Aberdeen Art Gallery

Rating: 3 out of 5.

For the third largest city in Scotland, Aberdeen doesn’t have many tourist attractions – unless you like cold sea and breezy coastlines, that is (which, before you say anything, I absolutely adore the sight of!) The Granite City is pretty slim on “cultural” venues, but one worth mentioning is the recently revamped and reopened Art Gallery.

While the exhibits are a bit of a mishmash and many do raise an eyebrow, the building itself is without a doubt worth visiting; and there are a lot of interactive features too. Although I’m not the Modern Art type, the place has put some spell on me – so much so that one Working From Home weekday I simply felt the urge to pay it a visit at lunchtime.

I will leave you to explore and comment on the contents of the gallery at your leisure and focus on the more prosaic aspect of my visit. There are two cafes: one on the ground floor, right by the entrance, and another on the top floor, with access to the terrace opening up to a somewhat obstructed skyline of Aberdeen’s city centre. I think you know which one I went for.

Albeit I felt a bit hungry having replaced my lunch for art (not enough physical nourishment there!), I wasn’t particularly excited by any of the ordinary-looking (how unfitting) treats in the display and decided to just have my mocha. Orders – probably due to Covid – are taken once you’re seated at the table; and since this was a weekday, I didn’t have to wait at all to be attended to.

I have to say, I was taken aback by the size of the coffee when it arrived shortly afterwards – the price didn’t indicate the volume. I was glad I didn’t go for cake.

As I begun sipping, I burnt the roof of my mouth – yep, too hot to handle straight away. Once I let it cool down a bit, I gave it another go. It was certainly chocolatey sweet… like a nice hot chocolate… with no coffee to be tasted whatsoever.

I thought I’d give it the benefit of the doubt and kept sipping, expecting to eventually – against all logic – get a taste of caffeine. Nope. And at this point, with half a cup gone, I felt a bit silly asking the assistant whether she might have forgotten something – so I remained silent.

Who knows, maybe a mistake, maybe that’s their recipe. I did finish the “mocha” and I actually enjoyed it a lot – but it was missing one key ingredient.

Having said that, it was still a better experience than I’m used to ordering coffees in museums (unless it’s in Rome!) and so I feel justified giving it decent marks.

If you happen to be a tourist in Aberdeen, I’d encourage you to visit the Art Gallery and fear not grabbing a coffee there if you enjoy the exhibits or the view for longer than expected – maybe just compare the recipes with the barista when you order…


Mocha: £2.30


A very nice hot chocolate… if you get my point!

To find out more about visiting the Aberdeen Art Gallery, click here.

One thought on “Aberdeen Art Gallery

  1. But if you go for the loose leaf tea, upper floor cafe at Aberdeen is the only one overlooking a terrace with a Barbara Hepworth sculpture for miles! If not in the entire of Scotland. So it gives me feeling of happiness

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