In search of decent coffee
Sounds like an easy enough mission, but boy oh boy if you were blindfolded some of the stuff that has passed my throat of late would have you guessing. So let's start with a good establishment, The Stenhouse Gallery in Crieff, where a mixture of soft relaxing music, arty decor and polite service makes for a pleasant experience. If you are really lucky you have bagged the comfy sofas in the window or the leather chairs nearby. The menu isn't huge, but what is on offer comes packed with flavour and plenty of it. Yesterday I enjoyed a bowl of broccoli and stilton soup beautifully presented plus the aforementioned latte, which came like a work of art. It slid over the throat without any bitter aftertaste. Definitely on my tick list.
Del Vino, another Crieff establishment has also met with approval although I have never eaten there, but they always seem busy, which in itself is usually a good sign.
On the other side of Comrie, the Tullybannocher restaurant has just changed hands and finally installed a coffee machine. Here again the latte is as it should be. The place has undergone a major revamp which includes a change of menu. I have yet to sample the food as there present closing time(hopefully this will change once the "season" gets going) is 5p.m. I can never, ever understand any eating establishment closing at a time most people are wanting to eat, yet it is often the case. When I was in that business I didn't like turning away money! The decor here is now much brighter, but I have to confess to a little sadness at it losing its rustic appeal with long wooden tables etc. However instead we have the ubiquitous leather sofas near the door (and comfy they are too)and very smart looking polished tables. The menu itself has been reduced with sandwiches, baked potatoes, paninis etc being to the fore. A roast lunch was on offer at £9.95. Although not over expensive, I would have liked to have seen it slightly cheaper.
I'll keep adding to this list with each decent coffee hit.
The County Hotel, Selkirk
The County Hotel in Selkirk is long overdue a mention on my site. I can honestly say it is one of my favourite haunts. Why? Because they leave you in peace. You are warmly greeted by friendly staff or one of the two Norwegian hosts who have made this hostelry into such a convivial establishment. Being a genuine Souter I can only add that the County is a great asset to the Royal Burgh.
If you want to find yourself a comfortable seat in the Bistro bar at the front of the hotel, you can then enjoy a really good choice of coffee. I often accompany this with a light lunch. There's also a choice of scones, shortbread etc at the bar. If I am on my own I can sit and read the local papers in peace or a couple of chapters of whatever paperback is hidden in the bowels of my shoulder bag. I cannot emphasise enough the word "comfortable". You really don't want to leave.
On the other hand if I am meeting a friend, we can sit and talk and talk and talk and no one hassles or bothers you. I recently did the latter for almost four hours!! How many places could you do that.
There is also a good restaurant at the rear of the property and across the vennel a fairly new venture in the shape of an Italian restaurant.
WELL DONE THE COUNTY. YOU DESERVE ANY RECOGNITION YOU GET.