Tuesday 27 December 2022

National Trust Scone of the Year 2022

It's back! National Trust Scone of the Year is back, back, BACK! I didn't choose a scone of 2020, as I'd only visited a few properties and couldn't face it after ten terrible months. And then I only managed one single scone in the whole of 2021, so any awards that year would have been rubbish.

But I made up for it in 2022. I visited 30 - yes THIRTY! - new National Trust places and found a scone at most of them. I now have only one - yes ONE! - National Trust scone to go and then this project will be complete.

And so, without further ado, here are my top five National Trust scones of 2022, in reverse order:

5. Castle Drogo

At number 5 for 2022: it's Castle Drogo in Devon. It was the last stop on a mini road trip and the clock was showing 3pm by the time I arrived. I'll tell you now that 3pm is basically the witching hour in scone world, as you never know what you're going to get: you might find a scone, or you might be faced with a pile of crumbs and some heartfelt apologies from cafe staff who look like they've fought off a plague of locusts. Anyway: Castle Drogo is a proper tourist attraction with a big cafeteria and the scone was lovely. 

4. Godolphin

I absolutely LOVED Godolphin in Cornwall. There are many, many reasons for this - you can read all about them in the blog post - but to summarise: the scone was top-draw and the cafe is called The Piggery as it used to be a pig sty. 

3. East Riddlesden Hall

I was so desperate to finish this project in 2022 that I went to East Riddlesden in Yorkshire during Storm Eunice. This gave me the added bonus of spending a very atmospheric night in Brontë country listening to the wind absolutely tearing at the windows. It also meant that I probably purchased East Riddlesden's first scone of their entire year, which was a bit of a risk. But it turned out to be delicious.  

2. Ormesby Hall

Ormesby Hall near Middlesbrough gets second place on my list because of its excellent scone. But I loved the place - from its train sets to the down-to-earth brilliance of its former owner, it had so much to offer. It was completely worth the 500-mile round trip - it was one of the longest I've attempted in a single day (only Crook Hall Gardens in Durham, another excellent scone also covered this year, was further).

1. Ilam Park

But my National Trust Scone of the Year for 2022 has to be Ilam Park, Dovedale and the White Peak in Derbyshire. My first outing of the year is usually a complete catastrophe so I'm very pleased that this final year proved to be the exception. It was a fantastic scone that got a unanimous 5 out of 5 from the panel. Well done to Ilam!

Ilam joins an illustrious group of previous winners of this coveted title:

That's almost it for 2022. More importantly, that's also almost it for this entire project. I only have one more scone to go - the Giant's Causeway in Co Antrim will be my 250th National Trust property and will mark the end of this 10 year odyssey. I'm really looking forward to that trip but I'm also really sad that it's almost at an end. 

As usual, my heartfelt thanks go to everyone that has supported this quest this year. I am beyond grateful to everyone that has read the blog posts or been part of the National Trust Scone community on Twitter or Instagram or Facebook. Thank you all!

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