Visited The Scone Witch (388 Albert Street, Ottawa) for the first time. Since moving to Ottawa my wife and I had heard about the Scone Witch being one of the "must visit" food places according to Ottawa Magazine and former Ottawa Citizen food critic Anne DeBrisay in her book Capital Dining.
So during a relaxing Sunday afternoon in Chinatown, my wife and I decided to make the very manageable walk up Lyon street to Albert and the Scone Witch. The only problem with enjoying the walk and then entering The Scone Witch on a cold day is they fog up your glasses immediately causing you to blinded. You are left with no sight and the sweet smelling aromas of freshly baked scones, coffee and tea wafting by your nose.
We entered to find, after defrosting our glasses a coffee shop set up in an old Victorian home. Nicely painted and decorated insides with many customers sitting at tables chatting enjoying the days freshly baked goods. We weren't sure if this was a sit down place where they serve you or whether you visit the counter first to order. We eventually walked to the back where, kinda hidden, is a chalkboard hanging from the roof with large "Order Here" letters written on it. Below was the counter before the bakery where the scintillating scones are made.
We scoured the three chalkboards on the wall to investigate what we wanted and then place our order with the friendly smiling lady behind the counter.
The Order: 1 Cranberry-Orange Scone, 1 Lemon-Poppyseed Scone and 1 Currant-Ginger Scone.
In less than a minute the lady put three scones into a small paper bag and we were off to the coffee and tea counter to pay. We paid the gentleman there and left for our trek home on the bus.
On the way to the bus we split the Cranberry-Orange scone in half and shared it. It was still warm and slightly moist to the taste. The Cranberry taste was quite noticeable but not overpowering. The orange though was a little more subtle and your taste buds have to concentrate to pick it out. Quite delectable.
After arriving home and boiling a little of our own tea we tried split the other two Scones.
The Lemon-Poppyseed had my tongue confused. Poppyseeds are usually associated with bagels, as in Poppyseed bagels, while Lemon is associated with a variety of baked goods. So my eyes were saying scone while my tongue was arguing it had no idea what it was because there were poppyseeds. The Lemon taste mixed with the Poppyseed did provide an interesting context between the two. The Lemon provided the usual "zing" that lemon does while the Poppyseed provided a peppery taste. A great combination for your tongue to investigate.
The Currant-Ginger Currant Scone was more of a traditional Scone to me. I couldn't really taste the Ginger, but my wife said she could and appreciated it. Currants? not really tasting it either. Out of the three scones, this would be my least favourite. Too traditional, no real zing to it and turned out to be fairly crumby in terms of what ended up on my shirt. But considering I ate the whole thing, the third best scone could have been a heck of a lot worse to be terrible.
Overall, the Scone Witch is a pretty good coffee shop and bakery to enjoy some fresh baked Scones with a spot of tea. If the Queen were to visit, she may have someone stop off here for a few scones and spot of tea. The Scones are delicious and fresh baked daily. Just watch out walking in the front door as your glasses are guarenteed to fog up while your nose will be attracted the aromas of freshly brewed coffee, tea and freshly baked scones.