IT’S a chill, bright day as we head into Café Coast, a 10 minute walk from Aberdeen’s sea front.
The wood, glass, and stone exterior is uber-modern, as is the interior. But its super-cool appearance is more than matched by the warm welcome from staff.
The place is heaving! And there is a lively mix of clientele, from friends out for coffee and home bakes, to business executives enjoying a working lunch and mums with babes in arms.
We are seated beside a large group of beautifully attired ladies “of a certain age” out for lunch and, clearly, a laugh.
We order a warm chicken and bacon avocado salad and tuck into the delicious and generous portions – being sure to leave a space for what we have really come for, the café’s specialty scones.
Baked fresh every day, there are the usual plain, fruit and cheese varieties but then there are the surprise daily specials.
The salad, with a lip-smacking homemade dressing on the side is so tasty we barely speak.
But the silence does not have a chance to become awkward with the Golden Girls at the next table quick to fill the void.
“It’s good to get out with friends, isn’t it?” one asks us cheerily and, with mouths full, we give a series of enthusiastic nods.
“We get out as much as we can,” she adds. “Well, as much as the bank balance will allow. It’s not easy on a pension.”
Another forkful, another nod.
“But we do have a laugh don’t we, quines?” A chorus from her cohorts of: “Aye, mercy aye, we do that Mary,” spurs her on.
“But we cannae laugh too much noo either,” she grins. “The bladder, like the bank balance, isn’t what it used to be!” And they’re off again, giggling and guffawing.
One of the group interjects: “Dinna worry yersel’ Mary, I’ll give you a tenner.”
Mary, offended, adds: “I’m nae seekin’ yer money!” At this point her pal slaps a sealed modesty pad on the table and announces: “A Tena, not a tenner” and the place erupts.
And this is what Café Coast is all about – community – every bit of it from grannies and grandpas, to babes in arms, and pals and people with special needs. Café Coast is inclusive.
Run by Inspire Ventures, a charity offering training to create mainstream employment opportunities for people with learning disabilities, it aims to break down social barriers.
Its premises also offer meeting rooms for other groups and is equipped to welcome people with disabilities.
However it’s the scones that set it aside – whether it’s the banana or chocolate variety, they all disappear quickly! We’ll arrive earlier and book in advance next time.
However the cheese choice proves a winner. It is truly delicious and every bit as golden as the girls who had made our day.
Warm welcome 9/10
Location, location 7/10
Scone score 7/10
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