March 10, 2019

Overseas and Off-Campus Programs Blog

The Quest for the Best Scone

Author Name

Eli Barnes

Author Program

Ireland: Social Sciences

Program Semester and Year

Spring 2019

Student Major


Eli Barnes

Overseas Internship

Blog Post: The Quest for the Best Scone

I consider myself to be somewhat of a scone guy. Back in the states, my ideal morning starts with a good scone and a good cappuccino. Before coming to Dublin, I expected that I would be able to find really good scones and cappuccinos quite easily. However, I was mistaken. It turns out I took the scone quality in the states for granted, as I have been pretty disappointed in almost every scone I have had so far on this trip. And believe me, I have already eaten a lot of scones. To be fair, Ireland clearly has a different conception of what a scone should be than America. It is very telling that scones in Ireland are almost always served with butter and jam. Eating a scone by itself is the norm in America, and American scones often come with interesting ingredients such as ginger or apple. I prefer to eat my scone plain, and I believe a proper scone should not need butter and jam to taste good. When ordering scones in Ireland, I usually refuse the offer for butter and jam. This way I can put the scone to the test. And, as I touched upon earlier, most of the scones I have eaten in Ireland have failed the test. Even when they have fruit in them (typically currants), the overwhelming majority of the scones have been quite plain. Finding a good texture has been difficult too, and the quality of ingredients have usually struck me as average at best.

After trying numerous scones in Dublin, I still don’t feel comfortable saying that any of them passed my test. I’ve tried the scones from almost every coffee place near the Binary Hub, in addition to several cafes near our various DBS classrooms. While my hopes were never that high going into any of these places, I am generally disappointed in the scone scene of Dublin. Even Queen of Tarts, the popular tearoom with renowned pies and crumbles, makes a very average scone. The scones from Krust, a coffee shop across the street from Castle House, are decent, but nothing spectacular. However, one scone did pass my test with flying colors. This was the scone from the little cafe on Inishmore. It did not even have fruit in it, and I ate it without butter and jam, yet it was one of the most uniquely delicious scones I have had in my life. It was very simple, but perfectly executed, and I could tell the quality of ingredients were great. Sadly, it will probably be a long time until I come back to Inishmore, if I ever even do. I’ll always have that scone though.