TGIFOOD

SCONE SEEKER

Pink Geranium serves up piping hot scones on a stoep with a view

A hot scone, whipped cream, strawberry jam and a stoep with a view at The Pink Geranium. Photo: Belle Reve

It’s all about the scone. Is it crisp on the outside but have a good ‘give’ as you bite into it? Does the strawberry and cream aroma perfume each mouthful? Is the scone all crumbly butteriness, slightly savoury from a dash of salt?

I have another contender for the best hot scone in the Cape. I’m not talking about any old heat-and-eat or cook-from-frozen scones. Although they have their place and certain members of our family have been seen splicing a frozen scone and popping one into the toaster during a scone crisis.

I’m talking about fresh-out-of-the-oven, to-the-table scones. So far Cape Town’s Scone Route consists of one entrant, the mother of all hot scone makers: The Scone Shack near Cape Point.

We stopped in to look at the nursery at The Pink Geranium and discovered there were scones in the oven and they were coming out in two minutes. 

This off-grid shack produces batches of hot scones throughout the day, using a wood-fired oven, locally milled stone ground flour and a secret recipe. Add to this some homemade preserves and you’ve got scones that are top-notch on the Richter Scale of scone scores.

What do you have with your hot scone? It’s one of those things best not messed with, one feels: a warm scone, a pat of butter, strawberry jam and a dash, just a dash, mind you, of thick cream. None of that over whipped cream in a can (with a nod to The Crown).

I’ve been watching The Crown on Netflix, a lot. Before that, I watched the entire series of Weeds, every night for weeks on end (newbie to Netflix). Now it’s The Crown. The Queen and her corgis and afternoon tea in the drawing room. 

I imagine the Queen’s scones are fairly insipid compared to the light-as-air scones produced by the DIY oven on the off-grid farm near Cape Point. 

A scone purist, or someone from Cornwall in the UK (not necessarily the same thing), would say clotted cream is best but a good double cream should do the trick. I’m not one of those pile-it-on-thick jam and cream people. 

It’s all about the scone. Is it crisp on the outside but have a good “give” as you bite into it? Does the strawberry and cream aroma perfume each mouthful? Is the scone all crumbly butteriness, slightly savoury from a dash of salt? 

We have a worthy entry into the hot scone route of Cape Town. Photo: Melanie Farrell

A good scone find is a fine thing and I’m about to reveal a secret, probably familiar to Franschhoek folk. The Pink Geranium in Elsenberg combines three of my Favourite Things: succulents, a great stoep and scones straight out of the oven.

When we stopped in to check out the nursery on our way back from spending the night in an off-grid tiny house in the Paardeberg I wasn’t planning on a hot scone. 

But when Lindie Lancaster, who runs the Belle Reve café at the nursery, told us that a fresh batch of scones was about to come out of the oven I felt duty-bound to order one (in the interests of comparative scone research).

How would the scone at The Pink Geranium compare to the scone I had at The Scone Shack? To distract myself from this important question I wandered around the nursery, dedicated to water-wise plants. 

Owner James Fisk sells plants suited to the hotter environment of the winelands and he’s done wonders with succulents. They’re trained into hanging balls and used on the vertical gardens on the long, wide stoep that overlooks a small lake where horses are grazing near the water’s edge.

My scone arrives and it’s supersized. Unconventionally baked in muffin tray it is slightly bigger than I bargained for. Fortunately, my husband eats his farm breakfast and gamely helps me to eat the warm scone with homemade jam and whipped cream. 

The view from the stoep is a bucolic idyll: a small dam and horses grazing in a paddock. There are misters rigged up on the stoep to keep you cool when the temperature rises. What could be better than a warm scone, a stoep with a view and a spot of succulent therapy? DM

The Pink Geranium nursery, R304 and N1, Muldersvlei 021 884 4313

Belle Reve Coffee Shop (at The Pink Geranium) 084 519 7515, [email protected]

The Scone Shack Lalaphanzi Farm, Plateau Road, Cape Point

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