Aberdeen

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

Tempo

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

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

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