As St Andrews day approaches what better way is there to mark this great Celtic day but with some traditional Scottish fare. Cranachan is a delicious example of oats, a staple of the Scottish cuisine, being used to make a sweet Scottish treat – at its most simple Cranachan is a mixture of oats, cream and sugar to which whisky and cream can be added. And lets face it Whisky and cream tend to improve most things! Robert Burns once referred to Scotland as the land of the cakes – he was in fact refereeing to the number of different oatcakes rather than the cake cakes. Traditionally it is Glasgow rather than Edinburgh that is particularly noted for its love of tea and cake. And it wasn’t just the cakes themselves that looked appealing but the decoration of each establishment. The Willow Tea Rooms on Sauchiehall Street is of the most famous examples. These beloved tea rooms were designed by Charles Renee Mackintosh one of Scotland celebrated designers with a world wide reputation. Some of Scotland most famous cakes and biscuits are linked to particular areas of Scotland. The Selkirk Bannock, a sweet bread with sultanas and raisins and Dundee cake with fruit and almonds are two popular examples which although local in origin are available in other areas of Scotland too. Some that tend to be limited to their area of origin include the Orkney speciality the ‘Carvie’ biscuit ideal for cheese which is only available in Orkney. For sweets Edinburgh Rock, Harwick Balls, Moffat toffee and all butter tablet remain top sweetie choices that have endured over time. In the 1500’s in Scotland sweets were seen as a part of celebrations. In 1587 at the coming of age of King James VI the Town Council distributed sweets to the local children. Harwick balls, dark brown peppermints are said to inspire rugby players and a tin of Harwick Balls is also buried at the South Pole! Edinburgh rock is distinctive in that it is soft and comes in soft pastel colours – a great favourite with locals and visitors alike. Tablet is a traditional Scottish treat which is easy to make at home – it is made from milk or thin cream and sugar combined with orange juice of whisky – perfect for marking a celebration of as a treat on a dreich day!