Scone Spy: Our cafe critic goes incognito at Aberdeen’s Café Cognito

Café Cognito's delicious scone (Derek Ironside / Newsline Media)

WHEN it comes to self-indulgence, Café Cognito has it nailed – literally.

We stopped in for a bite at the Aberdeen West End eatery and realised pretty quickly that we could be in for more of a treat than we bargained for.

This place has a trendy Parisian-style al fresco terrace – a great place to enjoy a latte when the sun shines. And it comes with canopy and heaters for when the Granite City weather is at its worse.

(Derek Ironside / Newsline Media)

It also has The Nail Room Too where, with an advance booking, you can treat yourself to a manicure.

There are rock star nails to be had, nail art and much more.

Cognito has a tasteful, shabby chic interior, with wooden benches and upturned designer crates for seats. And it’s buzzing with a mixture of middle-aged pals and penisoners meeting over coffee, teens gathering to swap gossip and fashion tips and business types in for a quick bite.

We’re here for the scones though, so wander off to select our fare.

(Derek Ironside / Newsline Media)

There’s a tempting line-up of delicious light bites, from homemade soup with wholemeal bread, to toasties, paninis, focaccia and salads – all using local produce like the celebrated Barra Berries from Oldmeldrum.

As our eyes scan the counter we’re almost seduced by the feast of cakes on display, not to mention the mouth-watering ice cream and waffles which neighbouring diners are already enjoying.

I feel myself being whisked back to childhood at the sight of a towering Knickerbocker Glory.

Café Cognito serves only three varieties of scone – plain, fruit or cheese – but serves them well. All are home-baked and super-scrumptious.

(Derek Ironside / Newsline Media)

I opt for a fruit scone, and my pal for cheese. My choice is an immediate hit, with a crisp shell and a soft fluffy interior that melts on the tongue and bursts with fruit.

I finish my bake – with butter and jam – in record time as my friend continues to ooh and aah over hers, culminating with: “Do you think they’d share the recipe?”

They might. Café Cognito is all about the sharing. Its owner launched the eatery after Rock, Salt and Snails – a similar operation run by her friends – closed. She didn’t want the community to lose its meeting place and took over the premises. Cognito was born.

And it has become a real hub where, according to the owner, old friendships flourish and new ones are forged. Cognito she says is party to a fair share of first dates, engagements, weddings and births, as well as the sad passing of some of its “friends”.

Its website states: “We love sharing in the good times and being there for folk in the not-so-good times.”

For us it’s the good times, and we’re planning a return.