Monthly Archives: March 2014


I’m not a big fan of business lunches.

Now, dinners are a different story. By the end of the day most tasks have been  completed and you don’t need a clear head, so you can relax (to a point, depending on the profile of your company) and have that glass of wine or two. Not with a lunch – it usually falls at the most inconvenient time in the afternoon, when you’re buried under tons of work, and can’t event accept the complimentary dash of whisky because you’re driving back to the office after.

That was pretty much my latest experience at Malmaison; although I enjoyed the chat with our American visitor about differences between the UK and US industries and the weather anomalies in Texas, the food took longer to arrive than it should, considering the restaurant wasn’t really packed and we didn’t have starters, which just added to my stress – and I had nothing to relieve it with other than still water.

Mocha at Malmaison

Mocha at Malmaison

An hour later the party departed, but since I had a few emails to respond to and some work to file asap I bid my goodbyes and sat down in the hotel’s bar area. The internet was unbelievably slow, but I decided to make the most of the waiting this time and ordered – yes – a mocha.

Among the fancy cocktails being sent out to the few people sat across the bar at 2pm soon enough was my coffee, lovely presented, with a fancy chocolate dusting on top and a madeleine on the side.I wasn’t going to waste any more time that afternoon so I just dived into it; it was a bit too hot and had a thin layer of foamed up froth on top, which was bound to ultimately spoil that mad afternoon – but as I allowed the brew to wash over my mouth I let out a sigh of relief. The concoction was actually rich, smooth, with significant caffeine kick – and after I gave the coffee a stir, I  could not put it away until I finished.

So, apart from a few little glitches, it turned out to be an uplifting finish to the lunch – and a power booster for the rest of the day.

On a separate note I know from personal experience that their cocktail offering is also top notch. Worth the treck from city centre.

Mocha: £2.75

Verdict justification: Not 100% perfectly executed, but just off the mark – and with an added taste of spohistication

Categories: Aberdeen, Cafes, Chains, Local, UK | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

His Majesty’s Theatre cafe

Now, moving from museums to theatres. It just so happened that a job took me to Aberdeen’s His Majesty’s in early hours of Saturday (for someone who cherishes her weekends off 10am is, indeed, early). Upon my arrival at the HMT I learnt, however, that the tour that I was meant to be doing was actually starting half an hour later – which gave me plenty of time to sit down at the theatre’s cafe and have a cup of coffee.

Mocha at the HMT Cafe

Mocha at the HMT Cafe

Although I had already known I would probably be reviewing HMT’s coffee offering that morning, I was setting my sights for the 1906 restaurant upstairs, which I have heard some positive comments about. Alas, when it came to a casual sit-and-snack affair, especially hours before any high-brow performances, I had to settle down for the rather unglamorous cafe downstairs, with its wooden chairs and limited bar space.

At least the view was pleasant on that sunny Saturday morning – on Rosemount Viaduct via the glass walls of the fairly new addition to the century old building – the foyer with its restaurant. I appreciated the peacefulness of the street as I waited for my coffee, after learning, to my surprise, that they offered the full range. There were a few tables taken and awaiting their order, so it took some – but reasonable – time for the mocha to arrive. And although I didn’t want to pre-judge the bevarage based on the surroundings, it did, unfortunately, live up to the expectations.

The brew was slightly too hot and not very sweet, while quite milky. It didn’t have a nice, thick consistency and any flavour quickly dissipated after drinking, leaving a bit of a void in the stomach of someone lusting for some punchy cocoa or caffeine offering. However, by no means it was the worst I’ve had… but it certainly didn’t entice me to come in early for an afternoon performance, if it meant waiting with a cuppa at the cafe.

Mocha: tbc

Verdict justification: A cup of milky coffee – fresh, but not chocolatey. 

Categories: Aberdeen, Cafes, Local, UK | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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