With the arrival of the new year came new resolutions – and one of mine was to take more time off at weekends, and explore further the beautiful Scottish countryside.
I’ve not ventured too far out so far, but at least I visited a new place – Braemar; very briefly too, as it was the closing part of my walk around the nearby residence of the Queen – Balmoral Castle.
And what a day to pick for a walk… from gale-force winds to snow storms, the trip was more challenging (and cold!) than expected, so a brew after all that was a must.
On my arrival to Braemar I spotted a few places worth visiting, but The Bothy definitely stood out – and seeing that I visited its sister in Ballater many-a-time, I thought it only right to see how the competition fared.
Following a path to a veranda with the entrance to the cafe – and passing the adjacent hiking and winter shop on the way – I gladly found shelter from the frost, as I instantly felt cosy in the spacious interior – featuring plenty of wood, a fireplace (sadly, already taken) and a back area overlooking the river underneath.
I felt no guilt when choosing my cake (caramel and pecan slice) to accompany my mocha, and once that was ready, I took my tray to one of the armchairs by the window at the front of the store.
Served in the same cups and saucers as the Ballater Bothy, the coffee looked very scrumptious – and tasted divine! I went for the option with an extra shot – something that was crossing my mind anyway as I was looking at the drinks menu, when the barista asked if I wanted it double. As such, it was strong and punchy, but also rich – and yet, not too sweet, striking the perfect balance of flavours. It was also very smooth throughout – I could hardly pull myself away from the cup, it was simply that good.
What’s even better, was that the cake did not spoil the coffee – nor did it make me feel bad, as I figured the huge dose of sugar was well deserved that day… and after all that, I truly felt I started the year on a high!
Mocha: £2.55 (+£0.40 for extra shot)
Verdict justification: Very welcoming place with fantastic coffee and great cakes – perfect for the weary traveller!