To some people they are a cake, to others they are a pastry, but there is no doubt that scones are an important part of traditional afternoon tea.
And now a cafe in Ponteland which opened at the end of January is celebrating them with a four-day festival. This will include a special contest.
The scones available will be savoury, sweet and everything in-between, including gluten free. In addition, there will be traditional cream teas and contemporary twists on them, baking lessons and a scones and wine evening.
Post Box, which is located on Main Street, is owned by Alex Kinsey and Hayden Gilmore.
Mr Kinsey said: “Before we opened the cafe, we knew that scones were a very important part of our offering that we had to get right and we’ve been really pleased that we have received so many compliments about the scones we make here on the premises fresh every day.
“We’ve had many customers tell us that they have the ‘best scone recipe’ they could give us, so we decided the only fair thing to do was hold a competition to find Northumberland’s ultimate scone.
“We didn’t realise how passionate people are about scones and we’ve even had a few professional chefs asking if they are eligible for the contest.
“Our three chefs will be making all sorts of scones for the festival, using a range of ingredients, and hopefully those who come along will try some scones that they have never tasted before.”
The festival starts tomorrow and ends on Monday. International Scone Day is on Saturday.
There are four categories: cheese, fruit, freestyle and children’s scones. To enter, email your name, address and the relevant category to firstname.lastname@example.org and bring four of your scones to Post Box by 11am on Saturday.
There is a £2 entry fee, which will be donated to the Dementia Trust. Results will be announced at 5pm on the same day and the winners will get a free afternoon tea for two at the cafe.
Mr Kinsey said Post Box’s most popular meals include the Postman’s breakfast – a full English including potato with sage, Cumberland sausages, cheddar pancakes and smoked bacon that is available all day – and the vegetarian breakfast offering.
Its application for an alcohol and live music licence was recently approved, so it will soon be opening on some evenings as a bistro.
“We’re creating a laid back environment and an atmosphere that’s a bit different to a pub,” he added.
“There’s also a community hub aspect because we want to be a place where people go for things like book clubs and art sessions.”