Last year I spent a lovely week in Ullapool with my mum, staying on the shores of Loch Broom in the well equipped Rubha Mor. Ullapool is well positioned for memorable road-trips around the North West of Scotland and we did plenty of exploring during our holiday. When I'm with my mum (or anyone else for that matter!), a day out exploring inevitably includes a tea and cake stop and we discovered some cute cafe gems in the most unexpected of places so I thought I would share my recommendations in case you find yourself craving for a cake fix in this stunning and wild part of the country. Those of you undertaking the North Coast 500 Route might also find this guide useful as you pass most of these stops on the way.
My mum and I do consider ourselves to be Scotland cake and tea stop aficionados so hopefully you won't be disappointed in our choices which definitely met with our expert approval!
TEA BY THE SEA, 17 SHORE STREET, ULLAPOOL
We walked past this gift shop come cafe a couple of times before we finally succumbed to temptation. Our willpower was eroded away by the list of delicious sounding daily desserts on the notice board outside which we just had to investigate for ourselves.
This is a quirky little place inside with a few tables adjoining a new age type gift shop. The friendly owners were more than happy to explain what delights were on offer that day and the counter was stuffed with enticing choices.
I opted for a creamy slice of bannoffee pie and my mum opted for the apple pie topped with caramel sauce and cream just for good calorific measure! A generous amount of tea and an extra pot of hot water to wash everything down completed our sweet, sticky feast and we both agreed that a cake stop at Tea By The Sea deserved a big thumbs up.
Check out my blog or more ideas on things to do around Ullapool
ACHILTIBUIE PIPING SCHOOL CAFE, OLD VILLAGE HALL, ACHILTIBUIE
The highlight from my week in Ullapool was definitely a trip to Achiltibuie and the Coigach Peninsula. The scenery is breathtaking and it really feels as if you have left the tourist trail well behind. I highly recommend a visit to this stunning part of Scotland and a stop at the village of Achiltibuie which is surprisingly big considering its remote location.
The Achiltibuie Piping School Cafe is a real off the beaten path gem with amazing views to the Summer Isles. This old village hall has a real community vibe and we found the table of home-made cakes irresistible! For such a remote place, I was also surprised at the wide range of teas on offer and although I didn't have Willow with me, it was good to discover that it is also dog friendly.
Now this is where I must confess to a blogger fail, I didn't photograph our tea and cakes as I was enjoying the experience too much, oops! I can tell you that I really enjoyed my huge slice of lemon cake and I did remember to photograph the view! The baking was so good that we bought pumpkin scones to take back to the accommodation and I also bought a cute little puffin card as a souvenir of our day. We also bought some local free range eggs from an honesty box on the road and I made sure I photographed them to make up for my earlier fail. You'll just have to take my word for it that our cakes looked and tasted incredible and of course try them for yourself!
Check out my blog to find out why I fell in love with the Coigach Peninsula
MAGGIES TEAROOM, 2 CAMUSNAGAUL, DUNDONNELL
This is a place you could easily drive by and even if you do follow the signs you might wonder if you have arrived at someones house rather than a tea room. Tucked around the side of the building is a conservatory and outdoor decked area where you can enjoy lunch or dessert with a view, there is also a little gift shop inside. I felt quite spoiled when our tea and cakes were served in gorgeous Highland Stoneware crockery and although my strawberry tart was perfectly nice my mum did rave about her scone with jam and cream so much I think I might have made the wrong choice! Maggies Tearoom was only one of a few stops on the remote road from Ullapool to Mellon Udrigle and was a little gem of a find. The conservatory and decked area mean you can enjoy the peaceful view over Little Loch Broom no matter what the weather and the setting alone makes this place worth stopping at.
LOCHINVER LARDER, MAIN STREET, LOCHINVER
I had been told by numerous people that a trip to the Lochinver Larder to try their famous pies was a must. Sometimes places don't live up to their hype but I can confirm that Lochinver Larder deserves its reputation. As it was mid-morning I decided against one of their savoury pies and even bypassed the appealing looking cakes on offer, opting instead for one of their sweet apple pie options to accompany my obligatory cup of tea. I didn't need to worry about a meager slice of apple pie here because I was served up a whole pie just out of the oven accompanied by a generous jug of cream. It was every bit as tasty as I hoped it would be!
The drive from Ullapool to Lochinver is rewarding in itself and a visit to Lochinver Larder is a bonus at the end of the journey. As we were self catering we also picked up some savoury pies to take back to our accommodation and my mum and I agreed that they could be the best pies we have ever tasted! Luckily they do a pies by postal service to keep us going until our next visit.
Whether you are undertaking the North Coast 500 or just exploring this wild part of Scotland, be sure to take some time out for some local home-baking at one of my recommended stops (or visit all four if you have the time!).
if you have discovered a tea and cake gem in the area be sure to let me know in the comments below so I can check it out next time!
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