Tea for two comes at the double at Alder’s

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The Alder’s tea room in Cow Wynd is run with military precision - in a good way.

Not many people ventured out last Thursday when we were treated to one of Scotland’s delightful staple occurrences - incessant rainfall - but my trip to Alder’s certainly brightened up what was an atrociously dull day.

Upon arrival the first you notice inside is the glass cake display cabinet which is full of eye-catching sweet delights that you just have to amble closer to for a peek.

After a good natter with owner Martin Alder, who runs the tea room with wife Karen, it became apparent just how much work it takes to run the Cow Wynd eatery.

Martin, from the south of England now living locally, is very pleasant and knows his way around a kitchen, especially his own which, as anyone who has been in Alder’s Traditional Tea Room will know, is not the biggest.

The tea room is open from a Wednesday to a Saturday to give the family time to prepare the food on a Monday and Tuesday, as well do all the paperwork and other time-consuming chores it takes to run a business.

I do think Martin’s background in the Army has helped with the logistics. He was a chef feeding hundreds of hungry squaddies before his culinary skills were requested by the senior ranks whom he cooked for in the latter stages of his service career.

I made the mistake of asking him how the ‘cafe’ trade was in these days of austerity and he politely, but firmly, reminded me it was a “tea room”.

Despite being retired from the Army, my colleague Chris and I concluded he still looks like he can take care of himself so it’s definitely a tea room. Notice how many times I’ve said tea room?

Before going I had been advised the macaroni cheese and potato wedges are “to die for”, so in the spirit of living life on the edge I ordered that.

I don’t know where the saying “to die for” comes from, but if it means something is particularly good then I’ll settle for that analogy.

It was piping hot, fresh and most important of all, tasty. The wee sprig of parsley on the side of the dish was a classy touch too adding some extra flavour.

Chris had scrambled eggs, bacon and a bagel which was also a worthy dish in the tasty category. Like any good tea room, Alder’s has a selection of all the favourites people frequent for, as well as a few unique dishes of its own.

Chris chose the Bailey’s cheesecake for a dessert that is definitely worth a try, while I made mess of the table with Viennese whirl crumbs.

The place is the number one rated restaurant in Falkirk on Tripadviser and comments on that reviewer’s bible are spot on, and well deserved I must add.

Oh, and it’s a tea room, NOT a cafe. I hope I’ve made that clear.

Alder’s Traditional Tea Room, 30 Cow Wynd, Falkirk, FK1 1PU. Tel: (01324) 639625. Open Wednesday to Saturday.

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