The Wild Rowan Cafe

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A Tearoom that offers respite from the daily grind with cake and music -what could be better?!


Leaving the road from just south of Oban, I ventured up the remote single track road edged by trees and the occasional loch. It’s a Scottish rain forest the Atlantic oaks dripping, as they often do, in the Scottish summer. Heard of forest bathing? This gave a totally immersive meaning my trip. But, the rolling hills smothered with mainly broadleaved trees, such as these Atlantic oaks would not flourish without rainfall, nor indeed would other varieties, such as wild rowans. I was on the lookout for a Rowan.
Finally, after meandering for much longer than anticipated, I rounded a corner. Here was Dalvalich. Seconds later a large sign for coffee came into view. The Wild Rowan Café, including the Post Office felt like an oasis within the forest.
Caroline and Martin moved from Glasgow, she a psychotherapist and he a lecturer in physiology and a musician (more of that later) and run this vibrant enterprise together. Check this out – they have a three year old, so split the week evenly between them, and then on Sunday afternoons declare it music time, and attract other musicians from the area to join in. Like so many rural areas talent spills out of the wood work, or on this occasion from the forest. Heard of the work/life balance? See it in action at the Wild Rowan Café.
As Nessie and I dripped together under an outside covered terrace, a welcome item on the menu jumped out. Waffles! Yes, syrupy waffles with crispy bacon and TWO cups of the aromatic coffee, which they buy from several different sources. Although a vegetation, Caroline’s passionate about sourcing meat, eggs and veg from responsible suppliers. Now, she says, they are producing vegan dishes, owing to demand. It also seems to be ‘Pizza o’clock’ regularly – is this a new time?
The café also boasts a shop, often stocked with local crafty products, a cosy inside space with exposed stone work, a massive home made cake counter, lots of the household essentials and, of course, the Post Office, from which I ceremonially posted a card to Big Sister in the USA, with the obligatory photo of the card popping in the red box outside. I know its unfair to press the nostalgia button, but it works every time. And why not make use of a Post Office when you see one?
Being far from nipping to the supermarket, Caroline and Martin are imaginative. Caroline cooks, but baking is entrusted to experiences locals. Who wouldn’t want to try Cider, Onion and Potato soup, but after a few weeks of floods, landslides, power cuts and staff unable to access the roads, Caroline took up the baking spoons, and admits after quite some time in the kitchen posted online an enticing photo, or indeed some might say a portrait;
‘Friends of the Wild Rowan Café’ I give you, the Victoria Sponge’ (thanks Mary Berry) from the cook, but not usually the baker’
It’s a change from Glasgow life. Maybe, agrees Caroline, but doesn’t feel too far away sometimes, because as she recounts, “ I encouraged patients to head for the hills. Now I’m the person at the other end to welcome them with a cup of tea when they arrive.”
Can there be a better strapline for the Wild Rowan Café?

Additional information

Best Cake

Victoria Sponge, of course.

Great For


Walking Off the Foody Indulgences

There are lots of amazing walks in and around the area

Secret & Hidden Places | Nearby Garden

My favourite secret place nearby is Rohallion Castle, but it’s an energetic walk to get there