Staying within the West End but slightly off the beaten track you’ll find the Corner Tree Cafe. I had once stayed not far from here (a long time ago!) and have fond memories of latte and croissant breakfasts to go – I remember it being a single unit at that point.
More recently, I popped round a few times for a work lunch and each time the place was very busy, even though they had expanded from the rather crammed front room to another dining area, further linked to their home decor/gift shop next door. My lunches were always soup and sandwich which were good, but nothing spectacular. I also remember taking away a coffee which did not particularly wow me.
Now in COVID, just like with their sister venue The Pier, I have ordered a couple of cooked breakfasts from the Corner Tree – my guilty pleasure of pancakes with bacon and maple syrup which have been very moreish indeed (I had also once ordered their sourdough bread and it was the best toast I’ve had in ages – not to mention the ginormous size of the loaf!). As was also the case with The Pier, I haven’t been ordering the coffee; so since I was heading for a walk around Rubislaw again, I thought I’d give it a go on this occasion.
It was another late afternoon (in the café world) so – unsurprisingly – there were no queues outside, although a new customer appeared as I was waiting for my coffee. You order within the doorway – the baristas are well protected with multiple screens separating them from the customers.
There is a range of food options presented to you in the form of cake cabinet on the side, as well as menu boards for daily hot specials. With their regular menu also displayed in the window it is easy to make up your mind before you enter, so it was a quick process for me again – a coconut* alternative mocha was soon being prepped as I peeked into the windows of their shop next door (*the other options were oat and soy, all at a 30p supplement)
Once ready, the coffee was served on the wee table outside; since the barista was then busy taking the other customer’s order I took the opportunity to snap the pics before I headed on my way.
I wasn’t impressed by the blobby forth on top of the drink, but I would have to wait to confirm my premonition – the coffee was too hot to drink, as I learnt with the first sip.
Once I was finally able to start savouring it a while later, the first thing I tasted was the hollow of that froth; then, the coconut milk alternative, with hints of cocoa through it – just like with The Pier, the coconut prevailing over the concoction; and then I would get a tang of acidity, possibly from the coffee type used. In other words, the flavours stood out individually, rather than blended.
To further spoil things, as I got to the end the drink (which didn’t take me long considering the chill in the air), it was already cold! The branded cups are obviously poorly (if at all) insulated.
So, a similar yet sightly different experience from The Pier. I am curious to try the other cafés in the Watermelon family – as for the Corner Tree, I’ll stick to their breakfasts for now!
Coconut Alternative Mocha: £3.25
The “middle” of the coffee was alright-ish, but the start (too hot) and end (too cold) let it down. Not my cuppa.
To find out more about Corner Tree Café and other Watermelon venues, visit their website.