Travel Log

Café by Benugo at John Lewis

Visited in Bon Accord centre

It’s been a very busy few months as I had taken the plunge and finally got myself on the property ladder. This has meant loads of weekend trips to B&Q and Homebase, not so much popping out for a cup of coffee – unless it was really needed as a stress reliever.

This was the case when I was looking for bits and bobs in John Lewis’ during my lunch break and all of a sudden I felt it was all too much, and a break was required. When I saw the café in the store, I didn’t think twice – I almost ran in.

Mocha at Café by Benugo

I was expecting a level of elegance and sophistication from a coffee shop associated with a high-end homeware store, and first impressions were positive. There was only a couple in the queue in front of me, which gave me time to skim through the drinks menu on the wall and decide on the cake to accompany my mocha (sugar required as much as caffeine).

I took a seat close to the entrance as I knew I didn’t have much time to relax and enjoy myself. Once the coffee was delivered I knew I wouldn’t want to draw this out too long either. There had been an attempt at a latte art, but juxtaposed with the leaflet on the table, it made the coffee look a bit sad…

The looks corresponded with the taste, unfortunately. Despite the blob of milk on top, the consistency of the drink was generally good, but that same froth remained at the bottom of the cup when I was done, suggesting not all of it had blended properly. Same with the cocoa, as a thick layer stuck on the bottom of the cup, contributing to a quite acidic beverage all together.

I drank quickly, ate my marble cake, and ran. It was good to rest my feet for a few minutes, but sadly, this franchise cafe did not encourage me to come to John Lewis’ for anything more than household goods.

Mocha: £2.80

Verdict justification: The coffee was OK but not particularly memorable. A pause-and-go experience – but isn’t that what cafes in shopping centres are for?


Categories: Aberdeen, Chains | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Falls of Feugh

It was another one of those Sundays when I had been out on the road just after golf practice, enjoying the spell of glorious weather, and not really ready to head back home yet. But, since I also had commitments later in the day, I knew I couldn’t make it a long escapade either – so, Banchory seemed the obvious choice.

Keen on a walk, I thought I’d park the car at the Falls of Feugh again and climb up into town to see where else in there I can get myself a cuppa, other than the Birdhouse Cafe. But just as I crossed the road with all the intention to head past the waterfalls, I realised that the name-bearing restaurant was open for business, and at arms reach.

And so, I made a U-turn and entered the dreamy-looking Falls of Feugh. A bit confused at first which way to go in the small, country-house-like hallway, once I found the right door I was shocked by the sheer size of the place – and that was only one part of it!

Mocha at Falls of Feugh

Mocha at Falls of Feugh

Adjacent to the main dining area there was another one, followed by a stunning function room; but for me the best location was the terrace overlooking the river below – and that’s where I was seated.

The place was pretty quiet, seeing that it was past lunchtime and around an hour off the closing time, but there were new arrivals even after I had placed my order for a mocha and a carrot cake. Facing the back garden of the restaurant, whose main feature was indisputably the river, all basking in the early summer sunshine, I felt a sense of contentment, and thought this place deserved kudos at least for the ambiance, if nothing else…

Yes, I had read a few reviews before my visit, and they weren’t singing praise to the food offering at the Falls; I was soon to find out if that also encompassed coffee and sweets as my order was served with an array of cutlery for my choosing.

The view off the terrace at Falls of Feugh

The view off the terrace at Falls of Feugh

In fact, I could not fault the carrot cake – it was lovely and moreish; sadly, the coffee was not.

Served in a latte glass (and if you’ve been reading my reviews for a while, you’ll know I’m not a fan of those), the appearance was spoilt further by a blob of milk foam on top. The concoction below looked rich, but I had to pace myself before I tasted it, as the brew was too hot to handle at first. Once I got my tastebuds to work, the disappointment continued: I could not sense any caffeine in it, and there was a lack of luxurious consistency, with the brew having a rather watery feel to it. Not really the experience I’d expect from a £3.75/cup.

It’s a great shame, because the location is absolutely beautiful and I’d be keen to bring friends over here after a walk up Scolty Hill… well, we might still do so for the cake.

Mocha: £3.75

Verdict justification: Great spot for a restaurant, but the coffee doesn’t do it justice – particularly for that price!

Falls of Feugh website

Categories: Aberdeen, Cafes, Local, UK | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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