Thursday, 2 May 2013

The Glen Cafe Reborn!

Photo 01 - Home baked goodies at the cafe.

If you have been tuned into the blog over the last few weeks you will have noted that the cafe has now reopened under the management of Ian and Kath Stephenson aided and abetted by daughter Lisa and son Dave making it a real family affair. It was a tall order indeed to follow in the footsteps of Ian and Barbara who provided food to the highest standard from bacon rolls to full meals.
There is always a lingering doubt when a vendor held in high esteem decides to call it a day. You can't help but wonder if the new incumbents will cater to the same high standard, it's just human nature, we don't readily accept change, we prefer the situation we know. Nothing however stays the same, and it was with a degree of trepidation that I went along to the cafe to meet the family and sample the fare.
On entering I was greeted by Kath and daughter Lisa and after a blether I placed my order for a bacon roll (The anglers favourite) coffee and a homemade doughnut ring. It was no time at all before piping hot coffee appeared along with a roll which looked as though it contained half a pig. I could not fault either in any way and it was with relish (brown sauce actually) that I devoured my bacon roll by which time Peter arrived and ordered the same. The doughnut with that characteristic yeasty aroma which was absolutely delicious brought back happy memories of early childhood, one of those doughnuts that require little chewing, they just melt in your mouth. Sheer indulgence and self gratification!
And Peters verdict as a chef?
Absolutely first class, and at a price that won't break the bank I could do nothing but agree with him on this.
Have a look at the menu below, there is much here for the hungry angler and general visitor, next on my list is the mouth watering haggis chicken and bacon roll at £3.20 which sounds delicious and I can't think of a better way to start the day, and indeed today I savoured the lump and it was a meal in itself. Thankfully this feast in a roll is served with knife and fork because there is no way you will be able to cram this culinary leviathan into your mouth as is normal for a filled roll at other cafe's!
Above the menu.
If you prefer to have a proper full spread breakfast then you are catered for with a large all day breakfast coming in at £6.50 (eminently suitable for our heavyweight power lifters) and that will see most folk through the day, a smaller version is also offered for those of more petite construction! Light meals are also on offer such as Breaded Haddock & chips at £6.50 and Steak Pie chips and Peas at £6.95 anglers should ask for the meals in takeaway packaging to get back to the serious business of fishing quickly.
Patrons should also lookout for the specials board, where delicious rib hugging homemade soups such as Pea and Ham/Lentil, Scotch broth that have never seen the inside of a tin are on offer at super prices. Toasted tea cake and Tea/coffee only £2.50 for those who partake of afternoon tea or just like to treat themselves now and then.
A selection of mouth watering homemade cakes and scones are always available and when we visited Peter and I were given a sample of daughter Lisa's homemade chocolate cake with a chocolate fondant top, it was delicious we both agreed and soon disappeared from the plate. An ever expanding selection of sweets, crisps and ice cream is also on offer.
There is much planned for the coming months including a shop at the Lowes end of the cafe which will be of interest to anglers as they will be stocking fishing line, dead baits, hooks and lots of other odds and ends for all the things that anglers forget or run out of. Meantime if you need a feed, your flask filled or just a slap up meal there is much at the Glen Cafe to meet your needs! Thankfully there's no Carrot Sorbet with Mint oil and Haddock foam (what the hell is that?) here, just honest good hearty food!
Anglers seeking advice on fishing the lochs should grab a blether with son Dave who has fished the lochs since he was a nipper and caught many leviathans. If he can't give you the lowdown then no one can! Keep tuned to our news page for up to date information.
Is the cafe the same as when Ian and Barbara were in situ? No, but I am pleased to say that like Ian & Barbara, Kath, Ian and family have maintained the ongoing tradition of excellent food at great prices, but little nuances here and there make it their own domain. You will be made most welcome, so pop in and enjoy great food in a convivial atmosphere without breaking the bank! A number of special offers will be available during the winter months so don't let the white stuff stop you!
VERDICT - Heartily recommended for all!

Appalling Pike fishing video
With regard to the disgraceful video highlighted last week, we have contacted the person who uploaded the said video. Unfortunately he can see nothing wrong with the Pike handling portrayed in the video in spite of the 100% negative comment on the blog and the video. We gave the chap ample time to withdraw the video but he has chosen not to comply with our wishes. This places us in an awkward situation but we have thoroughly reviewed the events and arrived at the following conclusion.
(1)The good name of St Mary's Angling Club is left tarnished by the actions seen in this video albeit wrongly, as the footage is from Loch Laggan and erroneously labelled St Mary's Loch for some unknown reason.
(2)The handling of this Pike is severely substandard and falls short of the Pike handling we would wish to be associated with the club!
(3)The inability of the video up loader to comprehend the errors in this video leads us to believe that the well being of any Pike caught by him would be in serious doubt!
(4)We are underway in an ongoing process to raise the standards of Pike angling at our lochs. The actions in this video are contrary to our aspirations!
The points that we take issue with are as follows –
(1) The Pike 17.5lbs approx was weighed being suspended for almost 20 seconds by the chin, a completely unnatural position for a Pike and one according to our biology adviser that puts severe pressure on several important internal organs and the spine itself! Such an action puts the Pike's wellbeing at grave risk!
(2) The unhooking and leaving the Pike on stony ground subjecting it to damage from impact trauma. The protective mucous layer is eroded by the Pike abrading its body against the rough surface leaving it open to subsequent infection which is completely avoidable!
(3) The unnatural tension brought on by the sideways strain when pulling the jaw vertically to an almost right angle whilst the Pike is lying on its side and not on its back, places severe strain on the spine and subjects it to further possible damage!
(4) The undue delay in the unhooking process, the video is over 3 minutes long and the Pike was out of the water before the start! This amounts to nothing short of cruelty and subjects the Pike to completely unnecessary distress! That a Pike swims away after rough handling does not equate to that Pike being well and subsequently recover from the ordeal!
Perhaps the most damning factor however in this catalogue of errors is the captor's complete lack of insight into his deplorable actions, and his inability to learn from his mistakes! The very basics of competent unhooking are not evident in the video! The actions as portrayed are universally condemned by responsible anglers everywhere and specialist groups committed to raising good practice with regard to Pike such as the Pike Anglers Club of Great Britain.
Pike fishing is increasingly and rightly becoming a research based sport in which prescribed actions are backed up by research in the field. There is no place in modern Pike angling for blowhard experts and exponents of arch buffoonery as depicted in the video! Only by moving forward in this way will the Pike be afforded the best chance of continued survival!
We as Pike anglers choose to pursue this fish for the sport it affords us, the very least we can do with perpetuity in mind, is to treat the fish with the utmost respect and base our actions on research based evidence. The captor of the Pike in the offending video fails miserably on all counts! Handling Pike as depicted on the video is poor to say the least, but to release it on a video with worldwide viewing and the potential to influence less enquiring Pike anglers everywhere is unforgivable!
The action we have decided upon as an interim measure until we can arrive at a permanent decision at our committee meeting in late January 2011 is as follows.
Due to the serious nature of the errors contained in the video the captor of the Pike will be forbidden to fish on any water coming under the control of St Mary's Angling Club. His name and photograph will be issued to all our permit outlets, bailiffs and loch keeper to ensure that he cannot legally fish our waters. His application for season ticket status with the club has been halted and discarded with immediate effect! Should he be found fishing illegally on our waters, we will involve the police without any preliminaries! As has been stated many times before the Pike in our lochs are part of our future, we will not allow them to be treated in such a dangerous, flippant and disrespectful fashion! The club has been seriously injured by his actions it therefore follows that the sanctions applied be of the highest order!
Errant comment on You Tube
One of the negative comments on You Tube with regard to the above erroneously mentions that we as a club do not like Pike anglers! Absolute nonsense, the majority membership of our club are Pike anglers. We welcome all respectful, decent and law abiding anglers irrespective of the quarry they seek! Muppets knaves and jackals are most definitely not welcome. Proper anglers however are and always will be very welcome at our waters!
Club Membership/Season tickets.
Everyone should be aware that the cut off date for renewals is the 31st of December 2010. Please renew your membership before this date. You can do this by sending a cheque made payable to St Mary's Angling Club (£30.00 – members, £50.00 - Season Tickets) to the club treasurer - John Wright 8 Castle Place Dunbar EH42 1JD.

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