Linlithgow delights

A couple of days ago, after dropping delightful assistant no.1 off with chums in South Queensferry, delightful assistant no.2 and I took ourselves off to Linlithgow for tea and a wander.

Our first stop was Brodies tearoom on the main street in Linlithgow. Having seen photos online of their large and excellent looking scones I was keen to sample their wares.

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The exterior of Brodies tearoom. Words on the windows read ‘A feast for body and soul’.

Inside, the tearoom consisted of one room with seating for about 22 people. It was busy, but a table in the corner was being vacated when we arrived. We nabbed it post haste.

Inside Brodies

The chairs were unusual for a tearoom, being made of clear perspex. We found them very comfortable.

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There were a few seats outside, and from the cushions placed on the windowsill inside it looked as if perching there was another option.

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When I went to the counter to look at the edibles on offer I was unable to locate any scones. I asked the waitress about this and she said that some fruit scones were just coming out of the oven. Thrilled by this prospect, we ordered freshly baked scones and breakfast tea for two.

The scones came to the table on long plates with tubs of butter and raspberry jam.

scone on long plate

The generous size of the scones can be appreciated by comparing one with a standard teacup and saucer.

scone and teacup

Since it had come directly out of the oven, I pulled my scone apart and tasted it without putting anything on it. It was perfectly cooked, soft, fluffy and truly delicious.

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Delightful assistant no.2, however, is not one to waste butter when it’s put in front of him. He buttered and jammed first one half and then the other, carefully dotting the scone with butter before adding the jam.

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He raved about the jam so much that I tried it for myself, and it was indeed toothsome.

scone with butter and jam

There was a lot of tea in the large teapot that came with the scones (we drank 8 cups between us and left quite a bit untouched). Delightful assistant no.2 took the opportunity of so much tea drinking to work on his pinkie-sticking-out skills (and not only on the teacup-wielding hand, as can be seen in these pictures).

pinkie 2

pinkie 1

When we had finished our scones and drunk as much tea as we could, we got up and toddled at a leisurely pace towards nearby Linlithgow Loch.

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The loch sits at the foot of Linlithgow Palace, which is now a ruin, but a pretty spectacular one at that. Building on the palace began in 1424, and both James V and Mary Queen of Scots were born here in the 1500s.

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Next to the palace sits the impressive St Michael’s Parish church.

Linlithgow Palace on the right with St Michael's Church on the left and a fine set of steps leading up between the two.

Linlithgow Palace on the right with St Michael’s Church on the left and a fine set of steps leading up between the two.

We didn’t have much time, but since the church was open we popped in for a quick shufti.

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Much of the building dates to the mid 15th Century, and it was within these walls that Mary Queen of Scots was baptised in 1542.

The church has several splendid stained glass windows, including this one of modern design.

modern stained glass window

I thought it a beautiful building, both inside and out.

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One of the unusual things about it is the church spire. In 1821 the stone steeple was in such a poor state of repair that it had to be dismantled. It wasn’t replaced until 1964, when a controversial aluminium crown was put in its place. It’s certainly a distinctive feature, and although it looks a little at odds with the old stonework, I quite like it.

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30 thoughts on “Linlithgow delights

  1. What a wonderful outing for the two of you. Your father has certainly perfected his pinkie-sticking-out skills! Once again I learned two new words from you, toothsome (which I love!) and shufti (which I can´t fathom the meaning of) I would love to see the church Mary Queen of Scots was baptised in.

  2. Bet your heart missed a beat when you got to the counter and no scones were visible. I’ve had that feeling myself. I’m sure the Germans must have a word for it.

    • You’re right David, such situations can cause considerable anxiety. However, on this occasion it seemed so impossible that they’d have no scones at all (it was around 11:00, prime time for scones) that I was able to stay calm while the waitress explained what was what. I like the idea of the Germans having a word for it, I really hope they do. 🙂

  3. How do you always manage to arrive at a place just when the scones are coming out of the oven? 🙂 How delicious they look, too. I’m with your Dad on the butter front. A lovely day for visiting the Palace and the Church – beautiful photos as well. I loved St Michael’s Church when we visited in January – there was fresh snow back then – and like you, I thought the windows were magnificent. What a nice day out!

    • Thanks, Jo. I remember seeing a photo you took of the church in the snow with a blue sky, it was stunning. You’re right that I have been lucky on the hot scones front a few times. I suppose if you seek out scones as often as I do you’re bound to catch them oven fresh now and then. I’m surprised that this was my first visit to Linlithgow Palace, and I’ve yet to see inside. I’d like to go back some time.

  4. What a nice adventure! Very good pinky technique your dad has there. ‘Shufti’ is from the Empire days in India isn’t it? To have a look? I haven’t heard that in ages, but somehow I imagine Ray Winstone saying it 🙂 ‘Let’s ‘ave a shoofti then’ Maybe he did say it once in a film or something. Who thinks up a spire like that? I can’t decide if I like it or not. You wouldn’t want to be around it if your parachute had gone adrift anyway. Not the sort of spire you could hug in a relieved manner.

    • Thank you, Trish, my dad will be chuffed with your kind words. Shufti does sound like an Indian word, I hadn’t made that connection. I don’t know if Ray Winstone ever said that in a film but I can hear him saying it in my head now. As for the spire, I gather that it may have been constructed in that manner because rebuilding the stone would have been difficult for structural reasons. It would be pretty terrifying to approach it in a parachute, I agree. 🙂

  5. What an amazing day out cultural , delightful company and delicious food wow . I also love impressive church spire…Ray Winstone comes to mind
    Laura I so wish I could sort my own blog out … I’m useless when It comes to tech stuff . I have just come to the end of my holiday on a narrow boat on the
    Brecon canal . What pub food I have had the joy to consume you would have been proud . I have
    Cextra pounds around the hips but all the better for it.
    Cherryx

    • Thank you, Cherry. I didn’t realise you had a blog. I don’t know much about the technical side of things, but if I can be of any assistance I’d be happy to help. Your holiday sounds lovely, I’ve never been on a narrowboat but I like the idea of slowly cruising along at a relaxed pace. And then there’s all the pubs en route, of course. Just the job. 🙂

  6. This place looks like it came right out of a movie…so beautiful, yet quaint with the delightful tea house…and those scones mmmm and that’s my kind of pot of tea (never ending 🙂
    What a great day and love the pinkie finger technique mastered by asst #2

    • Thanks Linda, Linlithgow might well have featured in a movie, I don’t know. It certainly has atmosphere and plenty of history. It’s such a treat to receive more tea than you can drink. One of my pet hates is being served a pot of tea that only has one teacupful in it. My dad will be pleased that his pinkie skills are getting so much praise. 🙂

  7. Thank you for visiting and commenting on Darlene’s post on my blog.
    I think you’ve just found a new follower! What a lovely post – its breakfast time but all I can think about is scones. I’m so glad I came over for a quick shufti.

  8. Another excellent post about a must-see destination, not to mention must-eat scones. I haven’t yet made it to Linlithgow but now that I’m in the Central Belt it shouldn’t be a complete impossibility! I, too, congratulate your father on his pinkie-lifting skills – I laughed out loud when you pointed out he was doing the same on his other hand. The stained glass window in the church is really stunning. I must try to see it, on a sunny day. Thanks!

    • Linlithgow is well worth a visit. I’d like to go back and see round the inside of the palace (and perhaps have another of those magnificent scones). My dad will be chuffed to bits to know that his pinkies made you laugh.

  9. A perfect post and an almost perfect scone……… just one thing missing to go with that ‘toothsome’ jam, a big dollop of Cornish clotted cream on top! I’ve driven through Linlithgow on a couple of occasions, I’ll definitely now make the effort to stop next time 🙂

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