Wednesday 30 September 2020

Colby Woodland Garden

If yesterday's trip to Stackpole was a highpoint in the annals of the National Trust Scone Odyssey - my first post-lockdown scone, 199 days in the waiting - then today was...well, let's just say it wasn't a highpoint. Anything that involves sheeting rain, no scone, and an AA man fixing your hired Toyota Aygo in a car park is unlikely to be a highpoint of anything.

But! Our motto here in NT Sconeworld is NEVER MIND and, anyway, I didn't actually need to visit Colby Woodland Garden in Pembrokeshire at all - it was a bonus. The Bothy tearoom is tenanted and I took the decision ages ago that tenanted cafes would not be a mandatory part of this quest. But I was in the area and I'd heard great things about the place so I decided to drop in.

Colby Woodland Garden

The first mistake I made was to save the scone until after my walk. I never, ever do this - it's Rule 1 in the Scone Blogger Handbook: Eat Scone As Soon As Possible. The second mistake I made - and this is the one that I believe angered the Scone Gods - was I bought a cup of tea and a piece of apple cake to sustain me. WHY? Why did I break with years of best practice? I don't even like apple cake.

It all went downhill from there. I trudged off into the torrential rain, noting the signs about keeping two metres apart. I needn't have worried; there was hardly anyone else there.

National Trust Two Metres Sign

There were other signs advising that a one-way system was in place. This troubled me immediately. I had no idea how long the woodland walk was - what if it stretched for 20 miles and I was stuck on it for days with no way of legally turning back? It turned out I was right to be worried; I stuck to it so diligently that I soon found myself walking out of the estate altogether and down to the nearby seashore at Amroth. 

On the plus side, Amroth had a bus shelter,
which came in handy while I spoke to the AA

There had been no phone signal on the Colby estate and as I walked down into the village my phone suddenly burst into life with voicemails and texts. I sat in the bus shelter while I spoke to the car hire company - the light that kept flashing on was indeed potentially a problem so the AA were on their way. I beetled back to the car park and spent the next 20 minutes sorting out tyre pressure.

I could, and should, have gone back for my scone but I was soaking wet and extremely miserable. I'm not giving up though! I will claim my bonus Colby scone before the week is out!

Part Two...The Return to Colby Woodland Garden

True to my word, I made it back to Colby Woodland Garden on my final day in Pembrokeshire. The rain was (just about) holding off and I was 100% clear on what was needed: I went straight into the Bothy tearoom and ordered my scone.

Things didn't bode too well: a microwave was involved and when I tried to cut the scone it disintegrated into about 12 pieces. However, I have stopped worrying about microwaves ever since my niece asked for her scone to be heated up at Croft Castle. It must be very tiring working in a National Trust cafeteria.

But in fact the scone was delicious. Just the right amount of fruit, sweet and tasty, it was well worth the return trip.

Colby Woodland scone

Colby Woodland Garden: 4 out of 5
Scone: 4.5 out of 5 (a bit crumbly but very tasty)
Worthwhileness of the return trip: 5 out of 5

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