And now for something quite different…

I have wondered about Tempo every time I walked through the Bon Accord shopping centre, always curious to check it out but – ironically – never having the time to do so.

Tempo in Aberdeen’s Bon Accord

But this one afternoon the perfect opportunity arose when I had to wait for my prescription to be finalised at Boots – a typical 15-20min wait which, at that point (having already done all my shopping), I didn’t know what to do with… and then I remembered about the mysterious coffee place downstairs.

The spot where Tempo currently is used to be occupied by a number of pop ups: an art gallery and a Mini showroom are the few that I remember; so when Tempo came on the go in November last year, I assumed it would disappear after a month or two – but, alas,  it’s still going, more than six months in.

I read the general instructions on the A-board outside a few times when passing by, but I still wasn’t sure how this would work; so I rocked up to the counter and the first question I was asked was “Have you been here before?”. I was glad to have everything explained without having to ask – even though it was all pretty straightforward.

Mocha at Tempo

Every minute in Tempo costs 10p – but there are no other charges; instead, there’s the free use of the seating, charging points, WiFi and, of course, the kitchen, featuring a coffee machine, a selection of cakes and biscuits, as well as cereal, toast and even hot soup available at lunchtime.

The idea behind Tempo is to enjoy some time off – either alone, or even better with a friend or family, over coffee or a board game, whatever you might feel like that day. But the benefits aren’t just a recharge and a catch-up on latest gossip; in fact, all the proceeds go to CLAN Cancer Support – so you never actually feel you overstayed.

Enjoying some time off at Tempo

I knew from the moment I “clocked in” at the register that this would not be my usual cafe review; there were no baristas to craft my drink, and my mocha was all ready at the touch of a button – but that didn’t put me off (in fact, for a machine coffee, it tasted quite nice!).

I appreciated a quiet place (it looked pretty funky, decorated by professional designers as I later found out) to enjoy a hot brew and a sponge slice – so much better than being stuck in the pharmacy or wandering about shop shelves with no intention to buy! In fact, I felt quite guilty leaving after 17 minutes, only due £1.70 – so I left all my other small change at the till as a “tip”.

Having experienced it first-hand, and seen how popular this place is, I would encourage anyone who’s looking to fill a half-hour in town to pay Tempo a visit – it’s all for a good cause, and you will come out feeling more than recharged for the rest of the day!

Tempo Facebook page

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