AS the nation celebrates National Cupcake Week the search begins for Scotland’s best cafés.
Visitors and locals alike are being given the chance to nominate their favourite place to go for a cuppa and a slice of cake as part of VisitScotland’s Café Days promotion.
The initiative is part of Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink and aims to celebrate the wealth of great cafés in the country.
One of the first cafés to be nominated is the Beach House Café in Portobello, Edinburgh, which offers many homemade delights to tickle your sweet tooth.
Jonathan Bendit, owner, said: “We are delighted to find out that we have been nominated. We did not have a clue.
“Since we opened up in 2008 we have seen a considerable rise in people coming in for a cup of tea or coffee and a slice of cake.
“People like places to come and just sit and blether with their friends.
“The things that make a good cafe are location, quality of products, attention to detail, attentive staff and great cake and we definitely offer all of those here.”
VisitScotland’s research shows that cafés are an important part of a holiday in Scotland, with around 60 per cent of visitors popping into one during their trip.
Scotland’s Tourism Minister, Jim Mather MSP, sampled the delights the Beach House Café had to offer despite enduring a few spots of rain.
He said: “This year we are using our fantastic food and drink to encourage visitors both at home and abroad to visit Scotland.
“So it is absolutely right that we should recognise and publicise the best cafés across the country, not least because they serve some of the best local produce Scotland has to offer.
“The weather is fine. It is a great place to relax and enjoy life.”
All nominated cafés will form part of VisitScotland’s Spring/Summer campaign next year and will be promoted to visitors across the UK.
Last year VisitScotland’s activity generated an additional £400 million for the Scottish economy.
Mike Cantlay, VisitScotland’s chairman, said: “Often a great day out can be made even better when you find a wonderful wee tea shop to relax in.
“We want to find out about these great businesses and share them with other visitors to Scotland.
“Whether you had great service, exceptional food or were just blown away by a cafés amazing location, we want to hear from you.”
Nominations can be made at www.visitscotland.com/cafedays