Sweet treat will delight at this cafe

Tasty delights at So Strawberry Caffe at The Cross, Linlithgow
Tasty delights at So Strawberry Caffe at The Cross, Linlithgow

It doesn’t take you long to work out how this cosy cafe got its name. A quick look round and you realise that it certainly is ‘So Strawberry’!

From teapots to wall art, juicy, plump strawberries are everywhere and if you prefer yours in a tart or on a cake, then you won’t be disappointed.

Nestling at the Cross in historic Linlithgow, So Strawberry makes the perfect stopping off point before or after a trip up the steep hill to St Michael’s Church and the ruins of the renowned Palace.

If this little cafe had been around when the Royal Burgh’s most famous daughter, Mary Queen of Scots, was alive, I’m sure she would have popped in for a delicious hot chocolate – a delicacy she is sure to have got a taste for during her years in France – or even better, the luxury version, topped with whipped cream, marshmallows and a chocolate flake.

It is very difficult to see past all the delicious patisserie products on display and with the cafe’s motto of “happiness is homemade” you know these wonderful scones, cakes and desserts are going to taste as good if not even better than they look.

But before you get to the ‘goodies’ it’s time to get down to the serious matter of lunch - I was brought up with the warning that cakes were only for those who clear their plates so we’d better concentrate on doing that.

However, the most difficult bit is selecting from the extensive and varied menu.

We’re there in time to still enjoy one of the morning specials – which are served until 12.30pm and I must admit that the hot tattie scones served with fluffy scrambled eggs, smoke back bacon with tomato certainly was appealing.

A variety of sandwiches, toasties, baguettes and paninis are also available ensuring our decision making was even more difficult.

But with an autumnal nip in the air outside, we decided it was baked potato season and weren’t disappointed with the perfectly cooked tattie dished up. The crispy skin, held a steaming, fluffy interior and it was crammed with tangy grated cheddar cheese with a more than generous portion of homemade coleslaw on the side, along with a tasty salad. Perfection.

Meanwhile, I was swithering between one of the daily special sandwiches with breast of chicken, grilled peppers, rocket, spring onions and spicy mango chutney on poppy seed bread and the homemade macaroni.

Given the weather, it was the warming pasta dish which won the day. Served with crusty bread, it was delicious. The cheese sauce was just the right consistency and the macaroni perfectly cooked. I thought about the option of adding crispy bacon, but decided I was having traditional mac and cheese with nothing on the side.

Then it was on to the next course but where to begin. After much deliberation it was a scone and slice of chocolate cake which got our vote – and the clean plates afterwards were testament to how good we found them.

Owner Pamela Kelly prides herself on using products sourced locally – rolls and wheatmeal bread from Oliphants Bakers in Linlithgow, fresh ground coffee from Tapside of Bo’ness and free range eggs from Monfries the Grocer in Brightons.

The fresh ingredients, delicious food, ambient surroundings and friendly, attentive staff all add up to a great place to visit for a quick cuppa or more filling meal.