Confirmed: Derry cafe has the best scones in the north
Michelle Devine is the mastermind behind the scones and she entered the competition after a customer told her about it. She reluctantly put the voting information on each table but she never expected her scones would win the competition.
“I knew the judges liked our scones when they came around to try them but there was so many other great places in for it, I never thought we had a chance. But then when they called out our name I nearly exploded!” She said.
Michelle is a secondary school teacher by trade but has been making scones in The Cottage since it first opened. She says she learned how to make scones from watching her mother when she was growing up.
“I always loved baking but I didn’t make scones myself until I moved back home after living in Mexico. I started making plain scones, because I don’t like fruit scones, but then I started making different types and making savoury scones too. I researched different recipes and came up with different concoctions and we ended up with the scones we have now.”
So, what is the secret to making great scones? Michelle won’t give too much away but she says going easy on the mixture is key.
“To me, it’s all in the way you do it and having the oven at the right temperature. There’s not really much else to it!
“Without the customers, we wouldn’t be doing this and they’re all so lovely and loyal. I love them. They brought in cards and chocolates and things after we won, they were so delighted. One customer even lifted me off the ground! So I want to thank them from the bottom of our hearts,” she said.
The Cottage also won the Best Cafe category in the competition, while Patricia’s Coffee House on the Quay was one of five finalists for best cafe. There were 107 businesses entered into the competition, which also looked at hotels and restaurants. More information can be found at bestsconesni.com