickles my fancy when I come across a “Scottish” word in amongst the others. I am referring to “sloosh”. Maybe it isn’t particularly Scottish but I remember my mum jokingly saying to my dad when he complained about a meal that she would sloosh it aboot him.:-)

  6. What a wonderful outing! I love the cheese factory and coffee shop. I would have enjoyed every bit of the vege soup and cheese sconce. Everything looked so good I must make a pot of tea and enjoy a lemon struddle with hubby right now!

  7. Lorna, i’m at a loss for words. what a great post. i also felt like i was right there with you and i absolutely must see the St. Andrew’s Cheese Farm and Butterpat Coffee Shop for myself. The tiles, the soup, the scones, the warm atmosphere inside, the striving for doing their best, the cheese …. all so fantastic. thanks for sharing this wonderful trip with us. i am sure the second place was also good but i am always interested in anywhere that sells cheese and those tiles were just perfect.

    • I thought this place might be up your street Alison, thank you very much for your kind words. There’s not much to see regarding the actual cheese making, but it’s nice to be on the premises where it’s being made. I think it’s an altogether very enterprising and successful business they’re running with the cheese farm and coffee shop. I really wasn’t expecting it to be as good as it was.

  8. Another wonderful post, and I’m at a loss to know which I fancy most… the cheese scone, the gingerbread, or the gorgeous-looking tiffin. High praise for this wonderful establishment – and I can see from the scone how good it is. Your delightful assistants definitely have a way with them! I love their philosophy – nothing is so good that a little pat of butter won’t enhance it. Your photos are fantastic. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a queue already forming outside the Butterpat Coffee Shop!

    • Thank you very much Jo, that was a bit of dilemma for me, knowing what to choose. However, I reassured myself that another visit would allow me to try something I had to miss out on this time. The delightful assistants are extremely fond of their dairy produce, particularly in the form of butter and cream. It’s a pity it clogs up the arteries, but at the same time a little of what you fancy does you good, so my mum says.

  9. Reading through the comments I’ve learnt a new word…wowzers! Which I repeat with alacrity. Everything looks yummy…particularly the cheese scone (mustard seeds what a great idea) and seeing the gingerbread with butter has brought back some good memories from childhood. And what a great enterprise. Thanks.

    • That’s very nice, thank you, I’m glad to have been able to remind you of happy childhood memories. I think it was quite a brave step to start up this cheesemaking business and tearoom, but they’ve done it to an excellent standard, hats off to them!

  10. I just love the way you all enjoy your food and outings! Thank goodness your assistants twist your arm to stop at a few more places…the cheese scone looks soooooo delightful. I love cheese scones and that one looks so light. They sure know what they are doing. It was smart of you all to enjoy something with cheese since you were at the source! What a great day you had, thanks for sharing.

    • Thank you Linda, there was a bit of role reversal with the assistants making me stop at a tearoom, it’s usually the other way round, but they know what’s good for them. I made some cheese scones yesterday using some of the Anster cheese I bought and they turned out well, so I would certainly use it again. A cheese scone is such a comfort.

  11. I’ve said this before, but I really must time my visits to your blog to coincide with just before mealtimes, because I am always made so hungry!!! One more destination to add to my list.

    • Sorry Christine! I think you’d like this place. My dad said it reminded him of Gloagburn, and it does have a similar feel. As with Gloagburn, the toilets are up to a very good standard too, they even have space for a homely looking rocking chair in the disabled loo.

  12. Oh Lorna, those cheese scones look good! All I wanted to do was reach in and grab one, and slather it with butter and vegemite. Mmmmmm. Heaven. (If you’re Australian – otherwise I hear vegemite is an acquired taste).

    How’s the book coming along? I think of you often and wonder how you’re going. Much love to you, Nicole xx

    • Thanks Nicole, I think vegemite is similar to marmite, isn’t it, and you either love it or you hate it? In that case, I’m one of those who avoids it (I did try it again recently on toast but it wasn’t a great success). I tried butter on this cheese scone but to my mind it was better without. If I’d added anything it might have been raspberry jam, but really it was perfect as it was.

      Thank you for your kind thoughts, the book’s coming along surprisingly well, how about you and your pirates? xo

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