Scottish summers are known for their mild grey days, interspersed sporadically with bursts of warm sunshine as it filters through the cloudy skies.
As such, planning outdoor adventures in the summer months here in Glasgow isn’t an incredibly unreliable task, and so when Ben and I recently craved a treat we headed to Merchant City in the heart of Glasgow to see what indoor, culinary adventures awaited.
Happening upon Ingram Wynd, a restaurant offering traditional Scottish fare with a modern twist, we discovered their newly launched Afternoon Tea and decided what better way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon, especially for a couple of food lovers like us!
Afternoon Tea and Ingram Wynd
With it’s black and gold facade, and a rouge carpet guiding the way inside, Ingram Wynd is a beautifully decorated venue, full of Scottish charm that transports you from Glasgow up towards the highlands. With its Van Deusen blue walls, ornate brass mirrors, and a large stags head peering out over the dining room, it evokes winter cosiness, even in the middle of summer.
Ingram Wynd has a stellar reputation in Glasgow for it’s modern intepretation of traditional Scottish food. From haggis and black pudding, through to the Scottish staple of fish and chips, the food is carefully crafted, and meticulously presented, and it’s busy tables is testament to their passion and dedication to its culiary affairs.
But we were here for afternoon tea!
Upon entering, we were quickly seated by one of the large windows that overlooked one of the large murals of which Glasgow is renowned. My prosecco was quick to arrive at the table, as was Ben’s tea (he was driving), and we awaited our treats eagerly as we perused their a la carte menu, already promising ourselves another visit.
The afternoon tea took a while to arrive, which had the venue been busy would be understandable, however as we arrived nigh on 12pm, there was only one table of guests other than ourselves, so our wait was a bit longer than would have been expected.
When our afternoon tea did arrive, we decided to work our way up the platter – sandwiches to be followed by cakes, with scones as our final delicacy.
Afternoon Tea at Ingram Wynd
The sandwiches consisted of curry chicken, egg and mayonnaise, ham and cheese, and tuna. Ben not being a fan of egg, and myself not being a fan of tuna, we took those to ourselves and split the others evenly. The fillings were lovely, however the bread was your typical sandwich loaf – nothing very special, but it exactly didn’t detract from the sandwiches themselves.
However, when it came to the cakes, well, let’s just say disappointment started to creep in. The cakes on offer were fairy cakes, Vienese whirls, and fondant fancies – all clearly store bought, and not made onsite. To be honest, the cakes were akin to those bought from the off-licence in a hurry before the arrival of anunexpected guest, and were as dry and as dull as cheap packaged cakes tend to be. Although the Vienese whirl was adorned with a berry cream, this cream lacked sweetness and acidity, which left both Ben and myself leaving it to the sides of our plates.
Unfortunately, things did not improve with the scones. A scone is meant to be dense, moist but crumbly, easy to open with a slight nudge from a knife, and melt in your mouth with buttery deliciousness. These scones, although still warm, were tough, chewy and spongy – not a scone by anything more than appearance. The scones were served with jam and lightly whipped thickened cream, which surprised me as traditionally, scones here in the UK are served with clotted cream. All in all, as a devout lover of scones, especially when served with jam and cream, I was incredibly disappointed.
Ingram Wynd has a reputation for delicious food and so I think it’s fair to be disappointed by their afternoon tea. Although a fabulous concept that completely encompasses their aesthetic, I felt the execution was lazy and rushed. I have no problem with cakes bought in from off-site, if these cakes are of decent quality, and scones, well, I think if these were made onsite they either need a new recipe, or someone with a lighter hand.
I’m not one to hold a grudge, and being a newly launched affair its understandable that teething troubles will be present. I feel that with a bit more thought and consideration the experience could be completely renewed and executed with far more finesse.
However, with such a comforting, welcoming atmosphere, excellent service, and the reputation of their a la carte menu, Ben and I will definitely return for dinner at some point.
Though, maybe I’ll skip the cake for dessert!
xx Bry Jaimea