Posts Tagged With: breakfast

Cognito on the Corner

I remember visiting the original Cognito for the first time three years ago (has it really been this long?!). At the time the standalone cafe only had a few seats outside – by now, the brand has built a mini local empire.

Today, Cognito is sporting a lovely outdoor area at the original shop, a wee branded van running about town, and a total of four different venues across the West End. I’m yet to visit the Deli across the road from the cafe, or the newest addition situated within the Queen’s Cross Church nearby, but I have already been twice to the stunning bistro/gin bar, Cognito on the Corner.

The first visit was on an early spring night, not too long after its opening. The decor was mesmerising: gold and brass in art deco, very Gatsby and very much to my taste – which made the few G&Ts, a charcuterie platter and the tête-à-tête with my company that night that much more enjoyable, even if we were sat at the bar.

After that, I forgot about the venue, partly due to it being a bit away from the city centre, and partly because the couple times I’d enquired for a table, they were fully booked.

But this was an unusual Sunday for myself and my other half, as we decided to take a break from hiking and stay in town. We fancied ourself some brunch, so our first shout was the Deli – unfortunately, as it later turned out, we picked the wrong date for it, as it was hosting Cognito’s bi-annual staff do that night, and was therefore closed.

Mocha at Cognito on the Corner

The Corner wasn’t, however, and – once more – we managed to get the last seats at the bar. By that time ravenous, I ordered my Eggs Royale and a mocha, trusting in the coffee quality implied by the venue’s heritage; since the brew arrived first I went straight for it.

Unfortunately, the first sip revealed it did not stand up neither to the glam interior nor the Cognito legacy. Although it was well made, with smooth texture, it lacked the chocolatey sweetness, but at the same time had a bit of a powdery taste to it. There was only one size available to order and it was pretty big, and as it cooled down it developed a bitter milk aftertaste.

Sadly, neither did the Eggs Royale impress on this occasion. Because it was after noon at this point, my other half went for the Sunday roast, which still left him craving more; we thought about maybe ordering sweets from the pastry section at the back of the restaurant, but once we saw the minimalistic display, we decided against it.

Even though this wasn’t a memorable experience, I’m sure we will pay the Deli a visit soon, and I would still recommend the Corner for a romantic dinner or a night out with the girls – but probably best to stick to the original Cognito for coffee and cake.

Mocha: £3.50

Verdict justification: The venue is great for evening entertaining – not so much for a coffee break.

Categories: Aberdeen, Cafes, Local, UK | Tags: , , , , ,

The Butterfly and The Pig

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While Aberdeen is now most definitely my adopted home, and Edinburgh my favourite place in the UK, I have never felt much attraction for Glasgow – even though lots of my friends and colleagues would argue it’s a fantastic place to stay or visit. Although I had made quite a few day trips to Scotland’s biggest city, it never truly appealed to me – maybe because every time I visited, it rained.

Then, one September weekend it so happened that I was to stay a night at a friend’s; I still wasn’t looking forward to it… until I saw the city basking in the late summer sun, bursting with people of all ages, nationalities and styles.

After a quiet night over a good meal and a few cocktails, the following (equally glorious) morning we were planning to go walking around Loch Lomond, so we decided to treat ourselves to a breakfast in town first. With plenty of options to choose from, according to Google Maps (and certainly offering more variety than Aberdeen), we decided to try the intriguingly-sounding The Butterfly and The Pig on Bath Street.

Mocha at The Butterfly and The Pig

Mocha at The Butterfly and The Pig

Occupying a good chunk of the building (including the basement), the place to get breakfast from was the Tea Rooms; the door opened to a darkish corridor with a few tables along one side and another door to the right, leading to the said tearoom. This place reminded me of the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, crossed with Antiques Roadshow – the rather small and tightly packed venue, furnished with wooden tables and chairs and featuring a striking oldschool bar as a centrepiece, was opulently decorated with a mismatched collection of teapots, china, porcelain vases and plastic flowers – not particularly my kind of place, but definitely standing up to its name.

For convenience, we took one of the tables in the centre, and were instantly approached by the single present barista. We quickly made our coffee choices, and soon followed up with a food order out of the straightforward, but smile-invoking, day menu.

As expected, to coffees arrived first – and the only comment my friend passed looking at my mocha was: “I can tell this one won’t score highly… will it?”.

“You know me too well,” I replied. Indeed, the look of my drink did not fill me with confidence regarding its contents. Served in a latte glass (on a randomly-chosen saucer, naturally), the brew had a fluffy layer of frothed milk on top, which usually meant a badly blended concoction. With that in mind I took my first sip… and was pleasantly surprised!

The coffee was, in fact, of a smooth texture and had a punchy but not overwhelming taste. It was just of the right temperature but cooling quickly, so I decided to drink it up – and overall, actually enjoyed it!

The food that followed (a selection of breakfast items for myself) was OK, but nothing spectacular, so once we ate enough to feel full, we paid the bill and set off on our little walking adventure.

Would I return to The Pig? If I was in the area – why not; having said that, now that I saw Glasgow from a different (more sunny) perspective, I’d be more inclined to explore it’s cafe scene further instead. Suggestions welcome!

Mocha: £2.50

Verdict justification: A quaint place with a varied menu and good coffee – definitely worth a visit

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