Friday, 26 May 2017

Birsay Bay Tearooom, at 59º N - tea and cakes in sub-arctic Orkneys

No, don't worry, I'm not changing to gourmet blogging...

One would not expect a dedicated and exquisite tea-room in such a lonely place at the far north of main Orkney Island. Nobody finds it just by chance, or just passing by - it is a pilgrimage tearoom; in fact, people go there through inhospitable and desolate lands just for the warm delicacies and, well, archaeology.

Anyhow, it does deserves to be mentioned as Ultima Thule.

This is mainland Orkney, where the capital Kirkwall and Stromness, the magical town of adventurers, are situated, East and West of the island. You have to travel some 25 km northwardly to find Birsay Bay.

Tea with a view

Birsay Bay, northern tip of mainland Orkney.

Coordinates: 59°08′ N, 3°18′ W
- the latitude of Stavanger, Norway, or most of Hudson Bay, Canada.

Panoramic views overlooking the Brough of Birsay.

The coach corner for comfortable views.

Wilderness outside, and cold; coziness inside, warm and sweet....

Shortbread, cookies, biscuits...

Incredible home made cakes, they say.

Close around Birsay, some bits of History and architecture are worth a visit.

Earl's Palace ruins

The ruins of the Palace of Robert Stewart, Earl of Orkney, built in the late 16th century.

The St. Magnus Church

The present church building dates mostly from the eighteenth century. Located in the south wall is a bricked lancet window, the upper part of the thirteenth century.

The Brough of Birsay

This tidal island, run by Historic Scotland, holds an Iron Age hill fort, Norse ruins dating back from the 9th century to the 13th century, as well as evidence of the earlier Pictish settlement from the 7th century onwards. During low tide there is a two hours interval when access is possible by a slippery stoneway.

Around Birsay thee are several other prehistoric sites.

Already a taste of the Faroe Islands, they are not that far...