A couple of weeks ago I caught the train to Milngavie, just outside Glasgow, for a Yelp Brunch Club event at Garvie and Co. I had never been to Milngavie (pronounce Miln-guy because… Scotland) and had never even heard of Garvie and Co but I was excited. Brunch is always a good idea.
Not being familiar with the area I walked straight past Garvie and Co twice before I spotted it. From the street it looks deceptively small but it turns out to be tardis-like. I wandered in, past stacks of very tempting cakes and pastries and asked if I was in the right place. I was pointed to the previously unseen upstairs area where tables were laid out for us and, intriguingly, three cooking stations. Ok, I had questions, but first I needed coffee.
The coffee didn’t take long and more people started to arrive. Soon everyone was here, coffee in hand, chattering happily and speculating about the cooking stations. At this point we were handed menus and told that Garvie and Co had planned a couple of competitions for us. Firstly, we were to come up with a new and exciting brunch option for their new menu which they’d hope to launch soon. Secondly, we were doing a Saturday morning-style omlette challenge, with the caveat that the omlettes must be edible.
I have never watched Saturday kitchen. Why would anyone make an inedible omlette? What was the omlette challenge? I was left to speculate while I came up with my brunch idea (a kind of French twist on huevos rancheros which, perhaps unsurprisingly, didn’t net me a prize). In the meantime I ordered the Garvie and Co full cooked breakfast which was amazing. Everything was delicious, perfectly cooked and exactly what I needed at that stage in the morni- … early afternoon.
Fortunately our hosts were happy to explain the omlette challenge in more detail and even demonstrated the best way to do it. The idea is to cook a plain two-egg omlette in as little time as possible. On Saturday kitchen they often come out as undercooked, inedible, sloppy messes – hence the addition to the rules that the omlettes must be edible. I like omlettes, I make them sometimes but not well. Maybe 50% of the time I fail and make a mess of it and pretend that I wanted scrambled eggs all along. I blame this on inadequate cooking facilities but I’m not exactly a Cordon Bleu chef either.
Knowing that I was surrounded by Yelpers and food bloggers and people who watched Saturday kitchen and knew the drill made me think I’d struggle to get anything like a good time. That was good. It meant I could just have a go without feeling competitive – I’d make an omlette and then eat it and that would be fine. At least, that’s how I felt until my turn came and suddenly I was a bag of nerves. Somehow the adrenalin carried me through and I got the second best time, winning a bottle of wine! Hurrah!
Finally, Garvie and Co presented us with gift bags containing some of the tempting cakes I’d walked past earlier as well as their amazing dark chocolate and ginger fudge. I don’t rememeber the last time I actually liked fudge (although it was probably a little over a year ago when my friend Rhys made some) but this stuff was goooooood. Milngavie is a little out of the way for me but I’ll definitely be back to Garvie and Co again if I’m in the area. Plus, it’s the start of the West Highland Way, so I’ll be telling my hill walking friends all about the place.