I had meant to space the food reviews out a bit more, but I’ve been forced into this by a certain amount of heckling about the lack of scones.
Move smoothly on from Sunday evening, ignore the next couple of days and that brings us neatly to Wednesday and time for elevenses. We are at the Peak Shopping Village, the ducks are clustering round looking for food, and a small scone shaped gap is opening up in my middle regions.
We went to buy half-price boots for Julia, as her expensive ones had started letting in water. This was easy – by the time she had made her selection I had made a circuit of The Works, failed to buy a book, and had left in disgust. We then went to the hospice charity shop where the only thing I wanted turned out to be part of the display. I hate it when that happens.
By that time I was definitely in e of refreshment so we entered Massarella’s cafe and while I sought a table Julia went to get tea and scones.
As we breakfasted late (porridge followed by sausage sandwiches, using the sausages left over from the night before), other people were already lunching. My quest for a clean table did not go well and left me elbow to elbow with a stocky elderly lady (I select my words carefully) chasing the final clean table. She had a fine set of elbows and a surprising turn of speed, and laid her walking stick across the table to claim the prize as I floundered in her wake.
Massarella’s always sounds like an Italian restaurant, with tiled floors and lots of chatter. Add the barking of a dog to that and the whole ambiance falls apart, and not just for me. Several other people were clearly irritated by the dog-friendly aspect of the cafe.
However, compared to the scones, the barking dog was no problem. The scones were dry inside, and lacked flavour. My mother used to mutter “cheap baking” at times like this. It certainly seemed to lack the rich, fluffy, buttery sensation you get from a decent scone.
I have a feeling they may have been frozen, and dried out in thawing.
We will go back because we like the atmosphere, and the Italian gent behind the counter charmed Julia. And, of course, because they offer Afternoon Tea at £18 for two people. But, like a trip to the hospice shop, we won’t expect too much.
That last comment could also apply to the charity shops of Bakewell where we visited later – they don’t seem to have much in, and it’s getting harder to justify the time spent looking round when there are no decent books.
So, Massarella’s, the Charity shops of Derbyshire and The Works (where I failed to buy a single book) had all better pull their socks up. This is just not good enough!
Because they have ducks, a nature trail and a carved owl archway, I will visit again, but they would be well-advised to get a grip. Carved owls cannot replace decent scones.