I’d never heard of Quarrier’s Village before. The reason I was heading down winding Ayrshire roads (my phone doubling as a satnav) was not thanks to my own historical curiosity, but rather thanks to my stomach.
A while ago, my friend/boss Sue and I were chatting about good eateries. I was singing the praises of the Mountain Café in Aviemore, describing the cakes falling off the tables, when Sue suddenly said, ‘Have you been to Three Sisters Bake?’
I was a bit confused as to what the name was. ‘Three Sisters Bake? No. Where’s that?’
Unfortunately the answer to that question had faded in the months that had passed since. So, that morning, I spent a while trawling Google. ‘Cakes Ayrshire’. ‘Tearoom Troon’. I remembered it was somewhere in those rolling green hills. ‘Three Sisters Bake’ popped up. Once I saw the name, I knew I’d hit on the right place.
That’s how we were making our way across wave-like fields and through little lanes towards Quarrier’s. At this point, I was still completely oblivious to its history. We drove towards the tearoom, through large gates into what appeared to be an estate. Huge mansions rose from every side of the road. There were cars everywhere but barely a whisper of noise. It was like being in a ghost town.
I entered the Three Sisters Bake with slight unease, but inside the usual culinary smells and contented chatter filled the busy tearoom. We sat down in a small booth and I ordered sweet potato and coconut soup, whilst C took a black pudding and cheddar toastie. The baking looked delicious, but we were too desperate for a walk around this bizarre village to stop for sugar.
Just before we left the bakery, we noticed a huge board on the wall explaining the history of Quarrier’s. William Quarrier, a philanthropist, founded the village in the late 1800s to house orphans and disadvantaged young people. Each of the massive houses were situated (and still are) on roads called Peace, Faith and Hope Avenue, and just around from Three Sisters Bake lies a colossal church aptly named Mount Zion.
It’s easy to walk around the small village, down past the burn, weaving around the villas and perching just on the edge of the grass. Blossom paints the lawns a pastel colour and crows stare down from high roofs, their wings the only sound in this silent settlement.
It’s a bit like going back in time. And for my next visit? Well, I’ll do my research.
Apologies for the lack of photographs of Quarrier’s Village proper. My Android phone (on which I take the majority of my photos) crashed a few days ago. Fingers crossed I’ll get it back soon. Miracle, please?