It had been a pretty decent summer in Scotland, but when autumn arrived, it took everyone by surprise – even though one should never be surprised by rain and wind if living in Aberdeen. That’s probably why I embraced a sunny Saturday, brightening the grayness – and decided to make a trip to Stonehaven.
I was joined by a colleague who was equally keen to make the most of the turn in weather, plus the drive to and from the harbour town gave us plenty of time to catch up on the happenings of the previous few weeks.
Upon arrival, we firstly made our way to The Tolbooth restaurant – our target destination that afternoon, where we enjoyed our lunch, over a glass of wine each – enough to make our heads swim a bit, so we concluded a walk would do us good before we attempted hitting the road again. And so we walked to the town centre – not a long walk at all, which you would know if you’d ever been to Stonehaven, but long enough for our appetites to warm up for a brew, so we set ourselves a mission to find a decent coffee shop.
Indeed, I considered that a mission based on my previous visits to the town when I struggled to find a cafe – but alas, thanks to some help courtesy of Google Maps it turned out we had a selection of those to chose from. Without hesitation we agreed to target the ones by the seaside, and quickly enough we found the Big Moon Coffee House.
Although it was beginning to get quite nippy with cold coastal breeze making us shiver on the prospect of sitting at one of the few outside tables, that’s exactly where we ended up as half of the indoor space was packed with families, whilst the other half was closed off for the day, which was a shame because it offered beautiful views of the sea without the chill factor. The feel inside was also warm and cosy, which, in retrospect, was good to see, as I later learnt the place was only recently reopened after the former B&B was trashed by floods.
The cakes looked tempting, but since my companion opted against a desert, I just stuck to my mocha, whilst she had a macchiato. I was certainly happy with mine: at first taste I thought of my aversion to Rainforest/Fairtrade cocoa, which I suspected the coffee had been made with, but once that first sip was down I concluded it was, indeed, pleasant. It definitely had a caffeine kick to it, but the whole concoction was smooth in flavour and texture, apart from being of just the right temperature. I did consider having another one – but seeing my friend struggled with her macchiato, I decided not to.
“This is horrible,” she eventually announced. “You want some?”
I politely declined, following a burst of laughter – although, for the purpose of this review, I probably should have taken her up on the offer.
Judging by my own experience, it was a good ending to a Saturday lunch: the peace of the seaside, the lovely views plus a very good cup of coffee and top-notch company. If only we had that bit of cake to round it all off…
Verdict justification: Really nice coffee – but obviously not faultless, as experienced by my Italy-loving companion