a peek inside the fishbowl

04 Feb, 2018

Coffee date at the Scone Witch

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Ottawa|Recipes and Food

Mark and I went for a quick cross-country ski this morning. Given the sub-arctic temperatures we had in Ottawa at Christmas and the usual freeze-thaw-freeze cycles, this represented his first outing on skis this year and only my second. Our destination: Pine Grove Trail. It’s an NCC trail in Ottawa’s east end, just off Davidson Road. (We parked at P18. Get more info about it on the NCC website!) It’s a very easy and pretty trail; perfect for those of us who are feeling rusty and need a bit of a confidence booster. Well, I’ll tell ya, the weather was perfect, maybe a little too perfect, because the new light fluffy snow stuck to the bottom of our skis in a very bad way. So much so that we lost all of our swoosh and were practically walking by the end. I couldn’t figure out what we did wrong (wrong wax?) or if it was just a perfect storm of winter conditions (fluff + barely zero degrees + ski friction = cement-like snow clumps) that made it happen.

It was comical. It felt like we were trudging along on very long and pointy snow shoes! It may have been easier to just take them off, but we persevered.

Skiing at Pine Grove trail, Ottawa

I survived with my good humour intact by shifting my perspective. Instead of fixating on the lousy ski conditions I concentrated on the beauty all around me and how good it felt just to BE here at all.

Ottawa XC ski day for me and Mark

Part of what kept me going was knowing there was a part TWO of our Sunday outing: a coffee date. I’d been Googling variations of “best coffee shops in Ottawa” and “Ottawa coffeeshop date” before finally settling on a destination that isn’t primarily known as a coffee shop: The Scone Witch. It’s been years since I’ve eaten at the Scone Witch so I figured we were long overdue for a visit. The Beechwood location was closest, so that’s where we went.

Best Ottawa Coffee Shops - Coffee date at the Scone Witch

The Scone Witch gets top marks for coffee. Mark and I both ordered a latte and they were hot and strong; exactly what we needed. There’s lots of variety on the menu and I had a tough time deciding what I wanted. Mark ordered the bacon and cheese melt on a cheddar scone. I normally choose something from the savoury side of the menu but today I opted for the vanilla cream scone with strawberry jam on the side. It was bliss: a warm, fresh, perfectly textured melt-in-your-mouth scone. A winner in my books for sure. Mark really enjoyed his choice as well.

Best Ottawa Coffee Shops - Coffee date at the Scone Witch

I am drooling just thinking about this:

Best Ottawa Coffee Shops - Coffee date at the Scone Witch

The ambiance was less enticing, but consistently high Google reviews makes me think people don’t care because the scones are so good. It’s open and bright, which is great, but the high ceilings create an echo chamber which amplified kitchen sounds and also amplified the person next to us who spent a long time talking very loudly on her phone. (Ugh. Awkward.) A combination of high and low seating creates a social environment but not necessarily one in which you’d want to hunker down with a laptop (in case this was your thing) or have an intimate conversation. It’s a bit rough around the edges in some ways here, but it’s hard to know if it’s because it was a Sunday afternoon or whether this is a regular state of affairs e.g. garbage on the floor and an overflowing bin of dirty dishes.

All in all, although this was a bit of an eat-and-run situation it was a delicious coffee date. And I’m hungry for more! Ottawa friends, which independent coffee shop should we visit on our next date? I’d really like to make this a regular thing and would love to hear about your favourites.

3 Responses to "Coffee date at the Scone Witch"

1 | joy

February 5th, 2018 at 2:13 pm


I am guessing you have been to Quitters in Stittsville? Have you tried The Grounds (Hazeldean and Iber)? My daughter loves going to Alice’s Café (Carp) but I have yet to go.

2 | andrea tomkins

February 5th, 2018 at 3:20 pm


Yes! We’ve been to Quitter’s and enjoyed it very much. Maybe we’ll revisit! I’m definitely adding The Grounds to my list. As for Alice’s Cafe, i’ve been wanting to go for ages and haven’t been either! Time to change that. :)

3 | a peek inside the fishbowl » Blog Archive A hot chocolate to remember - a peek inside the fishbowl

February 6th, 2018 at 11:36 am


[…] was so busy telling you about our recent coffee date at the Scone Witch that I forgot to write about about the fancy hot chocolate I enjoyed at Quelque Chose here in […]

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human offspring: Emma (24) and Sarah (22). During the day I work as a writer at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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