International travel might be re-opening post-pandemic but staycations continue to be the preferred holiday option – at least in the interim. And is this destination worth considering…!
I had heard of the quaint cottages of Crovie before, but the pictures didn’t inspire me to explore the new (to me) land of Banffshire. My route north-bound would always bypass the real north east and head straight for Inverness.
This particular Sunday – uncharacteristically of me – I fancied a coastal walk for a change. The forecast went from good to great (as far as autumn goes) and after a quick glance of the map I decided it was time to do something new. Destination: the famed Crovie.
It was a quick and very pleasant drive which in its final minutes opened up to a mesmerising view: green cliffs tumbling into the clear and calm waters of the Ocean, against the blue sky… And then nature called and I was on the lookout for the nearest public facilities.
I didn’t have to look far – the nearby Gardenstown gave me a taster of what my walk would be like, as a picturesque town with a wee harbour, light-golden beach and the open view of the sea merging into the horizon…
Having achieved what I went there for, I decided I had the capacity to try the coffee shop that I had seen signs for on my way – Eli’s Craft, Cakes and Coffee. The town itself was rather quiet (I couldn’t believe it, on a day like that!) and while there were a few covers in the tiny cafe/artisan shop, coming and going, there was still plenty of space outside – a couple of tables at the front, and a whole “Secret Garden” at the back.
I made my order inside of a mocha and a jam scone (it had gooey jam already plonked on top) and then made my way to one of the tables at the back. The order was served promptly, and the scone had been warmed up – sweet!
The coffee was definitely on the hotter side and I burnt my tongue a little on the first few sips – but with sitting outside the drink cooled down quickly, so I kinda get the higher serving temperature. While generally pleasant throughout and well blended, it was lacking sweetness, even after stirring as I could see there was still a tiny bit of undissolved chocolate left on the bottom of the glass.
My whole visit lasted less than 10min (I took half the scone away with me) as I was eager to get going to explore the beautiful landscape.
All in all, while the coffee wasn’t top shelf, it was much better than what I would have expected from a sleepy place like Gardenstown – and all things considered, it was a great stop to compliment a sunny Sunday in Banffshire, that I would encourage everyone to partake in!
Not as sweet as you’d expect a mocha to be, but still pleasant to drink and a lovely venue to enjoy it at
Find out more about Eli’s craft and coffee shop on their Facebook page.