Posts Tagged With: cafe

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: , , , , ,

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

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