Anne's Picks

BRILLIANT BISCUIT: Anne DesBrisay on the merits of The Scone Witch scone (but, please, no Queen with her cream)

Anne DesBrisay recommends the breakfast-y platter, which includes an aged cheddar scone, buttery scrambled eggs, and a mushroom ragout. But she finds Scone Witch's service lacking.

By Anne DesBrisay

My favourite downtown breakfast spot is Benny’s Bistro, but Benny’s doesn’t open till 8 — a darn pity — so if it’s before eight, and it often is, I simply resolve to be more in the mood for a scone than a croissant and head here. The Scone Witch has been baking the city’s finest biscuits, sweet and savoury, for years, and she opens her doors sensibly at seven.

Sometimes I pop in for a half dozen vanillas – they are golden topped well risen treats, crumbly and feather light, with a clean aroma that indicates good content – but lately I’ve been picking up the blueberry scones, imbedded with the last of the wild crop. Soon there will be pumpkin versions, and summer will be truly over.


If I have the time to sit, it’s usually with a scone, a pot of Devon cream and one of Stratford’s Moss jams. (Fresh from the oven, these scones are almost good enough to eat on their own, but so much better with the comfort blanket of fat and jam.)

But when I’m hungry, I go for the works: an aged cheddar scone with a side of wet and buttery scrambled eggs topped with a deeply woodsy mushroom ragout (reconstituted wilds in the mix) plus a bit of fruit, a bit of greens, and a pot of blackberry jam. Other than the greens being boxed and dreary, it’s a very fine breakfast.

There is the disappointment of having to settle for drip coffee, but I can mostly live with it. What I can’t live with is having to enjoy a peaceful breakfast with Freddy Mercury (may he rest in peace) played at a volume designed to rev up the kitchen staff but leave their customers rattled. A table of women — trying to conduct a meeting — got up and left. Last time — over lunch — when I asked them to turn down the music, my gentle request was met with a glare.

So that would be my peeve about this ‘Pick’, and something I’ve been wanting to say about the Witch for some time now: great food, shame about the service.

Scone Witch, 35 Beechwood Ave., 613-741-4141 (a second location is at 388 Albert St., 613-232-2173).

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  • jennybookworm

    I agree – I’ve never eaten a better scone, sweet or savoury. I also agree about the service – I have noticed the volume of music as well and I think that it’s confusing and inefficient to have to order in the back and then get back through the bottleneck that forms in the middle to get to the cash to pay – I’m always left a little confused about where I should be next… I do keep going back into the confusion though since the food is just SO good!

  • walrusing

    Oh gosh, I completely agree. The Scone Witch is delicious. The service is awful, and is the reason I’ve only been there twice and don’t see myself going again.

  • @amwaters

    Hopefully someone at Scone Witch is listening. This is so easily fixed.

  • Soso

    Too true, with one important exception: there is one dude who has been there forever who is just lovely– dark hair and usually on cash– I can’t imagine him ever glaring at a customer…

  • Heather Matthews

    Ouch. !
    ( You were at Albert St. if it was open at 7 am. )
    I apologize if the music was too loud. I will speak to them AGAIN!
    We are working some changes to make the small awkward space function better and there have been several recent staff changes.
    Glad you loved the food.

    ( the Witch )

  • jessica santascoy

    I’d love to try this place, but it’s critical that the volume be low because we’ll be in a meeting. Has the music been lowered and is the service a little better since the time this review was written?

  • jessica santascoy

    I went to The Scone Witch today and there wasn’t any loud music. Very tasty food!