The Fountain Tea Rooms, Bonsall

This is one of my favourite local cafes, if only for their scones. I may have said this  elsewhere, but I’ll risk repeating myself to explain that one of my benchmarks for judgement of any cafe is their scones. They need to be a good size. Piddly little arty-farty one-bite bits are not what I look for. In the Fountain they’re big. Scones must also be firm and crunchy on the outside with a lovely soft interior. They need flavour, of course. And not just one flavour, I like variety. At the Fountain they do a good range of scones including Plain, Mixed fruit, White Chocolate & Cherry, Cheddar & Sun-dried Tomato and – my favourite – Stilton & Walnut. They do lots of other lovely snacks and full meals too.

In the summer it’s very pleasant to sit at one of the outside tables and watch the world go by. Having said that, not much of the world goes by in Bonsall. It’s a charming, quiet sort of place – except on “Open garden” weekend, then it positively heaves with people.

Over the years I’ve organised many Duke of Edinburgh’s Award expeditions and I regularly make sure that the participants’ finish point is the Fountain Cafe, so I can sit and wait for them enjoying a coffee and scone in the sunshine. (Yes, it does shine here in Derbyshire.)