What can you buy for £1.95?
For most of these things, you would even have change left over – and jolly good too, I might add.
In some places, however, £1.95 doesn’t get you much. Of course, in high-end stores like Harrods or Paul A. Young, this is just what you’d expect. But in your average cafe, when all you want is a takeaway buttered Scone? Well, for £1.95 you would hope it to be fairly decent.
Alas, this wasn’t the case in Cordial & Grace, a ‘Sewing Cafe’ situated in Clifton.
We found the place on our mission to scout out the tastiest cakes in Bristol – a mission which started at the Primrose Cafe (the intriguing creations of which I wrote about yesterday). Inside, chalked up on a blackboard, were a few words that caught my eye: ‘Treacle and Oat Scones.’
Now, last time I had a Treacle-based scone, it was served to me by a huge cheery chap in Dorset, who’d cooked up the beasts with Ginger and Clotted Cream. They were incredible – the stuff of legend – but the next time we sought them out his shop had gone.
Rumours began that the man had died from eating too much Clotted Cream. I like to think his Scones were just too perfect for this world…
However, as I’m sure you will have guessed by now, the same cannot be said for the Scones sold at Cordial & Grace.
The flavour, indeed, was promising, and – I thought – would be great as a lunchtime snack for our walk over Clifton Bridge.
There were none on display when we entered the shop, but I put my faith in the concept of Treacly goodness and asked if I could have one to go. The lady behind the counter seemed surprised – I guess it’s not a question they get asked that often – and said it would be £4 for two with all the trimmings (Cream and Jam) plus a Hot Drink.
But how much for a single buttered Scone?
That’s right, Ogglers – you’re way ahead of me. The price was £1.95.
I suppose I’d expected to pay about £1.50, so it was a little more than I had hoped. Not off-puttingly so though – especially given the new and exciting flavour.
I handed over my savings and waited for it to appear.
As soon as it did, my heart sank.
Wrapped in a layer of greaseproof paper was by far the smallest Scone I’ve ever bought – so small, it fit roomily into the palm of my hand, weighing no more than a thin slice of Bread.
I’ve had nosebleeds that were bigger. I almost had one then, in fact.
However, as usually happens in such situations, a typical English awkwardness took hold. Even the lady who sold it seemed mildly embarrassed. But instead of complaining, or commenting on its underwhelming size, I gave my thanks and scurried away.
Outside, the anger kicked in:
How can they justify charging so much? For a TAKEAWAY?!
I can’t believe I bought it without checking how big it was first.
Stupid Pud-Hog! Stupid, stupid, STUPID!
I could have got a SANDWICH for that, goddamnit.
I could have made a whole frigging TRAY for less!
Amidst this sudden shower of rage, the Man tried to soothe me with a few suggestions, one of which was taking it back for a refund.
Can you really take a buttered Scone back for a refund though, Ogglers?
I doubted it.
Besides, who wants to go into a quiet Clifton Tea Room and argue about the size of a Scone?
So saddled with this saddening little specimen (the Scone, I mean, not the Man), I stomped my way towards Clifton Bridge and let the views calm me down.
An hour or so later, I was able to take a more positive look at the situation. After all, I still hadn’t tried it. What if it was amazing? What if it was the tastiest thing to have ever passed my lips?
If that was the case, then £1.95 would be a mere drop in the ocean. For the most special Scone I would pay twice that – maybe even more.
By the time it came to eating it, a great deal rode on the outcome.
So how, then, did it come out?
As you already know, I was not overly impressed.
The flavour was pleasant but nothing fantastic. I could taste the Flour almost as strongly as Oats or Treacle.
Texturally, too, it was good – but no better than I could have cooked up at home. Worse still, it was gone in about three bites.
£1.95-size? Unfortunately not.