The Scone Also Rises – Fleet River Bakery (Holborn, London)

Jam and Cream Scone

I had to guess about the type of scone, because it was modestly listed as just ‘scone’ in the café.  However, any categorization for this scone other than simply ‘sugar’ is probably misleading.  Also, before I go further, I should note that the jam on this scone is allowed per my reviewing code of conduct (it was applied before purchase).

This scone offered an interesting predicament: how to eat it.  I prefer my hands as a means to shovel a scone into my mouth, beginning with the corners and moving inward.  The dimensions and precarious construction of this monstrosity precluded such an approach.  None too pleased, I was forced to resort to the use of a fork.  The loss of convenience pushes this scone clearly into the category of dessert, a conclusion any blind man with a half decent sense of smell, working taste buds, and at least partially functioning salivary glands could determine from a single bite.

The cream was tasty and likely handmade.  The jam was topnotch, creating an interesting mix with the thick cream that was somewhat similar to the flavor of strawberry shortcake.  From top to bottom, the scone presented decent crunch.  The use of quality ingredients was evident.  Powdered sugar at the top was a nice touch.  Unfortunately, the scone quickly devolved into a massacre, which offered no satisfactory plan of continued attack.  I fought vehemently, but it required real work to conquer.

While tasty enough, this scone is entirely unsustainable.  I am certain that this is the first and the last time I will have it.  Still, I enjoyed it while it lasted.  The one night stand of scones; thanks for the memories.




Pitiable and Burned – Peyton and Byrne (Covent Garden, London)

Raisin Scone

The epitome of the English scone, this is probably the best iteration I have had yet of the classic raisin concoction.  While that may sound like high praise, it is in fact a condemnation of the state of the scone in England.  This deplorable pile of baked refuse served its purpose of nourishing me, but the moments of joy were few and far between.  Small and hard (like nearly all English scones), this scone was as tasteless as expected.

(As a side note, some will object, stating that this scone requires jam or butter.  While that would certainly make this subpar dreck more appetizing, I refuse to integrate jam into my scone reviews unless the scones are treated with the substance before I make the purchase.  Otherwise, factors that are uncontrolled for such as spreading skill, quantity of jam provided, and jam quality would make each scone different and, therefore, the very enterprise of scone reviewing moot.)

On a positive note, the outside of the scone had a mild crunch and, while the inside was too dense, the raisins were tasty enough.  However, between those nuggets of joy, there was a center that I can only describe as bread-like.


(This would be a 4/10 if one adjusts for the dearth of quality scones to be found in this godforsaken country.  But, I am not here to give charity, and grades must be legitimate across all continents.)


Variations on a Scone (Part 3) – Kayak’s Café (Skinker-DeBaliviere, St. Louis)

Now for something completely different…

Apple Sage Scone

While I initially approached this scone with utter apprehension, it is with joy that I report of the fine victory that this odd concoction has achieved.  Once again retaining splendid crunch and soft inners, this scone holds a fine balance between the bitterness of the sizable green sage leaves within the scone and the granulated sugar on top of it.  The apple taste is mild but enjoyable.  It should be noted that this is not a perfect scone, as the crust could be even crunchier and the inside is a tad dry.

Still, overall, this is an exceptional scone. Both original and highly tasty!



Variations on a Scone (Part 2) – Kayak’s Café (Skinker-DeBaliviere, St. Louis)

Blueberry Scone

If there is one thing that Kayak’s does well, it is make their scones exquisitely crunchy.  This is, perhaps, the single most critical element in determining the quality of a scone.  Hence, the crunchiness should never be overlooked.  The pleasant size remains, as does the soft inners.  It is quite pleasing to find full blueberry bits interspersed throughout and to taste a variety of flavors, including what may well be mild nutty undertones as well as a distinct taste of, what I believe to be, wheat.

A truly consistent scone.  Moreover, the lack of frosting makes this scone a far more sustainable, if slightly banal, adventure.



Variations on a Scone (Part 1) – Kayak’s Café (Skinker-DeBaliviere, St. Louis)

Lemon Raspberry Scone (on the right)

Before reviewing this scone, two things should be made clear.  First, I ate the two scones reviewed in part 1 and 2 sequentially, beginning with the Lemon Raspberry scone.  This is simply an unacceptable methodology, as it skews the results, and, therefore, this approach will never be repeated from now on.  Second, I have a long history with these scones.  Hence, lofty expectations abound.  Let’s see how the first scone holds up.

The formula for this scone has clearly changed since I last enjoyed it mere months ago.  The glorious crunch of the outside remains, but it is quite literally inundated with sugar.  One cannot consume this much sugar regularly, diminishing my desire to return to this scone in the future.  Moving on, the scone is of tremendous size and the insides are exceptionally soft.  There are raspberry seeds interspersed, but the flavor is lacking.  One expects fruit chunks with scones, and it is impossible to ignore that there are none.

The sugariness of this scone turns each bite into a devilish guilty pleasure.  Yet, like all guilty pleasures, this scone is followed by serious regret.



Comment Dit-On “Pretty Good”? – Bonjour Cafe Bakery (Hyde Park, Chicago)

Lemon Scone

From the outset, I can tell that this is going to be a decent scone.  The crunch is readily apparent by the scone’s exterior.  At first, the lemon flavoring seems merely subtle, but, then, it quickly becomes unmistakable that the scone lacks even a scintilla of lemon flavor.  Disregarding this perturbing fact, the inside of the scone is satisfyingly dense.  There is adequate sweetness dispersed throughout and the overall size is acceptable.

It is evidently a quality pastry with an absolutely great texture.  Sadly, it is also devoid of any flavor.



The Crab Cake of Scones – Z&H MarketCafe (Hyde Park, Chicago)

Cranberry Orange Scone

If I first need to ask if a scone is a scone, something is likely amiss.  The outside is soft to the touch with minimal hardness, preparing me for the inevitable lack of crunch that I am to experience with the first bite.  The innards are quite dense, but the distribution of cranberries is consistent.  No outwardly visible sugar, but you can taste it in the scone.  Still, the sweetness is off, almost as if it’s too sugary.  

Nonetheless, it’s certainly passable, if unspectacular.