the potting shed aviemore

Important Changes To Our Tearoom

We have some BIG news regarding the way The Potting Shed Tearoom will operate.

From 1st March 2018, we will be open for BOOKINGS ONLY!

So, from the 1st of March 2018, you will be required to make a booking BEFORE you come and have tea and cake.

The process will be very simple – by phone or through our website.

But wait! Before you get too hot and bothered let us explain our reasoning for this rather drastic change.

We will still serve our famous cakes and fill the feeders to the brim so that both you, and our staff, can carry on enjoying this beautiful and tranquil setting.

Here is a FAQ to answer some of your question.​

Over the years we have gained a very large following of loyal cake lovers, for which we are incredibly grateful and so proud.

However, due to the goodwill amongst our customer base, we have now become so popular that we are struggling to keep up with demand.

Meet Gunn and Philip:

This is the mother and son baking team who bake and decorate all the cakes you eat at The Potting Shed Tearoom.

After almost two decades of making cakes for tens of thousands of people per year we have reached a stage where we have to expand but by popular demand, we have decided to remain the same.

As demand increases every single year we are under incredible pressure and we feel unless we make a change to manage the amount of visitors we receive the customer experience will be diminished.

This is why we have decided to take a step back and bring our business back to a level where we can keep providing peaceful and quality customer service.

We fully appreciate how fortunate we are to have the problem of being too busy. However, we do not want the customer satisfaction to drop and our reputation to suffer.

We thank you for your understanding and please feel free to ask us any questions regarding our plans. You can contact us or ask a member of staff.

Stay up to date on every development by subscribing to our mailing list – including special offers and more information about our 2018 plans!






24 responses to “Important Changes To Our Tearoom”

  1. angela lynam avatar
    angela lynam

    I hope I got this right as I don’t use e mail normally use Facebook or messenger

    1. Philip Borrowman avatar

      You pop your email in the field above the this comments box and click on subscribe. 🙂

  2. Andrea avatar

    Love watching the birds. all the better when tea and cake are involved.

    1. Philip Borrowman avatar

      Glad to hear it! Next year there will be more improvements coming. Subscribe to the newsletter to stay updated!

  3. JayG avatar

    I’m a spur and f the moment visitor so sadly it’s the end of my visits.

    1. Philip Borrowman avatar

      Well, as a compromise. When the spur takes you, you could always phone and ask if we have space for you. Pretty sure we will have room for you. 🙂

  4. Brian avatar

    I can only say you are extremely lucky you are able to do this although it does seem very strange, I certainly have never heard of anyone having to book an afternoon tea, well, in a tearoom anyway, perhaps in some posh hotel, have you really so many customers you can’t cope? I owned and ran a tearoom and village shop for many years in Boat of Garten and sadly never had this problem. Good luck to you if it works.

    1. Philip Borrowman avatar

      We are very lucky indeed! We have worked extremely hard to get to this point with our business at great personal sacrifice. This is why we have taken this decision because unless we change now – the customer experience will be undermined and people will stop coming.

      We want to keep working, we do not want to stop but both the owners are now in their 60’s ( one is pushing 70!) and are no longer able to cope with 14 hour shifts. We serve hundreds of people a day and every cake is baked and decorated by myself (son) and Gunn which means our workload is huge.

      By reducing our workload we can keep going and keep serving people cake, just at a smaller scale. 90% of people will still get in but with the compromise of having to be a little bit more organised with their day that’s all.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment and make sure you tell your friends that from next year they have to book! 🙂


  5. Peter avatar

    Signed up but did not get confirmation e/mail. Not sure why.

    Fully understand your reason and hope that you have continued success.

    What happens if people just turn up on spec ??

    1. Philip Borrowman avatar

      The booking process online will only take a few seconds or you can call. Unfortunately, we will not be able to cater for people who turn up on a whim. You have to book your time slot to come. This is incredibly frustrating for many people but this is part of the problem, there are too many people coming on a whim! :-p Nevertheless, if you are 20 minutes away and you call ahead and we do have space then we will take you.

  6. Sue avatar

    Fully understand this approach. We have visited every time we have been in the area over the past 8 years. Sometimes it has been so busy that it has been less comfortable. We will continue to visit in the future as we love your little tea room. Good luck x

    1. Philip Borrowman avatar

      Excellent! That is the exact reason why we are doing this. We fully appreciate how lucky we are to have this ‘problem’ but we must consider the customer experience above all else.

      Thank you for understanding and stay tuned for further updates.

  7. Ian avatar

    Don’t suppose you care that some people arrive by bike, without the possibility to ring. Fair enough, guess you have enough car borne custom that we won’t be missed.

    You could, of course, reserve space for self propelled visitors, but hey, why cater for walkers and bikers in the Cairngorms. Not like it’s a national park or anything.

    1. Philip Borrowman avatar

      Did you even read the post? To say that we don’t care about our customers is deeply insulting. 🙂 We are doing what we have to do in order to save our business, it is a shame that you do not understand this. It is impossible to please everyone and there is no method we can think of that can cater for spontaneous visits – self-propelled or by car.

      Please see our FAQ regarding our plans.

  8. Pauline Rutherford avatar
    Pauline Rutherford

    Steve and I have been coming since you began making cakes and have seen how busy you get. No one can go on at that pace indefinitely, you deserve this change and it won’t affect the majority of your customers who will understand the reasons. As for the ones who are panicking, well doesn’t everyone have a mobile phone these days? So being able to ring you and book for a last minute plan isn’t unreasonable or be better organised. Gunn, John and Phillip work exceptionally hard to produce the magnificent cakes and tend to the beautiful garden too. As they get older they should be allowed the chance to slow down, whats the alternative….to close down altogether??? And none of us want that, so please be respectful of their decision and enjoy the cakes when you do visit.

    1. Philip Borrowman avatar

      Well put! 🙂 Thank you for the kind words! 🙂

  9. Eileen MacLeod avatar
    Eileen MacLeod

    I think your plan to introduce booking is fantastic. We live just outside Conon Bridge so if we come down to Aviemore with the knowledge that we have our booking and won’t be disappointed we will have a great day. You have a right to a healthy work life balance just like anyone else. Like previous customers have said most people have mobile phones and you can still call up on that day and see if there is space. Looking forward to booking for cake and coffee in 2018.

    1. Philip Borrowman avatar

      Thank you for understanding! It is a tough decision but we think people will benefit hugely. We are also opening a squirrel hide for photographers and a whisky shop, which will only add to the customer experience! 🙂

  10. Janet avatar

    Having just retired after 17 years of running a very popular coffee/tea shop in Oban I can fully appreciate your plan to operate on booking only basis – only wish we could have done the same!!
    Looking forward to more scrummy cakes next year.

  11. Brenda avatar

    Congratulations on not expanding and taking bookings, otherwise there is no pleasure in going somewhere special like yours. It would be just too awful to image.
    Just look what has happened to House of Bruar, 20 years ago it was a delight, now it is like an upmarket overcrowded service station. The only reason I go there is to use the toilet on my way down from Sutherland to England.

    Good luck in 2018, there are so good, small, intimate places left.

    Brenda Nov 2017

  12. Mrs Edna Taylor avatar
    Mrs Edna Taylor

    As i only use public transport is it possible to reach you on foot. My maximum walking distance about 4-5miles.
    Many years ago before the passing of my husband we came across the beautiful tearoom by default whilst out driving in the area and i have often thought of visiting again if i am in scotland for a holiday.
    It is only this morning after all these years I have managed to track down the area we were driving in, hence this email. Many thanks Mrs Edna Taylor, Cardiff

    1. Philip & John avatar

      You can get a taxi out here for about £8 or so. There is no public transport on our road, unfortunately. Hopefully see you again soon. Cheers

  13. GRAHAM MCKENZIE avatar

    We are on holiday @ Newtonmore in March so looking forward to trying your new booking system & returning for a delicious treat ?

  14. Elsie avatar

    We love to visit the Potting Shed Tearoom when we are in the holiday to enjoy the scrumptious cakes and watch the birds and squirrels. Alas when we were up in the area earlier this year (2018) we found you weren’t open and appeared to have closed, please tell me I was misled.

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